Someone had posted parts of this before. For sake of completeness, all three parts are below. If you subscribe to UPI then you can also see the articles at Andrei Chang
Analysis: India's air buildup -- Part 1
By ANDREI CHANG
HONG KONG, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Within the next four months, a first batch of eight Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters will be positioned at India's Tezpur Air Base in the state of Assam, near the border with China, an Indian navy source has revealed.
This is almost six months ahead of the timeline reported some time ago in the Indian media.
This will be the first time for Su-30MKI fighters to be deployed so close to the Indian-Chinese border. The deployment of two squadrons of Su-30MKI fighters at Tezpur Air Base in the eastern part of the country will greatly enhance India's capability to launch aerial precision attacks on China.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI's 932-mile combat radius is enough to cover all the major cities in southwest China, including Kunming, Chengdu and Chongqing. India plans to outfit the fighters with the latest BrahMos air-to-ground supersonic missiles, which have a 180-mile range. India's aerial refueling capability will greatly extend the combat radius of the aircraft. The BrahMos is co-produced by India and Russia.
Along the Indian-Chinese border, air power has been shifting in favor of India. First of all, India has quite a number of airports in Assam and the disputed territory of Arunachal Pradesh, making troop maneuvers easier. In the Tibet region, China has only the Kang-ko Airport in eastern Tibet, the Gongka Airport in Lhasa and one more known as the Hidden Airport. Fighter aircraft are not normally stationed at any of these airports.
China has sent Sukhoi Su-27SK fighters to this area for airport transfer training on the plateau. Troops who took part in this training reportedly faced difficulties in logistic support and supply. In the nearby Chengdu Military Region, the only air force units with decent combat strength are one J-10A regiment under the PLA Air Force's No. 44 Division and one Su-27 regiment under the No. 33 Division.
The Diqing and Zhongdian airports in Yunnan province could be used for operations against India, but these are small civilian airports. India has built a number of airports in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, including seven military airports. The small Teju New Airport, located close to the border with China, has only one runway and is mainly used for rapid transport by helicopter. It could be used as a runway for MiG-21 fighters to take off and land.
There is another similar airport in Machuka, again close to the border. A small airport at Sookerating has one runway, while the Along Airport is also available for fast landing and takeoff of helicopters, indicating that the Indian air force attaches great importance to fast reaction capability.
Other small front-line airport facilities include the Jorhat Airport and Lilabari Airport. The Chabua Airport can field not only An-32 light transport aircraft but also Mi-8/17 helicopters, and is the pivotal airport for the Indian air force to quickly deliver troops in the region. Two runways have been built at this airport.
To the south of Arunachal Pradesh is Assam, where Tezpur is the largest military airport. Tezpur Airport, now preparing to receive the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters, is no more than 300 miles from the practical line of control at the China-India border. The Indian Air Defense Force No. 30 Squadron is stationed there, armed with 16 MiG-21FL fighters, all of which are now anchored in mound-structured hangars.
Two other small airports have been built in Assam, the Dimapir and Kumbhirgram dual-use airports. The Indian air force also has the Lengpui, Barapani and Guwahati airports in the area.
Analysis: India's air buildup -- Part 2
By ANDREI CHANG
HONG KONG, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- In the strategic direction of Bhutan and central Nepal, the Indian air force has built three major military airports, sufficient to provide deterrence over the central part of Tibet.
These airports include the Bagdogra -- Avantipur -- Air Base, where at least 16 MiG-21FL fighters and An-32 transport aircraft are based. The airport is equipped with mound-structured hangars, each accommodating two MiG-21 fighters. The Bagdogra Airport is also only 310 miles from the border with China and is the home base of the Indian air force No. 8 Squadron.
In this region, the Hashimara Air Base is one of the better-equipped military airports with large, full-fledged facilities. There are 18 MiG-27ML attackers based here, and during a confrontation with China, these could hit targets deep in Tibet through the Bhutan-Nepal corridor. The No. 22 Squadron of the Indian air force is stationed at this airport. In addition, a simple runway also has been built at Cooch Behar.
India and China have been following very similar paths in the construction of airport facilities and SAM-2 ground-to-air missile positions, as they are the students of the same Soviet Union professor. Nonetheless, the Chinese air force is ahead of the Indian air force in the construction of underground airport facilities. All along its western border with China, especially in the area north of New Delhi, India has been building a series of airports and military bases in an obvious effort to strengthen its defenses against its increasingly powerful neighbor.
