Friday, 2 December, 2022
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IAF deploys Apache attack helicopters and Chinooks in Ladakh, increases combat air patrols

Apaches were brought to provide close air support to the ground forces, while Chinooks were brought to enable faster deployment of troops and equipment.

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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed Apache attack helicopters in Ladakh to provide tactical support to the ground forces if needed, besides using the Chinook heavy-weight choppers to help in the movement of men and equipment amid tensions with China.

The increased deployment also includes regular Combat Air Patrols, besides flying a host of surveillance aircraft, including by intelligence agencies and the Navy’s P8I aircraft, defence sources said.

Mirage 2,000 fighter aircraft, which carried out the Balakot air strikes last year, have also been moved to bases near the Ladakh region from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, where it is based.

This has been done to ensure they can fly over in the Ladakh region within minutes of taking off, sources said.

Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria has reportedly made a hush visit to Leh and Srinagar air bases Wednesday evening after high-level meetings with the government.

Following the meetings, the Navy and the IAF had been put on high operational alert.

ThePrint had earlier reported that the Navy has sent out additional ships from its eastern fleet for deployment in the Indian Ocean region.

These developments came even as the Army moved in more ground forces and other assets to Ladakh.

On 2 June, ThePrint reported the Army moved in about two additional division strength-level forces to the region. Sources said these numbers have now increased further.

While the 14 Corps, the Army division that looks after Ladakh, is sufficiently armed in terms of artillery, armour, men and reserves, more soldiers have been brought in to create large reserves and forward deployment.

Also read: 1954 Panchsheel pact to Galwan Valley ‘violence’ — India-China relations in last 7 decades

‘Assets are there to be used’

The IAF has remained tight-lipped about the movement of its assets.

However, sources said the Apache helicopters have been deployed in Ladakh and that Chinooks are already doing the work they are meant for.

“The assets are there to be used. These are tactical matters. Apache was brought to provide close air support to the ground forces. Chinooks were brought to enable faster deployment of troops and equipment,” a source said.

Also read: China playing victim after attacking Indian soldiers at Galwan. Delhi must not fall for it


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  1. 1) Get ready to fight – India should continue moving assets and reinforcing the troops on the LAC with the intention of fighting it out, if it comes to that.
    2) Diplomatically – At the same time, diplomatically we should engage and continue to put pressure on China. Also, India should brief USA, Japan, and Australia (our allies in the Quad) of what occurred and that we plan to defend our territorial integrity, whether anyone provides any support or not. We should also brief Putin and Russia of what occurred. The European Union and UK should also be briefed.
    3) Economically – we need to start moving away from China for our imports and really put Make in India in high gear. Get rid of all stifling laws and regulations that discourage people from putting up large manufacturing in India.
    4) Opportunity in Disguise – as they say, sometimes opportunities come disguised as challenges when our backs are against the wall. This could be the beginning of the slow but sure march towards regaining Aksai Chin and re-establishing the territorial integrity of India in Eastern Ladakh.
    President Ronald Reagan had put forth the doctrine of “Peace through Strength”. India needs to start asserting itself, than be pushed around by China.

  2. Why this mobilisation on war footing, when the PM Modi has told that nobody has intruded into Indian territory? “At the all-party meeting convened to discuss the tense border situation with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday denied the Chinese intrusion across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “Neither anyone has intruded into our territory nor took over any post,” the Prime Minister told presidents of various political parties in the virtual meeting.”

    • You don’t get a fire extinguisher after your house has burnt down. Similarly, you start moving troops and assets to prepare for war, if that is what is required to maintain the territorial integrity of India.

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