Indian Army conducts airborne exercise in Eastern Ladakh amid standoff with China

The airborne troops of the Indian Army’s Shatrujeet Brigade, on November 1, were inserted into a drop zone at an altitude of more than 14,000 feet as part of the exercise.

Indian Troops (PC: Livefist/Twitter)
Indian Troops (PC: Livefist/Twitter)

The Shatrujeet Brigade of the Indian Army will be conducting an airborne exercise along the Northern Borders in Eastern Ladakh to validate its rapid response capabilities.

The militaries of India and China have been engaged in a border standoff in Eastern Ladakh since May 2020 when the violent clash in the Pangong Lake area led to both sides gradually rushing in thousands of soldiers as well as weaponry.

After a series of military and diplomatic talks, China and India completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August 2021 and in the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake in February 2021.

Each of the countries still has, currently, around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in the sensitive sector.

Airborne Exercise in Eastern Ladakh: Key Details

The airborne troops of the Indian Army’s Shatrujeet Brigade, on November 1, were inserted into a drop zone at an altitude of more than 14,000 feet as part of the exercise.

These pre-acclimatized troops along with specialist vehicles and missile detachments were transported through C-130 and AN-32 aircraft from 5 different mounting bases. It was done to validate the inter-theatre move, rapid grouping, precision stand-off, and capture of designated objectives with speed and surprise.

The drop was challenging because of the low temperatures of up to minus 20 degrees Celsius and the rarefied atmosphere in the super high-altitude terrain.

The airborne exercise in Eastern Ladakh also involved the combat-free fall jumps and the integrated battle drills by airborne forces, attack helicopters, and mechanized columns, to validate the seamless integration and rapid response capabilities.

Why the airborne exercise in Eastern Ladakh is significant?

As per the experts, the timing of the airborne exercise in Eastern Ladakh by the Indian Army is significant as it was being staged three weeks after the 13th round of military talks between India and China to cool tensions in Ladakh.

The talks between the two nations had reached a dead end on October 10, 2021, with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) not agreeing to suggestions made by the Indian Army.

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