Indian Air Force : Updates & Discussions

vstol Jockey

Professional
Dec 1, 2017
6,392
12,536
New Delhi


Seems like I'm not the only one being overly pessimistic which brings me to the crux of the question.
What're your views on this issue sir ? @vstol Jockey

P.S - the 3rd tweet here is part of a whole thread which needs to be perused as well as it's part of the same topic .
We had discussed it long back and while numbers have quality of their own, the overall picture needs to be taken into account. PLAAF does not have many bases close to our borders while we can operate from nearly any airfield and go across. Plus when you put far larger number of aircraft in one base, that base becomes an easy target for our missiles.
In any war with china, we will see intense missile strikes on all our air bases located close to the border and we too will do the same but after that, only that air force will survive which has its assests well dispersed and easy to operate. Basically it means how well you can support operations from air bases which are activated during the war and do not have full grown infrastructure to undertake sustained long duration operations. This is a capability which China lacks.
Now let us take another case in which China operates its aircraft from far off air bases and than refuels the aircraft before they enter the theatre of operations. In such a case, the turn around time and number of sorties an aircraft can fly will reduce drastically while giving large advance warning to IAF about their approach. In any battle in any domain, fore warned is fore armed. PLAAF will always get detected first compared our aircraft due to the terrain and that will allow us sufficient time to choose the best weapon to engage them from S-400 to MRSAM and actual fighter aircraft. PLAAF can sustain higher attrition during the war due to its shear numbers but can IAF sustain such attrition rates considering the inadequate number of squadrons we now have? So while what @Hellfire has written is not completely off and has lot of substance in it but I will take this with a bit of moderation.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
19,262
15,412
Mumbai
We had discussed it long back and while numbers have quality of their own, the overall picture needs to be taken into account. PLAAF does not have many bases close to our borders while we can operate from nearly any airfield and go across. Plus when you put far larger number of aircraft in one base, that base becomes an easy target for our missiles.
In any war with china, we will see intense missile strikes on all our air bases located close to the border and we too will do the same but after that, only that air force will survive which has its assests well dispersed and easy to operate. Basically it means how well you can support operations from air bases which are activated during the war and do not have full grown infrastructure to undertake sustained long duration operations. This is a capability which China lacks.
Now let us take another case in which China operates its aircraft from far off air bases and than refuels the aircraft before they enter the theatre of operations. In such a case, the turn around time and number of sorties an aircraft can fly will reduce drastically while giving large advance warning to IAF about their approach. In any battle in any domain, fore warned is fore armed. PLAAF will always get detected first compared our aircraft due to the terrain and that will allow us sufficient time to choose the best weapon to engage them from S-400 to MRSAM and actual fighter aircraft. PLAAF can sustain higher attrition during the war due to its shear numbers but can IAF sustain such attrition rates considering the inadequate number of squadrons we now have? So while what @Hellfire has written is not completely off and has lot of substance in it but I will take this with a bit of moderation.
Excellent summation !!

I'm bookmarking this for future reference. Pls elaborate if you can on the various summations unless you believe you've encapsulated your PoV substantially.

I'd still err on the side of caution & opt for pumping up our numbers substantially as far as of platforms go - 100+ Rafales , 350 MKIs & 200 Mk-1a / Mk-1 .
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Innominate

