War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 24 Aug 2008 08:01

in spite of all the hullabaloo about expansion plans of PLAN and IN, both navies are at least a decade away from having an influence on each others backyards.

a) their force levels aren't high enough(yet) to enable an expeditionary fleet big enough to ensure domination, unless of course they leave the home fleets depleted -- a risky proposition by any means.
b) before the surface fleets come calling, it would be the subs that will do the honours.
given the difficulty in passing thru' the straits undetected and the ranges involved if one has to go around them, it can only be the SSNs.
c)for both the navies SSN/SSBN capability isn't very mature. PLAN's nuke sub fleet suffers from low sea worthy rates(only a measly 5 odd deployments last year which was the highest ever in PLAN history IIRC) and whatever little capability they have will have to be utilized against the US/taiwan in south china sea and pacific before they think of venturing westwards. given that IN's N-sub capability is geared towards china, it's likely that it would be around 2015 that both navies get some capability for token deployments of N-subs in each others seas.
d) IN of course doesn't need to go to south china sea to create troubles for china's commerce, their SLOCs pass right thru' IN territory. no wonder PLAN is getting all hot and fidgety and trying the oft-quoted "SoP" strategy. IONS was meant to deny china those facilities.
IMHO, china's attempts to create a viable land route thru' pak is also in order to prepare for an alternative in case IOR is locked down by IN.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 24 Aug 2008 08:18

What about INS RajalI and the patrols to SCS by IN Tu-142s? Are they for fun?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 24 Aug 2008 08:38

>>would have to overfly a lot of other countries to reach south china sea. (if that is what you meant by SCS)
>>even if they avoid foreign airspaces and try a route thru' the straits, lots of countries in that area will get extremely jittery at the prospect.
>>also, they won't be survivable in any heightened state of alert w/o air cover. unless we pull a pearl harbour on them, bears have a very slim chance threatening shipping in the south china sea in a warlike situation, they would get intercepted long before that by PLANAF/PLAAF.
>>IAF/IN's fighter capability in SCS will also be subject to overflight permissions from a lot of countries, even then they don't have nearly enough assets in that theater to successfully defend a strike package in SCS. (precisely why I'm always rooting for a sqdn of mkis in A&N, we shouldn't even need the bears in that case :twisted: )

If the IN is really serious about taking the war to the PLAN's front doors they should give a serious thought to leasing and refurbishing the cam ranh base.
perhaps even operate the base jointly with the vietnamese/russians.
would take lots of effort and a major change in GoI thinking but worth it 110%, IMHO.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 24 Aug 2008 13:28

Looking at Chengdu military region of which Tibet is also a part, it appears most of the major PLAAF airbases in Chendgu region are in the east i.e. east of Myanmar.

It is very possible that PLAAF will target NEIndia through these airbases. Considering this possibility, Indian navy may be able to play a role in targetting these installations should it be able to launch cruise missiles capable to crossing Myanmar. If the indian navy is able to bring it's forces to pressure Myanmar in a forceful manner, it could give India a tremendous advantage as PLAN cannot return the favor.

Lanzhou military region (Xinjiang) needs to be looked at closely for the same eventuality in North India.

Can someone take a guess on distance SIttwe port to the Myanmar-PRC border. I think the last major exercise in BOB was held with this in mind.

PLAAF military regions

List of PLAAF airbases

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 24 Aug 2008 13:38

Due to the following:
1. PLAN gets more powerful and better infrastructure of PLAAF airbases eat of myanmar

2. PRC interest in AP, the fulcrum of action in the future may be in the east...not the north.

That Andrei Chang article in UPI is a feel-good article for Indians which reveals nothing of PLAAF capabilties or strategy.

{Reformatted for clarity ramana}

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 24 Aug 2008 14:11

BURMA
Burma is the other main surge point of the PRC. With a very long coast line stretching along the Bay of Bengal and a few islands offshore, Burma offers a strategic staging point for controlling the western approaches to the Strait of Malacca. The only other strategic facilities in the area are India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Beijing has long been aware of the strategic importance of Burma for surging into the Indian Ocean. Although the PRC has been a great and staunch supporter of the military regime in Yangon (Rangoon) from the late 1980s, primarily because of their anti-West policies and confrontational policies in the region, the build-up of strategic infrastructure did not expand until the early 1990s, as the PRC's regional strategy began to take shape. The extent of the Chinese military assistance reflects Burma's growing strategic significance. Since deliveries started in August 1990, the PRC has supplied $1.0-1.2billion worth of weapons and other military equipment, including J-6 and J-7 fighters, radar and radio equipment, surface to air missiles, tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery anti-aircraft guns, multiple rocket-launcher systems, trucks, and naval ships. Most of the weapons supplied have already proven useful in the regime's relentless counter-insurgency campaigns. Indeed, the pace of weapons delivery is growing.

