India ramps up military might, confident it would prevent misadventure by China
New Delhi, June 30: Amidst the tensions with China, India has been ramping up its resources along the Line of Actual Control amidst the tense stand off with China.
Sources familiar with the developments tell OneIndia that both sides are on a heightened state of readiness and there are currently no signs of the tensions easing.
The Indian Navy's P-81 maritime patrol is being used for surveillance of the Ladakh sector. It may be recalled that the P-18s had carried out similar exercises in 2017, during the Doklam stand off.
The Indian Air Force's capability has been ramped up immensely, with the induction of the C-17 Globemaster Super Hercules and the CH-47 Chinook. The Indian Army's strike formations are now spearheaded by the T-90 tanks.
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Airlifting the T-90s was an important aspect for the IAF. The 46 tonne tanks is very crucial to the Indian Army as it faces the Chinese deployments, which also include a mix of both heavy and light tanks.
Airlifting the T-90 tank was possible only due to C-17, which has a payload capacity of 77 tonnes. The C-17 have come in handy because the Il-76 could airlift only 45 tonnes, while the weight of the T-90 is 46 tonnes. The C-17s have been in service since 2013 and there are 11 of them.
The Indian Army had three regiments of the older T-72 tanks, which weigh around 40 tonnes. Earlier, the IL-76 would airlift the T-72s and this is an exercise that has been going on since the 1990s.
Since tank transporters can only be used on some road stretches within Ladakh, it was not practical to negotiate the high mountain passes and narrow stretches that lie on the road link from the mainland to Ladakh.
The IAF's capability was also enhanced with the procurement of 15 Chinooks. This has in fact enhanced the round the clock and all weather capability, especially in the mountains, where manoeuvrability is a major issue.
It may be recalled that Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane had told the political leadership that the build up by India is likely to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese.
The Army Chief who returned to the national capital on Thursday after his visit to the forward areas in eastern Ladakh briefed both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
During the briefing, General Naravane said that the Chinese are unlikely to attempt any misadventure. The Chinese are flexing their muscles and have deployed a large number of troops an weaponry along the unresolved LAC. There is a heavy build up especially at the Daulat Beg Oldie Depsang area, the Army assessment says.
India has deployed thousands of additional troops. They are also backed by tanks, combat vehicles and howitzers in the region. The IAF fighters such as the Sukhoi-30 MKIs and MIG-29s are also regularly patrolling the skies.
The Indian troops are in a state of full preparedness and as a result of these actions, the Army's assessment is that the Chinese will not indulge in any misadventure. There would be clashes and face-offs owing to the tensions at the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso. For now both the Indian and Chinese forces are maintaining stand-off distance from each other.
The Indian Army has however vowed not to let China grab any more territory and would continue to press for the restoration of status quo ante. The assessment also says that the de-escalation and disengagement will take many more months. Looking at how matters are on the ground, the internal assessment says that it may drag on at least until October before the situation normalises.
The chief was on a two day visit to eastern Ladakh, where he took stock of the situation amidst the rising tensions with China.