The Indian Army is all set to flex and toughen its muscle in the northeast, with the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday clearing its proposal to raise a mountain strike corps along the China border, a top source said.
The offensive capability to counter a rising Chinese military will come at a cost of more than Rs. 62,000 crore.
The CCS approval for the strike corps comes at a time when strains are showing in the military ties between the countries due to China's aggressive posturing along the disputed border in the Ladakh sector.
The army had first proposed setting up a new mountain strike corps six to seven years back, but it was caught in bureaucratic procedures.
The recent three-week border standoff in Ladakh may have lent fresh urgency to bolster the capabilities of the army, sources said.
It is learnt the new mountain strike corps will have two infantry divisions, an artillery division and two independent armoured brigades under it.
The new strike formation, with more than 45,000 soldiers, will give the army the capability to mount offensive action into the Tibet Autonomous Region in case of any misadventure by Chinese forces.
Indian forces are also weighing up a proposal to patrol deeper into the disputed territory with China, beyond the limits observed before the border standoff in April, as first reported by HT.
Currently, they do not carry out surveillance all the way up to India's perceived border because of a self-imposed restriction that has never been made public.