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
We had discussed it long back and while numbers have quality of their own, the overall picture needs to be taken into account. PLAAF does not have many bases close to our borders while we can operate from nearly any airfield and go across. Plus when you put far larger number of aircraft in one base, that base becomes an easy target for our missiles.
In any war with china, we will see intense missile strikes on all our air bases located close to the border and we too will do the same but after that, only that air force will survive which has its assests well dispersed and easy to operate. Basically it means how well you can support operations from air bases which are activated during the war and do not have full grown infrastructure to undertake sustained long duration operations. This is a capability which China lacks.
Now let us take another case in which China operates its aircraft from far off air bases and than refuels the aircraft before they enter the theatre of operations. In such a case, the turn around time and number of sorties an aircraft can fly will reduce drastically while giving large advance warning to IAF about their approach. In any battle in any domain, fore warned is fore armed. PLAAF will always get detected first compared our aircraft due to the terrain and that will allow us sufficient time to choose the best weapon to engage them from S-400 to MRSAM and actual fighter aircraft. PLAAF can sustain higher attrition during the war due to its shear numbers but can IAF sustain such attrition rates considering the inadequate number of squadrons we now have? So while what @Hellfire has written is not completely off and has lot of substance in it but I will take this with a bit of moderation.

This squadron number thing has been blown out of proportion. While it's a problem, it will stay a problem only if nothing's being done to correct it, and we know the IAF is correcting it.

Otherwise, for the kind of war we are expecting to fight this decade, we have enough numbers. And while our older jets may not be as sophisticated as newer Chinese jets, we make up for that with greater sophistication of weapons and adequate amounts of ISR.

The gaping holes we had in 2020 were fixed starting this year. We were missing large inventories of S-400 and MRSAM, and now we have 1 S-400 in Ladakh, 1 will be set up near Siliguri in a few months, and in the meantime the IAF will have all 18 MRSAM batteries that were ordered in 2017. And in parallel, the MKI is getting a new EW suite and new weapons, along with advanced communications. The only thing we have missed out on is an order for 60 Ka-226Ts, but we have plenty of Dhruvs to make up for shortages at the low end. So, as of Dec 2022, the IAF is ready to fight the PLAAF at the level expected.

We have the fighter jets, helicopters, SAMs, weapons and advanced ISR, EW and comm systems necessary.

The terrain advantage is mostly along Eastern and Central LAC. Along the Western LAC there's Xinjiang, which is on the plains, so jets can take off with full loads even though transit times are a bit longer.

It appears they have built/upgraded a lot of bases in Xinjiang though. There are at least 7 that can be used by the military.
 

vstol Jockey

Professional
Dec 1, 2017
6,392
12,536
New Delhi
Excellent summation !!

I'm bookmarking this for future reference. Pls elaborate if you can on the various summations unless you believe you've encapsulated your PoV substantially.

I'd still err on the side of caution & opt for pumping up our numbers substantially as far as of platforms go - 100+ Rafales , 350 MKIs & 200 Mk-1a / Mk-1 .
One more point which I failed to mention is that as of now over 50% of aircraft of PLAAF are not at all capable of operating from any of the bases in Tibet and that includes like of Q5, J-7s/8s and earlier models of J-10 + J-11s. The ones that can operate are mostly Su-27s and their chinese copies and j-20. Their SAM systems have been found to be bad copies of Russian equivalents. The biggest problem for IAF will be H-6 bombers.
1671022349184.png
 

Rajput Lion

Senior member
Sep 23, 2022
1,866
1,389
India
This squadron number thing has been blown out of proportion. While it's a problem, it will stay a problem only if nothing's being done to correct it, and we know the IAF is correcting it.

Otherwise, for the kind of war we are expecting to fight this decade, we have enough numbers. And while our older jets may not be as sophisticated as newer Chinese jets, we make up for that with greater sophistication of weapons and adequate amounts of ISR.

The gaping holes we had in 2020 were fixed starting this year. We were missing large inventories of S-400 and MRSAM, and now we have 1 S-400 in Ladakh, 1 will be set up near Siliguri in a few months, and in the meantime the IAF will have all 18 MRSAM batteries that were ordered in 2017. And in parallel, the MKI is getting a new EW suite and new weapons, along with advanced communications. The only thing we have missed out on is an order for 60 Ka-226Ts, but we have plenty of Dhruvs to make up for shortages at the low end. So, as of Dec 2022, the IAF is ready to fight the PLAAF at the level expected.

We have the fighter jets, helicopters, SAMs, weapons and advanced ISR, EW and comm systems necessary.

