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Army to set up South-West Command

February 03, 2005 19:24 IST

Army has commenced using dedicated satellite imaging to boost command and control of battlefields and initiated moves to carve out a new South-Western Army Command to boost defences on the western border with Pakistan.

"The formation of the new army command has been cleared by the government and it will be operational in the next three months to guard the frontier west of the Chenab in Jammu & Kashmir and the major chunk of western border east of Amritsar [Images]," Army Chief J J Singh said in an interview to PTI in Delhi [Images] on Thursday.

The command, which will defend India's vulnerable areas of Chicken Neck, the Shakargarh bulge facing Sialkot and areas of east of Amritsar, will have defensive as well as offensive formations. For this purpose a new corps is being raised, he said.

Elaborating extensively on the army's modernisation programme, Singh said besides using dedicated Indian satellites, moves were afoot to induct supersonic Indo-Russian cruise missile BrahMos in its surface-to-surface role.

He also said the army was uprading its 155 mm artillery guns to to a higher calibre to give them a longer range.

The Israeli Soltam and Swedish Bofors are among those in contention for the deal.

India is to procure 400 of these 155 mm guns of .52 calibre.

Singh said, "Army would go by the fair trial of guns in demanding conditions."

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