Following the equipment list made by Indian Army’s 14 Corps to help them prepare for the long winter haul in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, the military’s 15 and 16 Corps, which carry out operations in the Jammu and Kashmir regions, also put forward a wish list of equipment which include multiple under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs), drones, wheeled armoured personnel carriers and other defence equipment.
Earlier, as reported by The Print, 14 Corps, which undertake operations in the Ladakh region were keen to urgently acquire unmanned aerial vehicle (drones), fast interceptor boats, wheeled armoured personnel carriers and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), which they felt could very well help them in battling the tough conditions of the terrain in their stand-off with their neighbours China, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The list of all the three corps has been forwarded ahead, and will now be accessed by the Army’s Northern Command, following which purchases for the same will be made urgently under the emergency powers delegated by the Vice-Chief of Army Staff under Schedule 23.
These demands come following reports of the Pakistani side deploying CH-4 drones near the Line of Control (the de-facto border between Pakistan and India in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh), which it is in the process of acquiring from China, to strike Indian assets deployed in the region.
According to press reports, the 15 and 16 Corps are looking to acquire around 350 UBGLs (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher), which can fit under the barrels of the rifles and can fire grenades to a distance of nearly 400 metres.
The UBGLs can be used alongside INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) and AK-47 Rifles. The purchase of surveillance cameras of different ranges is also being mooted to be of significance in order to detect movement of militants, both inside the hinterlands and along the LoC.
Moreover, the list also includes the procurement of 50 Israeli ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missile launchers and 15 UAVs for carrying out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
According to defence sources, the additional surveillance equipment will boost the effectiveness of anti-infiltration and counter-terrorism grid and the drones will help the Army in increasing their domination of the terrain, in which visibility and movement can be severely compromised in the snow.