New Delhi: In a big credit to Indian Army, Chinese military expert has acknowledged the force claiming that Indian Army has the world’s most competent mountain division trained for high-altitude warfare.
The world’s largest and experienced country with plateau and mountain troops is neither the US, Russia, nor any European powerhouse, but India,” wrote Huang Guozhi, for Modern Weaponry magazine.
The appreciation gains significance due to the ongoing India-China border clashes along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh region.
The magazine, considered a comprehensive military and defence journal, is affiliated to the state-owned China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) which generally boasts about its own capabilities.
Huang said that more than 200,000 troops in 12 divisions, he Indian mountain division is the largest high-altitude battalion in the world. He said that since the 1970s, the Indian army has developed and expanded the size of the mountain division battalion and is also planning for a mountain strike force of more than 50,000 soldiers.
“Mountaineering is an essential skill for almost every member of the Indian mountain army. To this end, India even recruited a large number of professional mountaineers and amateur mountaineers from the private sector,” Huang wrote.
Putting forth the example of Siachen Glacier, Huang wrote, “The Indian army has set up hundreds of outposts in the Siachen Glacier area with an altitude of more than 5,000 metres, with 6,000 to 7,000 fighters stationed. The highest post has reached 6,749 metres.”
“The Indian military has also spent heavily on advanced heavy equipment from the US including the M777, the world’s lightest 155mm-towed howitzer, and the Chinook heavy transport helicopter that lifts the gun, to boost its fire support and anti-armour capabilities,” he added.