There will come a day when a Chinese carrier with support vessels will sail into the Indian ocean. The ships will get support from Pakistani ports. This is inevitable. It is not only US ships that are allowed to sail into distant oceans. Others can do that too. But we need to plan to knock any navy out, not just the Chinese navy. So if they sail into the Indian ocean they will allow us to see them and allow us to test them.
We have allowed Japanese trawlers to collect sand from Indian beaches. Fishing vessels from everywhere hunt in the Indian ocean. Italian marines shot Indian fishermen in Indian waters. Dinghies sailed into Mumbai with terrorists and they went undetected. Tomorrow will be the 4th anniversary of that. Iran, that supplied Pakistan with arms in the last India-Pakistan war was building up such a formidable Navy with US help just before Khomeini that I was surprised at the lack of panic in Indian newspapers. Luckily that changed, but even today the Pakistani navy is close enough for us to worry and they have equipment and support from the USA whose power I have been asked to "Suck it up and live with it"
Hey we can suck it up and live with Chinese power no? Why the extra worry about China?
The simple fact of life is that GOI tends to be more obsessed with winning the next election than running the country including its various issues - national and international. The current UPA is a disaster that keeps giving from that point, even with a completely pliant media and babucracy.
Even so, its worth remarking that Indian defence modernization has not completely stalled (despite St Antony's fervent efforts) and in fact has passed several critical milestones. Whats worth remarking is how good it would have been, if there was an effective admin at the helm versus the current one.
The important thing is that despite all the political ineffectiveness, things keep moving. Every other year, a new DPP has been made, the private sector has fought for & is getting its way into manufacturing, and Indian R&D (DRDO & partners) have shown a consistent record of performance & product improvement (check the missile program for instance).
Right now, as things stand, the NE fight will be attrition. Manpower and training is on our side. Artillery on the Chinese side but again, if they attack and we defend, the force advantage has to be overwhelming to give clean victories, that is doubtful looking at the PLA as it stands. It will take a deus ex machina for the PLA to have a decisive victory
In terms of the AF - surprisingly, the Air Arms are evenly matched in terms of combat aircraft numbers of the 4G kind, especially considering both sides have to take other zones into account (Pak for India, Taiwan/Korea/Japan etc for PRC). Their advantages are in terms of more cruise missiles (presumably) and better SAM coverage. Again, a lot of these have been used for protecting Beijing but the rapid imports of S-3XX SAMs has given them an edge in terms of LR coverage. The LY/KS series SAMs wont be as sophisticated but allow for layering. Again, once India gets the Nirbhay, and MR/LRSAMs in production, these advantages wont be as significant. The Brahmos program as it stands will give the IAF a reasonable option in the 300 km range. Beyond that, and you really are looking at strategic assets, and expecting pinpoint strikes may be a bit too much for either side.
I would suggest anyone looking at Naval comparisons to look at a comparison made by RahulM on an IBN blog. Again, the gap is not significant, and if the PLAN comes looking for a fight, they don't possess an overwhelming advantage.
Basically, India needs to get a few programs right - especially its artillery gun tubes., long range AEW & C (with bistatic surveillance asset integration) - underway, and the PLA's much vaunted modernization will be countered to a significant degree.
Judging by their J-10 experience, the vast majority of their J-20/J-31/J-XX programs are going to a decade to mature (the J-10 took far more time than that) & won't be at the same level or better than the latest items India is either purchasing (Rafale) or codeveloping (the FGFA). The J-10 specs were recently revealed, and they are nothing particularly fanciful or significant. The decades old MiG-29 platform with upgrades is likely to come out ahead in several criteria.
Point is a whole bunch of Chinese posters seem to have got it into their heads that coming to BR, posting staged pics & then when nobody remarks - the next one comes along, quotes it, and then posts a supportive statements (saying x in service, y ready etc)....is a very great way to convince India & Indians of China's might.
The reality is that the Indian Armed Forces are well aware of the Chinese issue & are also well versed in using it to justify their own modernization. A few pics of prototypes are not going to scare them if they can't convince many of us.
Once conventionally stalemated, the nuclear factor is an issue. And there of course, its a whole different ballgame.
Even there, I doubt whether the Indian position is as "weak" as assumed. Reason exists to believe that with IGMP having delivered, enough steps are being put in place to create a tough deterrent.