However, what is of strategic importance is the Chinese development of the military infrastructure in Burma, particularly naval facilities, including the local naval forces, and electronic intelligence sites. The present work, impressive as it is, is only the beginning of a long term ambitious projects decided upon in late 1994. In mid December, Hou Jie, the PRC Minister of Construction, visited Rangoon and signed a major memorandum on comprehensive long-term cooperation in major joint construction programs. His visit was followed, in late December 1994, by a visit to Rangoon by Li Peng, the PRC Premier and the driving force behind the Trans-Asian Axis doctrine. In Rangoon, Li Peng highlighted his visit, calling in an "important event" for Beijing. Indeed, he signed on Chinese strategic commitments to the regime in Burma, as well as provided guarantees stemming from the far reaching ramifications of the specific Sino-Burmese construction agreements signed earlier that month.

By now, the PRC was already completing the first phase of the modernization of Burma's strategic infrastructure.

Since mid 1990, Beijing has been upgrading and modernizing the air force, including an air bases infrastructure exceeding the size of the local air force. The first J-7 squadron was delivered in May 1991, and two more in May 1993 and May 1994. Burma is also in the process of absorbing two squadrons of A-5M ground attack aircraft, which are suitable for counterinsurgency operations. In order to sustain this growth in air power, PLA technicians vastly expanded the Meiktila air base, south of Mandalay. They also upgraded a smaller air base at Lashio, in the northeast, as a forward facility for aircraft refueling and resupply. While presently used as a forward base in Burma's counter-insurgency, the Lashio air base is of crucial importance for a rapid deployment of PLA Air Force assets from the PRC into Burma.

A Chinese deployment into Burma will also be expedited by the recent upgrade of the road and railway system from Yunnan to several ports along the Burmese coast of the Bay of Bengal. The extent of the expansion of the transportation infrastructure, all in harsh jungle and mountainous terrain, exceeds by far the needs of even the most optimistic outlook for Sino-Burmese commercial relations.

In mid 1991, the PRC and Burma began specific discussions on naval modernization and cooperation. To demonstrate Beijing's commitment, the first six HAINAN-class fast attack craft (FAC) were delivered later that year. Consequently, in the summer of 1992, Beijing and Yangon (Rangoon) agreed that the PRC would provide major assistance in modernization of Burmese naval facilities in return for building major naval facilities on Hainggyi Island and Great Coco Island. (More on these highly significant sites below.)

Since then, there has been a close correlation between the continued increase in the Burmese navy and the growing Chinese military presence in, and, to a great extent control over, Burma's coastal infrastructure. By the time the PRC took over, Burma's naval facilities were limited to a number of bases built during World War II and hardly changed since then -- Sittwe (Akyab) in Arakan State in the west, Bassein in the Irrawaddy delta, Monkey Point near Rangoon and Mergui in the southeastern Tenasserim Division. Starting 1992, Chinese experts vastly improved and militarized the Burmese port facilities in Akyab, Kyaukpyu and Mergui -- all on the Bay of Bengal. The PRC not only upgraded the naval facilities in Sitwe (Akyab) and Mergui, but installed there new support bases capable of handling far larger forces than Burma has.

Meanwhile, the size of the Burmese navy continued to increase. Another four HAINAN-class FACs arrived in 1993. They were accompanied by some 70 Chinese naval experts, with over half of them mid-rank officers. Officially, they were to assist the Burmese in operating the boats, training local crews and maintaining the equipment. In reality, they were also involved in maintaining newly installed radar equipment -- the beginning of the PRC's still growing electronic intelligence system in Burma. In the summer of 1994, with the naval infrastructure expanded, Burma purchased two SSM-equipped JIANGHU-class frigates from the PRC as the center of a major naval modernization program, as well as two additional HAINAN-class FACs. Ultimately, this major "naval modernization" was not more than a ploy to increase Chinese naval presence in Burma. Indeed in the summer of 1995, even the older PRC-supplied patrol boats of the Burmese navy were still run and maintained by Chinese technicians.

