Indian Army ‘Fully Prepared’ For War Against China, Even In Winter Months
The Indian Army is fully prepared for a full-fledged war with China, even during the winter months in eastern Ladakh.
If China creates war-like conditions, they will face a better trained, better prepared, fully rested and psychologically hardened Indian troops, asserted the Army’s Northern Command headquarters.
Reacting to a report in China’s official paper Global Times that India is not geared to fight through winters effectively, a Northern Command spokesperson asserted that compared to physically and psychologically battle-hardened Indian troops, Chinese troops are mostly from urban areas and not used to hardships or prolonged deployment under field conditions.
“This can best be attributed to ignorance. Indian Army is fully prepared and more than capable of fighting a full-fledged war even in winters in eastern Ladakh,” the spokesperson said.
“India is a peace-loving country and wishes to have good relations with its neighbours. India always prefers to resolve issues through dialogue. While talks are in progress to resolve the border issues with China in eastern Ladakh, at the military level it is well prepared for the prolonged stand-off,” he said.
Describing the LAC terrain, he explained altitudes in Ladakh range from “high to super-high altitude” where there is a lot of snowfall — up to 40 feet post November.
“Coupled with this, the temperature dipping down to minus 30 to 40 degree Celsius is a usual phenomenon. Wind chill factor makes matters even worse for the troops. The roads also get closed due to the snow. But despite all this, the most encouraging part for India is that the Indian soldiers have a huge experience of winter warfare and are psychologically tuned to operate at short notice,” the spokesperson said.
These may be known facts, but capabilities vis-à-vis operational logistics are hardly known to the world, he argued.
“Logistical capability relates to mobility, habitat and billeting, quality services for health, special rations, repair and recovery, heating systems, high-quality weapons, ammunition, quality clothing, and so on. While much of these capabilities existed earlier and troops could simply plug and play, a lot has also been boosted since May this year when China showed first signs of aggression,” he said.
He pointed out that the Army has the experience of working in Siachen, highest battleground in the world where conditions are more demanding than frontiers with China.
“Traditionally there were two routes for moving into Ladakh, that is through Zojila (Srinagar-Leh Highway) and Rohtang Passes (Manali-Leh). Recently India commissioned a third road from Darcha to Leh which is much shorter distance-wise and less prone to closure,” he said.
The completion of Atal tunnel, on the Rohtang route, has significantly bolstered India’s logistic capacity.
“In addition, we have a large number of airbases with the help of which we can maintain the Army well. Modern snow clearing equipment has also been placed on these routes to keep them open beyond November, thus giving us more time for daily maintenance of the troops,” he said.
Special fuel and lubricants for tanks and armoured personnel carriers are also adequately stocked, he assured.