India-China: The real military equation

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Daredevil, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,613
    Likes Received:
    5,670
    Leave aside economic growth parameters and astounding leaps in infrastructure that only increase the disparity between India and China with every passing day, the story is repeated about the increasing gap between the military capabilities of the two countries. China's expenditure on defence is three times ours - if we accept disclosed figures - and could actually be more. It has improved its India's border infrastructure considerably, thereby enabling quick mobilisation and redeployment of troops. China's land forces mustered on the border outnumber those of India, whose own quite dismal efforts in improving infrastructure inhibit mobilisation and effective conduct of operations. Modernisation of its air and naval power are key ingredients of China's objective to be able to fight "high technology limited wars", and steady progress is apparently being made in both these sectors. An old Soviet aircraft carrier, initially bought by the Chinese for conversion to a recreational platform, has now been refurbished as a full-fledged aircraft carrying ship - no small achievement - and more such platforms can be expected to be built locally in the years to come. China has realised that credible distant operations are impossible without access to organic air support and surveillance. Newer types of warships, surface and underwater, are being built. Reportedly, a Stealth fighter has also been developed.

    India, on the other hand, is languishing - unable either to build or to develop, and indeed, even to buy, as most recently seen in the chopper deal. Enough money is not being provided, say some; what is provided is not being spent, say others. Insufficient focus on indigenisation is given as one reason for this state of affairs - as if that is something that can be achieved with simple changes of policy. The number of countries that can build their own tanks, guns, planes, ships and submarines and fit them with their own weapons and sensors can be counted on the fingertips. The US, the UK, France, Russia, Italy, Germany and Japan have not been in this business for just decades - they have been turning out major warships for more than 100 years.

    The inability to bring in the private sector as a major supplier of defence equipment is another drum that gets beaten with increasing regularity - as if that route would quickly resolve the difficulties. This ignores the fact that some of the most common technologies - used in even ordinary consumer electronics - still have to be imported. Military technologies are several cuts above and manufacturing is not India's strongest suit. How and why China has been able to do so much better is something that merits separate discussion, but the present reality is that, in terms of its military capabilities, India is falling way behind China.

    Quite clearly, in terms of land power, the Chinese are ahead of us not just in numbers, but in their ability to move forces quickly and in the required numbers, both force multipliers. That said, this does not immediately make our cause a lost one. We are not about to see a war being fought a la World War II in which the fight will go on until one side is, ultimately, forced to surrender. What is more germane is whether, in a limited conflict, like the one in Kargil, we have the capability to inflict a degree of punishment that the adversary might not find acceptable - militarily and politically. In 1978, Vietnam achieved this objective against the invading Chinese army easily, despite being seriously outnumbered and outgunned. The moot question, therefore, is whether we are equipped and able to do something similar or not. Frankly, not even the most cynical among our military will doubt the Indian Army's ability to do much more to the adversary than what Vietnam could do more than three decades ago. Our capabilities may not deter in the absolute sense, but are sufficient to dissuade the Chinese.

    In the air, the situation is different. The Chinese have many more aircraft, but a good number are relatively old and unsuited to today's war fighting. Even though they have lengthened and strengthened airfields in the Tibetan plateau, Chinese aircraft are more constrained in their operating parameters, such as endurance and weapon loads, compared to ours operating from airfields located at sea level. So, if it comes to a fight in the air, do not expect the Chinese air force to have a free ride. On the contrary, India has enough in its inventory to give the Chinese a run for their money, and more. Despite delays in inducting more fighter aircraft, the Indian Air Force, in its Sukhois, MIG-29s and Mirages has a quite potent punch. In short, in air power, the equation is pretty even.

    At sea, the equation is decidedly tilted towards us. In the Indian Ocean region, India has advantages that the Chinese will be hard put to match. Availability of organic air power through dozens of airfields strung across the Indian coast and island territories enable not just credible operating capability across the large water space, but also surveillance over critical energy and shipping routes. Not only do the Chinese have limited resources to facilitate credible operations, their access to the Indian Ocean is constrained by the narrow channels of the South East Asian archipelago. These potential vulnerabilities in this maritime theatre must weigh heavily in Beijing.

    This brings us to the nature of a possible military conflict. A skirmish at a couple of places on the land border cannot be ruled out and will soon be controlled, but anything more substantive will almost certainly bring air and sea power into play. China has an exposed energy lifeline across the Indian Ocean that it will find difficult to safeguard in the face of opposition. This serious vulnerability at sea cannot be kept out of the calculations that it will, inevitably, have to make, should it decide to take the military option.

    In short, there is power asymmetry on land to our disadvantage, reasonable equality in the air and credible advantages in our favour at sea. It is this totality of the military interface that any adversary has to consider. The balance is not as lopsided as many of our people would have us believe, but it could become that if we are not careful. We must look at the military equations in their totality - and not just those limited to the land border - and develop our capabilities accordingly. Military planners are not concerned with what potential adversaries may or may not do; their task only is to ensure that the equation is not allowed to alter to our disadvantage. This calls for calm and continuing analysis - not alarm.

