Hetian is only 260 kilometers from India- Kashmir. Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language magazine based in Canada, said the radar vehicles of HQ-9 air defense missiles have recently been seen at the base and assessed that they are there to defend China's western border from a potential air strike launched by the Indian Air Force.
Hetian airfield is the staging base of the PLA Air Force's 37th Air Division, from where the unit's JH-7A fighter bombers can carry out airstrikes against targets in India. As such, it is likely to be a target for the Indian Air Force in the event of a war.
Kanwa also said the PLA Air Force made another decision in late June to send another air defense brigade from the Guangzhou Military Region to the Gobi desert.