But, with the modernization programs advancing rapidly, the PRC was ready to upgrade its strategic presence in Burma. In the summer of 1994, General Li Jiulong, the commander of the PLA's Chengdu Military Region (CMR), visited Burma. The Chengdu MR is more than the command headquarters and major supply base for the Chinese troops in Tibet. Since the early 1990s, the CMR has also been responsible for the Chinese military supplies and assistance to Burma. These activities were but a component of a strategic activity of greater importance. Indeed, General Li paid special attention to Burma's naval facilities during his visit -- an important event considering that the Chengdu MR is landlocked. Indeed, it was during General's Li visit that Rangoon agreed that the PRC would get the new naval bases in Hainggyi Island and Great Coco Island.

The PRC has been constructing major naval base in Hainggyi Island near the Irrawaddy river delta for sometimes now. Work on the deep water port in Hainggyi Island in the delta of the Irrawaddy river began in late 1992. By 1993, Chinese technicians were helping the Burmese to build new bases both at Hainggyi and in the old base near Bassein -- a base that would soon be swallowed by the sprawling Hainggyi facilities. Massive construction has accelerated since 1994. The Hainggyi base is already capable of providing support and services to visiting Chinese naval vessels much larger and sophisticated than what the Burmese have. If build-up continues at the present pace, it will soon include support facilities to sustain submarines, most likely nuclear submarines with SLBMs.

By far the most important strategic development in and out of Burma is the rise of the PRC's electronic intelligence system.

Among these installations, the most important is the maritime reconnaissance and electronic intelligence station on Great Coco Island in the Bay of Bengal, some 300 kms south of the Burmese mainland. Along with the Small Coco Island where the Chinese Army is also building bases, these two islands are in the Alexandra Channel between the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea, and they lie north of India's Andaman Islands and are thus located at a crucial point in traffic routes between the Bay of Bengal and the Strait of Malacca. The Coco Islands are also an ideal place for monitoring the major Indian naval and missile launch facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the south toward the Strait of Malacca, movements of the Indian Navy and other navies throughout the eastern basin of the Indian Ocean, as well the overall western approaches to the Strait of Malacca.

Work in the Great Coco Island station began in late 1992 with the construction of a 45-50m antenna tower, numerous radar sites, and other electronic facilities. Essentially, the PRC was building a comprehensive ELINT/SIGINT collection facilities station. Significantly, all the material used in this project were Chinese made and specially brought over -- even the most mundane items that are readily available locally. In mid 1993, some of the 70 Chinese naval personnel that arrived in Burma began operating and maintaining the then newly installed radar equipment. In the summer of 1994, the PLA completed building the radar and signal intelligence bases, and considered them ready for use. Burmese sources readily acknowledged that the Chinese technicians were working for Beijing's intelligence agencies in order to monitor this sensitive maritime region. According to Japanese intelligence sources, the two islands in the Indian Ocean -- Great Coco Island and Little Coco Island -- have been "on lease to China" since 1994.

The strategic importance given to the facilities in the Great Coco Island is demonstrated in the marked up-grading of the local harbor facilities from a desolate fishing harbor to Burma's most improved military port facilities, up to handing of LUHU-class destroyers. As of 1994, the Chinese have been conducting massive dredging operations in order to construct a port which can accommodate the PLA's largest-class vessels. Once completed, the PLA's main warship, the LUDA-class missile destroyers, will be able to dock there.

The intelligence collection facilities on the Great Coco Island are only the beginning. In the summer of 1994, Rangoon permitted Chinese intelligence access to other islands -- Sittwe in Western Arakan state, and Zedetkyi Kyun or St Matthew's island off the Tenasserim coast in the southeast. The latter island is especially sensitive because it is located off the coast of Burma's southernmost tip -- Kawthaung or Victoria Point -- close to the northern entrance to the Straits of Malacca. A military base there would enable the PRC to threaten the approaches to the Strait of Malacca. Also in 1994, Chinese technicians built a series of smaller ELINT/SIGINT stations along the Burmese coast of Bay of Bengal, thus achieving a thorough and overlapping coverage of the Bay of Bengal and Strait of Malacca.

In 1995, there were reports of revival/reactivation of a Chinese SIGINT site near Sop Hau in Laos -- a site used during the 1960s and early 1970s. The activation of the site will complete coverage of the entire Strait area -- from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.


