China, not Pakistan main threat to India: Indian Defence Ministry

NEW DELHI: China and not Pakistan is the focus of the Indian Defence Ministry’s latest 15-year plan for all the three services.The latest integrated perspective plan, which will be in force from year 2012 to 2027, is aimed at equipping Indian armed forces to move from the current stage of dissuasion to deterrence against China, NDTV reported on Tuesday.According to the plan, by 2020, India wants to have dedicated Mountain Strike Corps, over 90,000 men specifically meant for deployment in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh equipped for offensive operations.To begin with, the military wants all planned roads in these high altitude areas to be completed on priority basis.India is also activating, revamping and upgrading its air bases along the border with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. This includes at least eight advance-landing grounds. The Nyoma air base, barely 25km from Line of Actual Control, will eventually have Su-30 combat jets stationed there.The army is all set to improve living conditions in high altitude areas by placing over 5,000 specially-designed, self-contained, thermally-insulated shelters for troops so that they can withstand minus 40 degrees temperatures.

In the long run, India also plans to acquire and deploy ultra-light howitzers and light tanks in Ladakh to bolster security there.Even the Indian Navy is planning for future contingencies by planning to operate two carrier battle groups, several stealth battleships, submarines and long-range reconnaissance planes.Another important component in the long-term plan is to beef up fledgling tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command to keep closer vigil on the strategically crucial south east Asian region as well as Mallaca Straits.This is over and above on on-going plans to develop 8,000-km range inter-continental ballistic missiles in the coming decade. – Brecorder