Defence ministry for strike force against China

Defence ministry for strike force against China

Proposal awaits Finance Ministry approval

The Defence Ministry has approved creation of a 60,000 strong strike force along with an armoured division and air element to take on China in the mountainous terrain of North-East in case of any hostility from the Chinese side.

“We have forwarded the proposal to form a mountain strike corps to the Finance Ministry for approval,” Defence Minister A K Antony said here after inaugurating the ninth edition of Aero-India, which for the first time has a sizable Chinese delegation.

The proposal to form the corps came from the army almost three years ago. The Cabinet Committee on Security, however, asked the three service chiefs to redraw the plan with components from each service to avoid chances of any repetition in future.

Subsequently the plan was reviewed by the Chief of Staff Committee with the addition of an air component, which has now received the green signal from the defence ministry.
The Indian Army currently has three strike corps at Mathura (1 corps),  Ambala (2 corps) and Bhopal (21 corps) besides 10 holding corps, which do not have support from engineers and has smaller armoured component.

Though the details of the plan on the mountain strike corps remain unknown, it is understood that the new corps will be headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal and some of the new military acquisitions including heavy-lift C-17 Globemaster-III carrier will be used to support the strike corps. Defence ministry is also negotiating with the US to buy 145 ultra light-weight howitzers for operational use in hilly terrains. The 155 mm (39 calibre) guns underwent extensive trials in India.

Capable of carrying India’s T-90 and T-72 tanks closer to the China border, C-17 can take off or land on a small runway. “Under normal operation, a C-17 Globemaster III airlifter can carry a T-72 or T-90 into, or out of, a high altitude field. It carry armoured vehicles as well as tanks. During field trials in India the C-17 demonstrated ability to fly at high altitudes, take off and land on short and unprepared runways, and carry heavy loads,” Boeing spokesperson told Deccan Herald.

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