Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2020

INDIA CHINA FACE-OFF

Will continue maintaining high-tempo of operations, says Navy chief amid tensions with China

Indian soldiers at LAC have go-ahead to open fire in self-defence, India tells China

With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too.



New Delhi: India has made it clear to China that its soldiers will open fire to defend themselves, and Chinese tactics of “using mass” — or seeking to outnumber Indian soldiers, like in the 15 June Galwan Valley clash — will not be tolerated, top government sources said.

With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too, the sources added. The Chinese, they added, have deployed around 50,000 soldiers and equipment, including missile systems, tanks and artillery, at the border.



The sources’ comments come as the ground situation in Ladakh remains the same despite the Chinese seemingly adopting a reconciliatory approach during different levels of dialogue. They sugges…

Shadow force apart, India needs a China plan

With a resolution to the stand-off far away, New Delhi must study how Beijing has handled its other boundary disputes








The mystic, celestial snow lion, ‘Gang Seng Ge’ in local lore, derives its name from the Sanskrit Simha. It is the emblem of Tibet showcasing its eternally snow-covered mountains and glaciers, even as it symbolises power, strength, fearlessness and the joy of living. It is also the symbol and the flag of the intrepid, fearless warriors of the ‘Special Frontier Force’, or the SFF, which has figured so prominently in the recent clashes in eastern Ladakh.
Standoff in the heights

Towards the end of April this year, 4 Motorised and 6 Mechanised Divisions of the Chinese Western Theatre Command, having completed their exercises on the edge of the Gobi Desert, took to the Xinjiang highway. In a well-planned and rehearsed move, they branched off onto a series of feeder roads on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Once the troops were in position, they initiated mul…

As LAC Standoff Forces Deployment of More Troops, Winter Presents a Daunting Challenge

As LAC Standoff Forces Deployment of More Troops, Winter Presents a Daunting Challenge



Chandigarh: The Indian Army’s upcoming winter deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh against China’s hegemonic military is projected to adversely impact the physical and psychological wellbeing of its personnel as well as their weaponry, according to defence analysts and senior serving and retired officers.

Over the decades, most people have taken for granted the Army’s annual high altitude winter deployments at places like the 17,000 feet high Siachen Glacier – definitively christened the world’s highest battlefield – which India occupied in 1984. But few actually realise that the travails, hardships and privations which Indian soldiers have recurrently faced here for 36 years, will now be imminently duplicated along the LAC’s unforgiving terrain for over 40,000 troops in the impending winter.

“There is no comparable military deployment anywhere else, except by the Pakista…

India closely monitoring entire LAC as ‘situation on the ground remains unchanged’

Army sources said the period until at least the first week of November, after which snow becomes a hurdle from an operational perspective, is crucial.



New Delhi: Suspicious of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Indian Army continues to maintain a strict vigil all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the Army cannot leave anything to chance, and the period until at least the first week of November is crucial.



This is because while the winter starts setting in from October, it is only by mid November that snow becomes a hurdle from an operational perspective, the sources added.

“The situation on the ground remains unchanged. We are at our positions and they are at theirs. We are not leaving anything to chance,” a source said.

The source also said that the entire LAC is being closely monitored because China could open up another front besides the one in Ladakh to pile up pressure on India.


Following the mili…

India’s 6th Gen-Fighter Jet: Will India Ink Pact To Co-Develop ‘Tempest’ Sixth-Gen Aircraft With The UK?

India’s 6th Gen-Fighter Jet: Will India Ink Pact To Co-Develop ‘Tempest’ Sixth-Gen Aircraft With The UK?

In 2007, India and Russia had agreed to jointly build a fifth-generation fighter jet called Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) or Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF). However, with India later pulled out from the project.

In a bid to acquire latest, state-of-art stealth fighter jets, will India join the Tempest, the British-led project to develop a new sixth-generation fighter jet with Italy and Sweden?


As reported last year, India had been invited by the United Kingdom to jointly develop the next-gen fighter under the Tempest Future Fighter Aircraft project.

Officials of the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) along with executives from BAE Systems were expected to brief Indian Defence Ministry and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials regarding the project. Nik Khanna, head of BAE Systems India, while speaking to the Business Standard back then, had said –

“We are looking f…

India, China say won’t send more troops to Ladakh frontlines, agree to avoid misunderstandings

India and China issued a joint statement after senior Army officials of the two sides held commander-level talks as part of the countries’ first military-diplomatic dialogue.




