As China flexes muscles, India kicks off military drill
New Delhi: India has quietly kicked off a major combat exercise to test its new integrated battle groups (IBGs) for mountain warfare in Arunachal Pradesh, even as China showcased its military might with strategic bombers, fighters, supersonic drones and the world’s longest range inter-continental ballistic missile Dongfeng-41 at its 70th anniversary parade at Beijing on Tuesday.
Sources said the monthlong “Him Vijay” exercise, which is being held away from the line of actual control with China, is geared towards converting the new 17 “Brahmastra” Corps into “a lean and mean force” for “swift attacks” in a dynamic operational scenario as well as “creating vulnerable contingencies for the enemy in multiple valleys” in the mountainous region.
The three IBGs, carved out of the 17 Corps with around 5,000 soldiers each and a mix of tanks, light artillery, air defence units, signals and other elements, will be exercising in conjunction with IAF’s C-17 Globemaster-III, C-130J Super Hercules and AN-32 aircraft as well as heliPLA troops during a parade, the biggest in seven decades, in Beijing on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The display of military might, including the first show of the Dongfeng-41 ICBM that can hit any part of the US, was meant to send a signal not only to the US but also countries like India and Japan, observers said
copters for airlift of soldiers and equipment as well as rapid inter-valley transfers.
The exercise will be in full throttle when Chinese President Xi Jingping is expected to visit India later this month for the second informal summit with PM Narendra Modi at the seaside resort of Mamallapuram, near Chennai, as was reported by TOI in September.
While the IBGs of the 17 Corps, headquartered at Panagarh under the Kolkata-based Eastern Command, are being test-bedded in the ongoing exercise, the IBGs meant Buying diamonds and other precious stones now easier on pocket
for Pakistan were similarly “test-bedded” under the Chandimandir-based Western Command in April-May.
“Each IBG will be configured on three things. One, the nature of threat envisaged in an area. Two, the type of terrain involved. Three, the task that will be given,” said a source.
In effect, the IBGs for Pakistan will be focused more on tanks and heavy artillery, while the ones for China will revolve more around infantry and light artillery due to the differing terrains.
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