India Raises New Aviation Brigade Near LAC In Eastern Sector, Equipped With Armed Version Of Advanced Light Helicopters

by Swarajya Staff - Oct 18, 2021 09:13 AM
India Raises New Aviation Brigade Near LAC In Eastern Sector, Equipped With Armed Version Of Advanced Light HelicoptersWeaponised version of the ALH. (Representative Image)
Snapshot
  • Reports say the main function of the new brigade will be to gather Intelligence, and conduct Surveillance and Reconnaissance or ISR along the LAC.

To increase surveillance along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector, India has raised a new aviation brigade this year.

The aviation brigade, which was raised in March this year, is based at Missamari in Assam, not far from Tezpur.

The brigade has three squadrons equipped with assets like Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Cheetah helicopters and Heron unmanned aerial vehicles. It also has the weaponised version of the ALH, called Rudra.

Reports say the main function of the new brigade will be to gather Intelligence, and conduct Surveillance and Reconnaissance or ISR along the LAC.

However, the induction of Rudra helicopters suggests the aviation brigade is also being prepared for supporting the Indian Army during combat operations in the event of a war with China in Arunachal Pradesh.

According to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), its maker, Rudra helicopters can be used in anti-tank, scout, fire support, armed reconnaissance and surveillance and escort roles. The helicopter is "ideal for operations from unprepared surfaces and slopes," HAL says.

The development comes at a time when India and China are locked in a tense military standoff along the LAC.

While the standoff in Ladakh has received most attention, the situation along the LAC in the eastern sector has also worsened.

Last month, at least 200 Chinese soldiers tried to enter Indian territory near Tawang. At least one new report claimed that India foiled China's incursion bid and temporarily detained a few Chinese soldiers.

A few days before the incursion bid in Tawang, Chinese soldiers had transgressed nearly 5 km into Indian territory in Uttrakhand's Barahoti, putting Indian forces in the Central sector of the LAC on alert.

The latest round of the Corps Commander-level talks between the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army failed to make forward movement on the disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.

After the talks, India said that the Chinese did not come up with any "forward looking proposals" on the issue of disengagement and was "not agreeable" to India's "constructive suggestions" for the resolution of issues at the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh.

China accused India of making "unreasonable and unrealistic demands".

The two countries are likely to maintain heavy deployment along the LAC and in the depth areas on their sides through the winter this year.

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