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"Logisticians are a sad and embittered race of men who are very much in demand in war, and who sink resentfully into obscurity in peace. They deal only in facts, but must work for men who merchant theories. They emerge during war because war is very much a fact. They disappear in peace because peace is mostly a theory. "


1. The growing threat (to incl unconventional threat) from our northern neighbours has dictated incr dply of tps especially along the bdrs/LC/LAC & in CI/CT grids. The maint, sustenance & lgs sp to ops in these areas are difficult to execute due to various factors like trn, wx & poor infrastructure. Modern times have also witnessed tremendous growth of tech & hence its resultant effect on the battlefield milieu. The incr in battlefield transparency, lethality of wpns to incl NBC wpns & the ever changing nature of conflict to incl asymmetric W, mandates a mob, lethal & info enabled battle gps capable of op indep in various battle sits.

2. The present lgs philosophy & sp sys was inherited from the British & does not sp the reqmts of a modern army. The above factors necessitate a thorough & holistic revamp of lgs sp in the IA to sp various reqmts of changed battlefield milieu & to counter the threats being posed the nation.

Statement of Problem

3. To study & analyse the present lgs sys in IA, understand the shortcomings, strs & recom changes keeping in mind the changing nature of conflict, technological & infrastructure devp & changing world dynamics.


4. The present lgs sp sys of the IA is outdated & does not catr for present or future battlefield milieu. With rapid growth in technology & changes in nature of threat, there is a reqmt of having a responsive nw lgs sp sys at jt services, strat, op & tac levels, in order to meet present & future challenges.


5. The aim of this study is to analyse the present lgs sys in IA, understand the

shortcomings & strs & recom changes keeping in mind the changing nature of conflict.


6. The MRP will be cov in the following parts :-

(a) Chapter I. Intro.

(b) Chapter II. Present lgs sys & SWOT analysis.

(c) Chapter III. Imperatives for change.

(d) Chapter IV. Lgs challenges for IA.

(e) Chapter V. Modern trends in lgs.

(f) Chapter VI. Lgs trends in modern armies.

(g) Chapter VII. Recom changes.

(h) Chapter VIII. Recom lgs sp model.


7. Definition. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia "Lgs is the mgt of the flow of goods, info and other resources betn the pt of origin and the pt of consumption in order to meet the reqmts of consumers (frequently & originally, mil org). Lgs involves the integration of info, tn, inventory, warehousing, mtrl handling, packaging, & occasionally security.

8. History. The military activity known as lgs is probably as old as war itself. The word lgs is derived from the Greek word, "logistiki" meaning accounting & financial organization. Research indicates that the first use of the word with reference to an organised military adm service was by the French writer 'Jomini' who served as a staff officer in Napolean's army. In 1838, he set down lgs as one of the six branches of the military art, the other five being statesmanship in its relationship to war, strategy or art of properly directing masses upon the theatre of war, grand tactics, engineering & minor tactics.

Military Lgs

9. IA defines lgs as "the science of planning & carrying out the movement & maintenance of forces in fd". In today's usage logistics is the function of providing all the mtrl & services that a military force needs in peace or war". One can say that broadly all activities other that strategy & tactics can be covered under the heading of logistics.

Parameters of a Lgs System

10. The military, in turn, builds the financial & lgs planning & the manpower control processes around the development of operational plans that are in tune with the strategy. Such plans are based upon the requirements of the tactical situation to ensure delivery of the necessary troops & eqpt at the time & place required. For making a realistic assessment the logistician has to consider certain important factors. All these factors are interrelated & the list is by no means exhaustive.

(a) Strat.

(b) Tech.

(c) Econ factors.

(d) Info.

(e) Int.

(f) Comn.

Elements of a Lgs System

11. All activities that go in preparing a logistics plan base themselves on availability of facts & info dealing with industrial, economic, & managerial resources. At the

highest level programming is the heart of mobilising various segments of the system that operate to provide means of resources. A country's logistics capability is directly related to the capability of its economy & industry to absorb military needs. The thought process & activities for prep of a logistics plan are: -

(a) Organisation & provision of the basic concept of a plan.

(b) Modifications due to operational reasons.

(c) Evaluate limitations.

Levels of Lgs Planning

12. The process of "planning for lgs" ultimately determines the flexibility & sustainability of the combat forces. It will include details with regard to availability of resources, plan for lgs build up, & identification of those 'base & theatre depots' designed to support a particular operation. The three aspects of lgs support to the troops are:-

(a) The Strategic level lgs.

(b) The Operational level lgs.

(c) The Tactical level lgs.


