NEW DELHI: Amid an ongoing conflict in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army is mulling converting some of its fighting formations into dual-tasked ones which would allow them to fight against both China and Pakistan.
Till recently, the focus of the fighting formations was mainly towards the Pakistan border as the Line of Actual Control was not that active.
The balance of the operational preparedness is heavily tilted towards the Western border can be seen from the fact that there are three Strike Corps deployed for offensive there while only one offensive Mountain Strike Corps has been created for the Northern borders.
“There will be no need to raise any additional forces or a new strike corps in view of the ongoing conflict. The existing fighting formations can be given dual-tasking to look after both fronts,” government sources told ANI.
Different proposals in this regard are being considered by Army headquarters and suggestions have also been sought from the different Army commanders as a need has been felt to further enhance preparedness on the LAC, they said.
The way these formations could be made dual tasked would be decided as per the discussions and decisions based on them, the sources said.
The Strike Corps on the western front including the 21 Strike Corps in Bhopal along with the Strike One in Mathura and the Kharga Corps in Ambala are heavly armoured and have their formations located all over the western, central and northern sector Including some which are very close to the China border.
The reorientation of the fighting formations of the 1.3 million force would be a major exercise and is expected to prepare the defence forces for a two-front war in real senses, the sources said.
In the ongoing border conflict with China also, the Army has done some balancing and brought in a large number of the armoured element from Central and western India.
The BMPs, T-90s and T-72s of the Indian Army have been deployed heavily to more than match the Chinese presence opposite the Ladakh sector.
Over three Indian Army Mountain Divisions are additionally deployed in the Eastern Ladakh sector against around 60,000 Chinese troops in that area.
India and China have been engaged in a conflict since April-May timeframe in Eastern Ladakh and the deployments have gone up significantly in other sectors too along the entire LAC.