    The writer is a former Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command. He has also been a member of the National Security Advisory Board

    India-China: The real military equation | Business Standard
     
    gokussj9 likes this.
  2.  
  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    1,664
    Location:
    Earth
    The assumption in this whole analysis is that Pakistan will not take advantage of an India-China conflict to attack simultaneously. The writer is quite optimistic it seems.

    Wars however should be planned based on the worst case scenario.
     
    SPIEZ, datguy79 and drkrn like this.
  4. marshal panda

    marshal panda Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    44
    We should borrow a leaf from the Chineese and invest in missiles/subs.
     
  5. LordOfTheUnderworlds

    LordOfTheUnderworlds Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    402
    Location:
    Patal Lok
    layman's question. can we cut off Chinese supply lines to Tibet using just missiles? otherwise i don't see any other offensive action India can take on land, Chinese mainland being thousands of kilometres away, while our mainland is just next-door to their army.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520

    Roads and rail would be primary targets.
     
  7. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    f one country's military industry can not produce enough weapons, its military force can not stand any wearing war and stand loss of weapons. Thus its force would just be one-off force ,however brave its solders are....


    that is the problems indian arm force faces.
     
    Known_Unknown likes this.
  8. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    Location:
    New Delhi
    I agree to the assesment of the Adm regarding IN only. His views regarding IAF & IA are wrong. Indian armed forces can easily even today fight two front war only thing is we will have to maintain defensive posture on chinese front till we decimate Pakistan and than move to china border with offensive formations. This situation will change once our mountain strike corps are raised and deployed on chinese border.
    IAF has a clear edge not only in terms of offensive ops but also in terms of tactical heavy lift and heliborne ops on china border. Our helos and airlifters can take off with full load and arrive at drop positions with 50% less fuel and lighter to carry very useful loads deep into Chinese territory while PLAAF is clearly handicapped due to high altitude in those areas. We have already raised three Para SF batallions and deployed them on china border for this very reason. two additional Mountain divisions have also been raised and already deployed on china border. These will subsequently merge to form the mountain strike corps on china border. The high altitude terrain of Tibet nearly makes is impossible for PLA to carryout anykind of SF forays into Indian territory by using either helos or airlifters. Plus we have some outstanding ground assets in Tibet to create behind the lines action to destroy crucial brides to slow down PLA deployment and stretch their supply lines. What happened in 1962 was not a result of our inferiority but bad planning and non use of IAF which cud have completely changed the outcome of the war. Nehru in his stupidity decided to make an ASC officer the COAS. This COAS had no knowledge at all of warfare and was a stooge of Nehru & Menon. Today the situation in IOR is such that we will not let even one single ship of PLAN enter this region and PN is just a 24 hr job for us. IAF is far superior today even with lower numbers of sqns compared to PAF & PLAAF.
    The great infra on china side can be reduced to being useless just by blowing up few crucial bridges and creating landslides on their side of the border. You guys will probably know how we stopped the PA tank assault in Khemkaran and how Gen Ayub Khan was crying over Radio Pakistan when he was woken up and told that Indians have breached the canal and also attacked on Lahore front.
    Ayub Khan address's to the Nation on start of Indo/Pak 1965 War(6-9-1965).wmv - YouTube
     
    SPIEZ and gokussj9 like this.
  9. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    in a sino-india war, Chinese force would stand lots of perhaps defeats and restore its troops at once,because its capable military industry can produce enough weapons and its huge population can provide enough soilders.

    However, indian troops would hardly recover from one defeat or long-term wearing war,because its weapons stock wears out soon and its defence industry can hardly rearm the restore troops..
     
  10. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    Location:
    New Delhi
    with 650 million people below the age of 40 yrs today, India can produce more soldiers than whole of china, Russia, europe put together. what resources are you talking of bro? regarding weapons, you have grossly underestimated our ability to produce weapons and ammo.
     
    gokussj9 likes this.
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520

    Germany in ww2 had the most developed military infrastructure in Europe-still lost ww2.
    USA has the best military industrial innfrastructure in the world still did not get victory in Vietnam
    or prevent long drawn out wars The level of Chinese manufacturinng is nowhere near ww2 Germany or
    US.
     
    gokussj9 likes this.
  12. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    well, CHina had much more population than Japan during WWII, but it was still asskicked by Japan....why? because China could not produce enough money to arm its troops....


    that is the same problem indian has to face now....it has enough population,but can not produce enough weapons to its troops.....even bullets of INSAS and cannons have to be imported ....that is a completely tragedy for a country with 1.2 billion population during 21th century..
     
    HeinzGud likes this.
  13. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    well, German had good tech,but its tech was not better than USA's or UK's,otherwise,the first Nuke bomb would be developed by Germany.


    On the contary, during WWII, German industry capacity was much less than USA. in fact, it was just 1/3 of USA's at most . In 1940, German's industry capacity was even less than Soviet's.

    from industry capacity,resource to manpower, the combination of USA+British empire+Soviet had Overwhelming advantages than that of German+Japan+Italy....

    Soviet could endure the huge loss in Kiev, the Minsk and restore its troops . USA also could endure the huge loss in Pearl Harbor and restore its navy fleets soon.