There are three military airports in the central part of the border area, two of which are large air bases. Along the western part of the border there are 11 airports that could lend support to the Indian air force in the event of an attack upon Tibet. These include airports at Patna, Bihta, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly and Adampur.
At the Bakshi-Ka-Talab Air Base near Bareilly, observers have spotted nine Su-30K fighter aircraft. Under normal circumstances, three or more MiG-25R aircraft are stationed here, for use by the No. 102 Reconnaissance Squadron in operations along India's western border with China. This airport, which belongs to the Indian air force's No. 35 and No. 102 squadrons, has extensive facilities including reinforced aircraft hangars and is located no more than 370 miles from the Indian-Chinese border.
There is another large air base not far away at Ambala, with 35 reinforced aircraft hangars. Less than 250 miles from the border with China, it is the closest attack base to Tibet. The Indian Air Defense Force's No. 5 Squadron is based here, with a fleet of Jaguar attackers. There are also at least two SAM-2/3 surface-to-air missile positions at this base.
At nearby Chandigarh, at least 13 reinforced aircraft hangars and one SAM-3 missile position have been built. This is an airport primarily for military transport aircraft as well as Mi-17/Mi-8 helicopters belonging to the No. 3 Air Base warehouse. There are at least two IL-76 transport aircraft, 13 AN-32 transport planes and one heavy-lift Mi-26 helicopter fielded at this airport.
This deployment suggests the Indian military is highly aware of the need to airlift troops to the Tibet region should a conflict erupt between the two countries.
Analysis: India's air buildup -- Part 3
By ANDREI CHANG
HONG KONG, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- In the event of a conflict with China, Indian military units stationed along the eastern part of the Indian-Chinese border could make full use of the 13 military and civilian airports in the frontier region.
Helicopters and transport planes could quickly deliver troops to the scene of the conflict, and fighter aircraft could use these airports for take-off and landing.
Among all these airport facilities, the Tezpur Airport has the most modern, full-fledged installations. It is here that eight Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters of the Indian air force are due to be positioned in the next few months. The Amritsar Air Base is very close to the Indian-Pakistani border, but it is also adjacent to the western part of the Indian-Chinese border. A total of 29 reinforced aircraft hangars have been built at this airport.
The Gwalior Airport south of India's capital, New Delhi, is the gateway for the Indian air force's strategic bombers. The No. 1 and No. 7 Nuclear Attack Squadrons -- armed with French-built Dassault Mirage 2000H/TH fighters -- are stationed at this air base. Several Jaguar attack aircraft also have been seen fielded at this airport, which has very sturdy aircraft hangars.
The Gwalior Air Base is less than 340 miles from the Indian-Tibetan border and about 310 miles from the Indian-Pakistani border. This indicates that India pays equal attention to China and Pakistan in deploying its nuclear attack power.
The No. 24 and No. 20 Squadrons, stationed at the Lohegaon Air Base near Pune, are armed with Sukhoi Su-30K and Su-30MKI fighters. The No. 20 Squadron received its first Su-30MKI fighters between 2000 and 2004. The earlier model Su-30K fighters, received from Russia in 1997 and 1998, are scheduled to be returned to Russia in exchange for a new batch of 18 Su-30MKIs.
The two squadrons are now equipped with 39 Sukhoi Su-30MKI Phase I/II fighters. It looks as if the Su-30MKI fighters, soon to be deployed at the Tezpur Air Base, will also be Phase II Su-30MKIs assembled in India.
The No. 20 Squadron is the best fighter unit of the Indian air force, equivalent to the 9th Regiment of the Chinese People's Liberation Army air force's No. 3 Division. It is based in the southern part of the region, apparently positioned as the air force's strategic reserve unit.
Yet oddly, no reinforced aircraft hangars have been built for the Sukhoi Su-30MKIs at this airport. Instead, the aircraft are stationed on an open apron. Considering the hot weather conditions in southern India, the reason for this is unclear. There are also several Jaguar attack aircraft based here.
The extensive buildup of airports in the border region, the performance features of the aircraft deployed there and the capability to quickly project troops in the area show that New Delhi's apprehensions about a threat from the north are quite strong. Still, India now has a clear advantage over China in terms of preparedness for a conflict in this region.