Since early May 2020, India and China have been locked in a military standoff in the icy region of Ladakh & LAC. The current standoff has been one of the largest military confrontations between the two nations that hold the largest and the second-largest armies on the planet. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was first to intrude and belligerently occupy Indian territory in the South of Pangong Tso Lake. Indian Army reacted sharply and turned the tables by sending in soldiers and equipment for deterring Chinese intruders.
The standoff drew its first blood on 15 June 2020 at Galwan when 20 Indian Army soldiers from The Bihar Regiment sacrificed their lives fighting the Chinese aggressor but not before killing around 35 to 45 PLA troops. The Galwan incident had an electrifying impact on Indian strategic thinking as all gloves came off and the Indian Army was given a free hand to deal with the military threats. Thereafter, the Indian Army not only mirrored the Chinese deployment on LAC but went a step further as it inducted additional infantry battalions, heavy artillery, and a large number of tanks which tilted the balance of power in favor of India. While India has been deploying tanks in the mountainous region for a long however the tank concentration witnessed during the present standoff has been unrivaled as the Indian Army has deployed more tanks at Ladakh than the Chinese ever imagined.
This standoff also marks the first time in world history wherein tanks have been deployed in such large numbers at such great heights. In what comes as a testament to Russian design all Indian tanks be it the old T-72 Ajeya or the new T-90 Bhishma have performed flawlessly in Ladakh. However, things have not been so good for the Chinese who have been able to just use their Type 15 light tank which is no match for the firepower of formidable Indian tanks. The heavier Type 96 and Type 99 main battle tanks of the Chinese Army have been largely absent.
If the deployment of Indian tanks to Ladakh was not enough to trouble the PLA then the Indian Army went ahead and deployed numerous T-72 tanks on dominating heights near LAC. These tanks have been moved to the higher ground covertly in a move that completely surprised the Chinese Army. These tanks now enjoy formidable defensive positions and in case of any PLA, the offensive will be raining death from high peaks. Furthermore, the Indian tank crew has already acclimatized themselves and their tanks in the icy regions of Ladakh. While it looks simple on paper, maintaining a tank in sub-zero temperatures requires special nonfreezing lubricants and fuel that has to be stocked in large quantities.
In the last few days, multiple media houses have reported what Team Guarding India Exclusives disclosed after the preemptive strike of 29-30 August 2020 that immediately after the preemptive strikes Chinese tanks started moving, and the Indian Army T-90 Bhishma tanks were rushed to the Chushul sector to stopping any Chinese attack. That night tanks from both nations faced each other but fortunately, no shots were fired.
“Currently, at multiple places, the Indian and Chinese tanks are just 400 meters apart which is just like medieval Knights facing each other as these steel beasts (tanks) can shoot up to five kilometers. This is the first time in the history of warfare that tanks from both sides are lined up against an enemy at 16000 feet while just being 400 meters apart. How dense this tank concentration is can be understood from the fact that intertank distance between tanks of the same side has been reduced to just 10 meters which in the normal case is around 100 -150 meters at a minimum.”
While India has been asking Chinese troops to fall back to pre standoff position, the PLA has been silently delaying the talks as the 8th round of Military Commander’s talks are now being contemplated without any end in sight. This has resulted in the Indian Army undertaking the largest logistics exercise in its history as rations, ammunition, fuel, and other stores for sustaining around 70,000 Indian soldiers are being moved up by air and road routes. The Indian Air Force transport fleet has rendered a yeoman’s service and continuously delivered results by using Boeing C-17 Globemasters and Chinook helicopters for fulfilling the logistics needs of the Indian army.
Finally, Team Guarding India hopes that the current military standoff will be resolved before the Indian tanks are required to open fire as that will be a truly horrific scenario for Chinese tanks which will be outgunned by Indian Army T-72 Ajeya and T-90 Bhishma tanks. We hope cooler heads prevail in Beijing and PLA troops are called back from illegally occupied territory.