China’s Border Realignment Aimed At Gaining Tactical Advantage Before India Gets S-400: IAF Vet

For over two months, Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in border stand-off that included a violent skirmish on 15 June in Ladakh. Experts have compared the air power of the two countries as a military build-up has picked up speed along the loosely demarcated 4057-kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Indian Air Force has stationed additional air defence and radar systems in the Ladakh region amid reports of Chinese deployment of its S-300 and S-400 air defence systems in adjoining Tibet. The Indian Air Force has also kept ready its BrahMos supersonic cruise-missile-equipped Su-30MKI in the region.

While China’s defence ministry spokesperson, senior Colonel Wu Qian, confirmed on 24 June an all-dimensional live-fire exercise to comprehensively test troop joint combat capability in a plateau environment, he mentioned that the exercise was “not targeting any specific country”.

Nevertheless, Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria has observed a “more than usual deployment” by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in the Ladakh region, where the two sides became entangled in a brief but intense stand-offs beginning in the last week of April. Bhadauria said that his force is prepared for any contingency and confirmed that he has deployed assets in forward bases.

Amid a military build-up on the Indian side, the Chinese state run daily paper Global Times, quoted Chinese experts claiming that India’s Mig-29s, Su-30s, Mirage 2000 jets and Jaguar attack aircraft are no match for China’s domestically developed J-10C and J-16 fighter jets. Chinese analysts believe that the J-20 stealth fighter jet has a “generational advantage over Indian aircraft, a gap that cannot be fulfilled by any means.”

Sputnik spoke to Vijainder K Thakur, Indian Air Force veteran and defence analyst, about the technological development and capabilities of the two Asian giants.

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