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Is the military gap between Pakistan and India increasing or decreasing?

Is the military gap between Pakistan and India increasing or decreasing?

  • It's increasing

  • It's decreasing

  • It's the same as it was 20 years ago


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Alpha_PK

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Pakistan has been trying to revolutionise it's navy, which was relatively quite a weak force. So is this gap closing?

Is the army and airforce gap closing too?


Please use facts and figures to back up your claim.
 

arjunk

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The Navy will need a lot more time due to sheer size

Airforce is way ahead of IAF

Army can easily defeat Indian Army if going defensive; For offensive moves, cannot afford to make careless stupid mistakes like they did in the past wars.
 

Bawag

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I believe to understand this issue, we need a reference point for comparison. My lightweight view is to take 'Kargil conflict' as a reference point to assess the military gap between two countries. For example, we can look at the capabilities in a time-series method:
  • [PA in 1999 vs. PA in 2020++] vs. [IA in 1999 vs. IA in 2020++]
  • [PAF in 1999 vs. PAF in 2020++] vs. [IAF in1999 vs. IAF in 2020++]
  • [PN in 1999 vs. PN in 2020++] vs. [IN in 1999 vs. IN in 2020++]
I think Pak Armed Forces have at least increased their capabilities and tried to minimize the technological gaps. In 2020 and beyond, current procurement measures with pipeline deliveries (e.g., JF17 Block III + PL15 BVRs, New Submarines & Warships, possible long range Air Defense) will help to decrease the conventional gaps between both countries. Hopefully, some senior member can shed more light.
 

Cookie Monster

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Pakistan has been trying to revolutionise it's navy, which was relatively quite a weak force. So is this gap closing?

Is the army and airforce gap closing too?


Please use facts and figures to back up your claim.
If we look at the state of Pakistan's armed forces compared to Indian armed forces...starting from the time of independence...
...Pakistan has made immense progress at closing the gap.

There have been ups and downs...in some cases fast progress was made...and in some cases we fell behind in progress. An example being when Pak first acquired F16s...the airforce gained a significant qualitative advantage...then during the embargo all progress grind to a halt...and there was a time when PAF went without BVR capability while India had it. However overall the gap has closed especially when it comes to PAF and PN.

In case of PA...I'm disappointed in the lack of vision and focus. An example is that of tanks...Pakistan has Ukraine, Turkey, and China(others too) that it could've worked with to develop a decent tank(which I was hoping would be Al-Khalid 2 going forward). Instead they went for stop gap measures with 300 VT4(not to take away from its capabilities). It echoed the same stop gap measures taken before with T80UD and others. At this point it's a hodge podge mix of a a few hundred of this and few hundred of that. What the army needs is to focus on a decent domestic(or JV) tank(analogous to what the JF17 was for PAF)...churn it out over time to replace older tanks...and standardize the fleet. It can be improved over time as well(like JF17 blocks were)...
...either put all the focus in that...or decide once and for all...to import. So that money doesn't have to be squandered on an indigenous effort. If that's what the decision is...then go all in with some Chinese tank that fits the needs(like VT4 for example)...and go for license production(akin to Su30 MKI strategy of India).

I was happy to hear that PA was going for T129 with ToT...but that too is kinda up in the air.

So all in all...overall gap has closed...but PA could still do better IMO.
 

Beast

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I believe to understand this issue, we need a reference point for comparison. My lightweight view is to take 'Kargil conflict' as a reference point to assess the military gap between two countries. For example, we can look at the capabilities in a time-series method:
  • [PA in 1999 vs. PA in 2020++] vs. [IA in 1999 vs. IA in 2020++]
  • [PAF in 1999 vs. PAF in 2020++] vs. [IAF in1999 vs. IAF in 2020++]
  • [PN in 1999 vs. PN in 2020++] vs. [IN in 1999 vs. IN in 2020++]
I think Pak Armed Forces have at least increased their capabilities and tried to minimize the technological gaps. In 2020 and beyond, current procurement measures with pipeline deliveries (e.g., JF17 Block III + PL15 BVRs, New Submarines & Warships, possible long range Air Defense) will help to decrease the conventional gaps between both countries. Hopefully, some senior member can shed more light.
The PAF has definitely improve a lot in 2019 as proven in Feb 29 LOC air battle.

