Tensions between China and India have intensified after the Indian Navy released footage of a new military drill. In the video, an anti-ship missile obliterates a decomissioned frigate somewhere in the Arabian Sea. The video, posted on Twitter, was accompanied with a claim: “Strike First. Strike Hard.”
India is understood to have used the latest drill to send a strong signal to China, demonstrating the country’s “combat readiness” in the Indian Ocean where it is challenged by Beijing.
The video shows the warship Prabal corvette sinking an old, decommissioned frigate with a KH-35 Uran anti-ship missile launched at maximum range “with deadly accuracy”.
India has ramped up its war-readiness in recent weeks, such as testing the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and Abhyas high-speed expendable aerial target.
They have also tested the Shaurya strategic missile, Nag anti-tank guided missile, and the Rudram-1 anti-radiation missile system.
In total, India has test fired a dozen missiles in just 45 days.
While it did not mention China by name, India’s Ministry of Defense stressed that given the “prevailing security situation” the Indian navy “would continue maintaining a high-tempo of operations in coming months”.
The Indian media has portrayed these latest tests as a warning to Beijing amid an ongoing border dispute with China.
The relationship between China and India worsened after tensions flared up earlier this year at the disputed border, known as the Line of Actual Control, in the Himalayan region.
Earlier this week, Beijing issued its own military warning after firing “dozens of missiles” in a terrifying two-day exercise.
An official Chinese outlet said air-to-air missiles were launched during a two-day military exercise on Hainan Island this week.
The drill took place in the South China Sea and was organised by the naval force of the Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army.
China claims it has a historic right of ownership to almost the entire South China Sea, despite a 2016 international arbitration ruling saying Beijing’s claim had no legal basis under international law.