The Indian military is expected to be reorganised under five theatre commands by 2022 with defined areas of operation and a seamless command structure for synchronised operations and to integrate resources of the three services for maximising impact in any war. The operational command of such combinations will be under one officer drawn from one of the three services. The theatre commands may be organized as under:-
- Northern Command with HQ in Lukhnow domain likely to be from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh and continue up to the last outpost Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh , with the military mandate of guarding the 3,488 km of Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
- Western command with HQ in Jaipur with responsibility from Indira Col on Saltoro Ridge in the Siachen Glacier region to the tip of Gujarat.
- Peninsular Command likely HQ could be Thiruvananthapuram
- Air Defence Command will be responsible for defending Indian airspace through multi-role fighters with all anti aircraft missiles under its control.
- Maritime Command to protect the Indian Ocean and India’s Island territories as well as keep the sea lanes free and open from any outside pressure and the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Islands Command may be part.
Currently, the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy all defend Indian airspace on separate communication frequencies and without synergy. This is despite the fact that all Indian Army Corps Headquarters are located next to an air base as a result of which there is duplication of effort and wasteful expenditure.
The task of the Chief of Staff of Army, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff will not be operational but involve mobilising resources to the theatre commanders as it is in the US military. The CDS will have the Armed Forces Special Operation Division, Cyber Command and the Defence Intelligence Agency under him with manpower drawn from all the three services.