NEW DELHI, (BM) – The deployment of additional air defense systems of India is reported closer to the Ladakh region – on the border with China, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to recent reports, the Indian command decided to take this step due to the fact that China, according to intelligence, deployed the S-300 and S-400 air defense systems in Tibet.
Against this background, the Sputnik news service publishes an interview with a military analyst, Indian Air Force veteran Vijainder Thakur. In an interview with correspondent Rashikesh Kumar, Thakur said that China’s main goal in this regard is to gain a strategic advantage in the border areas.
Moreover, as the expert notes, the deployment of air defense systems at high altitudes can play a negative role for those who carry out such an arrangement. In fact, we were talking about the “weaknesses” of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system if the complex was placed high in the mountains.
From the material: “The average height of the Tibetan plateau is about 4.5 thousand meters. S-400 systems, located at an altitude of about 500 m, will be able to effectively detect aircraft and UAVs over long distances – long before they enter the airspace of the region. But if you place the S-400 at high altitudes, the mountainous terrain may not allow them to detect aircraft flying at an altitude of about 5 km.”
The Indian expert said he was skeptical that China would decide to deploy its next-generation J-20 fighter jets near the borders with India. According to V. Thakur, China might need such airplanes in case of a full-scale war with India, but “China will not gain anything from such a war”:
“In any case, a total war with India would lead to an even greater alienation of China from the rest of the world. Such alienation would be a serious threat to the continued rule of the CPC [Communist Party of China – ed.]”
India is looking at the American F-35 stealth fighter
According to various military sources in India, as well as according to the Chinese publication Sohu, there is a high probability that India will abandon the acquisition of the Russian Su-57 Super Sukhoi and move to the American F-35, BulgarianMilitary.com reported on July 2.
The high cost of the upgraded version of the Russian Su-57 Super Sukhoi fighter, and the purchase of the basic version of the Indian Air Force is not considered due to the “dampness” of this version.
The Su-57 purchase could be unbearable for India, betting that the first deliveries of this combat aircraft are planned only in five years, in this connection, India began to consider the possibility of acquiring the American F-35A.
According to some reports, the cost of the upgraded version of the Su-57 will vary from 150 to 200 million dollars, and given the fact that India plans to acquire several hundred fifth-generation fighters, it is obvious that we are talking about billions of dollars.
Given that the export value of American F-35s is about 120-140 million dollars, and this combat aircraft was seen performing military operations, India is likely to really abandon Russian fighters.
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Su-57 of the second stage, which is planned to be released in 2024, is the“ real Su-57. At the current stage, the Su-57 can only be considered a pre-production Su-57, and its degree of completion is relatively low. Even the Russian Air Force does not want to receive them in large quantities” experts said.
“At this stage, the Su-57 with a very low degree of readiness will obviously not be accepted by the Indian Air Force, so even if India wants to buy a Su-57 fighter, it will have to wait at least until the second stage fighter appears around 2025. If India wants to buy a fifth-generation car in five years, the F-35A/B is the most ideal choice. The likelihood of buying a Su-57 is very small. As for the value of the Russian export fighter for India, it is inexpedient for the Russians not to demand more than 150 million US dollars.” Sohu reports.
India bought 21 MiG-29 fighters
As we reported earlier this week the Indian Ministry of Defense has approved the purchase of 21 MiG-29 fighters from the Russian Federation to strengthen the country’s air force’s combat readiness.
As the PTI news agency reports citing sources, such a decision was made on Thursday at a meeting of the Defense Procurement Council, which was chaired by the head of the Indian military department Rajnath Singh.
According to the agency, the Indian Air Force will also purchase an additional 12 Su-30MKI aircraft, which are produced by the Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under a Russian license.
In addition, the Ministry of Defense approved the proposal to modernize 59 MiG-29 fighters already in service with the country, PTI points out. The agency emphasizes that the decision to purchase and modernize the aircraft was taken against the backdrop of a worsening relationship between India and China.
According to the Indian government news agency PIB, the cost of purchasing from Russia 21 MiG-29 fighters and upgrading 59 aircraft of this type will be about $ 980 million, and the acquisition of 12 Su-30MKI will be about $ 1.35 billion.
The US has warned India not to rely on Russian fighter jets in combat
On June 22 the American columnist of Forbes, David Ax, recalls that recently it became known about the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a shootout along the disputed Indian-Chinese border, passing through a towering mountain range. He also notes that, according to media reports [Forbes – ed.], forty-three Chinese soldiers were injured in the clash.
“It is not surprising that India this week allegedly placed an order with Russia for $780 million for 33 fighters with Russia, which is enough to equip or re-equip two squadrons,” the publication says.
It is known that New Delhi plans to acquire 21 MiG-29 fighters and several Su-30.
The Indian Air Force has long planned to purchase additional aircraft to strengthen the existing arsenal of service, consisting of about 230 Su-30s and 60 MiG-29s. New Delhi also plans to acquire 83 local Tejas light fighters, as well as 144 foreign medium-sized fighters, in the coming years.
David Ax notes that all new fighters are part of the effort to increase the air force from 28 front-line squadrons to 40, the number of which New Delhi considers sufficient to fight simultaneously with Pakistan and China.
“These 28 squadrons fly on a stunning variety of fighters, including Indian and Russian types, the French Mirage 2000s and Rafales, and European Jaguars,” recalls an observer for the American publication.
Tom Cooper, an author and aviation expert, expressed his surprise that the Indian Air Force wants the Su-30 and MiG-29 to meet the extraordinary requirements for a pair of aircraft squadrons. Su-30, although it seems impressive on paper, in comparison with Western models does not have performance and combat efficiency.
David Ax explains that Cooper’s point of view is this: for decades, the Mirage 2000 was a more effective fighter in the Indian service than the Su-30. Rafale, the successor to the French-made Mirage, is also one of India’s finest fighters. However, the Indians ordered a total of 36 Rafale.
“The Su-30 not only does not have the latest high-precision air-to-ground ammunition, but also does not work well with high-altitude air bases supporting Indian operations along the so-called border,” the Forbes publication says.
The lighter MiG-29 is better suited for the Indian Air Force than the Su-30. However, this does not mean that the old MiG is the right choice for New Delhi.
On the night of June 15-16, clashes between the Indian and Chinese military occurred in the area of the Galvan River in the Union territory of Ladakh. According to Indian army sources cited by local media, no firearms were used – sticks and stones were used. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed, 76 wounded, sources in the Indian army also claim that about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed and wounded.
The situation in Ladakh escalated after clashes took place in early May with the participation of about 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. More than 100 people were injured on both sides. Subsequently, India and China said they were making efforts to maintain stability.
Gathering of military forces
China began to deploy a large military group to the border with India, which, in particular, including many tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles.
On published footage is visible countless infantry fighting vehicles waiting to be dispatched on railway platforms, Type-96 tanks on tractors, as well as the arrival of units at the deployment site.
At the same time, a large convoy of Indian military trucks was also deployed towards the disputed region.
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