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India-China: Military Balance In The High Himalayas

BL33D

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This may come as a shock to many, but if one compares the India and Chinese deployment in the Himalayas, there’s not much difference between the two countries, whether in terms of manpower or equipment. Infrastructure-wise China has done a first class job but India is fast getting there and has the advantage of its troops positioned to within a few kilometres of the Line of Actual Control. It has enabled India to block Chinese troop incursions and also assert their claim to areas occupied by the Chinese.

In a study titled The Strategic Postures of India & China, researchers Frank O’Donnell and Alex Bollfrass say that “India has key underappreciated conventional advantages that reduce its vulnerability to Chinese threats and attacks. India appears to have cause for greater confidence in its military position against China than is typically acknowledged.”

Indian Army
Looking at land forces, they say that India fields around 225,000 personnel spread over northern, central and eastern commands. It includes a T-72 tank brigade in Ladakh and a Brahmos missile regiment in Arunachal Pradesh.

upload_2020-5-30_4-27-12.png


Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force has an estimated 270 fighters and 68 ground attack aircraft spread across western, central and eastern air commands. There are 10 airbases including Srinagar, Adampur, Tezpur, Bareilly and Gorakhpur. There are also 15 advanced landing grounds including five in Ladakh, the most important being Daulat Beg Oldi, Hanle, Thoise and Fuk-Che and total eight in Arunachal Pradesh including Tawang, Mechuka , Tuting and Walong
upload_2020-5-30_4-28-29.png


Both the air force and the army are deployed close to the Line of Actual Control, thereby making mobilization easier and faster.

Chinese ground forces number around 200,000 to 230,000 men, which is roughly close to what India deploys. But there is a caveat: a significant portion of Chinese forces are tasked for the Russian frontier or for maintaining order in Xinjiang province. Their forces are also stationed at quite a distance from the LAC, unlike the Indian forces that remain “forward deployed”.

Chinese Land Forces
Bulk of China’s land forces including infantry, some artillery and border defense regiments are stationed in Tibet amounting to 40,000 men; another 90,000 to 120,000 men are stationed in Tibet and Xinjiang


The PLA Air Force has around 157 aircraft of all kinds tasked for the Indian frontier. Add to that nearly 50 drones primarily designated for strike missions, and eight other drones for surveillance.

PLA Air Forces
Major Chinese air bases or airfields are at Hotan, Lhasa, Ngari and Xigaze. Their proximity to India make them vulnerable to an Indian air strike. This would compel China to pull in aircraft from rear bases exacerbating the problem of fuel and payload at such high altitudes.



Source: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (Harvard Kennedy School)

https://stratnewsglobal.com/india-china-military-balance-in-the-high-himalayas/
 

MayaBazar

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This may come as a shock to many, but if one compares the India and Chinese deployment in the Himalayas, there’s not much difference between the two countries, whether in terms of manpower or equipment. Infrastructure-wise China has done a first class job but India is fast getting there and has the advantage of its troops positioned to within a few kilometres of the Line of Actual Control. It has enabled India to block Chinese troop incursions and also assert their claim to areas occupied by the Chinese.

In a study titled The Strategic Postures of India & China, researchers Frank O’Donnell and Alex Bollfrass say that “India has key underappreciated conventional advantages that reduce its vulnerability to Chinese threats and attacks. India appears to have cause for greater confidence in its military position against China than is typically acknowledged.”

Indian Army
Looking at land forces, they say that India fields around 225,000 personnel spread over northern, central and eastern commands. It includes a T-72 tank brigade in Ladakh and a Brahmos missile regiment in Arunachal Pradesh.

View attachment 636615

Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force has an estimated 270 fighters and 68 ground attack aircraft spread across western, central and eastern air commands. There are 10 airbases including Srinagar, Adampur, Tezpur, Bareilly and Gorakhpur. There are also 15 advanced landing grounds including five in Ladakh, the most important being Daulat Beg Oldi, Hanle, Thoise and Fuk-Che and total eight in Arunachal Pradesh including Tawang, Mechuka , Tuting and Walong
View attachment 636616

Both the air force and the army are deployed close to the Line of Actual Control, thereby making mobilization easier and faster.

Chinese ground forces number around 200,000 to 230,000 men, which is roughly close to what India deploys. But there is a caveat: a significant portion of Chinese forces are tasked for the Russian frontier or for maintaining order in Xinjiang province. Their forces are also stationed at quite a distance from the LAC, unlike the Indian forces that remain “forward deployed”.