13. Lgs Support System in the Army. The responsibility of lgs for the Army lies with the branches as under :-

(a) Adjutant General (AG).

(b) Quartermaster General (QMG).

(c) Master General of Ordnance (MGO).

(d) Engineering-in-Chief (E-in-C).

14. Basically the existing system is influenced by what primarily was inherited from the British Army. In the present organization the supply and tpt are under the QMG while, the MGO Branch catr for the eqpt and mtrl needs of the army. The E-in-C is responsible for the eqpt peculiar to Engineers in the army. The Medical services have been placed under the AG. Thus, the management and control of logistic services are not under unified single management or control.

15. Selection and introduction of any new eqpt though a joint responsibility, is with the Weapons and Eqpt (WE) Directorate and maintenance of same is a logistic function. In order to coordinate various branches and to ensure smooth flow, the appt of Additional Directorate General Operational Logistics (ADGOL) under the QMG Branch was created. There apparently, are too many interactions with diverse range of services, thereby making the task of ADGOL difficult. Thus the staff support is highly fragmented and does not even approximate to the concept of integrated logistic support.

16. Consequently ADGOL has now been upgraded to a full-fledged Directorate of Operational Logistics, independent of the QMG Branch and working directly under the Vice Chief of Army Staff, in close coordination with the Directorate of Military Operations. Various studies carried out from time to time have brought out the need for a single directional agency to integrate the allied logistics agencies due to complexity of logistic requirements.

17. Logistics Support System in the Navy. The present logistics activity at Naval HQ is divided between the two Principal Staff officers (PSOs). The Chief of Mtrls (COM) who is responsible for providing, maintenance and logistics support, armament

supply, naval projects, engineering, electrical and weapon aspects and procurement of stores, while the Chief of Personnel (COP) looks after the personnel aspects of logistics. His responsibility includes medical services, recruitment, service conditions clothing and welfare.

18. Logistic Support System in the Air Force. The present logistics activity in the Air Force is as under :-

(a) Air Force being an eqpt intensive organization has a different kind of logistics organization as compared to the Army. The philosophy adopted is to make logistics based on the weapon systems as far as aircrafts are concerned and to club management of all other non-technical as well as technical stores, under one agency.

(b) The major portion of Air Force budget goes towards logistics support. At the Air HQ, logistic is looked after by Air Officer-in-Charge Administration (AAA) and Air Officer-in-Charge maintenance (AM). AAA discharges most of the functions similar to AG, Military Secretary and some if QMG's functions as in the Army. His Naval equivalent is the COP. The function of AM can be equated to those of the MGO and partly of QMG of the Army. His Naval equivalent is the COM.

(c) AOP Branch. The personnel staff is controlled by the Air Officer- in- Charge Personnel (AOP) dealing with personnel planning, recruitment, postings, promotions, honors and awards, auxiliary forces and reserves.

(d) AOA Branch. The administrative staff is controlled by the Air Officer-in-Chief Administration. He deals with pay accounting, works services, matters relating to Air Force law, organization, provost, pay, pension and regulations, discipline and welfare.

(e) AOM Branch. The AOM branch is controlled by Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance and all specialist aspects of Aircraft and eqpt maintenance, overhaul and provisioning of stores in respect of every weapon system forms a part of his charter of duties.

(f) Logistics support for the newly introduced aircraft-systems and eqpt, is provided by the constitution of Initial Provisioning Committees (IPC) / Maintenance Planning Teams (MPC), which in fact, more or less is an "after-the-fact" discipline. Integrated logistic support, though incorporated is yet to reach advanced stage in the airforce.

19. SWOT Analysis. The maj aspects cov are as under:-

(a) Str. The maj str of the present sys are:-

(i) Lgs infrastructure spread the nation connected by extensive comn nw.

(ii) Bulk procurement & distr sys.

(iii) Flexibility due to tiered org, vast span of lgs units & holding of res.

(iv) Availability of large skilled & trained human resource.

(b) Weaknesses. The maj weaknesses of the present sys are:-

(i) Matching mob.

(ii) Synchronisation with op plg.

(iii) Integration at Services & Fd Army level.

(iv) Slow rate of absorption of tech.

(v) Fund constraints for modernisation of lgs echs.

(vi) Rigid cont & exec.

(vii) Large inventory & inefficient mgt.

(c) Opportunities. The maj opportunities of the present sys are:-

(i) Outsourcing to incl local resource expl, civ industry integration, direct vendor del & hiring of CHT & expl civ repair & maint infrastructure.

(ii) Expl of civ tech in terms of HMVs, MHEs, sml, comn, tele med & modular repair.

