Chinese military

Amid the ongoing tensions with China in Eastern Ladakh, the Panagarh (West Bengal)-based Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) is set to get its own artillery brigade, ThePrint has learnt. An artillery brigade is already attached to the Mountain Strike Corps’ only division but the new brigade will be attached to the Corps.

In military parlance, a division is typically constituted of three brigades, which usually consist of armoured, infantry and artillery units besides other elements. Two or more divisions then make up a corps.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said work has already started on raising the new artillery brigade, which will see larger deployment of the Ultra Light Howitzers besides other guns.

Although the grand plans of a full-fledged Mountain Strike Corps, which would have involved over 90,000 troops and expenditure of over Rs 64,000 crore across an eight-year period, was put on a back burner in 2016 due to budgetary constraints, the ongoing Ladakh conflict has shown how useful they can be, sources said.

The Mountain Strike Corps has only one division as of now. Sources, however, said there was no progress in the potential raising of another division, which is meant to be based in Pathankot.

The developments come even as the Army is reportedly looking at converting some of its fighting formations into dual-tasked ones, which would allow them to fight against both China and Pakistan.