AS the unsolved India-China border dispute brews tensions, new media reports allege that China is sending machine gun-wielding robots to the frontier to exacerbate the situation.
According to Indian media reports, dozens of autonomous vehicles capable of transporting both weapons and supplies are being dispatched to Tibet, with the bulk being deployed in border regions where Chinese troops are engaged in a standoff with Indian troops.
The Sharp Claw, which can be handled wirelessly and is armed with a light machinegun, and the Mule-200, which is meant as an unmanned delivery truck but can also be equipped with weaponry, are two examples of vehicles.
China is now supplying troops with MUL-200 unmanned vehicles, while also giving guns to its military.
Around 120-200 mules have also been dispatched to Tibet, the majority of which will be stationed near the border.
China has also provided 70 VP-22 armoured military vehicles to supplement the unmanned vehicles.
Seventy-seven of these are in border areas. A total of 150 Lynx all-terrain vehicles have been dispatched to the border. The Lynx is employed by a wide range of armies and is frequently utilised to carry troops.
It is also used to deploy a variety of armament systems, such as howitzers, heavy machine guns, mortars, and missile launchers.
The region, which is exceedingly arid, remote, and mainly inhospitable, has little practical use beyond a few commerce routes that crisscross its deserts, but it carries symbolic significance for both parties eager to demonstrate supremacy.
Tensions rose in 2020 as Chinese and Indian troops engaged in hand-to-hand combat, with many dead in clashes fought with melee weapons such as nail-studded clubs.■