(iii) Expl infrastructure devp in the country especially in bdr areas.

(d) Threats. Threats to the lgs sp sys are:-

(i) En air & grnd attk.

(ii) Sabotage by trts or en agents.

(iii) Dependence on import.


20. The modern battlefield milieu is ever changing. These changes in turn would mandate a transformation in the strat, op & tac methods of present day armies across the world. As a result the implied changes in own lgs sp sys will manifest as under:-

(a) Changing nature of conflict.

(i) Short, swift & violent wars under high tech conditions. Thus the need for a responsive & reqmt based lgs sp sys with more emphasis on "velocity than mass".

(ii) NBC W. Thus the need to have duplicate, dispersed & NBC hardened lgs sp echs.

(iii) Netwk centric & asymmetric W.

(iv) Sub conventional & Hybrid W. Thus the need for threat based lgs sp sys.

(v) Blurring of traditional bdys, nonlinearity, simultaneity & IW. Thus the emphasis on more prot & survivability.

(vi) Rapid response capability.

(b) Infrastructure, Econ & Technological Changes.

(i) Expl growth of Indian econ, IT, comn & technological changes.

(ii) Absorption of dual use technological & products for lgs mgt.

(c) Changing World Dynamics.

(i) India a regional power; need for power proj & assistance to other countries.

(ii) Reqmt to participate in UNPKOs or under coalition.

(iii) Modern armies are reviewing the lgs sp sys & are integrating the same.


21. This chapter cov the lgs challenges in the IA to incl the following:-

(a) Varied trn & op conditions under which armed forces op. Need for theatre based lgs sys.

(b) Posturing of armed forces i.e conflict, NWNP, peace, sub conventional & OOTW. Need for different lgs reqmts.

(c) Tri Service integration & synergy during jt ops.

(d) Lgs sp in backdrop of skewed econ & infrastructure devp in country especially in border areas.

(e) Dependence on import for maj wpns , eqpt & technology.

(f) Funds/ resources crunch.

(g) High teeth to tail ratio.

(h) Rigid cont & exec.

(j) Inadequate impetus on R&D.

Key Strategies

22. The following strategies emerge after putting the above factors through SWOT summary and analyzing imperatives for change in light of the present day challenges:-

(a) Improve logistic infrastructure, procurement and distribution system and ensure logistic flexibility and mobility by inducting and employing new technology through revolution in military logistics.

(b) Carry out selective outsourcing in those areas where outcome is expected to be better than the existing system. Indigenize and involve civil industry in defence production to reduce dependence ex import.

(c) Integrate logistic functionaries while formulating operational plans and exploit jointmanship, management tools and new technology in evolving and executing logistics plan.

(d) Make logistic support cost effective and improve tooth to tail ratio by inducting new technology and outsourcing selectively.

(e) Plan and institute measures to protect logistic infrastructures, logistic echelons and maintenance areas from sabotage both during low intensity conflicts and active operations to retain logistic superiority under all possible eventualities. Achieve the ability to stay dispersed with the flexibility to reach at the point of logistic impact in shortest possible time.


23. This chapter cov the modern lgs trends to incl the following:-

(a) Revolution in Mil Lgs (RML). The vision of the RML that has emerged is of a truly revolutionary logistics system that marries the power of info with modern tn and electronic commerce systems. The RML spans three domains viz technology application and acquisition agility, force projection, and force sustainment. More importantly, it also integrates these three domains to produce a truly revolutionary result

(b) Amalgamation Of Def Lgs Sys. Existing lgs infrastructure will be amalgamated with the new model being proposed which would then leverage the strengths of both systems. This has the added advantage of lesser capital outlay on creating new infrastructure.

(c) Matrix Based Lgs. Grid pattern of lgs is the norm as opposed to the reliance on central dumps/depots. This offers greater flexibility as also faster response times. The issue to be addsd is the quantum & scale of the stores being held as also their dependency.

(d) Integrated Theatre Lgs Grid. The term integrated logistics has two connotations. One, the entire aspect of logistic component for or a wpn system is examined in its entirety as a package. Two various Services are integrated under one head. All this really means, there is a reqmt to integrate various functions in a manner that ensures eff mgmt of eqpt

(e) Automation & Asset vis. Modern technology has permitted the introduction of computers into logistics units. This enormously improves management capabilities and increases the speed of supply. Logistics management is becoming complicated with armament technology and troops deployed getting to be more and more dynamic. Doing the tasks manually with the kind of inventory we hold is always susceptible to inaccuracies. Activities to be Automated are:-

(i) Purchasing.

