While the nation is closely following the ongoing India China standoff in Ladakh the DRDO has silently pulled up a coup that can now be considered akin to a psychological surgical strike in the mind of the Chinese leadership and PLA generals. For those who follow China closely will always notice the emphasis China places on projecting the invincible image of its armed forces. This goes according to an age-old saying from the creator of the famous book “Art of War” Sun Tzu who had said that “To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”.
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The Chinese Communist Party and PLA have followed the advice of Sun Tzu and have created an aura of invincibility for an army whose last declared war was against the Japanese in World War II. Yes, the Korean War was clandestine support of PLA and in the 1962 Sino India War, neither India nor China officially declared war. The PLA battle worthiness was tested in Vietnam in 1979 where seasoned Vietnamese Army inflicted colossal causalities on Chinese Forces which led to Chinese face-saving withdrawal.
It was only after 2000 the propaganda machinery started creating this invincible image which relied part on stolen technology as Chinese Forces started brandishing cutting edge weapons and platform which like PLA are yet to be battle-tested. The key to this invincible image is painting a false technological and numerical superiority against potential adversaries who unlike PLA do not broadcast their massive military exercises or new weapons tests to media. PLA often gets insecure when its potential adversaries get any new weapons systems to be it sale of F-16s to Taiwan, Japan inducting new F-35 stealth fighters, or India receiving new Dassault Rafale jets. On every occasion, Chinese propaganda websites including Global Times have spent hours explaining how PLA equipment is still superior to these new weapons systems.
However, the recent military standoff has dented Chinese invincibility as India not only stopped PLA aggression but gave a bloody nose to the Chinese Army at Galwan by killing around 35-40 PLA soldiers, a number which is yet to be officially acknowledged. If that was not enough, the Indian Army preemptive strike on 29-30 Aug came as shock to the Chinese as India’s secretive Special Frontier Force (SFF) captured dominating ridgelines. This led to a stalemate that placed India at a much more advantageous position than the Chinese side who have now at least started accepting the need for dialogues.
As troops from both sides dug trenches for long and icy winter in Ladakh, the Indian government unleashed a psychological surgical strike in form of continuous test of new weapons by DRDO creating a never seen before coverage in both national and international media that was aimed at China as even Pakistani media understood that this time Pakistani threat is not even in considerations.
DRDO started its psychological offensive with an earth-shattering test flight of HSTDV on 07 September 2020 which demonstrated Indian capability to develop hypersonic weapons which immediately achieved parity with China in that field. This hypersonic test garnered praise than criticism from global media less of course China.
On 01 October 2020, the next on the block was a relatedly low profile yet the significant test of barrel launched a laser-guided anti-tank missile from the Arjun tank. This test followed by a rare DRDO statement that this missile can be fired from T-90 Bhishma and T-72 Ajeya tanks which are by no mistake is deployed on LAC in Ladakh delivering a clear message to the Chinese side.
On 30 September 2020, DRDO tested a new version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which has extended the range of this formidable missile from existing 290 kilometers to beyond 400 kilometers. The land version of BrahMos has been specially designed to work in high mountains and a few years back Indian decision to deploy BrahMos missile in North Eastern India drew sharp Chinese criticism.
On 03 October 2020, DRDO successfully test-fired Shaurya missile with more than 1000-kilometer range. Nuclear capable Shaurya missile is considered a hybrid missile as despite being a ballistic missile it can fly in a flatter trajectory at hypersonic speed making it near impossible to detect. Immediately after the test, New Delhi approved an early induction of the Shaurya missile in Indian Armed forces and subsequent deployment in Ladakh facing China.
On 05 October 2020, DRDO tested a never seen before naval weapon SMART which stands for Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo that can target Chinese submarines 600 kilometer away. SMART will be very effective in overcoming the threat of Chinese nuclear submarines in the Indian Ocean.
Finally, on 09 October 2020, the Indian Air Force launched a new generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM) or RUDRAM missile with a 100 to the 250-kilometre range. Rudram missile has been specially designed to destroy enemy radars and communication centers. DRDO statement on the Rudram missile test read ” The missile is a potent weapon for IAF for suppression of enemy air defence effectively from large stand-off ranges.” The only nation that has been enhancing air defence on Indian borders is China which has moved in new air defence equipment in Tibet.
Finally, Team Guarding India is sure that the DRDO testing spree is not going to stop at Rudram but will continue as DRDO has issued multiple danger notification for the “launch of experimental flight vehicles” till 15 November 2020. We expect test of Pranash tactical missile and Nirbhay long-range cruise missile that will further rattle China as this reply is in a language that China understands.