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India to deploy missiles to boost Tibet border deterrence

February 18, 2010

Tibetan Review
February 17, 2010

In an effort to address the problems posed by
China’s massive build up of military
infrastructure and deployment of force hardware
along its border with occupied Tibet, India plans
to base six surface-to-air Akash missile
squadrons in the North-East, reported the Times
of India online Feb 16. The two countries share
an unresolved 4,057-km Line of Actual Control
(LAC), a result of the Chinese annexation of Tibet.

The report said China was upgrading as many as 14
airfields in Tibet, with at least half of them
being now fully-operational. Its Linzi airbase,
for instance, is not even 30 km away from the LAC in Arunachal.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to get eight Akash
tactical air defence squadrons by 2015, with the
first one becoming operational by 2011 itself.
Each squadron will have two ‘flights’ of four
Akash launchers. The Indian Army too was reported
to be poised to order two Akash regiments, with six firing batteries each.

The Akash missiles have an effective interception
range of 25 km with an 88% "kill probability''.
The Akash system, with its supersonic missiles
and a network of radars, is said to be designed
to neutralise multiple aerial targets attacking
from several directions simultaneously in all-weather conditions.

Having woken up late to China’s massive build up
of arms and force infrastructure across the
border in occupied Tibet, India is redoubling its
efforts to put in place an effective deterrence.
In keeping with this, it is also raising two new
specialised infantry mountain divisions and an
artillery brigade for Arunachal Pradesh and
basing of two Sukhoi-30MKI squadrons (36
fighters) each at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, the report said.
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