(ii) Inventory Management.

(iii) Warehouse Management.

(iv) Lead Time Management.

(f) Multi Modal Tn Model. Tptation models basically define a distribution pattern where stores are dispatched directly from the manufacturer to the user. Trade makes regular use of the system for faster conveyance of stores to far off destinations. A computer-based system where all the details regarding the suppliers and demand details are available can give relevant inputs for directing consignments. Time/cost benefit to tpt one unit of the item from each source to each destination is quantifiable. This will help in deciding whether to adopt a tn model or to go in for more conventional means.

(g) Sense & Respond Sys. Sense and respond logistics, a network-centric concept that enables logistics planners to provide precise logistics support to the war fighter, gives the combatant commander numerous options for planning mission support. In the US Army, at the unit level, brigade support battalion (BSB) planners' the sense and respond concept is evident in three areas. First, logistics planners and unit commanders must design systems so that all personnel understand their roles. Second, key planners in the BSB must sense in real time what is happening on the battlefield and respond accordingly within the confines of the commander's overall intent. Finally, the BSB planners must dispatch assets in response to changes on the battlefield.


24. This chapter cov the lgs trends in modern armies to incl the following:-

(a) USA.

(i) Integration. It is integrated at the highest level with the US asst secretary of def being resp for co-ordination, plg & laying down the policy on def lgs matters.

(ii) Participation of Civ Industry in R&D, Production & Sup. The civ industry is heavily committed in the three fields mentioned above & enjoys very strong Govt backing. Apart from the assured domestic captive mkt the industry enjoys a strong monopoly in allied & friendly countries which enables massive investments in R&D.

(iii) Outsourcing.Outsourcing non core competencies is a recognised business Best Practise & is practised at all levls of the US forces lgs setup.

(iv) Sup Source.

(aa) Army Mtrl Comd. It is resp for research, development, testing, eval, production, inventory cont, distr, txn, maint & disposal.

(ab) Def Sup Agency. It is resp for the adm of department, wholesale distr sys, cataloguing & standardisation.

(v) Lgs Cdrs. To reduce the workload of combat cdr, at each level of fd comd from div HQ level onwards, a lgs cdr is appt.

(vi) The Jt Supply Chain. The JSC is that ele of the Sp Chain that covers the policies, end-to-end processes & activities associated with receipt of stocks from trade to their delivery to the demanding unit & the return loop for all 3 Services

(b) China (PLA).

(i) Integration at MR level (comd).

(aa) Gen Lgs Department. It is cont by central mil

commission & is the apex body providing lgs sp to three servicesBudgeting/procurement is cont by gen lgs department & exec remains a comd resp.

(ab) Fd cdr give orders to head of their lgs department.

(ii) Outsourcing. A major element of lgs reform is "out-sourcing," or contracting with local civilian entities. A primary purpose of out sourcing is to save money by having the civilian community augment the PLA's existing facilities as also reallocate pers for other purposes. It is used for the following:-

(aa) Food storage.

(ab) Purchase of parts & eqpt repair.

(iii) Infrastructure Devp in Border/ Remote Areas. The Chinese strategy envisages a robust investment in infrastructure in remote areas for lgs as well as op reasons.

(iv) Technological Sp Department for R&D & Lgs.

(c) Analysis of Lgs Model of Foreign Armies.

(i) Higher def org to integrate & coord.

(ii) Single pt C2.

(iii) Little or no lgs resp at tac level.

(iv) Emphasis on R&D.

(v) Stress on 'velocity' rather than volume (velocity mgt) & Just in Time concept.

(vi) Standardisation.

(vii) Incorporation of civ infrastructure technology & assets.


25. This chapter cov the recom changes incorporating tech & changes in philosophy, to incl the following:-

(a) R&D, Production.

(i) Incr involvement of civ agencies.

(ii) Reduction in dependence on import.

(iii) A graduated move of incr the FDI in R&D. The Avn Industry model may be adopted for incr the cap on FDI. Disinvestment in OFB PSU's may be considered with their restructuring on commercial lines.

(b) Focussed Lgs. Emphasis on Asset iden & tr emp latest tech available & using techniques already in vogue in the commercial arena.

(c) Conc on Core Competencies & User Specialisation. Leveraging core competencies of presence, knowledge of peculiar service systems. User specialisation as a concept is already existing, what requires to be streamlined are the fields, the levels & an analysis of how far is it beneficial.

(d) Est of Integrated Theatre Based Lgs Nodes.

(i) Est of lgs nodes in a theatre with complete inventory, amn sup to incl FOL etc.

