NEW DELHI: India’s strategic establishment has taken note of two recent defence manoeuvers by China which have a potential of threatening Indian interests in the region: one, the extension of operational radius by the Chinese Navy in South China Sea; and second, the Chinese Air Force in Tibet marked the Chinese New Year by “confrontation drills”. Sources said the Prime Minister’s Office has been given a detailed report by agencies concerned in this regard.
The Chinese Navy’s South China Sea Fleet’s aviation regiment has increased its operational radius from hundreds to thousands of kilometers. The aviation regiment has decreased its low-flight altitude to 50 metres from 100 meters and has also extended its penetration time to 26 minutes. The regiment has also enhanced its capabilities of conducting actual combat during night. It was stated that the reason for enhancing the combat capabilities was the demands of future actual combat. It was also highlighted that the regiment has also conducted confrontation training in complicated electromagnetic environment. In other development, China’s PLA Air Force (PLAAF) marked the Chinese New Year by conducting two-fighter confrontation drill with live ammunition in the Tibetan plateau on January 31, 2012. The drill involved J-10 fighter planes stationed at an air force base in Tibet.
The Chinese forces have engaged in yet another “confrontation drill” this time involving the Navy, also known as PLAN (PLA Navy). Chinese submarines of the North China Fleet conducted actual troop confrontation drill at an undisclosed location in early February. The drill was conducted to improve the combat power generation of these units. In coordination with surface vessels, the submarines carried out “attacking-defending confrontation” during the exercise. The fleet’s capability to function under emergency situations such as electronic interference, air raid by anti-submarine aircraft and breakage of submarines was also tested.