Chinese Land Forces
Bulk of China’s land forces including infantry, some artillery and border defense regiments are stationed in Tibet amounting to 40,000 men; another 90,000 to 120,000 men are stationed in Tibet and Xinjiang


The PLA Air Force has around 157 aircraft of all kinds tasked for the Indian frontier. Add to that nearly 50 drones primarily designated for strike missions, and eight other drones for surveillance.

PLA Air Forces
Major Chinese air bases or airfields are at Hotan, Lhasa, Ngari and Xigaze. Their proximity to India make them vulnerable to an Indian air strike. This would compel China to pull in aircraft from rear bases exacerbating the problem of fuel and payload at such high altitudes.



Source: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (Harvard Kennedy School)

https://stratnewsglobal.com/india-china-military-balance-in-the-high-himalayas/
Chinese Artillery can hit deep into India while Indian artillery cannot.

Indian side of LAC is populated while Chinese side of LAC is not.

So India will lose more during the war.
 

Cliftonite

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Also China has a height advantage. It occupies the Tibet plateau which is at a vantage point to the entire Ganges delta. Any strike could be highly fatal
 

Joe Shearer

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It is difficult to comment on these issues without sounding negative or despondent and seeming to be guilty of sapping the morale of our own troops, soldiers, airmen and sailors alike.

First, it is entirely true that the numbers of troops deployed by the PLA GF are less than the troops deployed by the Indian Army and its security ancillaries (roughly 225,000 to 160,000, from the Stratfor account above).

Second, the PLA has been honing its logistics capabilities to ensure that it can attend to a situation at any point on its boundaries within very limited time frames. Figures that are from memory are that they aimed to deploy a regiment in one or two days, a brigade in three days, a division in one week; these exercises were done more than a decade ago,and their capability can only have improved.

Third, there is a question of doctrine, strategy and tactics. In 1962, as it was underscored in my discussion with Chausim, the PLA actually had deployed less than one-third of the strength of the Indian Army. In keeping with Mao's dicta, they 'struck with both fists in one direction at one time'; in other words, they concentrated their troops at the point d'appui, both in Ladakh and in the north-east, and fought a tightly coordinated campaign, against a horde of Indian troops milling around without direction or leadership.

Fourth, specifically, tactically, the PLA cleaned out our positions on Thag La by attacking one extreme end of an entrenchment and moving through it even as the defendants' attention was kept riveted to distracting manoeuvres in front of them. Thereafter, as the Indian Army retreated - Tawang, Bomdi La, Se La - they found the PLA dug into ambushing positions with well-placed and lethal machine gun nests astride the line of retreat.

Fifth, (thanks to @jbgt90 for this reminder), the PLA used irregular warfare extensively. There were munitions collected over six months or more, some of it sent up by the Calcutta-Kalimpong-Sikkim-Nathu La route, right under our noses; there were junior officers disguised as muleteers running around the projected battlefields, familiarising themselves with the routes and points of concentration of the Indian Army. The immensely difficult Bailey Trail became a highway for them, and they broke an Indian Army brigade by marching through that and hitting the concentration point of Se La.

Those are some of the negatives.

The present Indian Army has in the immediate past not been badly led; theatre-specific actions have shown that. But there is the ever-present dread of a Prime Minister's favourite being imposed on the Army for political reasons over-riding professionally better qualified individuals. It is sad that this thought should even occur on a list of factors to be considered, but it is a reality after the third supersession of individuals in deciding the Chief of Army Staff position, and after an appalled audience has had to listen to the general's untimely and inept expressions, including egregious errors pertaining to sensitive procurements, errors that had to be corrected within 24 hours by the Chief of Staff of the concerned service. Of course, curtailing of the budget of a service not his cannot be laid at his doorstep; our government's incompetence in running the economy, and subjecting it to trial by water after trial by fire has left it with no funds for the big-ticket items that were in the pipeline.

However, the Army is too robust an institution to be degraded within a decade, although some reduction of its capabilities has to be accepted. It means that more sons of farmers and of the poor will die, but that has never been a show-stopper for this regime, as the treatment of migrant labourers has shown.

The Air Force has its own maladies, integration of its tools and techniques into a coherent battle-ready force being the most critical among them. On the face of it, the IAF has the advantage of taking off from lower-altitude airfields, with maximised efficiency of its engines and power-plants, whereas the PLA AF has to take off from a high plateau and has to suffer a degradation of its capabilities as a direct consequence.

