Skip to comments.T-72 tanks moved to remote Sikkim area after China tests Indian defences
Posted on 07/28/2009 10:51:44 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
T-72 tanks moved to remote Sikkim area after China tests Indian defences
Posted online: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 0441 hrs
New Delhi : Chinese moves to test Indian control of the strategic Finger Area in North Sikkim last year have prompted the Army to deploy heavy tanks and armoured personnel carriers in the region and strengthen defensive positions. In fact, the highest gallantry award to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel was conferred to a dozer operator, Zalim Singh, who cleared a strategic road near Theing village he was decorated with a Bar to Shaurya Chakra for a column of advancing tanks.
While the Army brought armoured vehicles to the North Sikkim plateau in the late 1980s, the small detachment has now been replaced by the heavier and more powerful T-72 Main Battle Tanks and modern BMP troop carriers.
Sources said the mobilisation took place after repeated Chinese transgressions last year in the Finger Area, a one kilometre stretch of land in the northern tip of Sikkim that overlooks a valley called the Sora Funnel and is considered a strong defensive position.
The T-72 tanks were inducted after a monumental effort by the BRO to widen roads, construct tracks and strengthen bridges leading to North Sikkim. The heavy tank column was taken up the high plateau partly by road-based carriers.
Sources said that while China too has tanks on its side of the border, they are deployed well inside its territory. China does not need to deploy tanks on the border because the terrain and roads on its side makes it easy to bring them at short notice. India, on the other hand, has no option but to keep them on the border as it would take days to get the tanks up from the plains, an expert pointed out.
Besides the tanks, the Army has strengthened other defences in the region, particularly around the Finger Area. Permanent posts have been set up on heights and bunkers have been strengthened. The Army has also increased surveillance capabilities in the region. At least two Long Range Observation Systems which can detect, record and transmit live images of an area under observation, have been set up in the Finger Area.
The strengthening of defences has taken place partly due to the re-induction of the 27 Mountain Division to North Sikkim. The Kalimpong-based Division, responsible for the defence of North Sikkim and the Finger Area, had been moved to Jammu and Kashmir in 2001 during the Op Parakram troop buildup along the Pakistan border.
The Finger Area entered controversy last year after the Chinese increased patrolling and even planned to built a road through it. While the area was always under Indian control, the Army used to send in regular patrols and held only a few traditional defensive positions.
India decided to strengthen defences after increased Chinese transgressions and the discovery last year that the alignment of a new East-West road being built by Beijing would pass thorough the Finger Area. Construction was put to a stop after New Delhi lodged a diplomatic complaint.
A good shooting war between those two would be something to see. Been a while since we had a good continental scale conflict.
A war between India and China would be horrendous. Pakistan would probably attack India too. We have a close relationship with India and a trade relationship with China, we would be paralyzed to take sides.
An escalation could start WW3.
Dang, those Sikkim beaches are summin!
Well, about time India woke up. From what I gather, the roads and rails of Tibet are superlative to move an army or two straight in poised on the highplateau overlooking the mountains and rainforests of Eastern India.
But why would the Chinese want even Kolkatta in the first place or the West Bengali Communists :>>
Slightly ominous, even more so if one is historically aware, but the recent kowtowing by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Geithner and the entire govbiz apparatus in their enthusiastic genuflecting to the Middle Kingdom means that China just may pull some hijinks.
A price the Biden Brigade would be happy to pay for Chinese cooperation in other areas.
I can’t tell for sure, are those AK’s or Ishapores?
T-72 Tanks. Weren’t they proven to be nothing more than expensive targets for the M1A1 Abrams in Iraq?
It would be a disaster of Biblical proportions between two nuclear-armed combatants with enormous manpower.
The conflict could escalate into something that makes WW2 look like a picnic.
What would China have to gain from attacking India?
Yes they are, but neither country has M1’s so...
I don’t think they are AKs. Ak is pretty reliable, at least sand and water proof. I don’t know what rifles Indians use. But I feel they have to buy lots of foreign ones.
Don’t worry. That’s just drama. Indian use this scheme to get US’s help and attention. It helps confirm that China is a threat and India is reliable ally. 20 years ago China played as US’s ally against USSR. Now India just replays China’s former role, but this time the common enemy is China.
Incorrect - tanks without infantry support are subject to being overrun by the more mobile infantry of the opposition. Support infantry keeps the opposing infantry at bay, whilst the tanks slug it out. In addition, easier to offload the troops quickly and get them away from the gate and out of a kill zone.
My larger question was - 1) why are they not moving forward AND to the sides to prevent concentration of fire; and 2) how will they fare in a Chem/bio attack with gas masks with those beards.
They’ve mostly done Enfields and FAL’s I think. That could be an older FAL design.
There is nothing in those highlands truly worth fighting for. But the sheer difficulty of anyone actually living there has long made it a region of disputed borders, and perverse men have not been wanting to fight over barren piles of useless rock.
Nope. They are INSAS 5.56mm rifles. Their design draws heavily from AK-47 with several modification and some design inputs of FAL as well. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INSAS_rifle
Well I was wondering why it looked like a cross between an AK and a FAL. Now I know. India tends to do their own thing with guns anyway but didn’t know they’d developed a whole new design in recently.
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