(ii) Units/ fmns att to various nodes & rplnt by 'velocity mgt'.

(iii) Stks (policy) at various nodes ascertained in conduct of exs/ war games. Reduced holding of base depots.

(iv) Misc. This envisages the amalgamation existing comd, corps & static instlns into lgs nodes in a theatre of ops. These nodes require to be geographically dispersed in order to survive pre-emptive strikes by the en.

These nodes will stk all items, stores & eqpt reqd for sp a 'force' in war/ op. The stk level & quantum of stores reqd, needs to be ascertained during exs/ wargames. The lgs nodes will be connected through a netwk of rds to facilitate side stepping of stk from one lgs node to another, depending on prog of ops.

(v) Rplnt Of Units/ Fmns.

(aa) Units / fmns donot have fixed dependency & 'hook on' to a lgs node depending on geographic proximity & sit. There will be no affiliation of a unit / fmn to a particular node.

(ab) The units will adapt pull / JIT sys of rplnt & stores will be mov by 'velocity mgt'.

(vi) Pre Requisites.

(aa) Need for changing acct procedures. Automation & asset vis will assist in acct.

(ab) C2. The Comd & tech cont of the lgs nodes requires to be wk out. The overall C2 can be of COS with assistance from services heads & sub areas/ areas.

(ac) Tn Reqmts. The large tn reqmt could be met from pooling in tpt from NFF units & fmns, hiring CHTs & integration of civ tpt agencies. The devp comn infrastructure in the fwd areas can be expl. Air tn can be resorted to.

(ad) A faster & responsive sys to replenish from base depots to lgs nodes. eed to emp mutli mode tpt to ensure adequate response. The stk levels of base depots can be reduced.

(ae) Automation & netwk of lgs nodes & integration into theatre lgs grid would ensure transparency, asset vis & flexibility.

(af) Stks should be held in pallets & ctns to avoid double handling within the theatre. One lgs node can be nominated as bulk breaking agency & resp for palletisation & ctn.

(e) Base Depots/ Ware Housing.

(i) Hold common inventory & bulk demand items at army level.

(ii) Hold essential sup & common stores of all services.

(iii) Adapt push sys for rplnt of theatre based lgs grids.

(f) Tech Absorption.

(i) Integrated lgs NW from jt services, service HQ, base depots, comd HQ , lgs nodes & users.

(ii) Use of technology like RFID tags, Bar codes & integrated netwk to improve visibility & efficiency.

(iii) Use modern tn means to incl modular lgs del.

(iv) Reduction in lead time & assist in inventory / stk mgt.

(g) Out sourcing.

(i) Maint of Facilities.

(ii) Maint of data of Army Pers. Workflow of Record offices to reputed civ firms.

(iii) Maint, Repairs and Overhaul of eqpt.

(iv) Hiring of CHT.

(v) Utilisation of trg facilities in civ sect for IT & Trades trg.

(vi) Building and construction tasks.

(vii) Preliminary screening of candidates for rect in Army.

(viii) Devp of software for non classified functions.

(ix) Inviting Investment in Def Facilities - adoption of build-lease and maint model for accn and trg facilities & payments to be done as per quality of service provided.

Misc Recom.

26. Audit. The powers of audit must be delegated to CO/ OC of the units. The checking of stores/ eqpt can be carried out by bd of offrs within the fmn. Automation & asset visibility will assist in bringing transparency.

27. Delegation Of Fin Powers. Review of financial powers for outsourcing & purchase of items id reqd to be carried out. Fmn Cdrs upto div level should be given powers on the linnes of ACSFPF for purchase of stores/ eqpt.

28. Attitudinal Changes.

(a) Lgs should be treated as integral part of op effort. The lgs plans based on op plans should be considered from conceptual stg.

(b) Lgs exs/ war games should be conducted concurrent or after a maj op dscn at fmn level.

(c) Orientation capsule for Cdrs/ imp staff appts to incl GS br appts should be carried out from time to time.

(d) Trg. Lgs courses for Offrs & PBOR should be carried out in order to ensure std of teaching & trg under aegis of MT dte/ HQ ARTRAC.

(e) Posting of Offrs. Offrs being posted to various lgs appts in fmn HQ should be a mix of Psc & non Psc. Equal weightage should be given to these offrs as in posting to GS br.






29. The lgs sp to IA is an onerous & demanding task. The constant changes in battle field milieu, threats emanating from challenges posed by asymmetric warfare & tech adv

will dictate invariable changes in tac & op level plg. The lgs models, philosophy & thinking will require changes based on above changing concepts. It is also imperative that lgs plg becomes an essential component of op plg.