India vs China on Military Strength - Conventional and Nuclear

Discussion in 'China' started by longriver, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. longriver

    longriver Regular Member

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    From Global Times

    As two rising Asian powers with high GDP growths and increasing geo-political influence, India and China have been arch rivals in their race to superpowerdom. The race for regional dominance between these two countries has also spawned a race for militarisation, with India sparing no efforts to match China’s military might. A comparative analysis is therefore overdue, to see how India and China fare against each other in their military strengths.

    According to United States DoD (Department of Defense) reports for 2006, China’s military expenditure is estimated to be 80 billion US dollars. However, the official Chinese CPC government quote is a $30 billion military expenditure (which a lot of analysts believe is underquoted). The actual Chinese military capabilities and budget are shrouded in deep secrecy to prevent foreign countries having an idea of its military might…and perhaps to create the strategic advantage of uncertainity. If we were to go by the conservative official Chinese figure of $30 billion, it would put China second only to USA in global military spending. On the other side, India’s official military expenditure for 2006 is quoted at $22 billion by the Ministry of Finance (India) Budget (2006-2007). India however, does not keep a level of secrecy as cloaked as China does, as its democratic government system requires public accountability. By its official 2006 military budget figures, India stands at 9th position in global military spending.

    In 2006 India’s active military personell numbered over 1,325,000 while China was significantly higher at 2,255,000. In air defence, China’s PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Air Force has 9,218 aircrafts of which about 2300 are combat aircrafts, operating from its 489+ air bases. The Indian Air Force has 3382 aircrafts which includes 1335 combat aircrafts operating from 334+ bases and its sole aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The air superiority in China’s PLAAF is maintained by its fleet of Russian Su-30 MK and indigenously built J-10 fighters. Indian Air Force, on the other hand has French built Dassault Mirage 2000s and Russian Su-30 MKI as the best aircrafts in its combat fleet (no indigenous fighters or aircrafts have been deployed by India so far). Indian Navy is the world’s eighth largest navy with a with a fleet of 145 vessels consisting of missile-capable warships, advanced submarines, the latest naval aircrafts and an aircraft carrier in its inventory. It is experienced both in combat and rescue operations during wartime and peace as seen from its wars with Pakistan in 1971, the December 2004 Tsunami, etc. In comparison, China’s PLA Navy with its fleet of 284 vessels is quantitatively larger but lacking in actual war experience, which could undermine its strategic capability. As of 2007, China has no aircraft carriers in its naval fleet but is slated to build and induct an aircraft carrier by 2010.

    In strategic nuclear defence and delivery systems, China’s PLA is miles ahead of India’s nuclear forces. The PLA’s stockpile is estimated to have 200-400 active nuclear warheads. In comparison, India’s strategic nuclear force is estimated to have stockpiled about 50-70 nuclear warheads. The most powerful warhead tested by India had an yield of 0.05 megatons which is quite small compared to China’s highest yield of 4 megatons. India’s nuclear delivery system consists of bombers, supersonic cruise missiles and medium range ballistic missiles. Agni 2, India’s longest range deployed ballistic missile is capable of a range of 2500 km, carrying a single nuclear warhead of ~1000 kg. In stark contrast, China’s nuclear delivery system is far more capable with multiple warhead (MIRV) ICBMs like DF-5A [12000+ km] and DF-4 [7500+ km]. It also fields submarine launched SLBMs like JL-2 [8500+ km] and strategic fighter bombers like Su-27 Flanker in its nuclear delivery arsenal.

    Economic theory teaches us that incentives drive decision making by a nation or an individual. In case of India, a democracy with no serious military adversary, its militarisation drive is often overshadowed by internal militancy issues and political struggles. In case of a communist China, it has a powerful military adversary in United States; the conflicts over Taiwan give China a strong incentive to beef up its military defence to counter the US military might. The situation is much similar to that of USSR vs USA Cold War, albeit on a much smaller scale. The end result is China walking far ahead of India in military might with overpowering superiority if both conventional and nuclear forces are taken into account.
     