From a dated article by Yossef Bodansky.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 24 Aug 2008 15:52

Paul wrote:Looking at Chengdu military region of which Tibet is also a part, it appears most of the major PLAAF airbases in Chendgu region are in the east i.e. east of Myanmar.

It is very possible that PLAAF will target NEIndia through these airbases. Considering this possibility, Indian navy may be able to play a role in targetting these installations should it be able to launch cruise missiles capable to crossing Myanmar. If the indian navy is able to bring it's forces to pressure Myanmar in a forceful manner, it could give India a tremendous advantage as PLAN cannot return the favor.

the last few pages of military scenarios thread may be of interest to you.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 25 Aug 2008 21:39

Thank you Rahul...my question is can Land attack Brahmos launched from IN Warships launched off the shores of Myanmar and MKIs taking off from A&N bases make a difference by targetting airbases in Yunnan.

TIA.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 25 Aug 2008 21:54

no, not with the current version. IA brahmos have better odds at reaching some parts of SW china but even they are not enough to cover all.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 25 Aug 2008 22:24

we need a 1000km range brahmos to really start doing heavy damage in the yunnan-chengu-chongqing triangle. manufacturing needs power , and power
needs power plants. these will impose heavy cost on prc economy.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 25 Aug 2008 22:28

or the nirbhay.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby namit k » 25 Aug 2008 22:35

Singha wrote:we need a 1000km range brahmos to really start doing heavy damage in the yunnan-chengu-chongqing triangle. manufacturing needs power , and power
needs power plants. these will impose heavy cost on prc economy.

i have heard russians had 3000 km range cruise missiles at 3+ mach, way back,
why brahmos doesnt develop that? it would be a crazy weopon 8)
we must have something like that before we start exporting brahmos, thats the way defence industry of a nation works :)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Vivek K » 25 Aug 2008 23:41

Does any one see a connection between the Tibet protests, Kasmir protests and the closing of the Olympics?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 26 Aug 2008 00:03

namit, "they" are working on a lot of novel projects.
use man's best friend since dogs, google.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby namit k » 26 Aug 2008 00:28

Rahul M russia may not be part of longer version brahmos cm because of missile tech control regime,how do we get long range cms?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 26 Aug 2008 00:35

projects we are working on :
2 follow on projects of brahmos
i) a 1000km range version. other specs more or less unchanged possibly with a less thirsty engine. the current version can be easily configured to something around 500 km or so I've heard.
ii) a hypersonic brahmos.
iii) a tomahawk type CM called nirbhay with more than 1000 km range.

p.s. please scour the net for info, starting with wiki page on DRDO and such before asking newbie questions. BR doesn't encourage spoon feeding.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby p_saggu » 26 Aug 2008 04:44

Chinese Airfields / Airbases Chengdu Military Region 1

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby p_saggu » 26 Aug 2008 04:45

Chinese Airfields / Airbases Chengdu Military Region 2

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby p_saggu » 26 Aug 2008 04:47

Chinese Airfields / Airbases Chengdu Military Region 3

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby p_saggu » 26 Aug 2008 06:02

Here is my Google Earth link to all the Chinese Military sites (Airforce Bases / Airports, Bombing Range, Missile sites, Naval Bases) I have located (With help of other GE veterans)
Rapidshare link

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Nitesh » 26 Aug 2008 10:48

Check this:

India builds military air bases close to Tibet

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.

www.upi.com

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 26 Aug 2008 23:10

Instead of wasting time patting ourselves on the back for sending a few MKIs to the NE and noticing how the PRCs are supposedly quaking in their boots, we need to wake up and smell the morning coffee.

Background:


Basing infrastructure is a vital prerequisite for air operations. Runways, dispersal areas, fuel infrastructure, resupply pipleines for fuel replenishment, munitions storage all contribute to the effectiveness of a military air base. Base hardening and facilities dispersal in turn contribute to the survivability of the base.

The PLA has the most extensive and well developed basing infrastructure in Asia, and it competes in numbers with the former Soviet and US basing infrastructures.
While many bases are legacy sites from the Cold War, a significant proportion of these have been subjected to extensive upgrades for dual civil-military use, retaining revetments and taxiways but gaining a runway rated for airliners rather than fighters, and a civil terminal facility. Most PLA-AF and PLA-N bases use extensive networks of dispersal revetments, and a 13 or more are 'superhardened' using large squadron or regiment sized underground hangars, tunnelled into hillsides.

During the Cold War period the PLA constructed much of the air base infrastructure along an arc from Mongolia across the northern provinces and down the coastal arc to the Vietnamese border. This was a byproduct of the strategic imperative to defend against the Soviet threat, and pre-Nixon, the perceived US threat in the Far East.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the PLA's imperatives have shifted, resulting in a large scale effort to construct dual use and military airfields across the Tibetan Plateau and the Western provinces, spanning the Chengdu and Lanzhou MRs [Tibet proper falls across the boundaries of these two MRs]. This effort has been paralleled by the construction of airfields in Chengdu MR, north of Burma, and inside Burma under the umbrella of military aid. The specific strategic aims are containment of India in the West, and the 'Second Island Chain' strategy in the Southern and Eastern provinces.

This reference page catalogues over 200 military and dual use airfields. It includes Google Earth KMZ files for air bases and civil airports where the identity of the base can be established with some confidence. As all data is open source, APA cannot guarantee that the data is comprehensive or up to date in every instance. The site will be updated as more open source data and high resolution imagery becomes available.


If war breaks out, these 12-13 airfields in the NE will be blanketed with Cruise and ballistic missiles, PLAAF will come into the picture only from the 2nd or 3rd day onwards. Our MKIs may not have a base to come back to if we do not build underground bunkers capable of basing entire MKI squadrons.

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-PLA-AFBs.html


Caption wrote:This pair of J-8Is most likely belong to the 16th Air Regiment, 6th Fighter Division, based at Yinchuan in the Lanzhou MR. Yinchuan is one of several 'superhardened' PLA-AF bases (PLA).



Lanzhou bases( Lanzhou covers Xinjiang province) may be used to target Norh India.

Of particular interest is the construction effort under way at Mingalogon, Nampong, Namsang, in addition to the upgrades at Mandalay and Tavoy. When completed this effort will see Burma own no less than four runways longer than 11,000 feet, suitable for heavy aircraft like tankers or bombers, for an air force equipped only with lightweight MiG derivatives.


Like I said before, PLAAF using MAymar airlfields in SHaan and other NE Myanmar provinces cannot be ruled out. Those IN MIG29Ks and submarine launched Klubs can be put to good use.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 26 Aug 2008 23:17

what worries me is the low rate of production of weapons systems in India
compared to the mountains of gear that any self-respecting power churns out.
our production rate is frankly anemic and suitable only for a long period of
peace not this neighbourhood.

I will bet the PRC is running 4 shifts 24x7 to stockpile more SRBMs and
GLCMs for a heavy and sustained barrages against India or Taiwan.
they are not fan of the lean and thin strategy.

if necessary, we must press israel to release Spyder units from their
own war stocks until new units are manufactured. we do not have
underground bases and making them is a years long process. if our
air bases in NE are taken out, we can kiss our a$$ goodbye...

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 26 Aug 2008 23:27

Paul wrote:Instead of wasting time patting ourselves on the back for sending a few MKIs to the NE and noticing how the PRCs are supposedly quaking in their boots, we need to wake up and smell the morning coffee.

If war breaks out, these 12-13 airfields in the NE will be blanketed with Cruise and ballistic missiles, PLAAF will come into the picture only from the 2nd or 3rd day onwards. Our MKIs may not have a base to come back to if we do not build underground bunkers capable of basing entire MKI squadrons.

Are ballistic missiles accurate enough to knock out airfields if used in a non-nuclear mode?

How many cruise and ballistic missiles does one need to blanket these 12-13 airfields and literally knock them out?

How do you knock out an airfield with cruise missiles?


if you can provide answers to above you will realise that maybe the chinese are the ones who need to smell teh coffee.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 26 Aug 2008 23:40

There is no need to literally knock these airfields out. Cluster munitions used to scatter mines and bomblets will retard aircraft launching operations and make movement across these airfields very difficult. Other munitions can crater runways will make repairs difficult for ground crews.

This in turn will have a debilitating effect on providing air cover for land forces and providing CAS activities, not to mention counterstrike ops deep into enemy territory.

If they get lucky with a few direct hits, it will ta-ta for the aircraft placed in overground hardened bunkers.

