STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday handed over to the Army a wide range of indigenous military equipment including unmanned aerial systems and quick reaction fighting vehicles to crank up its combat capabilities in eastern Ladakh in the backdrop of the prolonged border face-off with China.
The other key equipment that the Army received included surveillance hardware, patrolling boats, ‘Future Infantry Soldier as a System’, a new anti-personnel mine ‘Nipun’, infantry protected mobility vehicles, rugged and automatic communication system, upgraded sights system for tanks and advanced thermal imagers.
The handing over of the new equipment was part of the government’s efforts to enhance the combat readiness of the armed forces in view of the military standoff with Chinese troops in several friction points for over two years.
The new boats –Landing Craft Assault(LCA)–equipped with advanced surveillance gadgets and other equipment are being deployed to keep a strict vigil over the Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh.
The 134-km-long lake at an altitude of 13,900-feet is considered strategically significant. China controls around two-thirds of the lake. Last year, the Army had ordered 12 LCA boats to strengthen its existing fleets of vessels.
“The LCA is much more versatile and has overcome the limitations of launch, speed and capacity. It has enhanced the capability to operate across the water obstacles in eastern Ladakh,” the defence ministry said.
It said the infantry protected mobility vehicles and assault boats will enable the troops deployed along the borders to respond to any “challenge in a befitting manner”.
The ministry said these vehicles will provide mobility and more protection to a large number of infantry soldiers posted at the Northern borders, adding quick reaction fighting vehicles will enhance mobility of the troops in eastern Ladakh.
“It facilitates quick deployment of troops and will enable much faster reaction…It will facilitate in creating moral ascendency in our Northern borders,” the ministry said about the advantages of these vehicles.