As India-China tensions escalate over the border dispute, both sides have dramatically enhanced their military presence in the contested regions. On top of that, India and China have also deployed advanced drones to patrol the region and keep a tight vigil on each other.
Hindustan Times citing the Global Times (GT) says that China’s newly-developed helicopter-drone could be deployed on the India-China border. The AR500C unmanned helicopter is outfitted to carry out strikes and interrupt electronic communication at heights over 15,000 feet.
The GT claimed that the Chinese deployment was an answer to India’s illegal development of defence infrastructure in the Chinese territory.
“Competent in reconnaissance missions, communication relay, electronic warfare and striking at high altitude region like Ladakh, this indigenous drone could assist China in protecting southwestern borders with India,” analysts told the tabloid.
Developed by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the helicopter drone recently made its maiden flight at an AVIC base in Poyang in which it achieved several manoeuvres including hovering, horizontal and vertical transits, according to CCTV.
“As China’s first unmanned helicopter drone, the AR500C can take off at an elevation of 5,000 meters and has a ceiling of 6,700 meters. It has an endurance of five hours, a maximum speed of 170 km and a maximum takeoff weight of 500 kg,” the GT report claimed.
According to reports, India also has deployed UAVs in contested border areas to monitor all activities of the Chinese troops. In eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army has not only stationed additional soldiers but has also intensified round-the-clock surveillance of the LAC through UAVs.
The Indian Army has reportedly started inducting more crew members to operate the UAVs for enhanced surveillance and monitoring of the region.
Comprehensive physical patrolling of the area is very challenging due to rough terrain, an unnamed source said, but UAVs can provide frequent updates on any Chinese movement along the LAC in Ladakh and keep the Indian soldiers prepared for any uncertainty.