NEW DELHI, (BM) – On Tuesday, the IAF landed a twin engine AN-32 transport aircraft, and military chopper Mi17 at Chinyalisaur airstrip in Uttarakhand, around 120 kilometers from the border with China, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Sputnik News.
India and China have been in a border stand-off for over 60 days in the Eastern Ladakh sector along the 4,057km Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between the two states. On Monday, both sides agreed to disengage troops in the Galwan Valley, where 20 India soldiers were killed in a skirmish on 15 June.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has sown itself as ready for war by conducting drills of its MiG-29’s, Apache helicopters and other aircraft in strategically-important border regions.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the deployment with the head of the Border Road Organisation, which undertakes road development projects in the area. China has raised objections to India’s infrastructure development efforts along the LAC.
The Border Road Organisation is working on 17 highways along China’s border, which could be used as potential airstrips for fighter jets in war-like situations. These highways will also have weapons storage dumps, landing lights, fuel, and firefighting equipment.
There are also 63 road projects and three railway projects underway from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh, all of which provide improved access to the Chinese border.
The IAF is also conducting night-time air patrols over the Eastern Ladakh region, Indian news agency ANI reported. The night-time operations include patrols of MiG-29s, Sukhoi-30MKIs, Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters.
“Night operations have inherent element of surprise. IAF is fully trained and ready to undertake entire spectrum of operations in any environment with the help of modern platforms and motivated personnel,” Group Captain A Rathi, senior fighter pilot at a forward air base near India-China border, was quoted as saying by ANI.
The border situation escalated after the 15 June skirmish in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Following talks on 6 July, troops from both sides in the Galwan Valley have moved further apart, but heavy armour continues to be deployed on both sides of the LAC.
Tension remains: India failed to reduce tension on border with China in Ladakh
As we reported on July 6 India’s efforts to de-escalate tensions with China on the line of effective control (LAC) in East Ladakh have so far failed. This was reported on Monday by the Hindustan Times, citing military sources.
“Two months after the clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, the situation in this area remains tense. The Indian-Chinese negotiations at the military and diplomatic level did not lead to a mitigation of the situation,” sources in Indian military circles told the publication.
According to them, “despite the agreements reached on a phased withdrawal of troops, they continue to remain in their positions.” “This makes the situation in eastern Ladakh dangerous and unpredictable,” the sources indicated. “It is becoming increasingly apparent that the army groups of India and China in Ladakh are likely to maintain their former deployment until winter.”
Last month, the Hindustan Times recalls, in response to the concentration of units of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA), India deployed three army divisions and two regiments of T-90 tanks to the region. New Delhi is currently considering acquiring Predator strike drones from the United States to increase the combat capabilities of its troops in the LAC zone.
On July 5 India sent again attacking Apache helicopters to the conflict zone in Ladakh
Indian Armed Forces deployed for second time the Apache combat helicopters to the border conflict region with China near Lake Pangong Tso in the Ladakh region, as we noted. This is against the backdrop of Delhi’s demands for the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the disputed territory.
In the area of the border conflict between India and China, the Apache combat helicopters of the Indian Air Force were seen. They made a demonstrative flight over a mountainous area near Lake Pangong Tso in the Ladakh region. It is worth noting that combat helicopters of this type are very well suited for attacking the enemy in mountainous terrain.
However, it is worth noting that both sides have not yet used firearms and, especially, military equipment, during the conflict. Both India and China are still trying to resolve the dispute through negotiations. The Indian side is demanding the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the disputed territory, as well as the withdrawal of additional units deployed by the Chinese in the border areas.
In turn, China accused India of escalating the conflict and illegal construction in the disputed Galvan river valley. Both sides are building up their military presence in the region, but have not yet taken decisive action. Earlier, we reported on the deployment of Indian aircraft in the conflict zone.
Recall that the situation on the border between India and China began to tense up after a clash between the border guards of these countries in the area of Lake Pangon Tso and a major fight in the border state of Sikkim.
Both sides pulled additional forces into the region. On the night of June 15-16, a new clash occurred, during which, according to the latest data, 23 Indian soldiers were killed. China’s losses are unknown. Both sides announced the withdrawal of troops in the conflict zone, but at the same time strengthen their military groups.
Also at the advanced air bases were placed Su-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighters. For the transfer of military equipment used heavy transport aircraft S-17 Globemaster, S-130J Super Hercules and An-32.
In addition, the Indian Navy strengthened the grouping of warships in the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
“These actions are a clear signal to Beijing that New Delhi is ready to escalate the military conflict on the line of actual control in Ladakh,” the newspaper said.
China will use J-20 fighter in a war with India
The Sputnik news service published an interview with a military analyst, Indian Air Force veteran Vijainder Thakur. In an interview with correspondent Rashikesh Kumar, Thakur said that China’s main goal in this regard is to gain a strategic advantage in the border areas.
Moreover, as the expert notes, the deployment of air defense systems at high altitudes can play a negative role for those who carry out such an arrangement. In fact, we were talking about the “weaknesses” of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system if the complex was placed high in the mountains.
From the material: “The average height of the Tibetan plateau is about 4.5 thousand meters. S-400 systems, located at an altitude of about 500 m, will be able to effectively detect aircraft and UAVs over long distances – long before they enter the airspace of the region. But if you place the S-400 at high altitudes, the mountainous terrain may not allow them to detect aircraft flying at an altitude of about 5 km.”
The Indian expert said he was skeptical that China would decide to deploy its next-generation J-20 fighter jets near the borders with India. According to V. Thakur, China might need such airplanes in case of a full-scale war with India, but “China will not gain anything from such a war”:
“In any case, a total war with India would lead to an even greater alienation of China from the rest of the world. Such alienation would be a serious threat to the continued rule of the CPC [Communist Party of China – ed.]”
India has deployed a quick-reaction air defense system to the Ladakh
According to a new report on June 28 India has deployed a quick-reaction air defense system to the Ladakh region, as both super powers continue to beef up their forces along the disputed border.
As part of the ongoing build-up in the sector, the air defense systems of both Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed in the sector to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there”, government sources told ANI.
Meanwhile, sources from the Indian government told Russia’s Sputnik News that the situation remains tense along the Line of Actual Control, as they have deployed their Sukhoi-30 fighter jets and strategic bombers to the area to protect their territories.
On June 15th, the Indian and Chinese troops clashed near Galwan Lake, resulting in one of the deadliest border battles in years.
The Indian Ministry of Defense reported that they suffered 20 dead and 76 wounded, while the Chinese side did not report their casualty toll.
Gathering of military forces
China began deployment of large military group to the border with India, which, in particular, including many tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles.
On published footage is visible countless infantry fighting vehicles waiting to be dispatched on railway platforms, Type-96 tanks on tractors, as well as the arrival of units at the deployment site.
At the same time, a large convoy of Indian military trucks was deployed towards the disputed region.
On the night of June 15-16, clashes between the Indian and Chinese military occurred in the area of the Galvan River in the Union territory of Ladakh. According to Indian army sources cited by local media, no firearms were used – sticks and stones were used. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed, 76 wounded, sources in the Indian army also claim that about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed and wounded.
The situation in Ladakh escalated after clashes took place in early May with the participation of about 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. More than 100 people were injured on both sides. Subsequently, India and China said they were making efforts to maintain stability.
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