India has deployed its Russian-made T-90 tanks against Chinese forces in the disputed border region of Ladakh. But moving 45-ton tanks in a mountainous region with poor roads and bridges comes with its own challenges.
The Indian armor has been stationed at the desolate outpost of Daulet Beg Oldi, which lies at an altitude of 16,000 feet and features one of the world’s highest airfields. The outpost is a few miles from the Chinese border and just south of the strategic Karakoram pass, which India fears could be an invasion route for Chinese troops occupying the Aksai Chin area.
“With the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deploying close to 50,000 troops in Aksai Chin, the Indian Army for the first time has deployed a squadron (12) T-90 missile firing tanks, armored personnel carriers (APCs) and a full troop brigade (4,000 men) at Daulat Beg Oldi to prevent any Chinese aggression from the Shaksgam-Karakoram pass axis,” according to the Hindustan Times, citing top Indian military commanders.