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  3. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    This article isn't even current --- 2007 based on 2006 info.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The article may be from Global Times but where is the link?

    anyways, numbers alone dont tell the whole story. Indias numbers are based on its threat perception. As the report says although its inaccurate, India doesnt face any adversary. There are two with whom it has fought wars, Pakistan and China. But still, The AF says it needs 39.5 squads of fighters and will require 42 in due course. So our fighter strength will remain below Chinas. China has to worry about both the South China sea and the IOR. India only has to worry about IOR which is in its backyard and therefore its naval assets requirement will again be smaller based on what the navy thinks is enough.

    When it comes to nukes, India has to deter Pakistan and China. China has to worry about the US,Russia and India. Obviously it needs a bigger arsenal and longer range missile.

    What is to be taken note of is India fought full fledged wars with Pakistan using all its three branches and won. That has given it a lot of knowledge in the art or war. 1962 loss taught India a lot of lessons and that has made India stronger.

    Only a war now between the two countries can prove who is able to win a war and at what cost.
    That China being stronger than India has not tried to rest any of the land it claims from India in the last 40 years is proof enough that it doesnt want to test Indias military might. India on the other hand has never started a war with its neighbors in all the wars it has fought.
     
  5. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    With the lately trend, the gap will be bigger...
     
  6. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    India will fill this gap by procuring state-of-art weapon systems, as we are doing already. Bigger isn't always better.
     
  7. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    ever so slightly off but not having crossed the line is the fact that they can add Tibet and E. Turkestan to the list .
    Becauese , "it aint over "
     
  8. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    How do you figure that? I don't call 230 Su-30MKI, 64 MiG-29SMT, 30 MiG-29K, 120+ MiG-35 a growing gap for China except for your own obsolescence. In the coming years IAF and IN will have 450 topline fighters while the best you got is a handful of modernised Flankers. With 1,330 T-90S and a couple thousand modernised T-72s will be more than a match for PLA's outdated armour force. With three aircraft carriers they will dominate the seas. India is closing the gap faster than you can blink.
     
  9. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    such a ariticle is meaningless..............


    To common people,it is much more meaning to compare the life quality, yearly income and soical welfare between different nations.
     
  10. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    agree wholeheartedly with you on the above!

    However that is not the topic being discussed , on the topic India stands to make quantum leaps as defense procurement and production is liberalized with more JV's between Indian companies and foreign makers.Also as Indian private defense industry matures one can expect the government PSU's to get their act together and develop and produce better solutions for the Indian soldier.The Indian soldier is far more experienced in guerrilla warfare than any other army in the world today(20+ yrs of COIN operations in Kashmir and the northeast)this augments and multiplies the warfigthing ability. also as the Indian economy is further liberalized one can expect greater buying power to come to the Indian government leading to larger defense budgets, which in turn shall have an effect on the total military strength of India from the soldier to the A-bomb.
     
  11. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    wow, no wonder you are a pro, I mean you are always predicting, however, I don't know that India has all these right now. So I guess My statement can last a little bit longer...
    Wait, I almost forget that you are a China specialist too, ok, don't forget to post you predict about China for comparation, thank you
     
  12. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    With a alot of Russian and a little European help, they will get there in short order. China can't even build her own engines, is embargoed by the EU and held from advanced Russian tech. Your qualitative arms are several decades behind what India will be fielding.
     
  13. khatarnak

    khatarnak Regular Member

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    thanks, i wanted to write the same. you did it. but i think you should write 120+ MMRCA not mig35, the aircraft is not choosen yet.
     
  14. khatarnak

    khatarnak Regular Member

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    india had inducted most of them besides MMRCA.
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The Bush nuclear agreement will help alot in the nuclear sense we will use the imported fuel for the civilian reactors and use our indigenous fuel for the nukes, there are reports enough indigenous fuel already exists to make thousands of nukes. With the nuclear triad complete three delivery mechanisms now exist to deliver the nukes. The chinese are making comparisions on a quantitaive basis but let's take a closer look at the numbers on a qualitative basis how many chinese made planes would equal one sukhoi or mig or mirage or MRCA?? Also the question of comparing military budgets may not be an issue even on a low budget or no buget nukes are still nukes, we need to stop comparisions with the chinese in a conventional sense on a quantitative basis and work on increasing our nuclear warheads and i would say it is pretty even, and with all the money China spends they are still a weak #2 compared to USA.
     

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