China tests air defense missile system near Indian border


Images of the tests, in the Karakoram high-altitude plateau region, were released on August 15

Images of the tests, in the Karakoram high-altitude plateau region, were released on August 15

Chinese state media broadcast what it said were tests of an updated short-range surface-to-air defense missile system carried out by the Xinjiang military command in the ‘Karakoram plateau region’. , near the Indian border.

Footage of the tests, in a high altitude region above 4,500m, was released on August 15 and “appeared to be HQ-17A air defense missiles, part of an integrated system that could fit in a single vehicle”, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed military observer as saying the “deterrence demonstration” may have been aimed at high-altitude exercises between India and the United States to be held in October. The live-fire exercise was broadcast on state-run China Central Television (CCTV) on the morning of August 15 as India marked the 75th anniversary of independence.

The CCTV report said the “new type of surface-to-air missile” hit a low-flying target aircraft. Yue Gang, a retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) colonel, told the Job the drills “involved a new type of HQ-17A short-range air defense missile, part of a system ordered by Xinjiang Command in May last year.” “Improvements have also been made to the performance of its search and radar tracking capability,” he said.

“Now the PLA is conducting high-profile shooting drills on set for the purpose of deterrence and countermeasures,” he added.

Chinese state media continued to highlight the PLA’s efforts to improve infrastructure along the western borders and especially in forward areas near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), even as ongoing talks between India and China to resolve the standoff along the LAC border appears to have reached an impasse.

So far, the PLA has shown little inclination to restore the status quo before its April 2020 transgressions, with talks yet to progress in the remaining friction zones in Hot Springs, Demchok and Depsang.


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