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Hypothetical - Can IAF be wiped out in 10 hour or 12 hours by PLAAF?

Khan vilatey

Feb 11, 2020
After Ukraine there is Romania. Then there is Hungary and Poland.

Then Czechia/Germany.

Romania + Poland can be considered as buffers. Not Ukraine.

Plus, their economies are of no significance.
respectfully Poland and Romania are full NATO and eu members and cannot be considered buffer states as articles of NATO would require a military response Ukraine was the big litmus rest.
India which is not part of NATO or EU would not get any significant support in a conflict with China Is my point


Nov 21, 2018
The IAF has severe technical gaps in its capability as demonstrated on Feb-27 by the PAF.

the PLAAF will have significant numerical (3010+ Aircraft) and technological superiority (stealth aircraft and dedicated strategic bombers)in the Indian occupied Chinese territory according to Wikipedia

the Hamalyian mountain range will give significant cover to PLAAF not to mention the higher refueling and detection (AWACS platforms) and electronic warfare (ELINT) capability

will the IAF be completely wiped out in 10 or 12 hours like in the case of Iraq and America in the first gulf war?

is the force comparison not similar ?

I look forward to your response?


source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Liberation_Army_Air_Force

12 hours is a decent amount to time to destroy IAF.



New Recruit

May 21, 2020
United States
United States
The chinease are going home ......

They will be back.

But next time we will have rafale s400 and more artillary MBRL and spares and Tejas will have matured ,
It is a miss-read to say Chinese are going home. They are moving back from valley where there is risk of floods to higher ground. Nothing irreversible.

On second part, I am afraid your timeslines are optimistic. For a long time, China has hidden strength and ambition under a casual smile. With the events across it's borders, it has come out in the open. China cannot take the desired place in world stage until the border issue with India is resolved in face saving way. I think they would wait for things like weather, situation in Nepal etc improve but not too long.


Feb 1, 2009
United States
India's degree of standardization, networked capabilities and logistics is more akin to a big Iraq than it is to US, China or Russia.

Just like Iraq, it has a confused logistics chain with 4 major suppliers for its planes (US, Russian, French, "domestic"), desperately lacks strategic recon assets (5 AWACs, 1 sigint, 1 radar tracking satellite) and cannot preemptively strike to stop a buildup due to said lack of strategic recon assets and even reliable ground strike assets.

In real war the Indian military would quickly be rendered blind, deaf and mute.

India has 12 P-8's that are very capable C4ISR platforms.


Mar 27, 2009
27th February showed that we lacked the battle management that the PAF displayed (without going overboard about the actual performance, about which I am a sceptic).

Joe - Can you explain the above in more detail ? I have done my best to study the campaigns run by both sides - so was interested in how you arrived at the conclusion above !

@IblinI - Nicely written !


Jan 20, 2006
Well on a Serious note

India's Northern Border is a 2,000-3840 km depending on who you talk to
  • India can't possibly defend this large area unless they split up their airforce


Now the Indians are stuck in Knee deep in Srinagar pretty much 70% of their force
So who exactly will be defending the Eastern front ?

Credit @Spy Master (From 2015)
He did a awesome job with analysis

Now we all know this is not 2015
Pakistan have 150 JF17 Thunders o_O

Now China must have also done something wise between 2015-2020 , if we added 100 Thunders

Indians must understand , it is better to leave Kashmir , and evacuate , rather then lose the whole country

How are F-16s "mostly second-hand"? Except Ex-RJAF, all others were bought by the PAF.
Also MKIs are 4.5 generation but F-16 Blk 52 are 4+? Lol!
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Joe Shearer

Apr 19, 2009
Joe - Can you explain the above in more detail ? I have done my best to study the campaigns run by both sides - so was interested in how you arrived at the conclusion above !

I will put it in point form, so that I can get to the point quickly, and not ramble as I am wont to do.
  1. The moment the Balakot strike was planned, opposing the inevitable retaliation must have been planned. We are therefore looking at how the counter-strike was handled.
  2. The IAF had the problem of guessing or estimating or knowing where and how the PAF would strike back. However, whatever happens in Pakistani air-space is clearly visible by Indian sensors.
  3. Combat air patrols were run, units were on stand-by, AD was activated (but clumsily and without ticking all the boxes, leading to a tragedy), and Search and Rescue teams were ready and in flight the moment it became apparent that an encounter might take place. Who was managing the whole show?
  4. The PAF built up its counter-strike, consisting of a large number of elements, in Pakistani air-space. When such a build-up takes place, even though it takes only minutes, someone should have been alerted and taken control of the situation at a high level.
    1. Did that happen? No evidence. The only 'management' element that appeared in public was a ground controller.
    2. Did that higher management show up in IAF reactions? No.
  5. What were the rules of engagement given to the IAF?
  6. When it became apparent that there was to be a hostile action, who was the officer in charge to be informed? Where?
  7. Knowing that the MiG 21 air to air missiles were outranged, why were they on patrol? Why were no Mirages and SU 30s not moved up? Shouldn't all that have been done BEFORE Balakot was executed? After all, the IAF was planning the first move; it didn't have to anticipate all these, it already knew.
  8. Who was backing up the MiGs? Why did they not react?
  9. Did we have an AWACS aircraft in flight at the time? What was it doing?

  1. No action until the PAF crossed the border?
  2. Who would say that any PAF activity was actionable?
  3. Was our response calibrated to the several configurations of PAF units possible?
  4. Was it calibrated for a mix of F-16s and JF-17s?
  5. Was it calibrated for ordnance?
  6. Did it take into account the air to air missiles carried by either aircraft?
  7. Which units would be directed to respond?
Please critique my post.

