Exercise Hand-in-Hand: range practice photos show superior PLA kit - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Friday 8 November 2013

Exercise Hand-in-Hand: range practice photos show superior PLA kit

Indian soldiers from 16 Sikh Light Infantry firing along with PLA soldiers. Even a cursory looks highlights how much better the personal clothing and kit is of the PLA soldiers. 

The PLA wears dual-tex camouflage, which is far superior to the Indian pattern. And take a look at the webbing... the Indian ammunition pouches are made of some non-camouflage material, while the Chinese webbing is matched with the dual-tex camouflage. So too are their helmets. Thank Heavens we sent Sikh soldiers otherwise our helmets would have provided another painful contrast.

And look at the personal weapon of the PLA. Foresight and rear sight protectors, a rail for additional kit, an inbuilt carrying handle and a far more robust magazine.

And as for the boots... the less said the better!


  1. What rifles are being used by our soldiers?

  2. Well same with the armament and all else..
    But then is the MoD and the RM or even the supreme commander of India's armed forces even bothered.The same happened in 62.
    Now the MoD, RM, and Supreme commander of India's armed forces have under them sanctioned that the Indian soldier would not be entitled to the Geneva Convention in future wars due to the Shimla Agreement. This though being a blatant lie as the GC was used by India after signing the Shimla agreement, paves way for the GOI Illegally taking out the cover of the GC from Indian soldiers.

    But then arnt some of us at fault at playing ball with the same MoD who thru its ill functioning organisations like HAL , Blackmail the chief of the IAF by hinting at corruption when the Pilatus was ordered instead of a fictitious trainer flying on an imaginary plateu which the IAF has been in waiting for decades.

    Im sure this will not go well with Broadsword

  3. except our border patrols... orange juices... PLA border patrols... beg for orange juices...

  4. Even Bangladesh & SriLankan forces have good gears than Indian forces.

  5. It's just an "Exercise" bro ! so just chillax.

  6. Boots and uniforms dont win wars my friend.men do.which army has the better trained soldiers is the important question.and thanks to our paki friends,indian army is much better trained

  7. I think you are overreacting. The shoes seem fine. In some pics there are leather shoes and in the other canvas. Sure their bullpup looks superior. The battle isn't going to be won on looks though. Hopefully?

  8. @rustom, Instead of blaming the MoD and all and sundry we have to blame none but ourselves and our top brass.Our Gens are fond of using fancy terms and tactics and making tall claims while conveniently forgetting to upgrade our soldiers' uniforms, boots,web equipment and if I may add ,even their PT shoes.The lesser said about their BP plates and helmets the better it will be.Wish the present Chief when asking everyone to go back to the basics would have paid some attention to this aspect.

  9. Atleast in the physique department, the Indian team was not lacking...

  10. Ghorcharrah Gabbar9 November 2013 at 12:25

    The battle dress (or combat dress) as the Indians call it has been through two evolutions already thanks exclusively to the infantry's clueless pondering and pandering to whims of its Chiefs and 'thinking' Generals over the last 20 years.

    The disruptive pattern is itself a design anomaly. The initial cactus pattern was changed to the woodland pattern for inexplicable reasons. It was General Vij's whim largely, like his favoured ghastly change to gorget patches (and flags)incorporating stars to reflect flag-rank. The desert pattern proposed to be introduced at the second change never made it past the trials stage. Given the rabid anti-armoured corps outlook of the infantry-predominant general cadre, the mounted arms were prohibited from wearing black or olive-green overalls that are a functional neccessity when operating 'on tank'.

    What is really outlandish is the propensity of all officers to glam-up their combat dresses with badges of every hue, size and variety. Not long back there was a general order in the Indian Army to use epaulettes with rank badges embroidered in black, as well as a name tab similarly in black embroidered lettering. All other embellishments and accoutrements were prohibited from being worn on the combat dress, and sensibly so. Almost 100% foreign armies use muted badges of rank and recognition in keeping with the tactical function of avoiding distinctive identification against snipers looking for high-value targets. The Indian Army had adopted a minimalistic, black-badges only combat dress pattern nearly five years ago, but it merely needed a change in COAS to condone a reversion to the 'peacock' or 'Christmas tree' combat dress uniform scheme with all accoutrements in resplendent regimental colour schemes and zari work. What's next - Swarovski crytals dotting the gorget patches? Notice the pattern of badges worn by Chinese officers and compare them with the Indian 'peacocks'.

    There is also the utterly idiotic manner in which Indians love to tuck their combat dress tunics into their trousers and wear a belt to secure the waist. This is again a quaintly and exclusively Indian dress regulation. Add to it the idiocity of wearing a combat dress which includes the Indian Army (crossed-swords) logo as a part of the disruptive pattern design. As if to stamp the combat dress design with dense infantry whimsicalness, the tailoring instructions specifically call for the Indian Army logo to be centred on the pocket flaps wherever such pockets are stitched onto the dress.