The list of air bases is dismaying, not because they are listed, not because they are there, but because they will so obviously be the targets of massive PLA missile and interdiction strikes. The situation, against a formidable opponent like the PLA, demands extensive replication of all concentrated facilities - air bases, mechanical and electrical and electronic workshops, communications nodes, communications lines, ammunitions dumps, storage facilities for other weapons - and that is not clearly visible.

The worst is that the PLA has sold successive generations of Indian planners the idea that the differences between the two countries and their military forces have to be resolved across the India-Xijang/Tibet border. Sparta is strong in land warfare and therefore it shall be land warfare. If Athens had concurred, the Peloponnesian War would have been remarkably short and remarkably decided. We have the capability of worrying the PRC about its very innards by sitting on their SLOC, and we do nothing about it, except allow them to come into the Indian Ocean and roam about freely, without any kind of equivalent demonstration of capability within the south Pacific.
 

vishwambhar

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Chinese Artillery can hit deep into India while Indian artillery cannot.

Indian side of LAC is populated while Chinese side of LAC is not.

So India will lose more during the war.
Why can't our artillery hit Chinese positions?? Is it because of height or our artillery is not that advanced? I heard that it's India who enjoys height on most of the border.... can you shed some light???
 

BL33D

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Indian wins hands down. Promise. :cheers:
Not convinced, look at the Indian media outlet. India has already won, no exaggeration. Says Arnab. :agree::P
Stick to threads that can tolerate your comedy.

It is difficult to comment on these issues without sounding negative or despondent and seeming to be guilty of sapping the morale of our own troops, soldiers, airmen and sailors alike.

First, it is entirely true that the numbers of troops deployed by the PLA GF are less than the troops deployed by the Indian Army and its security ancillaries (roughly 225,000 to 160,000, from the Stratfor account above).

Second, the PLA has been honing its logistics capabilities to ensure that it can attend to a situation at any point on its boundaries within very limited time frames. Figures that are from memory are that they aimed to deploy a regiment in one or two days, a brigade in three days, a division in one week; these exercises were done more than a decade ago,and their capability can only have improved.

Third, there is a question of doctrine, strategy and tactics. In 1962, as it was underscored in my discussion with Chausim, the PLA actually had deployed less than one-third of the strength of the Indian Army. In keeping with Mao's dicta, they 'struck with both fists in one direction at one time'; in other words, they concentrated their troops at the point d'appui, both in Ladakh and in the north-east, and fought a tightly coordinated campaign, against a horde of Indian troops milling around without direction or leadership.

Fourth, specifically, tactically, the PLA cleaned out our positions on Thag La by attacking one extreme end of an entrenchment and moving through it even as the defendants' attention was kept riveted to distracting manoeuvres in front of them. Thereafter, as the Indian Army retreated - Tawang, Bomdi La, Se La - they found the PLA dug into ambushing positions with well-placed and lethal machine gun nests astride the line of retreat.

Fifth, (thanks to @jbgt90 for this reminder), the PLA used irregular warfare extensively. There were munitions collected over six months or more, some of it sent up by the Calcutta-Kalimpong-Sikkim-Nathu La route, right under our noses; there were junior officers disguised as muleteers running around the projected battlefields, familiarising themselves with the routes and points of concentration of the Indian Army. The immensely difficult Bailey Trail became a highway for them, and they broke an Indian Army brigade by marching through that and hitting the concentration point of Se La.

Those are some of the negatives.

The present Indian Army has in the immediate past not been badly led; theatre-specific actions have shown that. But there is the ever-present dread of a Prime Minister's favourite being imposed on the Army for political reasons over-riding professionally better qualified individuals. It is sad that this thought should even occur on a list of factors to be considered, but it is a reality after the third supersession of individuals in deciding the Chief of Army Staff position, and after an appalled audience has had to listen to the general's untimely and inept expressions, including egregious errors pertaining to sensitive procurements, errors that had to be corrected within 24 hours by the Chief of Staff of the concerned service. Of course, curtailing of the budget of a service not his cannot be laid at his doorstep; our government's incompetence in running the economy, and subjecting it to trial by water after trial by fire has left it with no funds for the big-ticket items that were in the pipeline.

