New Delhi: One of the world’s last remaining horse-mounted cavalry regiments may be riding into the sunset.
The Indian Army’s only mounted cavalry regiment is set to say goodbye to its horses, with the government approving a proposal to equip the 61st Cavalry with tanks, two senior officers said on condition of anonymity.
The famous 61st Cavalry is being converted into a regular armoured regiment on the basis of a recommendation made by the Lieutenant General DB Shekatkar (retd) committee in a report on sharpening the army’s combat edge and trimming its revenue expenditure, said one of the officers cited above.
The Jaipur-based 61st Cavalry is likely to be equipped with T-72 tanks, said the second officer cited above. “Three independent squadrons of other regiments are being amalgamated under the headquarters of the 61st Cavalry to form the new tank unit,” the officer added.
The regiment’s 300-odd horses (200 in Jaipur and around 100 with a squadron of 61st Cavalry in Delhi) will become part of a new equestrian node, he said.
Lieutenant General Shekatkar, who headed the 11-member expert committee named after him, said the recommendation to mechanise the 61st Cavalry was taken after scrutinising the track record of the unit.