Soon after China increased its road building activity and heavily deployed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops along the Line of Actual Control, the Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed Chinook helicopters in the night over 16,000 feet Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO), Indian Army’s last outpost near Karakoram Pass.
The US built Chinook has a proven record of night flying in Afghan mountainous terrain and is used for rapid military retaliation by the special airborne forces.
The twin rotor platform has two heavy calibre machine guns deployed at the front and back of the chopper to suppress ground fire.
“While Apache attack helicopters have been patrolling Chushul area, the US made Chinook flew over DBO to test its night fighting capabilities… we have already deployed T-90 tanks and artillery guns in the area,” quoting a senior commander, India’s national daily, Hindustan times reported.
The decision to fly Chinook over DBO advance landing ground during night time was taken to test the Indian Army’s capability of rapid insertion of special forces and infantry combat vehicles in case the situation deteriorates in the sub-sector north (SSN) area, the report read.
The Chinese have raised objections to the deployment of tanks and guns at DBO, while the Indian Army have pointed to recent accretion of PLA troops in the area along with air activity across the SSN as the reason. China has been raising objections over India building border infrastructure while India too accuses China of the same all along the LAC, from Aksai Chin to Kibuthoo in Arunachal Pradesh.
At the divisional commander level meeting on Saturday, India has also raised the issue that both sides should be allowed to do unhindered patrolling of their respective claim lines in the area including the Depsang Bulge, south of DBO. This was a clear indication of the Indian intent that it is not going to back down from patrolling rights at the Bulge or at any other place on the LAC, Hindustan times reported.
Free Press Kashmir is now on Telegram. Click here to Join.