MARCOS In Brief
The Marine Commando Force (MCF), also known as MARCOS, is one of India's elite special forces of the naval wing. It was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter terrorism.
In 1988, the MARCOS successfully rescued several hostages, including Maldives' then Minister of Education, abroad a ship hijacked by PLOTE mercenaries during Operation Cactus.
The MARCOS are typically deployed and trained to prevent infiltration through the Jhelum and Wular Lake and are also involved in covert counter-terrorism operations in and around lakes and rivers in Jammu and Kashmir.
On July 12, 2016, the naval base INS Karna was commissioned near Visakhapatnam as a permanent base for the unit.
During the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the MARCOS were also involved in the rescue missions of hostages captured by the terrorists in Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Luxury Hotel in Mumbai as part of a large terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008.
Selection and Training
All MARCOS personnel are males selected from the Indian Navy. They are selected when they are in their early 20s and have to go through a stringent selection process and training. The selection standards are extremely high. The training is a continuous process. American and British special forces assisted in the initial training, which now consists of a two-year course for new recruits. The training regimen includes: airborne operations, combat diving courses, counter-terrorism, anti-hijacking, anti-piracy operations, direct action, infiltration and exfiltration tactics, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare training etc. Majority of the training is conducted at INS Abhimanyu which is also the home base of MARCOS.
All MARCOS personnel are freefall qualified. MARCOS train along with the Special Forces officers of the Indian Army like the Para Commandos at the Indian Special Forces Training School, Nahan and Army's other schools for Unconventional warfare These include the Junior Leaders' Commando Training Camp in Belgaum, Karnataka, the Parvat Ghatak School (for high altitude mountain warfare) in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh, Desert warfare school in Rajasthan, the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Sonamarg, Kashmir and the Counter-insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Vairengte, Mizoram.
Some Weapons and Vehicles Used by the Unit
I) Small Arms
1) Pistol Auto 9mm 1A:
is a semi-automatic pistol currently manufactured by Rifle Factory Ishapore, West Bengal one of 41 production facilities of Ordnance Factories Board of the Indian Ministry of Defense.
Magazine Capacity: 13 rounds
Range: 50 m
Calibre: 9 mm
2) Beretta 92:
is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and manufactured by Beretta of Italy. The model 92 was designed in 1972 and production of many variants in different calibers continues today.
3) APS amphibious rifle:
Avtomat Podvodny Spetsialnyy or "Special Underwater Assault Rifle") is an underwater firearm designed by the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. It was adopted in 1975. Made by the Tula Arms Plant.
Underwater, ordinary-shaped bullets are inaccurate and have a very short-range.
The APS's barrel is not rifled; the fired projectile is kept in line by hydrodynamic effects; as a result, the APS is somewhat inaccurate when fired out of water.
Hence this rifle is ought to be used only for underwater warfare.
Magazine Capacity: 26 rounds
Calibre: 5.66 mm
4) IWI Tavor:
The IWI Tavor is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle with a selective fire system, selecting between semi-automatic mode and full automatic fire mode.
Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds
Calibre: 5.56 mm
II) Support Weapons:
1) IWI Negev:
Magazine Capacity: 150 rounds
Calibre: 5.56 mm
2) Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle:
it is an 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank recoil-less rifle produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics in Sweden.
3) B-300 anti Tank weapon:
The B-300 is a compact and lightweight anti-tank weapon that only requires a single user to operate.
The HAL Dhruv is a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
2) Cosmos CE-2F X100 two-man submarines:
3) Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle:
The Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) is a planned class of midget submarine for the Indian navy. Under this programme the Indian Navy will acquire 2 midget submarines for use as Swimmer Delivery Vehicles. These submarines will be used for conducting underwater special operations by MARCOS.Both submarines will be constructed by Hindustan Shipyard Limited. The cost of procuring the two SDVs will be around ₹2,000 crore.
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