PLAAF airfields will not suffer from this handicap. Also they will target the NE from at least 3 directions. As the war progesses, lack of air cover will take it's toll on land forces as they in turn will start geting pummelled by long ange arty and other SRBMs and CMs. Expect ground attack a/c to home in like a nest of drones to drive home the advantage.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 26 Aug 2008 23:54

Cluster munitions used to scatter mines and bomblets will retard aircraft launching operations and make movement across these airfields very difficult. Other munitions can crater runways will make repairs difficult for ground crews.


Why do you think our forces not have teams to deal with these cluster munitions.

How many cruise missiles would be needed to drop these cluster munitions to completely paralyse one airfield - like tezpur ? you will realise its not easy.

How many cruise missiles are needed so that some will make it past the mountain ranges, then past the SAM units, the MANPADs units, the AA guns and then hit the target.

one or two or maybe ten hangars and blast pens may get direct hits. some of them are full of ac, some of the are empty. now there are 20 other blast pens and hangars that have not been hit. so to hit them all how many cruise and ballistic missiles does china need?

now multiply that problem x 13 or 14.

even for the chinese super monster machine, it would be impossible to get so many cruise missiles to KO / paralyse all airfields at one go . They HAVE to send up aircraft if they want to achieve this goal. Now if their aircraft can take off fly all the way over the ranges and attack indian airfields, then we should understand our aircraft have sufficient response times as well

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ASPuar » 27 Aug 2008 00:01

A little true anecdote.
In the 1980s, PM Rajiv Gandhi was attending a senior Army Commanders conference. Stepping out of South Block during a recess, he was chatting with the then DCOAS, and asked whether the War Rooms, Army HQ, etc were bomb proofed, in case the Pakistanis launched a sneak attack.

The DCOAS replied: "Mr. Prime Minister, if you imagine that the Pakistanis can launch a sneak attack which can reach my war room, and on top of that, drop a bomb on it.... I, and all the rest of us, should be fired immediately! It is not possible."

The PM laughed, and said there was something in that.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 27 Aug 2008 00:18

it would be impossible to get so many cruise missiles to KO / paralyse all airfields at one go


How many cruise and ballistic missiles does one need to blanket these 12-13 airfields and [b]literally knock them out?


I think there is a difference in perception in how we are viewing things. You are expecting all airfields to be literally knocked out, paralyzed in one go.

I do not see it that way. It a process by which each side tries to wear out the other one by degrading their facilities. While PRC may not be able to replicate US success in GW1 and GW2 , they will bring everythingthey have to bear on us, specifically in the NE.

As for your query on how many missiles PRC has, I am not up to date on the latest developments but I do remember reading that they have at least at 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan for many years, considering the thoroughness with which they go about planning their activities and the seriousness attached to containg India, multiply that by at least 3 and one gets the idea of what we are up against.

BTW....Please take my opinion FWIW.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 27 Aug 2008 01:07

Paul wrote:
As for your query on how many missiles PRC has, I am not up to date on the latest developments but I do remember reading that they have at least at 1000 missiles pointed at Taiwan for many years, considering the thoroughness with which they go about planning their activities and the seriousness attached to containg India, multiply that by at least 3 and one gets the idea of what we are up against.
BTW....Please take my opinion FWIW.


If they can muster 3000 cruise missiles, they cannot bring them close enough into tibet without becoming juicy targets. Imagine what your supply chain should look like to support 3000 missiles would be.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 27 Aug 2008 02:53

Please read through what I have written before hitting the submit button. I have already said the NE will be targetted from Yunnan and Myanmar, not just Tibet. all this info is already there on the net.


We seem to slipping into a arguement from a debate....hence my last post.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 27 Aug 2008 05:23

Paul, kindly continue with the discussion. you are making eminent sense. I may just add that a discussion on this very point, i.e the efficacy of chinese missiles is right there in the very first pages of this thread. you may find it quite useful.
HariC, due to problems with deployment of a large part of PLAAF against India, the 2nd artillery will probably become PLA's primary strike force. And yes, armed with cluster munitions and such they can negate some of the low CEP problems of china's SRBM/MRBM force.

the LACMs would of course be more accurate but also more vulnerable, if we use the right equipment and the right tactics. given the terrain in our NE, we need to have small aerostat type radars to cover virtually every valley and gorge leading into china/myanmar. only that can ensure enough lead time in detection. even then, the # of our AD assets are pitiful. AD needs to bulked up big time, including low tech rad controlled AAA. a tungushka type vehicle will be invaluable in those areas. but to produce it in numbers it needs to be produced in desh. Perhaps DRDO can come up with something on a BMP/T-72 chasis.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Venkarl » 27 Aug 2008 05:55

Paul wrote: If war breaks out, these 12-13 airfields in the NE will be blanketed with Cruise and ballistic missiles, PLAAF will come into the picture only from the 2nd or 3rd day onwards. Our MKIs may not have a base to come back to if we do not build underground bunkers capable of basing entire MKI squadrons.


Exactly, Zeljava eh?? :twisted: I spoke about building an underground base for housing fighters/bombers some time ago. We should have one such base keeping Chinese in mind.


Yup got the link
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4010&p=499246&hilit=zeljava#p499246
but this post covers broader aspects which has nothing to with this thread.

How about this?? half squadron above surface and the other half under ground??The base can house some nuclear bombs too...

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby hnair » 27 Aug 2008 07:45

What will happen to these "superhard hangars" carved into mountainsides, if the adversary targets the hillsides or the cave mouth and causes a rockslide? Or even simpler, how about cratering the access taxiways at the cave mouth of these superhard structures? All those planes will get bottle up inside wont they? I never like the concept of super hard shelters.

Yeah protection from shrapnel is fine, but beyond that, all the planes should be in the air, greeting the panda, instead of dozing in superhard hangars. As war progresses, adversary will evolve its penetrator tech and we will realize that we should have gone for super-dooper hardened hanger instead of just super-hardened, when our pilots find a bum in their soup bowls inside these hangars.

Panda needs to be tracked closely during high tension times and a welcome party should always be ready with engines running. Even if the PLAAF jernail's lucky cricket scratches its arse in its sleep, we should know about it immediately. For they are a trigger happy lot and once they do even some small damage, they will be shown as "world conquerors" to their own people (and to whomever reads NRam).

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Venkarl » 27 Aug 2008 08:38

hnair wrote:What will happen to these "superhard hangars" carved into mountainsides, if the adversary targets the hillsides or the cave mouth and causes a rockslide? Or even simpler, how about cratering the access taxiways at the cave mouth of these superhard structures? All those planes will get bottle up inside wont they? I never like the concept of super hard shelters.


Thats a valid point..hands down :| I'll wait till Paul replies on the underground bunkers :)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 27 Aug 2008 09:03

since we do not have a hard tortoise shell to hide in, there are only few options or maybe
a mix of them

- keep the NE airbases as fwd airstrips for recovering and topping up but base the a.c further away in WB, orissa and bihar out of SRBM & GLCM range from yunnan side. use a large fleet of refuelers to support the longer air sorties necessary. for su30mki tasked
with air defence that is the ideal soln. problem: we do not have a large fleet of refuelers.

- strike fast, strike hard at PRC airbases with missiles where in range and with a/c when
its further out. make it difficult for them to deploy a/c to support the gains of the srbm &
glcm barrages. phalcon & aerostat 24x7 coverage is obviously necessary. heavy ELINT and
ECM from standoff platforms and targeted strikes on the S300 sites detected with brahmos
or KH31 is a must.

- deploy Spyder & Tunguska in all airbases to atleast shoot the GLCMs down. SRBMs will
still get through unless we can deploy AAD which will take time. but take GLCMs off
the table atleast.

- use extra aircrews and engines israeli style to keep very high >90% uptime throughout
a conflict.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 27 Aug 2008 10:40

Think of a scenario where PLA is ready to launch a massive strike on XXXIIIrd corps area in Sikkim and they know which airfields have aircraft tasked with providing CAS for this region. To coincide with the attack they launch a whole slew of SLCMs and SRBMs on these airfields and put them out of commission for a few critical 3-5 hrs.

In this critical period where tens of thousands of troops are slugging it out on the ground, IAF aircraft tasked with providing air cover and ground support will be missing and leave a big hole in the the defenses. On their side, they will not suffer this problem so much as they have better long range arty and more Smerch ripoffs to provide suppression fire, not to mention more cruise missiles as well.

As Don Rumsfield said, you go to war not with what you want but with what you have. This quote probably cost him his job, but nobody can deny that he was right on the dot.