The terrain advantage is mostly along Eastern and Central LAC. Along the Western LAC there's Xinjiang, which is on the plains, so jets can take off with full loads even though transit times are a bit longer.

It appears they have built/upgraded a lot of bases in Xinjiang though. There are at least 7 that can be used by the military.
Just hope that Derby-ER is there in sufficient number on MKI. That missile on MKI is a game-changer.

Also, there was some noise about IAF testing R-37M in 2020. If we have R-37Ms then MKI can target PLAAF bombers, Tankers, AEW&C and ISTAR aircrafts from 250kms+. R-37M is also hypersonic(Mach 6+).

The real threat is PL-15 with 200km+ range and AESA seeker. We can't counter it with limited number of uber expensive Meteors. Derby-ER is absolutely vital for air-dominance over the Chinese.
 
Last edited:

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
19,262
15,412
Mumbai
The biggest problem for IAF will be H-6 bombers.
I thought this was the easiest problem to tackle what with the Meteor , the Astra III & the Brahmos A2A missile reportedly being in development phase or at the very least that's what was proposed to the IAF.

How do you think PLAAF will carry out CAS missions to aid PLAGF , given the overall superiority of anywhere between 3:1 - 6:1 depending on whom you ask , an invading party is supposed to have in the Himalayas ?

Ditto for IAF & IA. What's the role an UCAV can play in this conflict both for & against us ? Rather let be elaborate my question to include drones , swarm drones & counter drone systems in this war purely in an attack or defensive mode which is to say I'm not bringing in the regular role of drones as is generally perceived in ISR or logistic activities .
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Innominate

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
One more point which I failed to mention is that as of now over 50% of aircraft of PLAAF are not at all capable of operating from any of the bases in Tibet and that includes like of Q5, J-7s/8s and earlier models of J-10 + J-11s. The ones that can operate are mostly Su-27s and their chinese copies and j-20. Their SAM systems have been found to be bad copies of Russian equivalents. The biggest problem for IAF will be H-6 bombers.
View attachment 25616

Those numbers are old. They currently have 200 J-20s, 700 Flankers of various types and 500-600 J-10s.

And half their Flankers and J-10s have the AESA radar + PL-15 combo, also HMDS + PL-10.

Otoh, our I-Derby ER upgrade for the MKI is still under flight trials. It was supposed to have finished by Dec 2022, but its status is unclear. This is probably our only weakness right now, a more advanced BVR missile for the MKI compared to Astra Mk1 and RVV-SD.

I don't think their SAMs are bad. The HQ-9 beat the S-300 and PAC-3 in Turkey about 10 years ago. And they have the S-400 as well, which they have been operating for at least 4 years, with 1 regiment deployed near Ladakh. Plus they have had more experience in operating long range SAMs compared to the IAF.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
19,262
15,412
Mumbai
While on # 744 just when you think there's improvement , you immediately get regression.

I recall reading an older Post detailing why the IAF will face the wrong end of the stick in any future war with China given not only their sheer numbers of > 4.5 Gen FA but also their 5th Gen FA where J-20 was & is touted to be better than not just the F-22 but also the F-35 & that if we don't get the Su-57 in at least 2-4 squadrons , given the AMCAs won't be here before 2040 & there's no sign of additional Rafales , we're up shit creek .

And now we've this post brimming with optimism castigating the naysayers.

Pls take note @Hellfire whenever you deign to grace us with your presence .
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Innominate

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
Just hope that Derby-ER is there in sufficient number on MKI. That missile on MKI is a game-changer.

I hope a small inventory has been delivered to India. At least 50 missiles. The Israelis should be able to upgrade some of our existing missiles to ER standards quickly too.

Also, there was some noise about IAF testing R-37M in 2020. If we have R-37Ms then MKI can target PLAAF bombers, Tankers, AEW&C and ISTAR aircrafts from 250kms+. R-37M is also hypersonic(Mach 6+).

