Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
PLA sets up army, air force defence system at border
BEIJING: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has, for the first time, inducted the army’s air defence units in its air force command chain in a region which borders India to form a combined air defence system.
The setting up of the new, joint system is part of the Chinese WTC’S (Western Theatre Command) focus on war preparation and exploring the establishment of a joint air defence system, the PLA’S mouthpiece, PLA Daily reported on Tuesday.
The Western Theatre Command is responsible for the border with India, and continues large-scale deployment in the region – despite partial disengagement -- amid the year-long border friction in eastern Ladakh.
The mouthpiece called the new formation “a solid step… taken in the joint combat and joint training.”
The new system was tried out at a drill in the western theatre, the report said without sharing details about the location.
According to a senior officer of the WTC’S Air Force Staff Headquarters, more than 10 army air defence force units have entered the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) command chain in the WTC to share early warning information, to test combat readiness, to participate in major exercises and, overall, to form a “preliminary alliance”.
THE SETTING UP OF THE NEW, JOINT SYSTEM AT THE WESTERN THEATRE IS PART OF CHINA’S FOCUS ON WAR PREPARATION