China moving new artillery weapons along the Ladakh border; India responds.
Indian T90 tank in Ladakh region. Image Credit: ANI
Recently, the Indian army learned that the PLA’s Xinjiang Military Command acquired new artillery units, which includes PCL-181, PCL-161, and PHL-03 MLRS. The new artillery units were moved towards the Ladakh region in what is seen as a fresh Chinese build-up in the contested area. The Indian army responded to the Chinese build-up by deploying K9 Vajra (Thunder) self-propelled howitzers along the Ladakh border. Last year China and Indian soldiers fought in the Ladakh region without weapons except for clubs and hand-to-hand combat resembling a fight from the ancient battles. Casualties on both sides were reported (China reported them months later) Most recently, China and Indian forces had a minor clash in Sikkim.
The Indian army tweeted two images, which have since been removed from Twitter, of Lt. Gen. Mohanty’s Ladakh visit with one of the pictures showing the K-9 Vajra SPH in the background.
LtGen CPMohanty, VCOAS visited forward areas of Ladakh; reviewed operational preparedness; commended All Ranks for maintaining high standard of vigil & alertness despite challenging terrain and climatic conditions.Indian Army’s Northern Command on Twitter.
K9 Vajra SPH. Image Credit: Indian MOD
Experts said that K9 Vajra SPH is very well suited for the barren landscape of Ladakh. It is the domestic version of the South Korean self-propelled 155mm/52cal Howitzer (SPH) ‘K-9 Thunder’ and was developed by the Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Aerospace Industries.
China’s fresh buildup of troops in the Ladakh region can re-ignite the tension between the two largest populated countries in the World. On both sides of the Ladakh region both countries are heavily armed with tanks and artillery ready to fight each other at any moment.