Asia PacificExercises

China Conducts High-Altitude Drills Near India Border

The Chinese military has conducted a series of high-altitude drills near its border with India amid increasing tensions between the two countries, the South China Morning Post reported citing state broadcaster CCTV.

Held on the remote Tibetan Plateau, the joint exercises between the army and air force included soldiers based in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly showcased its most powerful howitzers, several air force bombers, a new 370mm multiple rocket launcher system, and several of its drones.

According to the Chinese military, the drill was held to test the capabilities of its soldiers and military equipment amid harsh winter conditions in difficult, high-altitude terrain.

In addition to military aircraft, the army demonstrated its light tanks in assault training on mountainous terrain.

H-6 bombers
H-6 bombers of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Photo: AFP

Alleged Response to India

The high-altitude drills came on the heels of a three-day high-altitude airborne exercise in Eastern Ladakh held by the Indian Army.

India displayed the skills of its paratroopers dropping in at an altitude of 4,000 meters (2.4 miles) minus 20-degree Celsius (-4°F) weather conditions. The drill also reportedly included the dropping of missile detachments and specialist vehicles at altitudes of over 14,000 feet (4,267 meters).

“Pre-acclimatized troops along with specialist vehicles and missile detachments were transported via C-130 and AN 32 aircraft from five different mounting bases to validate inter-theatre move, precision stand-off drops, and rapid grouping and capture of designated objectives with speed and surprise,” Indian military sources told The Economic Times.

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