However, the Army is too robust an institution to be degraded within a decade, although some reduction of its capabilities has to be accepted. It means that more sons of farmers and of the poor will die, but that has never been a show-stopper for this regime, as the treatment of migrant labourers has shown.

The Air Force has its own maladies, integration of its tools and techniques into a coherent battle-ready force being the most critical among them. On the face of it, the IAF has the advantage of taking off from lower-altitude airfields, with maximised efficiency of its engines and power-plants, whereas the PLA AF has to take off from a high plateau and has to suffer a degradation of its capabilities as a direct consequence.

The list of air bases is dismaying, not because they are listed, not because they are there, but because they will so obviously be the targets of massive PLA missile and interdiction strikes. The situation, against a formidable opponent like the PLA, demands extensive replication of all concentrated facilities - air bases, mechanical and electrical and electronic workshops, communications nodes, communications lines, ammunitions dumps, storage facilities for other weapons - and that is not clearly visible.

The worst is that the PLA has sold successive generations of Indian planners the idea that the differences between the two countries and their military forces have to be resolved across the India-Xijang/Tibet border. Sparta is strong in land warfare and therefore it shall be land warfare. If Athens had concurred, the Peloponnesian War would have been remarkably short and remarkably decided. We have the capability of worrying the PRC about its very innards by sitting on their SLOC, and we do nothing about it, except allow them to come into the Indian Ocean and roam about freely, without any kind of equivalent demonstration of capability within the south Pacific.
You forgot about our mistake of not using air force and lack of co-operation and planning between IA and IAF.
Also our supply lines were stretched and our army was fighting with sub-optimal gears. Logistics was a huge issue.
And most of all, we never saw it coming. A strategic blunder.

I am hopeful of the Brahmos regiment to do the same and more to the PLA bases.

The problem with naval blockade is they already have more than 90+ days of oil reserves and their military is domestic. And any such blockade will have global consequence as that is the world's busiest and the most expensive shipping strait. Are we prepared diplomatically ?
 
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crankthatskunk

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Stick to threads that can tolerate your comedy.


You forgot about our mistake of not using air force and lack of co-operation and planning between IA and IAF.
Also our supply lines were stretched and our army was fighting with sub-optimal gears. Logistics was a huge issue.
And most of all, we never saw it coming. A strategic blunder.

I am hopeful of the Brahmos regiment to do the same and more to the PLA bases.

The problem with naval blockade is they already have more than 90+ days of oil reserves and their military is domestic. And any such blockade will have global consequence as that is the world's busiest and the most expensive shipping strait. Are we prepared diplomatically ?
I am sticking to the thread. You asked the Q on the strength of the two forces, I responded, India wins hands down. You still not happy!! I wonder why!! You should be pleased, I was praising mighty forces of India.
Your apprehensions proves that you, yourself are not convinced that India holds any advantages.

- If you use Brahmos on the PLA bases, you should be ready to face what would be coming back to you in return. We call it chin music.

- You even contemplating Naval Blockade of China is damn suicide. Have you not heard, DF 26- D and its allied missiles!! With in few hours you would have no Navy to speak of.
Why all Indians are out of their senses, all of the time!

 
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Ali_Baba

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The deployment of IAF bases on the border with China is far better than the deployment of PLAAF bases. In this respect, IAF infrastructure does outclass PLAAF Infrastructure. I do wonder why PLAAF does not take the development of airbases near India seriously?? They are not the sort of things you can build in the middle of a flare up or engagement. The deployment and force levels of soldiers can be changed at a moments notice, so that is for now, irrelevant.
 

khansaheeb

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Why are those Indian camandoe's not taking back the land ?

They don't know how to do Kung Fu?

Where is Colonel Mahender Dhonii?
Indian kung fu:-


Colonel Dhoni assigned to retake Laddak from China high expection for Indians



Coming with only his bat




Hope he likes good tea
Hope he likes Chinese tea:-



The deployment of IAF bases on the border with China is far better than the deployment of PLAAF bases. In this respect, IAF infrastructure does outclass PLAAF Infrastructure. I do wonder why PLAAF does not take the development of airbases near India seriously?? They are not the sort of things you can build in the middle of a flare up or engagement. The deployment and force levels of soldiers can be changed at a moments notice, so that is for now, irrelevant.
Maybe because the Chinese don't take Indians seriously?-"I do wonder why PLAAF does not take the development of airbases near India seriously??"
 

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