INCREASE IN FIREPOWER AT LAC BORDER

India’s military position in the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh has gained an offensive advantage with the Indian Army stationing ‘Pinaka’ and ‘Smerch’ long-range, multi-barrel rocket launching systems as well as ‘BrahMos’ supersonic cruise missiles in the sector.

In a remarkable exhibition, the Army demonstrated its ‘Pinaka’ and ‘Smerch’ units made available at the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border to a group of visiting reporters from New Delhi.

A senior officer at the demonstration stated that the ‘Pinaka’ and ‘Smerch’ rocket systems have been stationed closer to the Line of Actual Control. The ‘BrahMos’ has also been deployed in the Tawang sector, the officer said.

Besides the rocket systems, the ‘BrahMos’ missiles, which have a firing range of over 290 km, provide the Army with, ability to eliminate targets deep inside China in case of any Chinese misadventure in this sector.

Col. Gaurav Sood explaining about the rocket systems at the demonstration, exclaimed that ‘Smerch’, supplied by Russia, was the longest-range traditional rocket system in the Army’s inventory with an upper limit of 90 km range.

‘Pinaka’, an indigenously designed and developed rocket launching system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has a range of 38 km.

The upgraded version of the Pinaka ammunition systems was already in the production line and can fire up to a range of 75 km with superior precision as added by the DRDO.

Both Pinaka and Smerch have 12 rockets in each launcher. “In high altitude areas, the ranges are enhanced significantly which further augments the deep strike capability of the weapon system,” Col. Sood added.

Currently, the Army has five Grad rocket regiments, three Smerch regiments and four Pinaka regiments. Another six Pinaka regiments are in the process of being procured.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat had recently mentioned creating an integrated rocket force along with the proposed integrated theatre commands, which a senior official had stated was a concept under examination.

Reportedly, the Army has significantly increased its firepower along the 1,300 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector and also strengthened overall defences in the region, especially in the Tawang sector, by introducing new weapon systems and technological infusion.

Tawang, which is strategically important and was the target of China during the 1962 war, is 35 km from the LAC in the Bumla axis.

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