Amidst the ongoing 8-month long military standoff with China, the Indian Army has ordered 12 high-performance patrol boats to enhance its surveillance of high-altitude water bodies including the Pangong Tso Lake in Eastern Ladakh.
According to a report by Hindustan, the contract which is the first defence contract of the year, has been signed with the Goa Shipyard.
The Army said that it has inked this contract with M/s Goa Shipyard Limited and the delivery of these high performance boats would commence from May 21.
According to experts quoted in the report, the Army needed such powerful and sophisticated patrol boats to match the Chinese.
Former Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General BS Jaswal (retd) referred to instances of the Chinese PEople's Liberation Army (PLA) operating their boats at high speeds, creating big waves and pushing the lighter Indian patrol boats.
The report pointed out that India has been consistent in its demand for restoring the status-quo of early April and has been asking for disengagement at all flash points. The Chinese side, however, wants Indian troops to be first pulled back from the strategic areas of the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
With eight rounds of military talks so far and with dates yet to be announced for the delayed ninth round of dialogue between corps commander-ranked officers, the situation in the region continues to be tense and sensitive as the armies at the border have not disengaged fully yet.
According to the Hindustan Times report, the Indian Army now controls the key strategic areas on the southern bank; in a stealthy midnight move on August 29, it occupied the key regions and prevented the PLA from grabbing the Indian territory there.