During Kargil 1999, PAF even need to turn away as IAF Mirage 2000 BVRAAM is a threat which PAF has nothing to counter that.

I don't see IAF has any advantage over PAF in current context. Most of IAF hardware are overhyped.
 

Signalian

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India has successfully formed China as a regional enemy. India will keep buying weapons to confront China as well as Pakistan, so while India will acquire more and more weapons to be used against China and Pakistan, it's in the best interest of Pakistan to develop own defence industry for every need of its military instead of militarily trying to match India in numbers or closing the gap but bear in mind that keeping up with technology is important. As an example, India has a massive Navy as compared to Pakistan navy however, Indian Navy has to deal with PLA Navy also in the region. In case of war, India cannot divert 100% of its military assets towards Pakistan, while Pakistan has this luxury especially when western front is being secured with fence, surveillance equipment and up-gradation of FC. It's important to predict what percentage of Indian forces can be shifted from North-Eastern and Eastern fronts (facing China) towards Pakistan. How many IAF squadrons and which navy vessels can be spared facing PLAN and diverted towards PN.

Having said that, Pakistan's military equipment needs a lot of modernisation in Tanks (T-59, T-85), Artillery (older 105 mm, 122 mm 130 mm), Helicopters (transport and gunships) and Aircrafts (F-7 and Mirage III/V). A general rule would have been to get the older inventory replaced and after that raise newer formations, however Pakistan has been forming newer formations (LID, MIB, Armor Regts etc) side by side. PAF has formed new squadrons also (28 & 29). PN is inducting newer ships and in future more submarines.

IMO, the expectation from a military formation would be to have enough resources in troops and equipment to be able to carry out a designated mission successfully. One needs to look into several factors like if Strike Corps of Pakistan Army have the capability to go on offensive inside India and capture a major chunk of area like an important town or city. If FCNA has the required logistics to attack and continue the offensive inside IOK capturing cross-roads, peaks and towns as it's subordinate formations press on towards liberation of J&K. If Navy and Marines should be allotted a sizeable amphibious capability to be able to strike before Indian navy starts its build up near the creek area or further south of it.

Pakistan has produced a big arsenal of missiles and nuclear weapons for its defense. Nasr will be deployed in a defensive manner if a sector is threatened to be over run by Indian forces (armor probably). Its the offensive Operations that leaves a lot to be desired. The current COIN war may have produced a battle hardened Pakistan Army, but this was a war in our own backyard. Taking the war to the other side of the border is a completely different ball game.
 

khansaheeb

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I can't sleep at night knowing we don't have Nuke subs as deterrence patrolling the seas and a train link between China and Pakistan across the Karakoram pass. The few planes we have aren't sufficient until we have manufacturing line to build at least a 1000 planes a year with jet engines designed and built indigenously. We need to build our own Satellite launchers and super computers with super computer algorithms.
 
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crankthatskunk

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The Gap has closed somewhat. Not completely though.

The good thing is that due to Chinese pressure Indians are buying the weapons willy nilly. Wasting valuable budget. It is not necessarily giving them any advantage over Pakistan.

One thing is certain that the panic buying is due to the fact that most of the Indian stockpile of weapons were obsolete. Which put them in panic mode to buy the arms they already have.

For example them buying more of Su 30s and Mig 29. Why buy more Su 30s when you already have 250+!!

From such panic buying it is clear that India was lacking usable fire power in their stockpile.
I have a hunch that the situation in India is dire, which is clear from their response to Chinese. Their leadership has waited for almost 3 months before even uttering that they are militarily ready to respond to China.
 

