Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce a huge restructuring in India's defence forces on this years' Independence Day address. The two theatre commands the Maritime Command and the Air Defence Command is likely to be operational by August 15.
As per a report in News18.com, The Air Defence Command, which will be headquartered in Allahabad, will be in charge of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Army, and Navy's air assets. It will be commanded by an IAF three-star officer and will be responsible for defending military assets from airborne adversaries.
Moreover, the Maritime Command will be headquartered in Karwar and will be in charge of the Indian Ocean region's defence and will be headed by a three-star officer of the Indian Navy. In addition to these two theatre commands, India will also get three or four integrated commands to protect the Pakistan and China fronts. According to reports, there may be two theatre commands on the Chinese front, each reporting to a higher command. On the Pakistani side, the Line of Control and the International Border will be part of a single theatre command for Jammu and Kashmir.
Two Unified commands at the moment
The country currently has only two unified commands. In addition, the country has 17 single service commands (Army 7, Air Force 7 and Navy 3). India's first theatre command was created in October 2001 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. At the same time, Strategic Forces Command was established in 2003. This command has to handle the nuclear weapon.
India's Grand Theaterisation plan
The Grand Theaterisation Plan calls for the military to be divided into two land theatres, a Maritime Theatre Command, and an Air Defence Command, as well as supporting commands including Special Forces, Space, Logistics, Training, and Cyber Warfare.
Although any official announcement is yet to be made by the Ministry of Defence, as per media reports, the Northern Theatre Commander, who will most likely be based in Lucknow, will be in charge of operations along the entire 3500 km Indo-China frontier, from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, as well as operations along the 2500 km Nepal-Bhutan border, 3300 km Myanmar border, and 4100 km Bangladesh border.
The Western Theatre Commander, based in Jaipur, will be in charge of operations around the 3000 km long Indo-Pak frontier, from the super high altitude Siachen to the Rajasthan deserts and down to the Rann of Kutch.