Army’s mountain strike Corps to conduct exercise in Arunachal

It will coincide with the proposed visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping

Updated - September 12, 2019 10:24 am IST

Published - September 11, 2019 10:43 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Army is scheduled to conduct a major Exercise ‘HimVijay’ beginning October in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with its newly created Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) involving 15,000 troops, defence sources said on Wednesday.

The exercise will coincide with the proposed visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Panagarh based 17 Mountain Strike Corps will conduct Exercise HimVijay spread over a month and half with three newly created IBGs from October, the sources said.

The IBGs are part of overall force transformation initiated by Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat. They are brigade-sized agile self-sufficient combat formations which can swiftly launch strikes against adversary in case of hostilities.

“Each IBG will have about 5,000 troops,” the sources said. They would be backed by tanks and artillery for operations in the mountains. The IAF will airlift troops to the areas located over 10,000 feet. Over the years, it has strengthened its strategic airlift capabilities with the induction of C-130 and C-17 aircraft in addition to its Russian origin An-32 and IL-76 aircraft.

The concept of the IBG was war gamed and tested by the 9 Corps early this year. The Army is in the process of reorganising its major Corps into the IBGs. The number of IBGs had not been decided yet, sources said.

Each IBG is tailor made based on Threat, Terrain and Task and resources will be allotted based on the three T’s. They are tailored to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on their location.

Last November, the Army began inducting the M-777 Ultra Light Howitzers specially for high altitude areas and early this year the IAF began inducting Boeing Chinook CH-47F(I) heavy lift helicopters which can transport the M-777s. The Army has contracted for 145 guns and deliveries are slated to be completed by mid-2021 while all 15 Chinooks are scheduled to be delivered by March.

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