NEW DELHI: Amid ongoing tensions with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India has ramped up its day and night surveillance of border areas in Arunachal Pradesh using a fleet of advanced Israeli drones. A sizeable number of Israeli-made Heron medium-altitude long-endurance drones is carrying out round-the-clock surveillance over the LAC in the mountainous terrain and sending crucial data and images to command and control centres, people aware of the developments told PTI. Aviation brigadeIn an expansion of its aviation wing in the region, the Army has come out with an independent aviation brigade in the region this year to bolster its overall operational preparedness in the sensitive region, they said. Besides the remotely piloted aircraft, the Army’s aviation wing has also been deploying the Weapon System Integrated (WSI) variant of the Advanced Light Helicopter Rudra in the region. This will add more teeth to India’s tactical missions in the region, sources said. They said though the Heron drones were first deployed in the region around four-five years back, now the integration of surveillance has been significantly enhanced under the ‘sensor to shooter’ concept to employ military forces at short notice for any possible operational objectives. The deployment of the WSI version of the ALH helicopters has also provided the Army an added advantage to carry out various missions in the high-altitude areas. Asked about the weapons package of the ALH helicopters, they refused to divulge the details but said it is one of the best and would be very effective against the adversary. “Overall, our day and night surveillance capability has seen massive upgrades since last year and we are in a much better position to deal with any eventualities in the region,” said one of the people cited above. Talking about the capabilities of the Heron drones, Major Karthik Garg told ANI, “This is the most beautiful aircraft as far as surveillance resources are concerned. Since its inception, it has been the backbone of surveillance. It can climb up to 30,000 ft and continue to give feed to commanders on the ground. So that, we can manoeuver forces on the ground. It has an endurance of 24-30 hours at a stretch.” He said that the Army for bad weather, the Army has synthetic aperture radar which can give track of entire terrain. TOI had earlier reported that India is planning to procure and deploy advanced Israeli Heron Mark-II drones, which can stay airborne for 45 hours at a stretch, to strategic areas along the LAC. Boosting infrastructureIn addition to this, India has also been boosting infrastructure near the China border to facilitate faster movement of troops. New roads, bridges and railway infrastructure are being built in Arunachal considering their strategic requirement in the wake of evolving security dynamics in the region. Earlier this week, defence minister Rajnath Singh presided over the final breakthrough blast of the Sela tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel, located on the border between the Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal, goes through Sela Pass and is expected to cut down the distance to China border through Tawang by 10 km. The government is also working on connecting Tawang with a railway network as part of the decision to enhance infrastructure in the region. The people cited above also said that infrastructure at almost all airfields along the LAC including the Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) was enhanced as per operational requirements. The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. The tension escalated following the deadly clashes in Galwan Valley on June 15 last year. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August and in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February. However, the last round of military talks on October 10 ended in a stalemate. Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector. (With inputs from PTI, ANI)

Previous articleModern Podcasting
Next articleClayton-le-Woods house collapse: Family pays tribute to Carl Whalley

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here