Next week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to visit Leh. He will review the security situation in the Ladakh region. Defence sources contend that Singh would visit forward bases as well. It is further speculated that the Daulat Beg Oldies and other areas on the Line of Actual Control are also on his radar. On one side is the Siachen-Kargil-Drass axis which borders Pakistan. Ladakh also shares a long border with China on the eastern side. After the passage of requisite legislation in both Houses of the Parliament in August, it is set to become a Union Territory from October 31.
This development comes at a juncture when the Indian Army has carried out a major exercise codenamed ‘Chang Thang’ in the high-altitude areas of Ladakh close to the China border. There has been a deployment of a large number of infantry troops along with frontline tank regiments during the exercise. Also, an armoured brigade has been deployed on the China border for many years. Since assuming the charge as Defence Minister, Singh has extensively travelled to various defence bases to know the working conditions of the troops.
A couple of weeks ago, the Defence Minister personally visited France to receive the first Rafale fighter jet. During this visit, he met his French counterpart and the French President Emmanuel Macron. After performing the Shastra Puja, he took a sortie in the Rafale aircraft. He contended that the addition of the fighter jet would strengthen India’s defence capability.
Taking a sortie in Rafale was a memorable and once in a lifetime experience. The induction of Rafale will go a long way in strengthening our national defence.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 8, 2019
India will receive the first 18 Rafale jets by February 2021. By April-May 2022 we will receive all 36 jets. pic.twitter.com/we4UeSwdG5