Following the violent clash between the Indian and Chinese security forces at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India is now preparing for escalation from the opposing side. According to a report by The Times of India, India has moved its fighter jets and helicopters to its forward bases along the 3488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). Similarly, warships have been also been deployed in the Bay of Bengal region.
In anticipation of another premeditated attack, India has dispatched its Apache helicopters and Chinook heavy-lift choppers to the forward areas. While Apache helicopters can destroy tanks using air-to-ground missiles and rockets, the Chinook heavy-lift choppers are efficient in carrying troops and howitzers to high-altitude regions. A top military officer informed that all necessary steps have been taken to prevent “spiralling of the escalation matrix.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has placed several Sukhoi-30MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighters at the forward bases and activated all airbases along the northern border with China. The said airbases include Leh, Srinagar, Awantipur, Bareilly, Chabua, Hasimara, and Tezpur. Combat air patrols have been heightened in the region, owing to the new developments at the border. An air-bridge has been formed, between Ladakh and Chandigarh, with the help of C-17 Globemaster-III, AN-32 transport aircraft, and C-130J Super Hercules to transport weapons and soldiers to forward bases.
China builds new fortifications
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have also built up their forces in regions such as Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Depsang, Gogra-Hot Springs and Chushul. Several new fortifications have been built on the north bank of Pangong Tso from Finger-4 to 8 (mountainous spurs with 8 km distance between them.) China has deployed J-11 and J-8 fighters in Galwan and Hot Springs areas whereas long-range bombers have been accumulated at Kashgar and Hotan in Tibet. Reportedly, China can deploy as many as 20 fighter squadrons from the 8 airbases in Tibet and other airfields in the North. Due to high-altitude and low atmospheric pressure, the weapon and fuel-carrying capacity of Chinese jets are limited.
The current stand-off between India and China began on May 5-6 over China’s incursions into the India side at Pangong Tso in Ladakh. The movement of troops and heavy machinery along and across the LAC has been objected to by India. As per the ANI report, Indian forces have also been airlifted from other high altitude areas to the Eastern Ladakh sector. On Monday night, 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel were killed when Chinese troops had attacked with stones, batons, and barbed wires. In fierce combat that took place on extremely hostile terrain, 20 Indian soldiers had lost their lives to injuries and exposure. China is believed to have suffered 43 casualties but the communist state, as usual, has been obscure about information.