Cookie Monster

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India has successfully formed China as a regional enemy. India will keep buying weapons to confront China as well as Pakistan, so while India will acquire more and more weapons to be used against China and Pakistan, it's in the best interest of Pakistan to develop own defence industry for every need of its military instead of militarily trying to match India in numbers or closing the gap but bear in mind that keeping up with technology is important. As an example, India has a massive Navy as compared to Pakistan navy however, Indian Navy has to deal with PLA Navy also in the region. In case of war, India cannot divert 100% of its military assets towards Pakistan, while Pakistan has this luxury especially when western front is being secured with fence, surveillance equipment and up-gradation of FC. It's important to predict what percentage of Indian forces can be shifted from North-Eastern and Eastern fronts (facing China) towards Pakistan. How many IAF squadrons and which navy vessels can be spared facing PLAN and diverted towards PN.

Having said that, Pakistan's military equipment needs a lot of modernisation in Tanks (T-59, T-85), Artillery (older 105 mm, 122 mm 130 mm), Helicopters (transport and gunships) and Aircrafts (F-7 and Mirage III/V). A general rule would have been to get the older inventory replaced and after that raise newer formations, however Pakistan has been forming newer formations (LID, MIB, Armor Regts etc) side by side. PAF has formed new squadrons also (28 & 29). PN is inducting newer ships and in future more submarines.

IMO, the expectation from a military formation would be to have enough resources in troops and equipment to be able to carry out a designated mission successfully. One needs to look into several factors like if Strike Corps of Pakistan Army have the capability to go on offensive inside India and capture a major chunk of area like an important town or city. If FCNA has the required logistics to attack and continue the offensive inside IOK capturing cross-roads, peaks and towns as it's subordinate formations press on towards liberation of J&K. If Navy and Marines should be allotted a sizeable amphibious capability to be able to strike before Indian navy starts its build up near the creek area or further south of it.

Pakistan has produced a big arsenal of missiles and nuclear weapons for its defense. Nasr will be deployed in a defensive manner if a sector is threatened to be over run by Indian forces (armor probably). Its the offensive Operations that leaves a lot to be desired. The current COIN war may have produced a battle hardened Pakistan Army, but this was a war in our own backyard. Taking the war to the other side of the border is a completely different ball game.
Sir what are ur thoughts on the possibility of converting some of PA's T59/T69 into Rheinmetall's Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition?

I know this is slightly off topic...but given the fact that Pak's T59/T69 tanks are mostly outdated to face anything on the eastern front...coupled with the fact that India is acquiring a decent number of Apaches(along with their LCHs). IMO equipping PA armored formations with Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition would serve as a good counter to Indian attack helos. Such knowledge is not my strong suite...hence why I would like to hear ur thoughts on it.

For reference see below...

Other important points to note are that Pakistan already operates Oerlikon with AHEAD and conventional ammunition...and a variant of Oerlikon has already been mated to T55 chassis as SPAAG(it was produced for Finland). Additionally China license produced Oerlikon SPAAG(on a different tank chassis that I can't recall at the moment). So all the puzzle pieces are there already...it shouldn't cost some huge amounts of money to mate Oerlikon with Pak's T59s and T69s and turn them into SPAAG units.
 

Signalian

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Sir what are ur thoughts on the possibility of converting some of PA's T59/T69 into Rheinmetall's Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition?

I know this is slightly off topic...but given the fact that Pak's T59/T69 tanks are mostly outdated to face anything on the eastern front...coupled with the fact that India is acquiring a decent number of Apaches(along with their LCAs). IMO equipping PA armored formations with Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition would serve as a good counter to Indian attack helos. Such knowledge is not my strong suite...hence why I would like to hear ur thoughts on it.

For reference see below...

Other important points to note are that Pakistan already operates Oerlikon with and without AHEAD ammunition...and a variant of Oerlikon has already been mated to T55 chassis as SPAAG(it was produced for Finland). Additionally China license produced Oerlikon SPAAG(on a different tank chassis that I can't recall at the moment). So all the puzzle pieces are there already...it shouldn't cost some huge amounts of money to mate Oerlikon with Pak's T59s and T69s and turn them into SPAAG units.
what about upgrading T-59s to AZ ? The numbers of tanks need to be increased. PA needs a medium to high altitude AD SP System. Short range is covered efficiently already.
 