The possibility of a short high intensity coflict breaking out in the post olympic time frame is very high as we have discussed in the past. It could happen anytime from the next few months to a couple of years from now on. So let us stop daydreaming about more phalcons and MRCAs and focus on what can be done without undergoing the tortorous procurement process that we are well aware of. Beyond 1-2 phalcons and those 6 Midas tankers, we are pretty much nanga. Can't think of any other force multipliers. Need to spend our money churning out Brahmos and Agni-IIs 3 shifts a day and build infra throughout NE and along Tibrt to base them.


What will happen to these "superhard hangars" carved into mountainsides, if the adversary targets the hillsides or the cave mouth and causes a rockslide? Or even simpler, how about cratering the access taxiways at the cave mouth of these superhard structures? All those planes will get bottle up inside wont they? I never like the concept of super hard shelters.

While I am not a civil engineer I am thinking no sane BRO engineer/base commander will imagine leaving boulders and rocks atop a mountain which is crammed with aircraft costing hundreds of crores. If built to NATO/warsaw pact specs, will ensure these are taken care off.

PLAAF is considered to be the weak link in their armor. It will their missile power vs. our airpower.

the key concern is safeguard of these assets. It will take the devil's luck to hit a cross section of a runway 10m across with a cruise missile. PRC missiles do not have such accuracy and that is why I have been talking of cluster munitions and mines. Only way to hit the bulls eye would be to launch PGMs launched off a J11...but AFAIK PLAAF pilots may not have the training to strafe heavily defended airfields on the onset of war...but I could be wrong here.

placing aircraft in hardened shelters is just one of many examples....cruise and ballistic missiles can be placed in these self contained shelters before the onset of war and can be fired away merrily at pre-assigned stationary targets like airfields, refineries, etc. without having to worry about protecting logistics and supply chains.

Lastly, why can't we think of launching MKIs of northern A&N bases to take on PRC assets in Myanmar and Yunnan.( I did some rough estimate on Google earth.) It is about 1000-1200 km from Sittwe to Myanmar border. well within range for MKis....if nothing else, will at worst ensure Myanmar junta gets the message that we mean business.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 27 Aug 2008 18:51

To coincide with the attack they launch a whole slew of SLCMs and SRBMs on these airfields and put them out of commission for a few critical 3-5 hrs.


Whats a "slew of SLCMs and SRBMs"? Can you put a number and support the assertion that the chinese have these placed within striking range?

XXXIII Corps in Sikkim can be supported from MKIs flying from all over east and central india - so we are back to the issue of KO-ing all the airfields for these 3-5 hrs.

So if my bagdogra airfield is hampered by these 'slew of SLCMs' , then we can send our 'slew of MKIs' from bhubhaneswar , ably supported by the mid air refuellers. Panagarh, Gorakhpur, Kalaikunda, Dum Dum, Barrackpore (just the few in west bengal or east bihar/UP). are all less than 30-40 min flying time away from Sikkim. Not to talk about Tezpur, Guwahati, Hasimara, Jorhat, Kumbhirgram etc etc etc. Even if i fly my MKIs from Nagpur, they are an hours flying time away from Sikkim.

I would just love to see where the chinese will come up with the SLCMs and SLBMs to 'hamper' these airfields in a window of 3-5 hours.


Lastly, why can't we think of launching MKIs of northern A&N bases to take on PRC assets in Myanmar and Yunnan.( I did some rough estimate on Google earth.) It is about 1000-1200 km from Sittwe to Myanmar border. well within range for MKis....if nothing else, will at worst ensure Myanmar junta gets the message that we mean business.


Because its cheaper to send them from all the airfields i mentioned above that the chinese dont have the ability to knock out .

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 27 Aug 2008 19:05

hnair wrote:
Yeah protection from shrapnel is fine, but beyond that, all the planes should be in the air, greeting the panda, instead of dozing in superhard hangars. As war progresses, adversary will evolve its penetrator tech and we will realize that we should have gone for super-dooper hardened hanger instead of just super-hardened, when our pilots find a bum in their soup bowls inside these hangars. ).


most sensible post in a long time. you can have all underground hangars and holes in caves, but unless you are operating harriers in vtol mode, they are worth zilch if there are two to three craters in your runway.

But i guess our friend venkari is suggesting a complete airfield carved out in amountain, with underground runway and all :P

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 27 Aug 2008 20:43

Long time ago an ex-IAF chief said that US IR sats keep watch of IAF airfields and monitor the flights by the exhaust trails. This is part of their early warning system to help reduce tensions.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sanjaykumar » 27 Aug 2008 22:22

to help reduce tensions.?


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