SOURCE: HIMANSU SWAIN / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
It was a serious concern for Indian military top brass since MMRCA fall out & the decade long deal was cancelled with a conclusion of buying only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 215 (126 + 89 follow on order). The decision made everyone upset leaving with a doubt at IAF air superiority in the region. As the Migs are getting obsolete, there is an urgent need of around 400 fighter planes for Indian air force to get combat ready for two front scenarios. Currently India is facing shortage of modern fighter aircrafts.
However, it’s sure that Pakistanis wouldn’t be able to pose a threat on india while Chinese dragon may pose something which we should be aware of.
But the fact of the matter is Chinese aren’t so lucky like American & Russian who enjoys both numerical & Technological superiority in the world. PLAAF is facing many serious problems now-a-days & those problems may be turned into a headache for Chinese in future even more worse than IAF. Despite having a Manufacturing ground, China is heading towards a very tricky situation while having multi-border disputes with 18 nations.
The Chinese air force comprises a strength of 1500 fighter planes, of which 700 planes comes under 4th gen category leaving rest 800 3rd gen aircrafts. China has a big flock of nearly 700 Chengdu J-7 & 100 Nanchang Q-5. These 3rd gen outdated aircrafts may lead Chinese to panic during any confrontation with other powerful Air forces. The rest 700 Aircrafts includes mostly Chinese copies of Russian fighters including 180 Sukhoi-30MKK, SU-27 & SU-35S.They are also showing doubts over their J-20 capability in buying 24 SU-35S. So, the question is raised, why a country would order a 4th gen fighter instead of having 5th gen fighter in their inventory. Another factor is, not a single Chinese fighter is battle & combat proven. Even china producing cheapest fighters in their pockets, nobody is interested to buy their planes.
Now coming back to IAF, a strength of 850 aircrafts, out of which only 360 aircrafts are 4th gen while rest are of 3rd gen. The upgraded MIG-21Bison may have a vis-à-vis mode with Chinese J-10 in many aspects but the ageing MIG-21MF & MIG-27FL are putting Indian Air Force in a dangerous scenario. these two planes are no longer combat capable & prone to accidents. So, you can say, this is an Emergency for IAF & an urgent need of 400 modern fighter aircrafts.
On other side Japanese Air Force has 300 modern fighter planes & Vietnamese having 75 Aircrafts (35 SU-30MK2). So now it’s a phase where Chinese 700 fighter has to deal with opponents’ 735 fighters (India+ Japan+ Vietnam) excluding USA Air Support. So, china would dare to turn its fighters from eastern & southern china to western china where it leads to confront Stronger Indian Air Force.
Otherwise, china will lose its South china sea & north-eastern territories by NATO forces. The Tibet Region well hostile to Chinese forces, with rough mountain terrains; Chinese forces may face a huge blow If IAF attacks their long supply line connected to mainland china & the reinforcement won’t be possible in a short period of time. Chinese also understand the superiorly of SU-30MKI over their own SUKHOI versions & along with BRAHMOS, they won’t be able to say GOOD BYE properly.
So, in current scenario, Indian Air Force enjoys technological superiority over their Chinese counterpart. But we need to be get Prepared. The aircraft deals are needed to be on FastTrack so that no delays would be hampered IAF operational readiness. So, it’s all what everybody want…
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