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Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Here is an article about Malacca Straits
Good article, but it's on a somewhat different topic.
It's about Indian attempts to shadow(not stop, not board) chinese-bound ships last summer, as well as political calls to do more.
Shadowing was ... completely ignored by China (no measurable reaction). And political calls for applying pressure on SLOCs in peace timepiracy were outright dangerous and irresponsible.
But to my knowledge, in modern India, it's very unhealthy for a political career(or social status) to say something reasonable about China.
Not positive, reasonable. With obvious undesirable consequences for the quality of the discussion - not just public opinion, but also for journalists and even scholars.

This is the Indian part of the reason why last year at Ladakh was so stupidly dangerous.
 
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weig2000

Senior Member
Let me make some suggestions to make this discussion/debate of potential Indian naval blockade of Chinese commercial shipping or showdown in Indian Ocean more interesting and meaningful.

Try to separate the issues at national, strategic and tactical levels, although sometimes they do get entangled. Leave out the more emotional or the India-bashing out of the discussions - it has its place in this forum and is justified at times. Now I must admit that sometimes I'm also guilty of doing so, if just for poking fun at the Jai Hinds out of frustrations. But for tactical discussion, it pays to respect your adversary.

Strategically, I'm with @Sardaukar20 and Co in the sense that India naval blockade against China in the Indian Ocean is almost unkinkable and would be self-defeating. Although India as a country would have to have some strategy in place to compete and fight against China, which it considers to be its mortal enemy somehow. I know I would. In fact, it almost also has a nuclear strategy against China, although that would be even less likely to pan out.

Tactically, I think @Gloire_bb raised a lot of good questions and made some good arguments about the respective strengths and weakness of India - not just IN - vis-a-vis PLAN (and PLARF). At a minimum you can consider him as devil's advocate.

At the tactical level, I think if you throw a lot of PLA's key assets today against such a scenario, you can defeat India's blockade, with some price. But the thing is India is betting that China would not be able to do so while its key assets are tied down on the Chinese east coast and Western Pacific, much like India believed that PLA could not afford to deploy more than a fraction of its key assets to WTC or India-China border areas. And I think there are some truth in it.

Of course, when we really get to the point of India naval blockade of Chinese trade route in India Ocean, things can quickly get escalated. It's difficult to believe that the US would not in some way get involved in Indian Ocean, likely in support of India, and it's even more difficult to imagine that China would not take actions on land against India, putting its capital and population centers under threat.

Still, from a pure military standpoint, it's an interesting exercise to limit the conflict to a strictly local one, pitting PLAN + PLARF against IN + IAF. There are some superficial similarities between China vs US in Western Pacific and India vs China in Northern Indian Ocean. Going from there, think about the tactics and weapon platforms involved from both sides.
 

sequ

Junior Member
Registered Member
The only way an Indian naval blockade of Malacca can be put up with a high degree of success is if the QUAD and the rest of China's sea neighbors (no South-Korea included for obvious reasons), plus the US all get on board during a war against China. Otherwise I don't see such a blockade happening or being successful. The chance of such a broad anti-China alliance coming together in this age is easier said than done. The recent Harris Vietnam visit is a testimony to that.

India doesn't have the military (like @Sardaukar20 pointed out) nor the political clout to put up a unilateral blockade. If India would try to instate such a blockade, the political fall-out would be so large that India would buckle under the pressure. Let alone a huge battle added on top of that which won't only take place on the sea but also on land and will definitely involve Pakistan too.
 

pmc

Junior Member
Registered Member
20,000 China-Europe trains per year will soon be reached. than there is North Sea shipping route that cut down Northern Europe and Asia time by a third. next is road network. fibre optic cable construction started in arctic.
India simply dont have realistic assumptions if it is building Navy for this purpose.



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KenC

Junior Member
Registered Member
I think any attempt by India to checkmate China in using the Straits of Malacca will mean China choking on India's chicken neck, i.e. the Siliguri Corridor which is only 25 km wide. The North East Indians states and Southern Tibet will be isolated and ripe for picking by PLA from across the border.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
The only way an Indian naval blockade of Malacca can be put up with a high degree of success is if the QUAD and the rest of China's sea neighbors (no South-Korea included for obvious reasons), plus the US all get on board during a war against China. Otherwise I don't see such a blockade happening or being successful. The chance of such a broad anti-China alliance coming together in this age is easier said than done. The recent Harris Vietnam visit is a testimony to that.

