Friday, October 2, 2009

China vs India: Military might

China's military parade on the 60th anniversary of the Communist Party taking over was designed, right down the smallest detail, to prove the country's super-power status.

The world's other declared rising super-power watched the parade closely. And India's calculations reflected this.

India has over 13.25 lakh active military personnel compared with China's 22.55 lakh troops.

China's Air Force has 9,000 aircrafts with 2000 fighter planes. The Indian Air Force has 3,000 airplanes with 790 fighter planes.

China's combat power is guaranteed through its fleet of Russian Sukohi-30 MKK and indigenously built J-10 fighters.

The Indian Air Force, on the other hand, has French built-Dassault Mirage 2000s and Russian Sukohi-30 MKI as the best aircrafts in its combat fleet. No indigenous fighters or aircrafts have been deployed by India so far.

The 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, and the Tsunami that struck in December 2004.

In comparison, China's Navy with its fleet of 284 vessels is quantitatively larger but lacking in actual war experience, which could undermine its strategic capability. China currently 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 army is miles ahead of India's nuclear forces with 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 about 1000 kg. In stark contrast, China's nuclear delivery system is far more capable with multiple warheads.


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