The Indian Navy has been closely monitoring the movement of a Chinese research vessel since it entered the Indian Ocean, defense sources told ANI an hour after a report said Beijing sent a spy ship ahead of a planned missile test by India.
The development came months after the ballistic missile and satellite tracking vessel “Yuan Wang 5”
docked at the southern port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka amid security concerns signaled by India and the US.
The latest Chinese spy ship to be deployed near the Indian border is in the same class as the previous one and is designed to track missile tests and the movement of satellites, according to a report by NDTV.
The high-tech research vessel has crossed the Indian Ocean and is sailing off the coast of Bali, as indicated by MarineTraffic, the report said.
It also states that India has reportedly issued a Notice to Pilots (NOTAM) for the test of a missile test. Satellite images used by geo-intelligence expert Damien Symon in a tweet said India has issued a notice for a no-fly zone over the Bay of Bengal, pointing to an imminent missile test. The missile, with a range of 2,200 km, is likely to be launched between 10 and 11 November from Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
Start window | Nov 10 – 11, 2022 pic.twitter.com/XqXVR2j9Y3
— Damien Symon (@detresfa_) October 22, 2022
The report said China may be using the ship to monitor the missile test and obtain vital information about its capabilities, such as its trajectory, speed, range and accuracy.
India has raised national security concerns with Sri Lanka over the ship’s presence in the vicinity and the possibility that the ship’s tracking systems may try to snoop on Indian defense installations while it is en route to the Sri Lankan port.
While China insisted the ship is being used for scientific research, the US Department of Defense said the ship is commanded by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and capable of tracking satellites and missile launches.
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