India to Move Its Air Defence Systems Closer to Pakistan Border – Report
17:52 14.05.2019(updated 18:26 14.05.2019)
Last month, Pakistan reportedly deployed medium-range LY-80/HQ-16 air defence systems near border bases to prevent any fresh intrusions by the Indian Air Force.
New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid simmering tensions between India and Pakistan, the Indian Army is planning to move its air defence units closer to the border with Pakistan in a bid to thwart any aerial threat from the other side in the near future.
The decision was taken to move air defence units to forward areas after intense assessment of the threat posed by Pakistan.
"Some of the fighting formations, including air defence and other defensive formations, are now planned to be moved closer to the borders. With these air defence units deployed closer to the border, we would be able to tackle any possible aerial strike from enemy side and thwart it close to the border itself", Indian news agency ANI quoted a top army official as saying on Tuesday.
Air defence assets of the Indian Army include the indigenous Akash air defence missile systems, along with the Russian Kvadrat and other older legacy systems.
Both the nuclear-armed nations have been on high alert since mid-February after 40 Indian security personnel were killed in a suicide bombing carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian Air Force launched an aerial strike on 26 February and reportedly destroyed terror camps in the Balakot area in Pakistan. The following day, Pakistan retaliated with a number of fighter jets and reportedly shot down an Indian aircraft and captured the pilot.
Besides surface to air missile systems, Islamabad has reportedly also deployed additional Chinese-made Rainbow CH-4 and CH-5 drones, for surveillance.
According to reports, Pakistan is in talks with Russia for the procurement of missiles and air-defence systems.
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