New Delhi: India and China have agreed to stop sending more troops to the frontlines in Ladakh, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation, the countries said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The statement was issued after senior Army officials of the two sides held the 6th round of commander-level talks Monday as part of the countries’ first military-diplomatic dialogue.



The 14-hour talks were held at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point, on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), from Monday 9 am.

India and China said they had “candid and in-depth exchanges of views” on stabilising the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, where the two sides have been locked in a stand-off since April.

“They (the two s…

Eye on China: A $3 billion US drone acquisition heads for MoD approval

A case for the purchase of 30 MQ-9B Guardians will shortly be put up before the Defence Acquisition Council, headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh. Six drones will be delivered soon after contract signing




The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is preparing to acquire 30 General Atomics MQ-9B Guardian drones from the United States, in a deal valued at approximately $3 billion (Rs 22,000 crore). A recent series of meetings within the MoD have cleared the way for the procurement of an initial lot of six Reaper Medium Altitude Long Endurance drones. These six drones—two each for the army, navy and air force—are to be procured immediately from the US, indicating the urgency of the acquisition.

Sources tell INDIA TODAY that an ‘acceptance of necessity’ (AON) for 30 drones will be put before an upcoming meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh. The contract is being broken up into two parts—six MQ-9s worth approximately $600 million (Rs 4,400 crore…

HAL to ramp up Tejas fighter tests after pandemic pause

Two FOC-standard aircraft are likely to take to the skies in the coming days



Two fighters from the Tejas Final Operational Clearance (FOC) block—SP-22 and SP-23—are likely to take to the skies in the coming days, signalling the resumption of flight activities that were halted for a while.

An official from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) told Onmanorama that the flight trials of these two fighters will be completed by the end of this month.


The low- and high-speed taxi trials of both fighters have been completed. The LCA-Tejas Division of HAL is currently finishing the activities ahead of their first flights. SP-23 is manufactured by HAL’s Aircraft Division.

“The FOC variants getting ready for delivery/flight are loaded with updated software to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force (IAF). The production rate has been enhanced at LCA and Aircraft Divisions. Structural works are in advanced stages,” the official told Onmanorama.

HAL hopes that by the end of this production yea…

China has more than doubled its military positions at LAC since Doklam, new report says

China is constructing at least 13 new military positions near its borders with India, including 3 air bases and 5 heliports, says a Stratfor report.




New Delhi: China has more than doubled its air bases, air defence positions, and heliports near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since the 2017 Doklam crisis, indicating its intent to increase military posturing in border disputes with India in the future, a new report by a leading global geopolitical intelligence platform said Tuesday.

Beijing’s military push is leading to long-term regional tensions with India sustained beyond the two countries’ recent standoffs in eastern Ladakh, said the Stratfor report.

Titled A Military Drive Spells Out China’s Intent Along the Indian Border, the report has been authored by Stratfor’s senior global analyst Sim Tack, with satellite imagery from @detresfa, a Twitter user known for satellite imagery expertise.

The report said China’s intensified development of military infrastructure on the Indian border s…

In 1975 torture, Not firing, behind China border deaths

The four Indian soldiers who were killed in Tulung La in 1975 — the last reported firing and combat deaths along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) until the incidents of this summer in Ladakh — were not likely killed in firing but captured alive and subsequently tortured to death, recalls a veteran who was tasked with recovering their bodies 45 years ago.






The Tulung La incident has been frequently invoked in the wake of the recent firing incidents south of Pangong Lake in late August and early September. In the 45 years that have followed, the memory of what really transpired on the Tulung La ridgeline, in the eastern sector of the India-China border in Arunachal, has been not only forgotten but rewritten in subsequent retellings of the event, according to Col. B.R. Shah (retd.), who is now 84 and remembers the sequence of events as if it all happened yesterday.

At the time, he was a Lieutenant Colonel who was the commanding officer of the 3/1 Gurkha Rifles, stationed at Sela top. Speaki…

Why Depsang Plains, eyed by China, is crucial for India’s defence in Ladakh

The trouble at Depsang Plains, a 972-sq-km stretch strategically and geographically important for India, predates the current LAC crisis.





New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a 972 square kilometer area at over 16,400 feet — the Depsang Plains — continues to be a source of major friction, with India ramping up its defence and the Chinese increasing their presence in the area.

The Depsang Plains come under India’s Sub Sector North (SSN) and as elsewhere, the LAC here is disputed. The SSN is sandwiched between the Siachen Glacier on one side and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin on the other.

