Endurance would be key as situation along LAC remains tense, but under control
New Delhi, Sep 29: The Indian Army is all geared and does not want to take any chances with China.
Although both sides have decided to continue talking to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control, India will still not take any chances and hence has deployed T-90 and T-72 tanks with BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicles in the Chumar-Demchok area of East Ladakh at an altitude of 16 to 18 thousand feet, which is also at temperatures up to minus 40 degrees Celsius.
This is going to be a test of endurance and the situation along the LAC remains tense, but under control. Sources tell OneIndia that the Indian Army is ready for the long winter ahead. It would be a test of endurance, the source said while adding that India has the advantage as it has been sitting on the glaciated heights of the Saltoro ridge since 1984.
The next round of military commander level talks will take place soon. Following the last round of talks, a joint statement was issued by both sides, which New Delhi has termed as positive in nature.
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Meanwhile India has rushed heavy tanks heavy weaponry, ammunition, fuel, food and essential winter supplies to high-altitude areas in eastern Ladakh to maintain its combat readiness through the treacherous winter of around four months, military sources said.
They said Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane, aided by a group of top commanders, has been personally involved in planning and overseeing the implementation of the mammoth exercise that began in mid-July and is nearing completion.
A significant number of T-90 and T-72 tanks, artillery guns and infantry combat vehicles were flown into various sensitive areas including Chushul and Demchock sectors as part of the logistics operation, the sources said.
Under the operation, the Army transported large quantities of clothes, tents, food items, communication equipment, fuel, heaters and other supplies to army personnel deployed at forward posts and mountain passes at the height of over 16,000 feet.
"By far it is the biggest logistics operation that has been implemented in Ladakh post Independence. Its scale is humongous," a senior military official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
To deal with any Chinese misadventure, India has deployed over three additional Army divisions in eastern Ladakh where the temperature fluctuates between minus five to minus 25 degrees Celsius from October to January.
The sources said India imported winter clothing and gear from a couple of countries in Europe and they have already been supplied to the troops in eastern Ladakh.
Almost all transport aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Air Force including C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster were used to transport thousands of tonnes of food, fuel and other equipment to the region.
The Indian Army has decided to maintain its current strength of troops in all key areas in eastern Ladakh in the winter months as there was no sign of early resolution of the border row with China.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has also decided to remain on high alert in the forward air bases along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).