Indian Army has initiated a three-day airborne exercise in eastern Ladakh in a bid to assess its rapid response capabilities.

This comes as India’s ongoing stand-off with the Chinese forces in the region remains unresolved.

On the first day of the military drill, paratroopers from an airborne brigade called Shatrujeet were inserted to a high altitude drop zone, reported the Hindustan Times quoting officials familiar with the exercise.

The drop at more than 14,000ft took place at temperatures of around -20°C.

An official was quoted by the publication as saying: “Acclimatised troops, along with specialist vehicles and missile detachments, were transported (to the exercise area) via US-origin C-130J special operations aircraft and Soviet-origin AN-32 medium transport planes from five different mounting bases to validate inter-theatre move, precision drops and capture of designated objectives.”

Other aspects of the exercise are integrated battle drills by airborne forces, oxygen combat free fall jumps as well as other manoeuvres to validate capabilities.

India and China are engaged in a military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh for nearly 18 months.

The armed forces of both countries maintain a high military presence along the border. However, the two sides have disengaged from some friction points following commander-level talks.

Last month, India tested surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V. The intercontinental missile is capable of hitting targets located up to 5,000km away.

During the test, the missile was launched from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha.