Monday, 19 October 2020 | PNS | new delhi
As the two sides prepare for the eighth round of Corps Commander level talks this week to defuse tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India is not letting its guard down. On Sunday, India test-fired its BrahMos supersonic missile from a ship as part of the drill to be operational ready. The past few weeks have seen India conducting a series of successful tests of various missiles to shore up its defence.
The latest test comes at a time when India and China are readying for the next round of talks to find ways to end the five-month-old logjam at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. In the last round on October 12, the two commanders in a joint statement said the “two sides had a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the LAC in the Western Sector of India-China border areas”.
They were of the view that these discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions. Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.
Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Incidentally, this was the second time the two Armies came out with a joint statement. In the first such communiqué after the sixth round of military level talks on September 21, both the countries agreed to refrain from sending more troops to the border and maintain peace.
Meanwhile, ramping up its preparedness, the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) on Sunday successfully test fired the naval version of the indigenously designed and manufactured Brahmos supersonic missile. The missile was fired from the indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Chennai in the Arabian Sea.
The missile hit the target with pin-point accuracy after performing “extremely complex” manoeuvres, officials said. “BrahMos as ‘prime strike weapon’ will ensure the warship’s invincibility by engaging naval surface targets at long ranges, thus making the destroyer another lethal platform of Indian Navy,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The missile is jointly produced by Russia and India and can be launched from land, sea, underwater and air and has already joined the Army and Navy. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO and the Indian Navy for the “successful” test-firing of the missile.
The chief of DRDO G Satheesh Reddy too congratulated the scientists and all personnel involved in the test-firing of the missile which he said will add to the capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces in many ways. Incidentally, a new version of the Brahmos surface-to-surface missile was successfully test fired a few weeks ago. It can hit a target at more than 400 kms.
Since the stand-offs started in early May this year at the LAC and China bolstered its troop strength besides deploying missiles in the Tibet region, India too has deployed some batteries of the Brahmos, Nirbhay and Akash missiles.
Stepping up the momentum of readiness, the DRDO in the last one month also tested Rudram -1. Also, the laser guided anti-tank guided missile and nuclear capable hypersonic missile ‘Shaurya,’ were test fired. The successful test firing of Rudram-1 was seen as a major milestone as it is India’s first indigenously developed anti-radiation weapon.
Among other missiles tested, India joined the elite league of nations including US, Russia and China when it achieved success in indigenously developing hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV), which is essential to power cruise missiles and long-range missile systems. It can travel at more than three times the speed of sound.
Besides testing the new version of nuclear-capable Shaurya missile off Odisha coast, scientists also successfully tested the Nirbhay missile which has a range of 800 km.