New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India and China have been loggerheads throughout the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) since the clash at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh last year that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel-rank officer. China has maintained a heavy presence of its troops both at Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh in an attempt to create pressure on the Indian side.

However, with an increase in tensions between the two nations, India has also ramped up its overall deployment of troops and is speeding up infrastructure development to gain a tactical advantage. Army officials deployed at the LAC have said that they are using a sizeable fleet of Heron medium-altitude long-endurance drones to carry out round-the-clock surveillance in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Heron drones, which have been deployed by Israel, was deployed by India in the Arunachal sector nearly five years ago. The Army uses day and night cameras along with the Heron drones and a synthetic aperture radar to check the Chinese activity in the crucial Arunachal sector.

"This is the most beautiful aircraft as far as surveillance resources are concerned. Since its inception, it has been the backbone of surveillance. It can climb up to 30,000 feet and continue to relay feed to commanders on the ground. So that, we can manoeuver forces on the ground. It has an endurance of 24-30 hours at a stretch," Major Karthik Garg was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Besides Heron drones, the Indian Army has also deployed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Rudra which has given it an advantage to carry out various missions in the high-altitude areas. The Army also has the Dhruv utility helicopter, developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in the Arunachal sector. It said that Dhruv has been instrumental in carrying out evacuation operations and saved over 50 lives in the sector.

"Over a period of time, when we give you a general time of operation, we are fully capable of carrying out night casualty evacuations. The same aircraft has been further modified and weaponised into a more lethal version called ALH WSI - Advanced Light helicopter weapon system integrated - which is known as the Rudra helicopter. It is fully equipped with various mission systems as well as weapon systems onboard," Lieutenant Colonel Amit Dadhwal was quoted as saying by ANI.

Meanwhile, India and China have held 13 rounds of military-level talks to resolve differences in easter Ladakh. So far, the two sides have completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area and north and south banks of the Pangong lake. However, the last round of military talks on October 10 ended in a stalemate. Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma