According to reports, India had moved its premier T-90 battle tanks to eastern Ladakh in late June in the aftermath of the Galwan clash between Indian soldiers and Chinese troops even as India and Chinese commanders began their long drawn talks to disengage along the LAC.
The Russian-built T-90 Bhishma tanks were acquired by India in 2001. India has already been boosting its T-90 tank capacity for several years keeping in mind the growing security risk along the LAC.
The month of July marked a pivotal time in which the Indian army was able to move the tanks to the Line of Actual Control putting its best military firepower at the head of its defensive and offensive capabilities to take on the PLA.
Bhishma's thermal imaging technology
India had earlier reportedly made an assessment for up to eight T-90 tank regiments for the LAC with the total number of T90 and its variants going up to at least 4,500, this backed by India's infantry forces, the Army packs a punch against PLA's ground forces at the border.
The tanks have been further boosted by thermal imaging technology giving it an edge during night-time operations which is considered crucial in the era of 24x7 planning and execution and since the Indian army occupies dominant positions along the LAC at the present moment, the sophisticated battle tanks allow the Indian Army to maintain its edge over the PLA.
T90 wargames at Stanka in Leh
India has moved rapidly to beef up the T90s with India's defence ministry signing a deal with Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) for mine ploughs (MP). The deal worth Rs 557 crores will help the tank to clear minefields as Indian troops move up along the LAC.
The Indian Army conducted wargames during defence minister Rajnath Singh's visit at Stanka in Leh with the T-90 taking part in the exercises in full throttle.
India's first T-90s Bhishma tank
India's first T-90s Bhisma tank was rolled out of the assembly line from the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory (HFV) on 7 January 2004.
T90s guard the Spanggur pass at Chuasal
India has been moving its T20 tank divisions along the newly built roads, and also ferring them through the air, reports claim.
The T-90 tanks played a crucial role during the confrontation on August 29 as the Bishma's were set out to guard the strategic Spanggur pass at Chuasal.
Reinforcing the T90s at LAC
India has been quite openly reinforcing the T90s in its arsenal.
Last year, the defence ministry moved to induct more upgraded Russian built- Bishma's at the cost of $2 billion. According to reports, the T-90s will be upgraded between 2022-26 enhancing India's capability in the high Himalayas.
China's Type-15 lightweight tanks at Galwan
China has deployed its Type-15 lightweight tanks which has been conducting military drills in the plateau region. The tank has 105-millimetre shells and is reportedly meant for mountainous terrain.
The Type-15 is equipped with chemical and nuclear protection and is reportedly easy to airlifted due to its light weight. India rapidly moved its T90 tanks divisions after China fortified its presence in Galwan area during the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers.
T90 divisions strategically placed
China had deployed its latest tank two years ago and showcased it last year during the national day parade.
However, India has used its T90 divisions strategically and placed them in vulnerable points and along with its infantry has pushed back the PLA as witnessed on August 29 when China made aggressive moves in the Himalayas.