CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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India Sends 100 Tanks to Reinforce Troops along Border with China as Tensions Rise

Flashpoint

Line of Actual Control between India and China.

India has reinforced army units defending its border with China in the tense Ladakh region with more tanks, troops and armored fighting vehicles amid an ongoing Chinese military build-up.

The Indian Army has deployed some 100 specially modified Russian-made T-72 main battle tanks along its mountainous frontline border in Ladakh, a key geostrategic region located along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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LAC is a demarcation line separating Indian-held territory from Chinese-controlled territory.

This is only the second time in half a century India has deployed tanks to this region, a signal of the unease China's unceasing military build-up over the past few years is causing in Delhi. The Chinese build-up focuses on improving the logistics and infrastructure such as roads and bridges its troops will need for a war in this unimaginably difficult terrain.

The armored regiment to which the newly deployed troops and tanks belong will raise to a full brigade the Indian Army units in the region. Two infantry regiments are already in place.

These three regiments have taken-up positions in eastern Ladakh where temperatures can plummet to -45 degrees Celsius during winter.

The newly deployed tanks have been modified so they can operate and fight in the rarefied air in this high altitude region, which is 14,000 feet above sea level. Coping with the deadly cold is another matter, however. The Indian Army said it is using special lubricants and fuel to keep its tanks running in this very hostile environment.

The region's vast flat valleys along the mountain ranges, however, permit the movement of masses of tanks and armored vehicles.

India is also beefing-up its infrastructure to ease the movements of its infantry and armor in the region. Of special importance to India is repairing and improving its existing airstrips and advanced landing grounds to expedite the flow of troops and supplies.