CCP / ISPR channels posted some ridiculous clips of "hot food" being delivered to troops via drones.
Regardless in case of an escalation, drones might emerge as a significant variable.
Given that they have been out-foxed in this leg of the mountain war and consisting the immense pressure on PLA commanders to perform or perish, it is highly likely that will try to ignite a limited conflict.
CCP handles are also increasingly talking about digging in for the winter. But given their penchant to deceive, this might be an attempt to lull us into a false sense of complacency before they strike a blow.
In this context use of drones throws up many questions,
1. If drones are used, what rung of the escalatory ladder would this fall in? Do we retaliate with aircraft?
2. If aircrafts are used and given that drones are much more expendable and China with its manufacturing can throw in a lot of them, is it a risky strategy to escalate using aircrafts for our side? A hot pursuit by our aircraft may result in loss of some aircraft, all for some made in Wuhan drone.
Of course this discounts the unknown configuration of air defences that each side may choose to field and which may obviate the need for aircraft altogether. And while we operate Harpies as well I am not optimistic if we can field them in numbers that may be required in a drone war.
3. Drones may or may not also reduce Chinese disadvantage of distant and high altitude airfields. I am unable to make an educated comment either way but if they do, that again increases the weight assigned to drone warfare as a variable in the overall scenario.
I do have a feeling that China as a nation is overfond of flashing it's new toys, like some spoiled brat. Given this and indications that they may have used drones in galwan skirmish as well, I hope (as I'm sure) mil planners are taking the threat from drones into the equation.
Overall as I see it, considering that a war is v likely
1. A short contained war - depends on how tech intensive it gets. A low tech intensive war, given our experience may favor us
2. A long contained war - given our relatively weaker production base may be less favorable
3. A short, uncontained war - I feel will actually be best case scenario as it may see our side (hopefully) act in the Naval theater in concert with the US and further accelerate global polarisation against US
4. A long, uncontained war - will be WW3 and not worth speculating onlee