The disputed area, a feast for tanks because of its plain terrain, has seen two major standoffs between Indian and Chinese forces in 2013 and 2015. This is aside from the dozens of annual clashes that both sides engage in when soldiers come face-to-face while patrolling.

The importance of the Depsang Plains lies in its geographical location. The strategic and military t…

LAC standoff | 10 patrolling points in eastern Ladakh blocked by Chinese People’s Liberation Army, says senior official

The blocked patrolling points span from the Depsang plains in the north to the Pangong Tso lake in the south.



There are at least 10 patrolling points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh that have been blocked by Chinese troops, a senior government official told The Hindu.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that face-offs with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) happened because “patrols were interrupted.” There was no commonly delineated LAC and there was an overlap in LAC’s perception in many areas, he noted.


The patrolling points (PPs) are the end points along the undefined LAC, up to which the Indian troops patrol after starting from their respective base camps..

Since April, Indian troops have been denied access to PPs number 9, 10, 11, 12, 12A, 13, 14, 15, 17, 17A. The blocked PPs span from the Depsang plains in the north to Pangong Tso (lake) in the south. In all, there are more than 65 PPs from the base of Karakoram to Chumar.


“Si…

Modi govt’s infra push along China border — 2 new roads, alternate route to Daulat Beg Oldie

New roads, expected to aid faster military movement, are over and above the 73 India-China Border Roads already planned. Alternate road to DBO through Sasser La remains top priority.











New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is planning to expand the motorable network along the India-China border by building two news roads — one connecting Pooh in Himachal Pradesh to Chumar in Ladakh, and the other linking Harsil in Uttarakhand to Karcham in Himachal Pradesh.

It has also stepped up work on an alternate road being built to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), where India’s highest airstrip is located, in eastern Ladakh.



The moves come amid the four-month-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), under the Ministry of Defence, will be constructing all three roads.

The two new roads are not part of the 73 India-China Border Roads (ICBRs) planned for brisk movement of troops and weapons — a project already unde…

China, India signal each other on might in Indian Ocean Region, amid tensions on land

A PLA Navy task force is understood to have entered Indian Ocean Region as China seeks to project its dominance. India is keeping a close watch on waters around the country.



New Delhi: The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 36th escort task force, comprising a guided-missile destroyer, a missile frigate and a supply vessel, is understood to have entered the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) after having set sail on 3 September..

While the ships are meant for anti-piracy operations, the deployment comes as the PLA seeks to project its dominance in the IOR even as tensions run high between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

Sources in the defense and security establishment said the task force is understood to have entered the IOR. The sources refused to comment if the Chinese deployment is being tracked, but said the Indian Navy keeps a close watch on waters around India.

Both India and China have been signaling to each other about their reach and ability in the waters. New De…

Altitude begins to take a toll in Ladakh

Some Chinese troops have been evacuated from the Finger 4 heights to a field medical facility ahead of Finger 6 during the last two to three days due to health complications linked to high altitude, the officials said, with the development turning the spotlight on the challenges of high-altitude warfare.






The Indian Army has observed Chinese medical teams evacuate a few soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on stretchers from heights in the Finger Area on the northern bank of Pangong Tso to a nearby field hospital, officials familiar with the developments said on Friday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Some Chinese troops have been evacuated from the Finger 4 heights to a field medical facility ahead of Finger 6 during the last two to three days due to health complications linked to high altitude, the officials said, with the development turning the spotlight on the challenges of high-altitude warfare.

The Finger Area, a set of eight cliffs jutting out of the Sirijap rang…

Why is Sikh soldier a bogeyman for Chinese army at Ladakh

China’s PLA has installed loudspeakers at the friction points that spew its propaganda on the standoff, accuse New Delhi of escalating tensions to divert from domestic issues and even belt out Punjabi pop numbers





Not far from the Rezang La-Rechin La ridgeline that has emerged as a key friction point between Indian and Chinese troops, the Chushul brigade headquarters mess still houses artefacts including a gold statue of the Laughing Buddha seized by the Sikh regiments more than a century ago.


The soldiers were part of an eight-nation mission to neutralise China’s Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the last century, an uprising led by young farmers and workers against foreign influence. The British Army had brought in Sikh and Punjab regiments among others.

The alliance troops moved into Beijing after the Boxer fighters threatened foreigners and kept 400 foreigners holed up in Beijing’s Foreign Legation Quarter. The siege lasted 55 days before 20,000 alliance troops reached Beijing and fought…