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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

India Sends Tanks Along Border To Prevent China “Redefining” Line Of Actual Control

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Last week satellite imaging analysts based in the West observed a significant build-up of Chinese PLA forces along the India-Chinese border Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan Valley. This included the expansion of what appeared permanent or semi-permanent bases, as well as tanks and artillery units, after the deadly June 15 Galwan Valley clash which left 20 Indian troops dead and an untold number of PLA casualties.  

The Indian Army responded by sending its quick reaction surface-to-air missile systems known as Akash to the disputed border region, reported widely in Indian media Saturday. New Delhi is also now said to be seeking rapid S-400 acquirement from Russia.

India has further apparently answered China’s tank build-up with its own in a continuing tit-for-tat deployment of additional forces. This despite ongoing deconfliction talks between the opposing military delegations. The Hindustan Times reports Tuesday the army has sent at least six T-90 Bhishma tanks to the LAC, along with additional defensive hardware such as shoulder fired anti-tank missiles for infantry troops.

Image via Defence.Capital

The Hundustan Times describes the extra force deployment as specifically in answer to the PLA’s own tanks along the border:  

The army’s decision to deploy the T-90 Bishma tanks was taken after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had beefed up its positions on the river bed with armoured personnel carriers and troop tents. The Indian Army is occupying the dominant heights in the sector within its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Infantry combat vehicles along with 155mm howitzers have been deployed all along 1597 km long LAC in East Ladakh with two tank regiments deployed in Chushul sector to repel any aggressive plans of the adversary through the Spanggur Gap. While Chinese PLA wants to make a deal on the LAC in this sector as part of withdrawal, the Indian Army is no mood to give an inch as the military aggression came from the Western Theatre Command of China with the intention of redefining the LAC.

The report adds further that Indian commanders are prepared for a “long haul” deployment of additional forces and tanks to the border. 

Hindustan Times image: “T-90 missile firing tank deployed in Galwan Valley sector.”

This also as India’s air force and navy are said to be in their “highest state of alertness” according to widely circulating Indian media reports. 

India’s military has been saying the “extraordinary circumstances” warrant both the build-up and altered rules of engagement giving local commanders “freedom of action” ability if provoked or attacked. 

“There is no change in the rules as such. Our side will only react to provocations and in case of extraordinary circumstances,” former Indian director-general of military operations, Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, previously said.

Zerohedge

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