In your opinion - whats the benchmark that should be aimed at ? Which AD can realistically defeat missile threats ?

I was making the point that none can.


Feb 9, 2009
Saudi Arabia
meditate on the event of Feb 2019, nobody is going to tell you how, suffice it toa that it can be done, was done will be done again if n when the need arises. unless of course if you Manage to rope in the Americans to do the actual work bot in the air and on the ground?

since when does india have a border with Afghanistan? have they taken GB already?
my calculation is based on border not map


Aug 28, 2006
sorry to say never read your calculation, just saw your map (with subliminal messaging) and started to fume

Every statement is not necessarily to one's taste. Let it slide.

Firstly, the question is extremely unrealistic. 10-12 hours, specially when the two are considered major forces in the world. Even US took more time to completely control Iraqi Air Force, and here we are talking about India. All the hate aside, Indian Air Froce is a formidable force and should not be underestimated.

In my opinion, there were three main objectives Chinese had in mind when they initiated small incursions in various territories they think belong to them:

1 - Pressuring India to not take sides between West Vs Chinese alliance;
2 - Telling India and the UN, that unilateral action in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir is not acceptable, and Chinese are ready to move in and take what's rightfully theirs; and
3 - Helping Pakistan in securing CPEC by forcing India to spread its forces across north-eastern border.

Neither India, nor China wanted to convert the issue into a larger conflict although India had the reason and motivation to push China little bit. The reason was that China effectively denied India access to some pieces of land that earlier Indians had access to, and motivation was from the anti Chinese western alliance that had two of their own objectives in mind, (1) support their respective economies through Indian purchases in case of war, and (2) weakening China after pushing her to an unwanted war. Unfortunately, India didn't play according to their game plan and accepted a new status quo in the area on Chinese terms.

As much as Pakistanis wanted this war to happen (because we had our own objective of entering into IOJK and take whatever we could in the process), we should appreciate that Indians didn't take the bait for a small barren piece of land, and also managed the perception very well internally that they have come out as victors after the conflict.

In the last couple of decades, what I have personally realized that India is not in favor of (or lack the courage to enter into) all out wars with any country in the region. India had the best chance against Pakistan in 1999, when China was not technologically that strong, and the possibility of Chinese support was minimal. India didn't convert the localized Kargil skirmish to a full fledged war. Subsequent events also proved that India lacks the will of attacking Pakistan. In 2002, then in 2008, and then in 2016, and after that 2019, India avoided a full scale war against a much smaller enemy. India also didn't give any reason to Pakistan to expand the conflict. For example, in 2016, Pakistan was shocked at the drama of fake surgical strikes that was aimed at calming down the masses in India rather than irking Pakistan. In 2019 too, India didn't miss the target because of error, it was a deliberate calculated miss not to avoid giving any reason to Pakistan to respond heavily and forcing India to retaliate at a full scale. Here, I am not saying that India was not in a position to retaliate, but it lacked the will to enter into a full scale war against any country. Some say that India changed its priorities and wanted to follow Chinese rise and that is the main reason for avoiding a larger conflict with Pakistan.

Now, if India wants to avoid a full scale war against Pakistan, we shouldn't be expecting her to behave differently against a much larger enemy.

Now that we have discussed the possibility of war between China and India, lets discuss what if a war really breaks out between the two countries. So in case of a war, India (or even China) will never put all their forces against each other. Also, there will be a very very limited role of air forces in such a terrain characterizd by high mountains. In such a region, it takes a heavy toll on ground forces too and the chances of making changes in the border remain quite thin.

Now there are three other factors that may play a role in the conflict (not necessarily a war in the strict sense):

1 - Naval forces and their distribution across Indian ocean and SCS
2 - Electronic warfare
3 - Proxy war

We know that China has effectively achieved a couple of her objectives that I have listed above. I am not sure about Indian decision on anti Chinese alliance. In my opinion, India will show her teeth but will never become a proxy of western alliance against China. Indian decision makers are not naive to take sides in the conflict. They didn't even put their soldiers in Afghanistan where they had absolute confidence of a western walk over all the way. Against China, there is more a possibility that India is isolated by the regional countries, including Russia and those with shared borders. Isolation in the region is more disadvantagous than global one, because you can't just pick your land and put it somewhere else to avoid humiliation. India is anxiously looking towards leaving western forces from Afghanistan, and growing influence of China in her neighbors. In this scenario, it will be an extremely foolish mistake of taking side between west and China. So naval forces placement against China is out of question for now.

Electronic warfare, yes it might play a role like it did on 27th Feb, however, since the arial combat is almost out of question, that will not come into play. In case of an unlikely war, the west will support India in whatever way possible and that will be detrimental to Chinese interests too.

The third one is proxy war in which India has achieved some form of expertise. India will try to help west by motivating forces in Tibet against China and will try to bleed her through small cuts.

Therefore, in my opinion, we should wait for India to start a proxy war with western media on her side against China like how they have been doing in Pakistan for decades.
Thanks for making time to offer a rich perspective in relation to topic, good Sir.

Really appreciated. :tup:

You raise an interesting point - Indian reluctance to commit to an all-out confrontation while responding to incursion(s). This make sense actually.

Why risk a wider conflict when a matter can be sorted out through diplomacy and/or other means?

Although India would have its share of RED LINES as well. Not sure what these are.

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