In a bid to beef up security across its borders, the Indian army has raised a new aviation brigade at Assam’s Missamari, close to Tezpur, in March 2021. The new brigade has been formed with the aim to improve surveillance along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector and to provide logistic support to the soldiers at the border.
The brigade is armed with Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Cheetah helicopters and Heron drones.
The three squadrons of the brigade are operating from the Missamari Army Aviation Base.
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While the chief function of the new brigade is to support the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) activities of the Army, it is also equipped to support the Army for other objectives.
Lt Col Amit Dadhwal said that the Corps of Army Aviation has evolved from simple-fixed wing aircraft to state-of-art equipment, including the ALH Weaponised System Integrated and Light Combat Helicopters.
He said, “These Rotary Wing platforms provide us and our leaders and commanders a plethora of capabilities so that we can achieve success in all kinds of operations.”
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The induction of the brigade comes when around 50,000 Indian troops are all set to clock in a bitter winter in the heights of eastern Ladakh with India and China despite several rounds of talks having failed to resolve the standoff between their militaries along the LAC.
China refused to vacate Patrolling Point 15 at Hot Springs during the 13th round of the top commanders’ meeting held earlier in October this year.
Army Chief General MM Naravane noted the infrastructure development of China along the LAC is a matter of concern, even when India match the deployment.
The Army Aviation Corps (ACC) was incepted on November 1, 1986 to provide logistical support to the Indian Army in inaccessible areas as well as help in combat, search, rescue operations, lifting of artillery, combat transportation, medical evacuation and military prisoner transportation among others. It draws its officers from all units of the Indian Army, especially from the artillery unit.
The Siachen Glacier has been the final frontier of the AAC.
The army, over the years, has strengthened the AAC by adding various aviation units. It currently operates Chetak, Cheetah, Lancer, ALH, Dhruv and ALH Weapon System Integrated Rudra.