I doubt we have it. We plan on upgrading the Brahmos for such a role. But it's possible that we already operate a few dozen K-100s.

The real threat is PL-15 with 200km+ range and AESA seeker. We can't counter it with limited number of uber expensive Meteors. Derby-ER is absolutely vital for air-dominance over the Chinese.

If the Chinese attack in only 1 sector, either Ladakh or Tawang, then our Rafale inventory will easily counter the PLAAF.

Let's not be worried about Western ammo. If we fight the Chinese, we will get a lot of it. What we need to make sure is they are integrated with the MKI and Rafale beforehand. The French and British can provide us additional Meteors, ASRAAMs and MICAs if necessary. The same with the Hammer and SCALP/Storm Shadow. I'm a huge fan of integrating JDAM and SDB on the MKI and LCA too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rajput Lion

Rajput Lion

Senior member
Sep 23, 2022
1,866
1,389
India
I hope a small inventory has been delivered to India. At least 50 missiles. The Israelis should be able to upgrade some of our existing missiles to ER standards quickly too.
Derby ER has dual pulse motor plus very advance integrated/miniaturized seeker tech. Normal Derby can't be "upgraded" that easily. Maybe, a fast track gov to gov deal where Israelis supply some ER from their inventory to us quickly.
I doubt we have it. We plan on upgrading the Brahmos for such a role. But it's possible that we already operate a few dozen K-100s.
Yes, I agree. As of now only planes that can fire R-37M are Mig-31BM and Su-35S. It's hasn't even been integrated with Su-30SM. So the chances of it being integrated with MKI are very bleak.

Novator? Another fabled missile, lol.
If the Chinese attack in only 1 sector, either Ladakh or Tawang, then our Rafale inventory will easily counter the PLAAF.

Let's not be worried about Western ammo. If we fight the Chinese, we will get a lot of it. What we need to make sure is they are integrated with the MKI and Rafale beforehand. The French and British can provide us additional Meteors, ASRAAMs and MICAs if necessary. The same with the Hammer and SCALP/Storm Shadow. I'm a huge fan of integrating JDAM and SDB on the MKI and LCA too.
Great point👍

That's why integration of western weapons is also compulsory. Most people overlook this point which you have correctly brought forth. BTW, as per some rumours and pictures both Mica-IR and ASRAAM are also integrated with the MKI.

Hope, we have kept some nasty surprises for our eastern neighbour when the balloon goes up.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
Derby ER has dual pulse motor plus very advance integrated/miniaturized seeker tech. Normal Derby can't be "upgraded" that easily. Maybe, a fast track gov to gov deal where Israelis supply some ER from their inventory to us quickly.

Derby ER is basically Derby with new insides, it's the same airframe. Any Derby can be upgraded to ER standards.

Novator? Another fabled missile, lol.

It was made for the export market.

Great point👍

That's why integration of western weapons is also compulsory. Most people overlook this point which you have correctly brought forth. BTW, as per some rumours and pictures both Mica-IR and ASRAAM are also integrated with the MKI.

Hope, we have kept some nasty surprises for our eastern neighbour when the balloon goes up.

The MKI carries the ASRAAM and MICA IR. Only the addition of Derby ER is pending.

This frigging cyclone has delayed things.
 

screambowl

Senior member
Dec 19, 2017
2,970
1,289
switzerland
In any battle in any domain, fore warned is fore armed. PLAAF will always get detected first compared our aircraft due to the terrain and that will allow us sufficient time to choose the best weapon to engage them from S-400 to MRSAM and actual fighter aircraft.

They also know this if India knows this, so what next? They wont surely adapt to a very linear approach of sending their package just to get detected in advance.May be one has to be concerned about their cyber capabilities in Tibet.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
To the uninitiated, the IAF's modernisation has happened in phases. The years have seen highs and lows and we are in a high right now.

