i would rather not get into that argument
., lets say both India and China are fielding 4++ gen fighters, do we have the tech lead to overcome their numbers ? How long can we sustain that ? Is this "future proof" .. i will try answering my question .. it does seem Rafale has a road map building up its capabilities to near 5th gen level and flowing into the french 6th gen level.
On paper, the Chinese have every advantage.
Take a look at the PLAAF's 4++ generation fighter fleet. They have a plethora of fighters - Su-30MKK, Su-35, J-10B/C, J-11B/D and J-16. They also have a large bomber fleet consisting of the JH-7 and the H-6. To top it all, they have the J-20 (what they refer to as a fifth generation fighter).
What does the IAF have? Su-30MKIs, Mirage 2000s, MiG-29s, MiG-21s, Jaguars and five Rafales. I believe a flight of Tejas Mk1s - from No 45 Squadron - is deployed on the western border, so I am not going to include that.
Numbers, strength, personnel, equipment...you name it...the Chinese own it. But yet, the Chinese are hesitant. Defeating India in an air battle should be a cake walk for them. But yet, they are unwilling to take that first step. And the Chicoms exploit every advantage they have. Not a single one is set aside and the PLAAF has a clear advantage over the IAF on paper.
In a full scale air conflict (which they have never fought), loss of men and material will happen on both sides. Our side has decades of experience with that. What battle hardened experience does the PLAAF actually have? Having a large fleet is pointless, if your aircrew has never experienced war. The Chicom concept of war is intimidation without firing a single bullet. Just like their PLA counterparts, the PLAAF is all bluster. No one is taking the threat lightly, but there is no point (actually it is detrimental to India's war planning
) in over-hyping their capability.
But ignore everything I have just said above and look at what the IAF is doing.
Q1. Why in heaven's name is the IAF holding a competition called MMRCA 2.0 in which *EVERY*
participant is a 4th++ generation fighter? F-21, F-15EX, F-18SH Block III, Gripen E, Eurofighter Typhoon, Rafale, MiG-35 and Su-35? The IAF must truly be senile to run a contest (assuming a contract signature ever sees the light of day) in which the first set of fighters will arrive only by the late 2020s or early 2030s and J-20 will defeat them all. They are perfectly okay with running this contest in the 21st century. Go ask the Chief. He will tell you that the contest is still on.
Q2. Why is ADA working on Tejas Mk2, when J-20 will blow that plane out of the sky? J-20 is fifth generation. What a waste of money Tejas Mk2 is and same with ORCA/TEDBF. Both are 4++ generation fighters. Adopt the Chinese model - invest directly in a fifth generation platform i.e. AMCA. You know how that has worked out for the PLAAF. I say drop the development for the Tejas Mk2 and the ORCA/TEDBF.
Q3. Why is that the F-teens will remain perpetually relevant for the IAF, but Rafale will be obsolete by 2036? If you follow the American apologists on the forum, F-21 (or any other 4++ gen massa fighter) will definitely have tech lead over J-20. In fact, they will be eternally future proof. But the other contestants in MMRCA 2.0 will not.
Q4. Why is that if Modi/Shah had got the F-21 in 2016, instead of Rafale, there would be 3 - 4 squadrons of them right now in the IAF. Let us ignore the convenient detail that 3 - 4 squadrons of the F-21 would not have materialized in three years (for a number of reasons), but assuming it does. What is that going to do against the mighty PLAAF who has the J-20? F-21 will be swatted down like flies, because PL-15 has a range of 300 km, while AIM-120D (assuming we get that variant of the AMRAAM), has a range of a mere 160+ km. The IAF will lose onlee.
kit wrote:Now here is the rub. India does not and possibly cannot field Rafales in the large numbers to make a significant difference in coming years. As chinese tech matures India might be fielding a much smaller number of qualitatively superior fighters that may not be enough to make the difference. How is India planning to manage this erosion of its edge ?
What R&D are the Chinese actually doing? Their fifth generation programs are rip offs from the US and Russia. The J-20 has looks similar to the MiG 1.44. The J-31 has features from the F-35. Despite the cyber hacks into F-35 data by the Chinese, the F-31 is nowhere close to what the F-35 is. One can only mature your tech, when you have developed it yourself. There is a limit to xerox copying. They can improve on what they have xerox copied (the physical form), but that is about it. Chinese are way behind the Amreekis in sensors, radar, weapons, engine, etc. All of them fused together is what constitutes a fifth generation fighter. Dhanoa Sir is 100% correct - the J-20 is *not* a fifth generation fighter.
The Russians who have way more experience than the Chinese in designing aircraft are struggling with Su-57. By the end of this decade, the Russians will have fielded a decent fifth generation aircraft but will still lag behind the F-22 and F-35 of 2030. And China claims that J-20 and J-31 is as good, if not better than F-22 and F-35? The IAF knows far better than any of us on the forum and if the IAF is not overtly concerned with the J-20, why should we on the forum be? And while China's tech matures, the IAF will be twiddling her thumbs and playing pocket pool?
If the Chinese have truly mastered fifth generation technology (because J-20 is as good, if not better, as F-22 and F-35), I would like them to do what massa has just done i.e. flown an actual sixth generation prototype. Not a computer simulation, but an actual physical prototype. Because just like ADA cannot move to AMCA, without Tejas Mk2...there is no way massa could have flown a sixth generation prototype without the F-22 and the F-35 to have preceded it. The laws of R&D and science are true the world over. But knowing how the Chinese love to match everything massa does, I would not be surprised if they soon claim that they have flown a 6th generation plane.
That is all that the American apologists on BRF need. Then they will start clamoring for massa's sixth generation fighter. By the way, I am not claiming that you are one of them. Rafale/Meteor will be obsolete by then. China's 6th generation fighter will be so advanced, it will not even need to fly. From the ground in Beijing, its Super AESA will detect the Rafale taking off from Ambala and it will fire the PL-XX and before the Rafale even exits the airspace around Ambala air force station, she will be shot down. PL-XX after all be Supersonic, Hypersonic, Panasonic and Ultrasonic all at the same time. Speed of PL-XX will be measured not in Mach (speed of sound), but rather in Warp (speed of light). PL-XX will not even be a missile, rather it will be a high powered laser.
Are we honestly that naive to believe everything the Chinese claim about their military's capability?