India has deployed US-made weapons along China’s border, recently acquired from the country to boost capabilities amid the ongoing standoff with China in Ladakh. The weapons have been acquired in the past few years as defense ties between India and the United States have strengthened due to growing concerns about Chinese insistence.
According to a report in Bloomberg, India has deployed US-made Chinook helicopters, ultra-light-diameter howitzers and rifles, as well as home-made supersonic cruise missiles and a state-of-the-art surveillance system along areas bordering eastern Tibet.
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The report quoted Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Manoj Pandey as saying that boots, armour, artillery and air support were combined to make the force “agile, light and mean so we can employ it faster”.
Pandey said Mountain Strike Corps is fully operational and all units including combat and combat support units are raised and fully equipped.
India and China are in talks to disengage the forces and the ongoing standoff in East Ladakh. Recently in October, the two countries held the thirteenth round of corps commander-level talks in Moldo that lasted about eight and a half hours and focused on discussions on resolving the military confrontation between the two countries’ armies in East Ladakh. section.
The report added that despite the talks, they had not yet agreed to withdraw from the main flashpoint in another border area near the disputed Kashmir region.
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, director of ORF’s Center for Security, Strategy and Technology, said India’s deployments show frustration over the lack of progress in talks with China. “We’re looking forward to a second winter at the border that explains why India needs to work on building its border capabilities and infrastructure and getting more equipment from partners like the United States,” she told Bloomberg.
The report stated that new forces have been deployed on the border with China, where a formation of at least 30,000 soldiers has been deployed over the past year.
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The newly raised Indian Army Aviation Brigade, about 300 kilometers south of Tawang, is a critical component of India’s new border offensive plan. The brigade is equipped with Chinook helicopters that can quickly move American-made light howitzers and troops through the mountains.
It also has Israeli-made drones that transmit real-time images of the opponent around the clock, the report said.
Meanwhile, engineers in India are also digging the world’s longest two-track tunnel (13,000 feet) above sea level and passing under an important mountain pass, making the disputed border easier to reach.