August 18, 2017
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Deep penetration
Challenges in tank warfare in mountains

The new challenge that India faces in tank warfare is deployment of these heavy platforms in the mountainous terrain north of the Himalayas on the Tibetan plateau. About a hundred T-72 main battle tanks have been deployed in the Uttar Pradesh segment of the Line of Actual Control to be able to gain experience of dealing with the peculiarities of high altitude rarefied atmosphere and the extreme cold simultaneously. India used six tanks to stop the Pakistani  advance into the Ladakh sector in 1948 but since then there was no coherent effort to establish a permanent presence for mechanized forces in the lunar landscape that lies on the Tibetan plateau.
 
There is much that has to be learned and understood in the context of the politico-military objectives of such a deployment. There is no room to redesign strategies and tactics once hostilities begin as happened in Kargil in 1999. In Kargil, in spite of being deployed in mountainous terrain since 1948 and the stark lesson in airpower employment in Afghanistan, the Indian Armed Forces were found groping to manage
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