Yasser76

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What is interesting now is that India has entered somewhat of a perfect storm in terms of defence expenditure.

1) Pensions continue to take up more and more of the percentage of defence expenditure every year, leaving less room for CAPEX
2) Recent heavy deployments of large troops and equipment all along Chinese border will require massive amounts of spend and of course wear and tear on equipment
3) India recorded a whopping -24% contridiction in it's economy in last quarter. Predicted to end up growing at -10% for year 20-21.
4) Massive legacy payments now for Rafale, Scorpene projects.
5) All major new projects involves massive foreign outflow if USD, still big lack of domestic procurement.


All in all, expect some cuts to come along very soon.

Vis a vis the above Pakistan doing better

1) Pensions taken care of mostly by armed forces themselves via private schemes
2) Drawing down of operations in FATA actually means reduction in deployment costs, only LOC to worry about
3) Pakistan economy actually predicted to grow by 1% this year
4) Legacy payments for equipment (Frigates and subs mainly) are to close allies on very good commercial terms
5) Major projects like AK-1, JF-17, Subs involve much of the expenditure remaining within Pakistan
 

PanzerKiel

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Sir what are ur thoughts on the possibility of converting some of PA's T59/T69 into Rheinmetall's Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition?

I know this is slightly off topic...but given the fact that Pak's T59/T69 tanks are mostly outdated to face anything on the eastern front...coupled with the fact that India is acquiring a decent number of Apaches(along with their LCHs). IMO equipping PA armored formations with Oerlikon SPAAG with AHEAD ammunition would serve as a good counter to Indian attack helos. Such knowledge is not my strong suite...hence why I would like to hear ur thoughts on it.

For reference see below...

Other important points to note are that Pakistan already operates Oerlikon with AHEAD and conventional ammunition...and a variant of Oerlikon has already been mated to T55 chassis as SPAAG(it was produced for Finland). Additionally China license produced Oerlikon SPAAG(on a different tank chassis that I can't recall at the moment). So all the puzzle pieces are there already...it shouldn't cost some huge amounts of money to mate Oerlikon with Pak's T59s and T69s and turn them into SPAAG units.
We already through the exercise of inducting SPAAGs. Reasons for not inducting SPAAGs include lesser accuracy of the gun, inability to fire while on the move, TOT incl ammo...then of course the SPAAG chassis, itself requiring routine maintenance,spares which would itself require specialized EME setups etc.

All this when compared with missiles....missiles which are packed and ready to fire, requiring negligible maintenance, requiring less intensive training of crews, lesser no of crew / missile then for a gun platform, hardly any logistics....

So a decision was taken not to go the SPAAG way. World is also slowly transforming and adopting the missile route....
 

Cookie Monster

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what about upgrading T-59s to AZ ? The numbers of tanks need to be increased. PA needs a medium to high altitude AD SP System. Short range is covered efficiently already.
We already through the exercise of inducting SPAAGs. Reasons for not inducting SPAAGs include lesser accuracy of the gun, inability to fire while on the move, TOT incl ammo...then of course the SPAAG chassis, itself requiring routine maintenance,spares which would itself require specialized EME setups etc.

All this when compared with missiles....missiles which are packed and ready to fire, requiring negligible maintenance, requiring less intensive training of crews, lesser no of crew / missile then for a gun platform, hardly any logistics....

So a decision was taken not to go the SPAAG way. World is also slowly transforming and adopting the missile route....
Thank you both for ur insightful replies...much appreciated.
 

Joe Shearer

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The Navy will need a lot more time due to sheer size

Airforce is way ahead of IAF

Army can easily defeat Indian Army if going defensive; For offensive moves, cannot afford to make careless stupid mistakes like they did in the past wars.
In other words, even while making careless, stupid mistakes, Army can easily defeat Indian Army while defending.

Your logic is, as always, impeccable.
 

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