Mark Collins – The Himalayan Military Cockpit, Indian Tanks to Ladakh Near China Section

Further to this 2013 post,

The Asian Military Cockpit, Himalayan Section

The Indians are not happy with the Chinese military posture–at the Times of India:

CCS nod for raising mountain strike corps along China border…

there now seems to be Indian armour on the scene:

India Deploys T-72 Tanks in Ladakh to Counter China’s Military Build-up
The Indian Army appears to have moved over 100 tanks to its disputed border with China

For the second time in its entire history, the Indian Army has moved over 100 tanks to the frontline in Ladakh, a geostrategically important region located along the so-called Line of Actual Control (LOC) in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Almost five decades ago, in a desperate attempt to use tanks against the invading Chinese army, the Indian Mechanized Division had airdropped five tanks in Ladakh, which has witnessed frequent incursion attempts by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in recent years.A calculated strategic maneuver by the Indian Armed Forces, the deployment of tanks in the disputed region is aimed at reinforcing the Indian position in the valley overlooking China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

Much to New Delhi’s displeasure, China has undertaken massive reconstruction and development projects on its western border with India in the recent years. Also reported by Pentagon, China’s aggressive militarization campaign in the region has been a cause of concern for India. “We have noticed an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military in areas close to the border with India,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Abraham M. Denmark, told reporters during a press briefing after the Pentagon submitted its annual report on “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China [text here].

”In a report published by The Hindu, Lt. Gen. SK Patyal, the general officer commanding the Leh-based 14 Corps, which is in charge of the eastern sector with China and parts of the Line of Control (LOC) with Pakistan, was quoted as saying: “We have to defend our borders. So whatever it takes us in terms of infrastructure development, in terms of force accretion, we have to do in the best manner.

“If reports in the Indian media are to be believed, T-72 battle tanks of Russian origin were moved to eastern Ladakh, located at 14,000 feet above sea level, six to eight months ago. Starting in 2014, two regiments of T-72 tanks have been moved to the valley. The third regiment is scheduled to arrive soon, forming a complete brigade. As more tanks are expected to arrive, the feasibility of maintaining the combat readiness of mechanized equipment in an area where the temperature drops down to -45 degrees Celsius has been called into question…

In a bid to match with China’s military and infrastructure build-up across the border, India has undertaken the construction of roads to facilitate movement of armored vehicles and heavy equipment as well as the development of existing airstrips and advanced landing grounds to expedite the flow of troops and supplies to the area — unreachable by land for most of the winter.

Prakhar Gupta is a foreign affairs analyst and an independent journalist. His work has appeared in the Indian Defence Review, South Asian Voices, Eurasia Review, and Youth Ki Awaz, among others.

And India is now buying M777 ultra-light howitzers from the US  for deployment in the mountainous Chinese border area.

Meanwhile:

Bloody Weekend in Indian Kashmir (Canadian media ignore)

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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