As part of a massive infrastructure development push, almost all forward posts along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh will have one large helipad each for quick mobilisation of troops and military equipment, senior military officials said on September 9.
Each of the forward posts and Army units will also be linked to an optical fibre network, and each will have its own satellite terminal to improve overall surveillance and communication, they said.
The Army has already deployed a large number of indigenously-built remotely piloted aircraft, Switch, in the forward posts to monitor Chinese activities across the LAC.
“We are now giving a big push to the infrastructure development in the forward areas in the eastern sector,” Brigadier TM Sinha, commander of a Mountain Brigade in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, told a group of visiting journalists.
Army has equipped its units with large number of US-made all terrain vehicles
The army has equipped its units in Arunachal Pradesh with a large number of US-made all terrain vehicles, Israeli 7.62MM Negev Light Machine Guns, and other lethal weapons as part of the capability development initiative, according to officials.
They stated that the helipads are being built at the forward posts to facilitate landing and takeoff of the Chinook 47 (F) helicopters, which were purchased from the United States in a 2015 deal.
The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel and the choppers are being extensively used to bolster India’s military preparedness in the eastern sector.
Construction of helipads will facilitate operation of Chinooks in forward areas
“The construction of the helipads will facilitate operation of Chinooks in forward areas and will ensure quick movement of equipment and troops,” said Brigadier Sinha.
Following the eastern Ladakh standoff, which began in 2020, the government has been focusing heavily on infrastructure development along the nearly 3,500-kilometer-long LAC.
In mountainous regions along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, the Army has deployed a significant number of easily transportable M-777 ultra light howitzers.
The M-777 can be quickly transported in Chinook helicopters, and the Army now has the flexibility to move them from one location to another based on operational requirements.
Following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas, the eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, and both sides gradually increased their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
Following a deadly clash in Galwan Valley, tensions rose.
In 2021, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area and on the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake as a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks.
On Thursday, both sides announced that they have begun disengagement in Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.