    Our head-gear and footwear is another tale of shameful ad-hocism. Officers can't forego their unshaped berets, and if they do then there's a wide variety of Crocodile Dundee hats (with the red band of course) that make sure that nobody misses the hoity-toity. Add combat coloured net scarves that are another private innovation and incorporation. The assault boots rarely have the trouser legs tucked-in, instead trouser-ends have elastic-cords that ensures a deceptive tucked-in look.

    The Pakis have a glamed-up version of the battle dress called 'Army dress or ceremonial as well as a minimalistic version called 'field dress'. Check out http://pakistanarmy.gov.pk/AWPReview/TextContent.aspx?pId=299

    I could go on and on - the famed Bullet Proof Patka (BPP) that started off as a field improvisation for head protection against against heavy calibre AK-47 bullets. It has remained an infantry favourite despite its cumbersome weight and top-less protection. When the infantry does wear helmets, they prefer wearing their Caps (Field Service) under the same looking like a rag-tag Army.

    Professionalism, my bloody foot!

  11. The concept called India is what we see in governmental decision making. No one bears any responsibility for failures, delays and above all quality of life. It's a sad fact that after independence a soldier is treated as cannon fodder and Army relegated to act as domestic servant to babus. Govt's have done nothing to bring and restore the glory of its Armed forces. I won't be surprised if our Generals and soldiers would yet again choose to surrender than fight with outdated systems and unnecessarily sacrifice their precious lives for the comfort of a few at top! The buck keeps circulating in India without stopping anywhere, rather the buck has become a football. I wonder how India would have faired under Bose instead of Gandhi. Atleast one thing would be for sure, Armed forces would have retained their pride and China wouldn't have dared.

  12. Is it a fact Indian soldiers will not be entitled to the provisions/protection of the Geneva Convention?
    Could anyone please provide more details.


  13. @ Ghorcharrah Gabbar Bang on target sir!!

  14. Ghorcharrah Gabbar13 November 2013 at 06:47

    Apropos my previous comments, here're some more glimpses of top-level 'professional idiocities' at work :-

    The official, professed reason for discarding non-distinctive, embroidered-black badges of rank on the Indian Army combat dress and reverting to Christmas-tree, peacock-mating scale jazzed accoutrements was ..... to make officers, senior ones especially, more visible to receive compliments and salutes as entitled. Take that ! This order was from the same set of 'battle-hardened' General Cadre (infantry, actually) brass who would have not only stripped off all distinctive badges and accoutrements in Sri Lanka when operating against the LTTE, but also switched to 'lungis' and vests to avoid positive identification.

    Indian troops proceeding abroad on UN missions are sanctioned special scales of additional clothing and 'neccessaries' such as UN Blue head-gear, foot-wear including boots and sports-wear, a new set of combat dresses and military pattern tees. Such items are procured by the Ordnance Directorate in coordination with the Staff Duties Directorate and the individual units receiving the kit. It is no surprise that there is absolutely no method to the madness - there are no design specifications whatsoever that would ensure a modicum of uniformity. Instead it is a curious combination of procurement policies, design-fancy of the brass-hats who vet the items as well as fringe-benefits that swing deals in favour of one vendor versus another. So much so for uniformity. Outrageously expensive footwear such as Woodlands, Lee-Cooper, Nike and a large number of foreign-sourced designs are selected arbitrarily for flaunt value. After all Indian troops have to look good when operating in the company of foreign militaries.

    The silly order for wearing the 'combat dress' on one specified weekday is back in vogue at Army Headquarters. It has no justification except sartorial empathy with comrades who slave away in the field while the sahib-lok chill in Sena Bhawan. Or may be it is to give the regular working dress a rest, an off-day ? How much sillier can the Army get ? Especially so when there is no authorised item of uniform such as an overgarment (coat parka, jacket woolen, jersey woolen) for officers to be worn with combat dress in cold Delhi winters. So each officer buys and adopts a personal design of an overgarment. And this is Army Headquarters we are talking of.

    I have no doubt that we are fast turning into a Ghasi Ram ki fauj with disintegrating standards of discipline, turn-out, ethics and soldierliness. We just need a full-scale war to expose the rot to the extent it has spread.

    1. @ghorcharrah gabbar: Dayum! You've hit the nail bang on its head :D

  15. Battles are won by men with steel mind and iron muscles.....The primary requirement of war is such men who are ever ready to sacrifice themselves for their motherland.Luckily, Indian army is never short of such true men,..we may not have Bull pup assault rifles with double camouflage gears, but we have men of iron will and steel determination. we had shown the world how much superior the Indian army men are in all the major combats and UN Missions....

  16. Fuyong and Chowmein does not create soldiers.
    Roti, Daal Veggies Meat and Rum creates warriors

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