Has India Finally Acknowledged That Chinese PLA Used Microwave Weapons Against Indian Soldiers In Ladakh?

Looks like India has finally acknowledged the use of “microwave weapons” by the Chinese PLA in Ladakh. The Indian Ministry of Defense in its year-end review has mentioned the use of “unorthodox weapons” by the People’s Liberation Army along the LAC, where the two militaries are locked in a standoff.

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“Indian Army has maintained all protocols and agreements between the two countries while the PLA escalated the situation by utilization of unorthodox weapons and amassing a large number of troops,” reads the document.

The year-end review for 2020 mentions unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force in more than one area on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). However, it doesn’t elaborate on what type of “unorthodox weapons” the PLA had used.

India and China have been locked in a border stand-off in the Eastern Ladakh region since May 2020. As many as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on June 15. The defense ministry’s review claims “Chinese also suffered significant casualties”.

Chinese Claims 

As reported earlier by The EurAsian Times, comments made by Jin Canrong, Deputy Dean of the School of International Relations at the Renmin University of China, had created a huge controversy in November 2020.

(Photo sourced from eng.chinamil.com.cn)

He had claimed on a TV program that PLA soldiers had used directed energy weapons (laser weapons) against Indian soldiers during the skirmishes at the Ladakh border.

He had said the Chinese military “made innovative use of high-power microwave weapons” to attack Indian soldiers in control of the higher positions at Pangong Tso.

Jin had claimed that China had used the weapons in August to recapture the strategic hilltops which were occupied by the Indian Army troops on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso in Ladakh.

Indian soldiers had on August 29 captured strategically-important heights in the Chushul sector, which provide a view to Spanggur Gap and the Chinese garrison at Moldo.

The professor said China recaptured the heights after turning the hilltops into a “microwave oven”. He said 15 minutes after the weapons were deployed, those occupying the hilltops all began to vomit.

However, the Indian Army had termed these claims as baseless and fake news. “Media articles on the employment of microwave weapons in Eastern Ladakh are baseless. The news is FAKE,” a tweet from the Indian Army had said.

What are Microwave Weapons?

Microwave weapons use highly focused energy in the form of a sonic, laser, or microwave to attack the target. These ‘direct energy weapons’ use a focused beam of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation to heat the water under the skin.

These weapons convert energy from a power source like a wall plug or the engine on a military vehicle into radiated electromagnetic energy and focus it on a target. As per Jin’s claim, microwave weapons deployed in Ladakh also used a similar mechanism to cause pain and discomfort to the Indian army personnel.

These weapons work like a microwave, in which electromagnetic waves from electron tubes are absorbed by the food. These microwaves are targeted at the water in the food, which produces heat to cook the food.

As per the media reports, several countries have developed such weapons but China had made its microwave weapon Poly WB-1 public in 2014 during an air show. The US has also developed a similar weapon called Active Denial System, the first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with a range greater than other non-lethal weapons.

In December 2020, there were reports suggesting that US embassy staff and CIA officers in Cuba, China, Russia, and other countries were targets of high-power microwaves. Such high-power weapons are often used to disable electronic equipment.

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