With a view to make the Indian air space impregnable along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to deploy portable mountain radars in the Ladakh region.
According to sources, the deployment of the radars was mooted after several incidents of Chinese helicopters entering the Indian air space undetected. However, the force got an order to go slow on it owing to the visit of Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie as New Delhi did not want to give any wrong signals to its neighbour in the East. As the visit completed successfully, the deployment has gained a new momentum.
Survey of the mountain tops where the light weight low-level mountain radars will be placed has been completed. And the radars have been taken to the places of deployment and tested,” said an official. Sources pointed out that the IAF’s mountaineering team had recently climbed few virgin peaks in the region with an aim to conduct the survey. Initially the radars are being deployed at Nyoma, Chushul and Fukche.
The treacherous mountainous terrain in the reason has been the main reason for the defeat that the defeat Indian Army had to face at the hands of the Chinese Army during the Indo-Chinese war, fought 50 years ago.
Developed by the Electronics and
Radar Development Establishment, the radars are capable of spotting a low flying helicopters and also any movement on the terra firma. In 2011, the IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne had admitted that lack of mountain radars was hampering the detection of any aerial movement in the region. In the August 25, 2011 incident a Chinese helicopter transgressed the Indian air space and the machine was only spotted by the ground troops of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
The IAF has been focusing on the high-altitude areas near the LAC especially in Ladakh region owing to a spurt in the number of transgression by the Chinese troops. Recently, the IAF conducted air drops of paratroopers in high-altitude areas in Nyoma, just 23 km from the border. The heavy-lift Ilyushin Il-76 carried out “static line paradrop” on August 29.