Over the next four years, a total of 41 sets, valued at Rs 2,585 Crores, will be progressively inducted. It is a mechanically launched single-span, fully decked 46-meter assault bridge, enabling the Army to overcome obstacles such as canals and ditches with ease.
The Indian Army has for the first time deployed the rare double humped camels to carry critical load to the forward positions and mounted patrolling in the sandy terrain of the Eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops have engaged in an intense standoff since June 2020.
The Northern Command of the Indian Army, which guards the Lina of Actual Control (LAC) with China and also the Line of Control (LOC) with Pakistan, said on Monday that the Bacterian (Double Humped) camels have been deployed in Eastern Ladakh.
The Northern Command wrote on X: “Bacterian (Double Humped) camels are deployed in Eastern Ladakh as an innovative means for last mile delivery of critical load and mounted patrolling in sandy terrain of plateau.
“The utilisation of camels, generated employment for Awam, also paved the way for conservation of fast dwindling population of double humped camels in Ladakh”.
It is worth mentioning that the double-humped camel, a native to the cold desert regions, has been found most suited for carrying Army’s essential items and Infantry’s paraphernalia to high altitudes of Ladakh. Moreover, it can carry five times more load than the local ponies of Ladakh that the Indian Army has been using for transporting essential items to the inhospitable heights.
Before inducting the Bacterians for carrying military loads, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Leh conducted research on the double humped camels and found these can carry a load of about 170 kilograms at a height of 17,000 in the Eastern Ladakh region.
The Indian Army had last year for the first time launched a pilot project to introduce the double humped camels for patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. And check intrusion in Ladakh. The concerned wing of the Army had acquired four double humped camels for training them and their number has increased with the birth of more calves. Two single humped camels were also acquired by the Army from Bikaner to check their utility.
The number of double-humped camels has considerably declined in Ladakh where a good number of these camels would be seen on the streets of Leh a couple of years ago, but due to urbanisation and modern means of transportation reaching there the camels were shifted to the Nubra Valley.
However, the Army has trained the double-humped camel not only to patrol the LAC but also carry heavy loads of ammunition, rations and other supplies in the inhospitable terrain. The double humped camel can survive even in the harsh winter when the temperature dips to minus-40 degrees Celsius in many areas of Ladakh.
The largest population of such camels is in the Hunder village followed by Sumoor, Diskit and Tigger where these have become a tourist attraction.
The species is a native of the Gobi desert spread across Mongolia, China, Kazakhistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and also parts of Afghanistan.