India Deploys Air Defense Missile Systems into Ladakh Amid Border Tensions with China

India has deployed Akash advanced quick-reaction air defense missile systems in the Eastern Ladakh sector amid border tensions with China, ANI news agency reported.

The deployment came amid heightened Chinese fighter aircraft and helicopter activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates India and China.

The Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) can take down very fast-moving combat aircraft and drones in few seconds and many modifications and upgrades have already been done to make it suitable for deployment in the high mountainous terrain.

“As part of the ongoing build-up in the sector, the air defence systems of both Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed in the sector to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there,” the report quote government sources as saying.

According to the report, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed its air superiority fighter aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-30 “Flanker” jets and its strategic bombers to the rear locations in the last couple of weeks. These aircraft were reportedly detected flying near the Indian territory maintaining the 10 km plus distance from the boundary.

The report quoted the sources as saying that Chinese choppers were flying their very close to the LAC in all the troubled sectors including the Sub Sector North (Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector), Galwan valley near Patrolling Point (PP) 14, PP 15, PP 17 and 17A (Hot Springs area) along with the Pangong Tso and Finger area where they are now moving closer to the Finger 3 area.

The sources also said that India is acquiring “a highly capable air defence system from a friendly country which can be deployed and the entire area can be taken care off to prevent any enemy flying there”. The report was likely referring to the Israeli SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) short- to medium-range mobile air defence system which the Indian Armed Forces already operates.

The Indian Air Force fighter jets are also active in the Eastern Ladakh area.

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