For use against China, Low-level radars sought by the Indian Army along the LAC

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Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal is the founder editor of Bhraman (a Digital Travelogue). As an independent journalist, he is passionate for investigating and reporting on complex subjects. He has an extensive background in both print and digital media, with a focus on Travel and Defence reporting. *Views are personal

As said by officials on Monday, for threat detection and response, a modern low-level light-weight radar (LLLWR) is sought by the Indian Army to be along the China border where surveillance is restricted due to mountainous terrain. Easy ingress to enemy helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles flying at low altitudes and aircraft is provided by the terrain, they added.

Surveillance and armed drone swarm, infantry weapon training simulator, counter-drone systems, portable helipads, robotic surveillance platforms along with a variety of ammunition are included in the new list of indigenous projects that is also figured on by the radar. The list was released on Monday by the Indian Army Chief.

Back story

Equipped with a range of 50 km a 3D active electronically scanned array radar with tactical control of air defence weapons is desired by the Indian Army. Two lists of around 209 defence items which probably cannot be imported in Bans that will progressively and be forced from 2021 to 2025 has been notified by the government to boost self-reliance while the low-level light weight radar stands among the weapons and Systems which fall under the category that cannot be imported.

With the ongoing military talks for resolving tensions have not really resulted in any major breakthrough, for more than 18 months India and China have been locked in a border row in Ladakh while the radar is required for the northern and eastern borders with China whose Army has ramped up military activities in both the sectors.

With regards to ground-based surveillance in high altitudes, mountains and Plains for detecting and tracking airborne targets, a low-level lightweight radar named Aslesha Mark 1 has also been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

As per officials, the above-cited radar has been inducted by the Indian Airforce but on the other hand, the Indian Army has chosen not to order it as its requirements were different.

In order to plug a critical vulnerability along the China border, an urgent need for low-level light weight radar is needed, as said by officials.

Major deployment 

Recently, the historic L-70 anti-aircraft gun famed for its use in the second world was optimised as a modern-day ‘drone killer’ by the Indian Army and was also deployed along the LAC. The L-70 anti-aircraft gun was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II and was used by the majority of western Allies. However, the vintage gun has been modified into a ‘drone killer’ as a part of a project initiated around a year ago by the Indian Army’s Air Defence Corps. 

As per official reports, automatic target tracking capabilities under all weather conditions and target acquisition of the upgraded L-70 has been enhanced with high-resolution electro-optical sensors.

Increased preparedness 

After deploying the guns, to counter any threat arising across the LAC, the Pinaka and Smerch Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MRLS) were also deployed by the Indian Army at a forward position near the China border.

The system is capable of engaging area targets up to 38km at the mean sea level while it is an autonomous rocket artillery system. The deep strike capability of the weapon system is augmented as the ranges are enhanced at these altitudes significantly. 

A salvo of 72 rockets can be easily fired by a battery of six launchers of Pinaka within 44 seconds which is capable of neutralizing an area of 1000m by 800m.

On the other hand, with a message to China, India had also test-fired its Agni-V missile.

A few days back to tackle the Chinese during violent face-offs, Non-lethal weapons were provided to the Indian security forces deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after barbed clubs and tasers were used by the Chinese troops against the Indian forces in the Galwan valley clash.

Ongoing situation

Going by increased military activities on both sides of the boundary, surveillance and combat manoeuvres by their armies in the midst of the ongoing border standoff, infrastructure development, India and China have hardened their positions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, according to a report released by the Hindustan Times on Monday. 

The two Armies still have around 50,000 to 60,000 troops each along with advanced weaponry deployed in the Ladakh theatre despite two rounds of disengagement at friction points on the line of actual control this year. On the other hand It was said by the United States defence department in a report released the previous week that incremental and tactical actions to press its claims were being taken by Beijing at the LAC despite participating in talks to resolve the crisis.


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