1962-2020: US study reveals how India is ahead of China in the traditional edge

According to the researchers, the Chinese Air Force is also facing disparity in the count compared to the Indian Air Force in the border area.
1962-2020: US study reveals how India is ahead of China in the traditional edge
1962-2020: US study reveals how India is ahead of China in the traditional edge

  • Research Publish at Harvard Kennedy School
  • India-China Comparative Analysis
India has a traditional advantage in situations like full-scale tension with China, which can prevent a shock-like 1962. This benefit for India is due to the Beijing-centric strategy of deploying everywhere in air, land, and altitude areas. This conclusion is from a study in America.

The research paper was published earlier this year by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. In this, comparative data of the strategic resources of India and China were analyzed.

This reveals a comprehensive picture of "the location and capabilities of the strategic forces of China and India". Studie has two authors - Dr. Frank O'Donnell and Dr. Alexander's Bolfras. Dr. O'Donnell is a non-resident fellow at the Stimpson Center's South Asia program. At the same time, Dr. Bolfras is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.


The study, however, noted that the traditional benefits of New Delhi were not 'exaggerated' in the Indian dialogue.



The study introduced a new data compilation. This data collection is based on "published intelligence documents, personal documents obtained from regional states and interviews with experts based in China, India and the US".


Conventional force

Research has estimated that there are 2,25,000 troops in India's total available strike force near the border areas of China. In comparison, the Chinese ground force is estimated to be between 2,00,00 to 2,30,000 under the Western Theater Command and in Tibet, Xinjiang Military Districts. But then the study found the Chinese data to be misleading.

The study states, "Even during the war with India, a substantial part of these forces will not be available. Either it is reserved for Russian Tasks or to counter the rebellion in Xinjiang and Tibet."

Authorities of the study observed that most of the Chinese troops are far from the Indian border - "this is in striking contrast to the fact that the forward deployment of Indian forces is for the only Chinese defense mission."

Air capabilities

According to researchers, the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) is also facing disparity in the count compared to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the border area.



According to the study, China has kept about 101 fourth-generation fighter aircraft in this theater. It also includes a Russia-focused defense. On the other hand, India has deployed 122 Indian counterparts in comparison, whose target is focused only on China.

The study says that the Western Theater Command of China controls all the regional strike aircraft of this region. A proportion of these needs to be reserved for "Russia-centric missions".

Authorities say China will be forced to rely more heavily on airbases located in its rear, which will "exacerbate its limited fuel and payload problems."

Most Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) pilots rely more on ground control for strategic direction. It has been said in the study that it can be counter-productive for China.

According to the study, Indian fighter pilots have a level of institutional experience of real networked combat. This is because it is because of the ongoing confrontations with Pakistan.

However, China has a better missile force. But they are less likely to overcome the aspects related to the DisAdvantage of PLAAF.

The study quoted a former Indian Air Force officer as saying, "If the PLAAF attacks just three airspaces, it would need 660 ballistic missiles every day to attack runways and taxi tracks. It would take just three China's stock of 1,000 to 1,200 MRBMs / SRBMs missiles will be exhausted in just two days of attacking airfields. These are medium and short-range ballistic missiles. This situation will happen when China does not address any important target system. ''

Authorities believe that China can permanently deploy more forces near the border, but this will give India time for counter build-up.

LAC stand-off an intelligence failure

Lead author of the study Dr. O'Donnell told India Today that his assessment of Chinese and Indian combat forces has not changed since the study's publication in March.

He further said that such a large movement of PLA (Chinese Army) should have already been detected by Indian and American intelligence agencies.

O'Donnell said, "What happened in this episode was that large Chinese military exercises near the border areas were used as a trick, then it was diverted to the positions where the Chinese currently occupy."

He described the current situation as the result of "a critical intelligence failure". Also suggested that a Kargil Review Committee level public inquiry should be done in this matter how this intelligence failure was allowed and what steps should be taken to not allow it to happen again in the future.





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