New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid heightened tensions with China along the the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC), India has decided to deploy an upgraded version of the L-70 anti-aircraft guns, along with M-777 howitzers and the Swedish Bofors guns, in the crucial Arunachal Pradesh sector.

The upgraded L-70 anti-aircraft guns have been placed in crucial locations in Arunachal Pradesh to take down enemy drones and other aircraft flying at a low range to "bolster the Army's operational preparedness to deal with any eventualities".

The L70 guns were originally manufactured by Swedish defence firm Bofors AB in 1950s and India has started inducting over 1,000 of them in the 1960s. The guns have been upgraded by state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

"The guns can bring down all unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, attack helicopters and modern aircraft. The gun has enhanced target acquisition and automatic target tracking capability under all weather conditions with high-resolution electro-optical sensors comprising a daylight television camera, a thermal imaging camera and a laser-range finder," news agency PTI quoted Captain Sariya Abbasi of the Army Air Defence as saying.

"The gun is also equipped with a Muzzle Velocity Radar for enhancing the accuracy of fire. The gun has the ability to be integrated with tactical and fire control radars which give it more flexibility in its deployment," Captain Sariya said while adding that these guns have been transformed into a "sophisticated air defence" system.

Besides L-70 air-defence system, India has also deployed M-777 ultra light howitzers, which weighs approximately 4,200 kg, in Arunachal Pradesh. The M-777 howitzer, which has been manufactured by BAE Systems' Global Combat Systems division, has a range of 30 km and uses a digital fire-control system to provide navigation, pointing and self-location.

It was first inducted in the Indian Army in 2018. The procurement had come after a 30-year wait for new artillery guns since the Bofors scandal.

"The addition of upgraded L70 air defence guns to the existing Bofors guns and recently inducted M-777 howitzers significantly enhanced the Indian Army's overall operational capability," PTI quoted a senior defence official as saying.

India also continues to deploy Swedish 155 mm Bofors guns at the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh. The Army also has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC to keep a check at any Chinese misadventure.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma