China has just moved 6 Type-928D assault boats to the lake. These are manufactured by Changzhou FRD Shipyard. Each boat can carry ten soldiers with his weapons and ammunition.
It is an additional reason for concern for the Indian troops in the area. The Type-928D boats are close to the Line of Actual Controlbut of course, during the winter months, part of the lake freezes over.
Even as the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army are talking about disengagement, China is building up in the Pangong lake.
The Chinese also have the larger Swedish made armed CB-90 assault boats that can take 20 soldiers along with a three-member crew.
The question is, of course: why to deploy them now. This is at a time when India is facing 50-60,000 Chinese soldiers, 300-400 tanks, artillery and air-defence weapons along the LAC.
The extreme cold weather clothing will help the Indian Army troops to get through the harsh winters in the Ladakh sector.
The Indian side has deployed two additional divisions on the LAC that have been brought to the sector from plains and a mountain division which has been training for high-altitude operations for many years.
India’s readiness to sustain the enhanced troop deployment of nearly 50,000 in Ladakh amid the seven-month-long military tussle in harsh winters at heights more than 14,000 feet has prompted China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to procure high-altitude gear and clothing at the eleventh hour.
Not expecting India to continue occupying heights in the peak winter at friction points where temperatures have already started to dip below minus 20 degrees, the Chinese army was caught unawares and brought in additional logistics last month to match the Indian deployment.
It appears the Chinese soldiers are not being able to withstand the harsh winters of the eastern Ladakh sector as they are being rotated on a daily basis at the forward positions, whereas Indian troops are staying for longer periods at the same locations.