To match China’s Army lake fleet, India’s super surveillance equipped boats off to Ladakh
New Delhi, July 01: The third senior military commander level talks that went on until late on Tuesday night at Chushul were held in a cordial atmosphere.
Both sides discussed specifics of disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Although the decisions are yet to take shape on the ground, the Narendra Modi government has given the Indian Military a free hand to deal with the situation. On the other hand, the Indian Military is standing up to the People's Liberation Army.
However the Indian military will not initiate any escalation, but would respond to any Chinese aggression. The Indian Navy on the other hand is sending high powered surveillance equipped steel boats to Ladakh.
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This would help the Indian Army patrol Pangong Tso and also match the Chinese Army's lake fleet. On the other hand, 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.
Airlifting the T-90s was an important aspect for the IAF. The 46 tonne tank 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 has 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.