Army planning to expand, improve MFFR

New Delhi: To improve combat training facilities for its fighting units, the Army has made elaborate plans to expand infrastructure at Mahajan Field Firing Range in the deserts of Rajasthan. Army is mulling adding various new facilities and expanding the existing ones at MFFR to train its artillery, armoured and mechanised infantry and other units to prepare for future warfare, defence sources said here.

To train tank units for engaging moving targets in deserts and plain areas, the armoured training range at MFFR will be equipped with moving trolley-based apparatus, they said.

Army has planned four additional camps to base artillery units there with adjoining ranges to practise shelling on enemy locations. The mechanised artillery units will get additional zeroing platforms and training sheds to practise hassle-free insertion into enemy area and target their infantry units. Along with these, some of the infantry units such as the grenadier regiments will also get dedicated areas to carry out practise sessions through out the year, the sources said.

In future warfare, signal units are going to play an important role by ensuring trouble-free communication between various units and the command centres. Special attention would be paid to create infrastructure for the signal units at MFFR so that they can conduct their training, they said.

Considering the vast size of the field firing range and various activities it will see throughout the year, four new helipads have been planned there. Besides ensuring aerial connectivity, these helipads will provide for the aviation corps to practise its role during wartime, the sources said. MFFR presently has four helipads to cater to various classes of choppers in the Army and the Indian Air Force.

Several observation towers would also be installed in the firing range area to facilitate mock drills such as air raids, bombings and aerial reconnaissance by IAF fighter aircraft. To cater to the needs of the training units and ensure fool-proof logistics arrangements, special attention would be paid to ensure proper water supply and electricity to various areas within the firing range.

There is also a special proposal for sprucing up the administration of MFFR which will coordinate with all the units and ensure them necessary supplies for their training program, they said. The Army has further proposed an additional road length of 62 km within the range to ensure smooth vehicular movement in the MFFR.