China following the Dokalam embarrassment has been deploying a massive number of fighter jets and troops in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The air defence capability along the LAC has been increased by China in February. Also, the nation is maintaining a high level of alertness.
India Today reported that 13 more Mi-17 helicopters with transport and gunship version have been deployed by PLA(People’s Liberation Army). Also, 10 fighter jets in Hoping, 22 copters, and 11 fighter aircraft in Gangga. Seeing that, it is clearly visible that China is enhancing the fighting capability of its Air Force in Tibet.
The PLA has already deployed nine Xian JH-7 fighter aircraft, three J-11s, eight Shenyang J-11, nine Chengdu J-7 fighter jets at Kashi airfield, thirty-nine fighter jets in Hatan, eight copters at Sule helibase in Tibet, four J-7s, and two Shenyang J-8 combat planes, five Shaanxi Y-8 transport planes at Dingxin airfield.
Other than these, it has constructed seven hangars at Pangta airfield. The PLA has also built another nine in TAR, other than six fully operational dual-use airbases facing India at Lhasa Gonggar, Nyingchi, Qamdo, Hoping, Ngari Gunsa and Shigatse.
China’s eye on Indian Security Forces:
To keep eye on Indian Security Forces, China is using its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System near Brutse, in Aksai Chin which is 10 km from LAC and now it is planning to increase the number of its satellites by the end of 2020 from 30 to 35.
According to defence expert Lieutenant General rtd. Raj Kadyan’s statement to India Today, “Following the face-off at Doklam, China is trying to create tension by deploying fighter planes. India should be prepared to counter any possible Chinese threat in Doklam and the LAC. China will never forget the Doklam humiliation. It will attempt a similar mischief.”
Lieutenant General added, “Talks of India joining the US, Australia and Japan to counter the Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific didn’t go down well with Beijing.”
Major General rtd. PK Sehgal who is a defence expert also said, “China can take military action as well. We can’t ignore this threat; we should be militarily prepared. China is an expansionist power.”
Sehgal also stressed on the numerical strength of the Chinese Air Force, “China has 60 squadrons and Pakistan 25-it means a combined threat of 85 squadrons. India has only 32 squadrons as against the minimum requirement of 42. Eleven of our squadrons have old MiG-21s and MiG-27. Therefore, our effective strength is reduced to half.”
In terms of missile quantity and quality, China is quite ahead of India, to this he said, “The only danger to China is from India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which has a range of 290 km. Only the Russian S-400 missile can counter the BrahMos, but China lacks it. But India doesn’t have enough BrahMos to deploy both in central and eastern sectors in case of a conflict.”