    But German could not recover from the loss of stalingrad..and Japan could not recover from the defeat of mid-way....

    that is why German was the loser and USA was the winner.


    Today, China is on the same position where USA was during WWII.....the by far largest industry producer in the world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520
    Chinese manufacturing is less than 1/3 level of german manufacturing in ww2 IMO.
    Chinese manufacturing has not produced a fighter engine after 30 years+ and now ws-15 talk
    India may not have manufacturing capacity of China but this is a non factor because India
    has alliances with nations (japan,USA,Vietnam etc) that give it much more leverage than
    chinese feel they have from manufacturing. Also Indian demographics of 650 million plus 25 yo and younger.
    assures that any war will have plenty of soldiers even if it continues for hundreds to thousands of years.
    Learn a lesson from your pet Pakistan all their resources and economy for decades have
    gained them diddly squat against India.
     
    gokussj9 likes this.
  15. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    4,043
    Location:
    New Delhi
    The axis powers like Germany and japan lost not bcoz of lack of industrial or tech skills but for lack of human resorces and natural resources only. During final stages of war, Germany & Japan weres sending 16 yr and over 60 yr olds to battle. While they had no oil nor iron to make weapons. The western powers had a very safe manufacturing base in USA and no shortage of oil & Iron. Compare India and China on similar accounts. India has little oil, lots of Iron and manpower with ability to ramp up weapon production but is located close to oil bearing states with nearly secure supply lines. China has very little oil which move thru our waters, No Iron, lesser manpower. make your own guess as to who will win in a long drawn battle.
     
    gokussj9 and LETHALFORCE like this.
  16. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    hehe,,you are comparing modern engine tech with antque WW II engine tech...just as if you were comparing IPhon with WWII era radio.

    well, DUring WWII, China also had powerful allies such as USA after 1941...however, aids to CHina was not the Priority projects of USA's agenda......Besides, the blocks of Japanese navy and airforce also stopped the aids from USA....

    SO,CHina had to fight against Japanese troops ,without enough weapons ,until sino_india highway was taken back from the Japanese by Chinese Expeditionary force in 1945...it was just several months before Japanese surrendered.

    Once India were to war,India might fall in the same situation as China did during WWII.....that is ,India would have to fight alone without enough weapons aids.....
     
  17. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    2,389
    Correct and most probably our adversaries will expect to kick us as they know we will not escalate to nukes.

    Pakistan will definitely try something if that happens.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,519
    Likes Received:
    6,520
    I am simply saying Chinese are overstating their capability by placing themselves arrogantly
    in the same league as ww2 Germany or USA.

    Chinese manufacturing still has China buying Russian engines; 1 every 2 months is made
    locally(rd-93) this does not seem like a manufacturing superman in any context.
     
  19. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,860
    :rofl: :laugh: carry on dreaming

    you will get your ass royally kicked like never before in your entire history as the longest continuous nation has never had
    the humiliation is gonna be unbearable unlike 62 when at least india could claim they were deceived -
    im not talking about a war within the next 30 years but considerably beyond that - you would have had it !

    maozedong correctly said that the world is in its infancy - and i second that - india's development is in the infant stage too - and they are not that far behind you - after having been starved to death by the brits and others before the brits - so while we were being starved for literally 400 years or more , you had health and strength - no exaggeration there - but you dont have to believe it ! - they have recovered from such devastating treatment like NO OTHER NATION , when you pounced upon them in 62 !
    %
    after more than 400 year of deprivation the indian and hindu has risen and caught up so well
    %
    if china wants peace and genuinely shows it on the ground ( not like in 62 with massive troop movements accompanying speeches of peace but troop withdrawals away from the striking range ) - then india will never be the agressor
    %
    but if you want games - your only chance is to start a war within the next 30 - 40 years - so do it while you can - IF you can
    %
    after that - you'll only qualify to suck ! :toilet: :toilet:
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  20. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    as I said before,in 1940,USA was by far the largest industry producer...
    USA's industry capacity is larger than the combination of Soviet,German and British empire. its weapons proudction during 1941-1945 was even larger than the combination of all Axies powers duirng 1939-1945.

    So, USA's joining Alliance in 1941 already meant that Axis had lost the war.

    the industry capacity of Japan or Italy was even less than 1/9 of USA's...


    India now has enough manpower,iron ores ,but it serioulsy lacks of oil and weapons plants...
    China now has enough manpower and weapons plants...it lacks of oil tooo

    ,but during war, CHina could assure the oil demand for military purpose,because CHina is the 5th largest oil producer itself and can cut off the oil supply for civilian purpose such as petrol for families cars. besides, China has world most advanced and largest coal-oil plant....

    China also lacks of high grade iron ores,but it can not stop CHina use lean iron ores during wartime....CHina had the 3rd largest iron ores,most of which are lean iron ore....

    so, during wartime, China is in a much better positon than Axies powers during WWII,because CHina can produce most energy and resource for wartime...of course at the cost of "uneconomic".
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  21. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    4,957
    Likes Received:
    613
    in a word, India has no chance to win a long term war against china,because its military indsutry can not arm its troops in a long term war.
     

Share This Page