Indian Army: Amid an ongoing conflict in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army is considering to convert some of its fighting formations so that they can fight on two completely different fronts as it would allow them to switch to either China or Pakistan border without much effort.
Till recently, the thrust of Indian Army’s main fighting formations was mainly towards the Pakistan border as the Line of Actual Control with China was not considered to be very active.
The balance of the operational preparedness is heavily tilted towards the Western border can be seen from the fact that there are three Strike Corps deployed for offensive there while only one offensive Mountain Strike Corps has been created for the Northern borders.
“There will be no need to raise any additional forces or a new strike corps in view of the ongoing conflict. The existing fighting formations can be given dual responsibility to look after both fronts,” said a source.
Different proposals in this regard are being considered by Army headquarters and suggestions have also been sought from the different Army commanders as a need has been felt to further enhance preparedness on the LAC, they said.
The way these formations could be made dual tasked would be decided as per the discussions and decisions based on them, the sources said.
The strike corps on the western front include the 21 strike corps in Bhopal, the first strike corps in Mathura and the Kharga strike corps in Ambala. These have heavy armoured and offensive weaponry with them.
These formations are located all over the western, central and northern sectors, including some which are very close to the China border.
The reorientation of the fighting formations of the 1.3 million Force would be a major exercise and is expected to prepare the defence forces for a two-front war in the real sense, said the sources.
In the ongoing border conflict with China also, the Army has done some balancing and brought in a large number of the armored element from Central and western India.
The BMPs, T-90s and T-72s main battle tanks of the Indian Army have been deployed heavily to more than match the Chinese presence opposite the Ladakh sector.
Over three Indian Army Mountain Divisions are additionally deployed in the Eastern Ladakh sector against around 60,000 Chinese troops in that area.
India and China have been engaged in a tense military stand-of in eastern Ladakh since April this year and the deployment has gone up significantly in other sectors too along the entire LAC.
Indian Army lost 20 soldiers including an army colonel in the bloody face-off with Chinese PLA in June this year, the first casualty in over 40 years while Chinese Army also lost an unconfirmed number of soldiers but officially did not confirm the figure.