With the threat of an India-China war still looming, the Indian defence establishment has decided to jointly counter the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Eastern Ladakh.
The Indian Army and the Air Force are preparing for the worst-case scenario under their leaders, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria along with General Bipin Rawat holding the ten months old position of Cheif of Defence Staff, said a report in ANI.
The Indian Air Force is helping in supplying food and supplies to the troops stationed in the region. The instructions from the top commands of the Air Force is to fulfil the requirements of the Army and other security forces, told a senior officer to ANI.
The capabilities of newly acquired Chinooks and Apaches are also being utilised. “The Chinooks are supplying men and material to the border areas on a daily basis while the Apaches would come into the picture in a big way if the two sides get engaged in a tank battle in the high altitude wide valleys of the Indus and other rivers in the Eastern Ladakh sector,” the official said.
The Leh airfield can be seen with the IAF’s Russian-origin Ilyushin-76s and US-origin C-17s, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft supplying rations in the forward locations around the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Indian Army is constantly updating the Air Force of the actual position on the ground and both the forces have planned joint operations in case the situation deteriorates further, said the report.
The Army and Air Force Chief share a long friendship since the days of National Defence Academy (NDA) days where they were coursemates. The report said that they have been regularly holding meetings with the Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat to talk about the action plan against the Chinese forces.