So between 2010 and 2015 was one such high, where we saw the massive induction of the MKI fleet, and the Mig-29 and M2000 upgrades came through. But this was shortlived as stagnation crept in due to the lack of movement during the pre-Modi era. From 2020 onwards, the contracts signed during 2015-18 bore fruit and now we are witnessing a new high with the induction of Rafale and Apache and pushing forward with development of post-2030 inductions.

This new high will last up to 2025, so any war between now and 2025 would see us putting up a decent fight. But post 2025, due to the lack of long term movement between 2015-20, we are gonna see a new round of stagnation between 2025-30. Neither MRFA nor LCA Mk2 can deliver during this time. AMCA will take even longer. Only LCA Mk1A and MKI MLU will come in.

Otoh, China has been on a high since 2010 and hasn't stopped, and it's unlikely to stop. 2010-15 saw them getting a lot of old tech J-11As and J-10As. This was followed by a new high between 2015-20 which saw them getting AESA-equipped Flankers and J-10s. Then came 3 years of J-20 deliveries, which should go on until 2025, followed by a new version with the definitive engine up to 2030. Then they will start taking deliveries of a new NGAD-competitor.

So, while our current purchases are good enough to deal with China until 2025, it's the post-2025 period that could lead to our downfall. And to make up for this gap consisting of 200-300 advanced J-20s, which should easily put even the F-22 and F-35 at a severe disadvantage, we will need at least 2 squadrons of Su-57M alongside MRFA, LCA Mk2 and a whole bunch of stealth drones.

But with that said, even with a Su-57 order, the period between 2025 and 2030 will remain stagnant for the IAF and can only be made up by bringing in more standoff capabilities, like SRBMs and ALCMs.
 

screambowl

Senior member
Dec 19, 2017
2,970
1,289
switzerland
But with that said, even with a Su-57 order, the period between 2025 and 2030 will remain stagnant for the IAF and can only be made up by bringing in more standoff capabilities, like SRBMs and ALCMs.
This new high will last up to 2025, so any war between now and 2025 would see us putting up a decent fight. But post 2025, due to the lack of long term movement between 2015-20, we are gonna see a new round of stagnation between 2025-30. Neither MRFA nor LCA Mk2 can deliver during this time. AMCA will take even longer. Only LCA Mk1A and MKI MLU will come in.

So if you know this, Chinese also know this then. It also means they will only come to put an actual fight after 2025.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
19,262
15,412
Mumbai
I'd argue that whatever incremental additions we've made thus far as opposed to the exposition in # 754 , it's inadequate . As far as the IAF goes , We weren't in a position to face the Chinese in 2020 , will not be so today , or in 2025 or in 2030 gauging by the responses & future planning scenarios of the IAF / MoD / GoI .

As usual we're a decade late in developing / deploying / upgrading fighters viz Mk-2 , AMCA Mk-1 / Mk-1a , Rafales / MKI respectively. It is what it is .

However it's what's going to come in the future that's worrying for there's nothing on the anvil / in the pipeline except 36 odd Rafales whereas we ought to have re activated the MKI lines in HAL - Ozhar, Nashik for production commencing in say 2025-26 for 100 odd MKIs in the Super Sukhoi format pending successful FOC of it's upgradation / modernization after duly co ordinating it with the Russians for the kite apart from our local MSMEs / foreign OEMs .

We could've enhanced the orders for Mk-1a to 166 from 83 & we could've placed an order for at least 54 if not 36 Rafales , exercising the option clause besides expediting the MRFA tender such that the initial squadron to be imported comes to us by 2029-30 .

Let's leave pie in the sky acquisitions like Su-57 for the moment , out of this mix ,which I believe to be a kind of super manoeuvrable heavy duty Rafale minus the EW suite aka SPECTRA with little passive stealth features w.r.t shaping , geometry etc .

