New Delhi, July 04: The Indian Army is making one of its largest deployment amidst the stand off with China. This is in response to the huge build up by the Chinese along the Line of Actual Control.
Earlier, Ladakh had only one division. However, now there are four divisions. Each division comprises around 20,000 troops. Recently, the new division from Uttar Pradesh was moved to eastern Ladakh and it would remained stationed over there.
On Friday, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to Nimu in Ladakh. This was aimed at both boosting the morale of the forces as well as send a strong message to China.
The huge build up comes in the backdrop of inputs that the Chinese may attempt an incursion. The Indian Army is taking no chance and is keeping a close guard along the Line of Actual Control.
On the other hand, 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 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.