Even though both the sides have agreed not to send more troops to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, India is not willing to take any chances and will wait for the Chinese to first begin the withdrawal from the stand-off sites before thinning out its own troops. This even as India has carried out a succession of tests of missiles in the last few weeks and minced no words in its posturing against China, which is a new assertive trait.

The real intent of the Chinese will come to the fore in the seventh round of Corps Commander level talks scheduled for October 12. In the sixth round on September 21, both the commanders agreed not to send more troops to the LAC as a confidence building measures.

While relative calm prevails at the LAC since external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on September 10 and the Corps Commander level parleys, the Indian security establishment is watching the situation closely, sources said here on Wednesday.

There is no question of pulling out additional troops now deployed in the depth areas since the stand-offs began in mid May till the Chinese take the first step and pull back, officials said. Making it clear that there is a big trust deficit, they also said the forces are geared to meet any challenge.

Not letting its guard down, at least four missile tests were conducted in the past few weeks including the 700-km-range Shaurya missile. Capable of carrying 200 to 1,000 kg nuclear payload, it is the land version of submarine launched K-15 missile. Both the missiles are developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The important breakthrough in a test off Balasore in Odisha comes as India has already deployed its Brahmos supersonic cruise missile besides Nirbhay and Akash missiles at strategic locations close to the LAC. The preventive move came after China positioned its strategic missiles in the Tibet region in the last few weeks besides enhancing its troop strength and fighter jet fleet in the volatile region.

Officials rate Shaurya as one of the top 10 missiles in the world in its class with its high performance navigation and guidance systems, efficient propulsion systems, sophisticated control technologies and canisterised launch.

The missile can be launched from silos and canisters mounted on a truck and fixed on the ground, they said adding that it can be easily moved around. A truck itself can become a launching platform. Moreover, these missiles are difficult to be tracked by enemy satellites.

Keeping up the tempo of tests, scientists some weeks back successfully tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator (HSTDV). The capability has now placed India the elite category of nations having this capability. The US, Russia and China are other countries having these capabilities. The HSTDV gives India the flexibility of develop missile travelling at speed three to four times more than sound.

The indigenously designed and manufactured Brahmos supersonic cruise missile got a major boost after the successful test of its extended range system.

Now, these missiles with most of its components manufactured within the country can hit a target at more than 400 kms. The other important test included the supersonic missile assisted release of torpedo that targets submarines.

Sources said some more tests are in the offing like Nirbhay cruise missile with a range of nearly 800 km. A limited number of them are already deployed along with Akash and Brahmos at critical sites near the LAC.