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IMAGE CREDIT Damien Symon @detresfa_

A Chinese research vessel, the Xiang Yang Hong 01, has been spotted entering the Bay of Bengal region, according to maritime data. This comes just days before India’s planned missile tests off its eastern coast.

This is the second such vessel to enter waters near India in recent weeks, raising eyebrows. India is reportedly scheduled to test two nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the K4 submarine-launched and Agni-V land-based variants, between March 11th and 16th. The exact date may vary depending on various factors.

Maritime tracking service Marine Traffic shows the Xiang Yang Hong 01 departed from the Chinese port of Qingdao on February 23rd, 2024. Open-source intelligence expert Damien Symon first brought attention to the vessel’s presence in the Bay of Bengal on a social media platform.