#DefenseDiaries: China building cutting-edge rockets for deployment on Indian border?
According to state media, China is building cutting-edge rockets for artillery that can be used in high altitude locations to destroy enemies from hundreds of kilometres away. The rockets will be propelled by "electromagnetic catapult" technology and might be deployed in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. While the report didn't name India specifically, it's pretty evident the systems are being built, keeping India in mind.
State media called the technology "unprecedented", and noted its several advantages over conventional artillery that uses explosive powder. In high altitude locations, conventional artillery might suffer from a lack of oxygen. Electromagnetic catapult technology, however, bypasses this problem, and will give the People's Liberation Army (PLA) the ability to destroy enemy forces from at least 200km away in mountainous and plateau areas.
Notably, this isn't China's first use of electromagnetic technology. China has already reportedly developed an electromagnetic railgun that can fire projectiles at incredible destructive velocities. The weapon is set to be mounted on China's first domestically developed 10,000-ton class missile destroyer 055 in the near future. In addition, China is also looking to use the electromagnetic catapult system on its future aircraft carriers.
China's recent 73-day stand-off with Indian forces at the Doklam plateau pretty clearly indicates the artillery system's intended use. The stand-off had seen China repeatedly threaten retaliation against Indian forces, who had taken up the position to prevent the construction of strategic road in a region controlled by Beijing, but claimed by Thimphu. The technology allows China unprecedented capabilities in such high-altitude situations.