Ahead of India's missile test, Chinese spy ship Yuan Wang-05 enters Indian Ocean Region

Team India Sentinels Wednesday 7th of December 2022 04:28 PM

Yuan Wang-05. (Photo via Twitter)

New Delhi: China’s spy ship Yuan Wang-05 has re-entered the Indian Ocean Region, maritime data revealed. According to the maritime vessel-tracking portal marinetraffic.com, Yuan Wang-5 entered the Indian Ocean Region through Sunda Strait off Indonesia late evening on December 4. The same ship was also in Sri Lankan waters in August.

This time, the ship, fitted with high-tech surveillance and tracking systems, entered the IOR at a time when India issued a “notice to airmen” (NOTAM) for a no-fly zone between December 15-16 over the Bay of Bengal for a possible projectile launch with maximum distance of 5,400 kilometres. Given the range, experts predict that the launch could be that of India’s intermediate-range ballistic missile Agni-5.

In August, when the ship entered the Sri Lankan waters, India had raised concern with Colombo at the diplomatic level over the docking of the ship at Hambantota port.

In November, another Yuan Wang-class ship, Yuan Wang-06, entered the IOR when India was about to test a missile system. India had to postpone the planned test at that time.

The Yuan Wang-class of tracking ships are used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles. They are operated by China’s People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.

It may be noted that during the Navy Day-Eve annual news conference on December 3, Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had stated that there were about 4–6 Chinese navy ships, some research vessels, and fishing vessels in the IOR. He also added that there were around 60-odd ships of “extra-regional forces”.

The Navy chief had also said that as a resident power the Indian Navy keeps track of them and ensure that they don’t indulge in “inimical activities”. 

China has built ports in the India’s neighbourhood in the IOR, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Pakistan. It has also built a military base, which is now operational, in Africa’s Djibouti.

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