India IS ramping up its military deployment along the border with China, positioning two army divisions, each comprising around 25,000 to 30,000 personnel.
A squadron of frontline Sukhoi Su-30 MKI combat jets at a key airbase in the Northeast is also on the cards, military officials said.
This apart, the induction of the first of three airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft will be a potent force multiplier.
“The Indian defence establishment’s focus had been on Pakistan but there is a growing realisation that we cannot ignore China’s military might,” a top military official said.
Former Indian Army chief, Gen JJ Singh, who is now the governor of the strategic Northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, said, “To develop India’s capability to effectively meet the future security challenges, deployment of more troops along the India-China border is necessary,” Singh told mediapersons on Monday in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar.
This apart, a squadron of Su-30MKIs would become operational at the Tezpur air base in Assam next week.
A defence spokesperson said on Tuesday that four of the multi-role jets would land on June 15 in Tezpur, about 185 km north of Guwahati.
“Four Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter jets would land first and soon it would be a full squadron comprising of 18 aircraft,” defence spokesperson Colonel R. Kalia said.
The IAF base at Tezpur is within striking distance from the Chinese border along Arunachal Pradesh.
The India-China border along Arunachal Pradesh is marked by the McMahon Line, a notional border which is now known as the Line of Actual Control.