India doesn't have the military (like @Sardaukar20 pointed out) nor the political clout to put up a unilateral blockade. If India would try to instate such a blockade, the political fall-out would be so large that India would buckle under the pressure. Let alone a huge battle added on top of that which won't only take place on the sea but also on land and will definitely involve Pakistan too.

Precisely. The only way a naval blockade of Malacca Strait could work is with the USN and several allies getting involved. Which makes the task not an Indian one but American if it is the Americans who would put 90% of the effort and associated risks.

India itself has no strategic ability to pull something like this off on its own at all. It totally lacks tactical methods of enforcing any blockade. Empty words get thrown around a lot but I ask again, what will India use to perform this?

We know for a fact zero Indian weapons have the range to reach MS from Indian shores that can target Chinese ships or submarines. IAF cannot get involved because fact is zero IAF fighters have the range to reach MS with payload from Indian airbases. It would be PLAN (whatever small portion of it China feels is enough to take on IN) and the IN. If China wishes to use PLARF to assist, it could knock out Indian bases in the vicinity just in case for long enough and it could even take out Indian ships anywhere above the equator (and indeed even a bit below it) on the Indian Ocean.

India has no equivalent of MaRV guided DF-21 and DF-26 with WZ-7 or WZ-8 support which btw are out of reach of Indian missiles ... ASAT missiles are unlikely to be used for drones which comfortably outnumber ASAT missiles in India.

What is left is just IN 2000 or so kilometers from Indian shores and PLAN 3000km away from Chinese shores. Tactical considerations of main modern forces.

IN:

1x Visakhapatnum (counting the only one in sea trial)
3x Kolkata
3x Shivalik
6x Talwar
10x non-AIP Kilos
5x Scorpenes (counting the two on sea trials)
1x Vikramaditya with 26x Mig-29K

PLAN:

3x Type 055
18x Type 052D
6x Type 052C
2x Type 052B
4x active Sov Class with one fully upgraded
31x Type 054A
2x Type 054
12x Kilos
17x AIP Yuan class
6x Type 093
1x Type 075
1x CV-16 with 26x J-15
1x CV-17 with 26x J-15

Weapons from Indian side are mostly imported or relying or imported material. Main armaments for anti-shipping is Brahmos on Indian side and Klub missiles to a much small degree than China's YJ-18 equivalent. Main Chinese anti-shipping armament is YJ-12 and YJ-18 in far greater numbers given above loadout.

Chinese side also using YJ-62, YJ-83, KD-88, YJ-82, YJ-91 for anti-shipping and anti-radiation.

All of these against under 600 medium and intermediate range air defence missiles for India in total and about 136 Brahmos or 112 Brahmos and 24 Klubs from surface platforms not counting carrier since Mig-29K cannot fire brahmos and so there is not a single brahmos missile onboard the Vikramaditya.

Subsurface it is PLAN's 10 improved Kilos + 2 Project 877 Kilos against IN's 10 old project 877 Kilos. That's China again with tactical advantage in hardware. No matter how it goes, 17 AIP capable SSK Yuan and 6 SSN Type 93s are far superior to 5 SSK Scorpenes which the Indians only recently developed AIP for and are still in the process of testing and installing compared to China's 10 or so years of having AIP.

I can't be bothered working out the combinations of how the PLAN can load out their armament but the VLS and launchers outnumber the Indians at least 10 to 1 for similar types of weapons (and that's giving India a GREAT dismissal here)

For air defence Barak-1 and Shtil are no longer capable missiles. PLAN's HHQ-16 is a much improved Shtil in many ways. India has no equivalent of Type 1130 or even Type 730. No equivalent of HHQ-10. No equivalent of HHQ-9 which is nearly twice the speed of Barak-8 and about twice the range or altitude reach. Barak-8 has close to no hope of intercepting high altitude flying fighters and honestly is not designed to counter fighters at all but intercept missiles closing in to the ships. That's fine and it's a great air defence missile against cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles etc but they have 96 max of it.

Sensors are no match. India has 3 Israeli AESAs in the form of the ELM-2248 which I'm sure are equivalent to units like Sampson etc. China has 3 sets of Type 346B on 055s, 18 sets of Type 346A on 052D and one set on Type 002, 6 sets of Type 346 on 052C.

346 alone is about similar power to ELM 346A takes it up a notch and 346B is in a different league with multiple bands and many times more powerful. Type 055 produces at least 142 megawatts of power for propulsion, systems, sensors, electronic warfare and weapons. Kolkata produces 67 megawatts of power. Type 052D produces 66 megawatts. Showing how far ahead the 055 is.