In the absence of any reliable data points on the PLAAF You could see Chinese capabilities as similar to the Russians except in avionics & EW where they're more advanced or you can see them as equivalent to us with an edge of 3-5 or 5-7 yrs or thereabouts depending on the item under consideration , given their headstart .

Hence the J-20 would be an excellent 4.75+ Gen FA with LO features not VLO unlike the Raptors or the Lightnings , in the same class of the Su-57 as far as performance goes not the actual classification of fighters with better avionics & EW abilities . Then again with the advances in radar & other technologies how efficient these are , remains to be seen . In the absence of any firm reliable information let's go with the assumptions made as above .

However the nub of the issue is the quantities the Chinese would bring in to bear on us . Assuming the PLAAF takes over from the Ex USSR in terms of design philosophy you can bet that the numbers are not only to guard a vast frontier but to take care of sortie rates & attrition .

That's the reason why they plan to field only 4.5 Gen & 5th Gen FAs by 2030 maybe a 5.5 Gen or a 6th Gen too if they can . They're bench marking themselves against the Americans . If you think they'd attempt Taiwan with anything less than 1500- 2000 5th Gen FA & 3-4000 4.5+ Gen FA I'd recommend the Bharat Jodo Yatra for you to participate in . These are the quantities we're looking at come 2030.

Further if anyone here believes that inducting Apaches takes care of our FA problem , I can see why Bharat Jodo Yatra is attracting more crowds than it should .

I'd always be open to more story telling sessions . It's one of the reasons I keep coming back in spite of the many reservations I have about this site .
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
So if you know this, Chinese also know this then. It also means they will only come to put an actual fight after 2025.

That's only the IAF's predicament. And it can be made up to an extent via more SRBMs and ALCMs. It's no different from relying on more SAMs to reduce the fighter's burden in air policing.

Otoh, the IA will continue seeing highs for many years. Even if the Chinese get an advantage in the air, it's the ground forces that really count. The IA is weaker today in 2022 than they will be post 2025 or post 2030.

There's no point in winning the air war if you lose on the ground.

In any case, the air will still be contested even post 2025. The IAF will still have terrain advantage and the Chinese still cannot defy physics. The IAF will just be a lot more defensive. So there will be a greater reliance on SAMs and BMD compared to today. The IAF will continue seeing highs in SAMs, ISR and EW, so that somewhat makes up for differences.
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
19,297
14,031
India
The Su-57 entered design phase in 2004, ie, after all existing jets were already flying. So it's been designed to defeat all existing threats, including the Rafale, F-22 and F-35. The only thing in question is its slow development speed. But the airframe, materials and new engine are technologically on par or more advanced than existing jets.

Furthermore, the main production variant is a modernised jet. I'd argue the first version is a mere Rafale++. But the Su-57M definitely is not just a mere upgrade. While "significantly" surpassing all existing jets in crucial performance metrics like range, endurance, acceleration, service ceiling, supercruise, payload etc, its size and extra electrical power allows faster introduction of new technologies compared to existing jets. Even the base Su-57 model boasts capabilities that do not exist on existing jets, like DIRCM, side arrays, active smart antennas etc. And all this without even counting its stealth features, which does not come with geometry and RAM alone. Unlike the F-22, stealth has been baked into the Su-57 from the ground-up.

LCA Mk1A is not suitable. It lacks the range to operate in the Himalayas. With a basic range of 1700Km, its combat radius is just 150Km for an on-station time of 1 hour. It's merely a point defence aircraft, which is why its more important along the Pak border, where transit times are way shorter and the airspace is smaller. It's unlikely to have enough thrust for the job in the mountains. The LCA Mk2 is far more relevant along China because it can provide an hour long on-station time 400Km away. LCA Mk1A is merely a stopgap measure to make up for the loss of the Bison fleet. If the Bisons were still going strong, the IAF would have skipped out on Mk1As entirely.

