China threat? India deploys 6 Akash missiles in Northeast

Amid growing concerns in India over Chinese assertive postures and its burgeoning military machinery, India has deployed six surface-to-air squadrons in its northeast region in a bid to counter the growing Chinese military presence there.

According to a report in The Times of India, six Akash missiles have been deployed in the region to take on any Chinese jets, helicopters and drones making its way into Indian Territory. The missiles are meant to achieve “meaningful and credible deterrence” against China on the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Ahead of this recent deployment, the government also sent two Sukhoi-30MKI fighters at Tezpur and Chabua in the eastern sector of the LAC, while additional Sukhoi squads have been deployed in the middle LAC sector.

Akash missiles, developed by India’s only defence research establishment Defence Research Development Organisation, has the capability to neutralise multiple targets in a 25-km interception range in all-weather conditions.

These deployments are meant to address enhanced Chinese military presence in the region. According to the reports, China has the capability –and intention — to deploy 21 fighter squadrons against India with its eight operational airbases in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Given China’s impressive rail and road networks in the region, it is estimated that it has three times the numerical advantage against Indian forces in the region.