India to have fast patrol vessels to check China at Pangong lake

The 135-km long landlocked lake has been in news since May because of heightened tensions with China

The Army Commanders of two sides are meeting on Friday (April 9) for the first time since February.

As tension simmers on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the defence ministry has showed its readiness to deploy 12 indigenous fast patrol vessels with specialised capabilities to counter Chinese boats in the Pangong lake.

The Goa Shipyard will be asked to prioritise the construction of new vessels, ThePrint quoted defence and security establishments as saying.

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Usually, a shipyard takes about a year to construct a vessel, but Goa Shipyard, which won the contract recently, will be asked to speed up the construction work.

The new vessels are bigger and stronger than the vessels being used by the Army at present. The new vessels will have steel hulls, which can withstand the alleged Chinese tactics of ramming their vessels onto Indian boats. The ramming using big boats often damages Indian boats.

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The 135-km long Pangong Tso is a landlocked lake that lies partly in the Ladakh region and partly in Tibet. It has been in the news of late because of heightened tensions between India and China since May this year.

The lake’s northern bank juts forward like a palm, and the various protrusions are identified as “fingers” to demarcate territory. India asserts that the Line of Actual Control is at Finger 8, but China claims areas up to Finger 2 even though patrol by vehicles on land is only until Finger 4.