Indian Army to use double-humped camels for patrolling in Ladakh
New Delhi, Sep 21: The Indian Army is planning to use double-humped camels along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh for transportation and patrolling amid growing border tension.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Leh has conducted research on the double hump or Bactrian camels which can carry load of 170 kilograms at an elevation of 17,000 feet height in the Eastern Ladakh region.
"We have been doing research on double hump camels. They are local animals. We have researched on endurance and load-carrying capacity of these camels. We have conducted research in Eastern Ladakh area at 17,000 ft height near the China border and found they can carry a load of 170 kg and with this load they can patrol for 12 kms," said DRDO scientist Prabhu Prasad Sarangi to ANI.
"Trial has been conducted and these camels will soon be inducted into the Army. These animals have less population but after proper breeding once we reach the numbers then they will be inducted," Sarangi added.
Indian Army traditionally uses in the region mules and ponies which have the capacity to carry around 40 kgs of load.
The IAF has deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in the key frontier air bases in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the LAC. The IAF is also carrying out night time combat air patrols in the eastern Ladakh region.
The IAF has also deployed Apache attack choppers as well as Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to transport troops to various forward locations in eastern Ladakh.
The sources said the Army has made elaborate arrangements to maintain the current level of troops and weapons in all forward areas in eastern Ladakh and other sensitive high-altitude sectors in the harsh winter months when the temperature drops up to minus 25 degrees Celsius.
They said the situation remained tense in both southern and northern banks of the Pangong lake areas as well as in other friction points.
There have been at least three attempts by the Chinese People's Liberation Army(PLA) to "intimidate" Indian troops along the northern and southern bank of Pangong lake area in the last three weeks where even shots were fired in the air for the first time at the LAC in 45 years.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong Lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.
On September 7, Chinese troops unsuccessfully attempted to close in on the Indian position and even fired shots in the air in the Mukhpari area of Rezang-La ridgeline on the southern bank of Pangong lake.
As Jaishankar and Wang were to hold talks in Moscow, the Chinese military resorted to firing a barrage of "warning shots" into the air on the North Bank of Pangong lake to "intimidate" the Indian troops, Army sources had said.
India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions. China has been occupying the areas between Finger 4 and Finger 8. The mountain spurs in the area are called Fingers.
China has strongly objected to India's move. However, India has maintained that the heights are on its side of the LAC.