New Delhi: Against the backdrop of China strengthening its capability to airlift soldiers, India is planning to raise around 1,500 more airborne troops for deployment in the northeast along the China border.
Under the 12th Defence Plan, India is planning to raise two new battalions of the airborne troops with around 1,500 personnel under the elite Parachute Regiment of the Army, defence ministry sources told PTI here.
The new raisings would be apparently used to check any move by any adversary to airdrop their troops within Indian territory and capture that area, they said.
The new units would also be used for the conventional roles in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in that area and would also be capable of being dropped behind enemy lines in case of any future war, they said.
Recently, the Army raised the 11 Para (SF) that is being deployed under the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and 3 Corps in Dimapur which are two of the Army's main formations looking after the border with China in the northeast.
The Parachute Regiment has 10 units under it of which eight are special forces units while the rest are Para Commando units with capability of launching airborne operations.
Seven among them have already been trained and classified as special forces, which are supposed to carry out counter-insurgency operations during peacetime and sabotage enemy installations beyond enemy lines during wars.
They are deployed in different sectors of the country and have also been given the responsibility to handle 26/11 type attacks near their area of deployment.
China in the recent past has significantly enhanced its capability to launch airborne operations and according to some reports, can air lift more than 3,500 soldiers for operational deployment in one go.