More MKIs don't help because it's a one-trick pony. If it works, great, but if it doesn't work, then you are sitting on a vast fleet of uselessness. And to make it work, we don't need more than 100 jets. If those 100 jets fail, then it doesn't matter if we have 150 more or 250 more. The rest of the fleet is only there to provide mass, and that mass can come via other cheaper and more efficient jets. Basically, we are already bloated at the top end by about 50-80 jets, there's no need to add more to our paunch.

The J-20 is already in its second iteration, it will soon enter the third with its definitive engine. Considering it a less than 5th gen is very naive. Its avionics are all recent compared to the F-22 and F-35, whose electronics were designed in the 90s and early 2000s. The J-20 with its current engine is no different from the Su-57, which is why we can even put up a decent fight until the new version comes in post 2025.

PLAAF buys jets in batches of 250 jets, likely 'cause they have 5 commands and each command gets 40-50 jets. So the WTC should have 80-100 J-20s in 2 versions during peacetime. To counter that, we have 36 Rafales for now, and hopefully 40 Su-57Ms after 2025. Of course, they should be able to double that via asset transfers from the reserve command (CTC) and the STC during war. So that's 160-200 J-20s. Still, 36 Rafales and 40 Su-57s are enough to counter those numbers. Or even 2 more modernised Rafale squadrons should do the trick, considering the new J-20 and Su-57M will still be immature until 2027-28. If 36+40 jets fail, then there's no point in having more anyway.

Alternatively, even if I find it unlikely, it's possible that the IAF believes 36 Rafales can chew through any number of J-20s thrown at them. Or at least, irrespective of how the air war goes, the 36 Rafales provide the IAF with the minimum capabilities they need to achieve their objectives on the ground even if they have to work in phases across multiple sectors. For example, a single Rafale can do the job of 4-6 Jaguars in a single mission. The current Rafale fleet has enough striking power to do the job of multiple old squadrons of strike jets in a single sortie.

No, we won't see 3000 PLAAF jets attacking Taiwan, it's not necessary. Weapons have become as important as the jets. A single jet can hit more targets than ever before from longer ranges. To fight Taiwan and the USAF, the Chinese only need 100-150 advanced J-20s, with another 50 in reserve for air policing, OCA and DCA. If 100 jets get shot down pointlessly, then they will just cease the offensive. If your most advanced jet cannot fight, then the rest of the fleet is irrelevant, regardless of the numbers available.

“If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” Hostage told the Air Force Times.

In the Vietnam War, the US + allies lost 12500 aircraft versus the North Vietnamese losing just 150 ASFs.

Even if they do end up with thousands of 5th gen jets, we do not need that many. We need 100 sufficiently advanced ASFs complemented by a few squadrons of MKI MLU and LCA Mk2, because that's the size of the airspace.

Apache can perform SEAD/DEAD effectively. Its high endurance and weapons also gives it the ability to protect bases from drones more effectively than fighter jets can.
 

screambowl

Senior member
Dec 19, 2017
2,970
1,289
switzerland
That's only the IAF's predicament. And it can be made up to an extent via more SRBMs and ALCMs. It's no different from relying on more SAMs to reduce the fighter's burden in air policing.

Otoh, the IA will continue seeing highs for many years. Even if the Chinese get an advantage in the air, it's the ground forces that really count. The IA is weaker today in 2022 than they will be post 2025 or post 2030.

I am expecting massive chinese cyber attack on Indian military communication and satellite system before they launch any actual strike on Indian installations. That's how they can get rid of surveillance and navigation system what India has deployed. This will delay any Indian response and will also cut off the soliders deployed at the front.

This is why more than their air strength I am more concerned about their cyber capabilities in Tibet and what PLA has in it's arsenal ti cripple Indian EW capabilities.

It is not necessary that Chinese will give a response always on ground, it can be anywhere now. This is why it has become more important to protect your EW capabilities and communication + nav infrastructure than ever before. Because once they are compromised then you have no other option but to replace them. That will be the real danger.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: _Anonymous_