The remaining sensors Indian ones use Russian types which China has domesticated, improved, and in some cases replaced with more modern Chinese ones. EW is unknown but Type 055 is sort of a dedicated EW surface combatant. India has no obvious or expected EW capability on any surface combatants based on equipment used.

China can't bring any special mission Y aircraft this far and the carrier AEWC is for 003. India has none anyway of those types of aircrafts that can be brought this far either. However PLAN has J-15D in trials as a dedicated EW/EA fighter. I don't think 26 Mig-29K can do much at all against 52 J-15. The remaining J-15s would wreak havoc on IN surface combatants with YJ-91 and even rockets once the Migs are gone.
 
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ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
I always felt there was something off about this guy but I couldn't put my finger on it. Good on you @ougoah for outing him as a full-blown Jai Hindist straight outta BR. I'm surprised he was able to keep a lid on it for this long. I guess as China's strength keeps growing and growing the stress on its enemies grows similarly.

Gloire isn't Indian and he's certainly much more reasonable than a Jai hind bhakt. He just likes playing devil's advocate and occasionally uses a lot of mental gymnastics to be a proponent of many strange positions as a result of playing devil's advocate.

IN is no slouch. Australian navy isn't either! The issue is we're talking about whether or not India could militarily place and enforce a block on the Malacca Strait and that is utterly comical. Any such endeavor could realistically only be done by the US and with some allies too. That would be the opening shot of a war they are starting and they can't expect China to sit idly. I'm sure they'll be complaining about anything China does in response to their initiated aggression.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
I think any attempt by India to checkmate China in using the Straits of Malacca will mean China choking on India's chicken neck, i.e. the Siliguri Corridor which is only 25 km wide. The North East Indians states and Southern Tibet will be isolated and ripe for picking by PLA from across the border.

India blocking MS would be India doing two things at once, declaring war on China and taking the opening shot. It would be up to China to respond and use whatever methods and equipment it sees fit. In this isolated India vs China scenario posed, India alone simply cannot even defend against Chinese AShBM and HGVs they can send to sink Indian naval presence at MS. In reality, China would not even need to send a single fleet over there AND certainly would be opening fronts with India.

Note again that this is India committing the act of war and would be akin to China breaking the chicken's neck and capturing the entire chunk of eastern India north of Bangladesh. If China were to do such a thing with zero reason and provocation, India would be justified in putting their entire weight behind a war effort like China would with India blocking MS. The difference is India has no military ability to survive a war with China 1 on 1.

The Indians when they jerk each other off with delusions of blocking MS (they still haven't and won't be doing this) is because they believe they can do it alone. In reality, any such action from India or anyone else would be done as an alliance of imperialist powers doing the same things they used to do but this time in a world of nuclear weapons and a significantly stronger China. Their excuses for considering such vile actions is because China doesn't behave exactly the way the leaders of this group want China to behave. To brainwash the liberals, they talk ceaselessly about evil CCP and stories of genocide. The conservatives need no reason. The fact that the Chinese aren't white is reason enough. China can get rid of communism and authoritarianism and all they'd do is try to break it apart from within by installing puppets and the sentiments would still remain - aggressive trade and technology warfare just like the US has done to Japan and even France and Germany to some extent in the past.

Until China is under their thumb, they will not give up.

India is just the dishevelled previous victim, now following along because it feels accepted. If the case is India firing first shot on China, it would get flatlined without mercy since China is well within its right to since the trigger was first pulled by India and without any provocation.

India has literally zero diplomatic (ignore internet morons) reason to declare war on China. War is not a simple matter. India would pay with its life if it were to find the misplaced courage to do such a thing. It would be akin to China bombing Guam and US bases in Okinawa totally out of the blue. It would push two nations to unrestricted war instantly and when it comes to the US regional assets vs all of China, it's a crapshoot but India vs China would be very different. I mean they rely on imports just for rifles.

The belief that India could pull this off because PLAN has to remain around China to defend against the West, well not really. During such an existential war nukes are 100% on the table and no first use isn't worth more than toilet paper. China can give India the beating it deserves for such an act of war while declaring any military attack from another nation would be responded to with nuclear war. They stay back and watch China disassemble India and collect intel on Chinese doctrine and equipment while India gets defeated.

BTW it should be added that at least 7 Type 055s have been launched, supposedly 8 in total. The other 5 would be commissioned around when India receives Visakhapatnam and Vikrant in service. That's an extra 570 long range missile weapons for PLAN onboard.

Type 003 is going to be in service before India starts building a third carrier. 004 and following carriers would be produced at a relative rate similar to Type 055 compared to visakhapatnam.
 
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