Year of Rat 2020 has not been good for the world, especially for China, a country with a Middle Kingdom mindset. I would prefer calling China as Panda rather than a Dragon. Dragon is a wrong epithet for a country which behaves in a cowardly fashion with its neighbours.
Towards the end of 2019, China unleashed Wuhan Virus aka COVID-19 upon the world. It led to huge loss of life, loss of livelihood and stress on economy in most countries. In a desperate attempt to draw away the limelight on this atrocity on the world China does what most autocratic government do, ‘go to war’ with nations, least foment trouble to take away the focus from Chinese created COVID-19.
The killing of 20 Indian soldiers of Indian Army including the Commanding Officer was one such lame attempt by the Panda. Visit of PM Narendra Modi to Leh in this aspect is an important step. Apart from the fact that it motivates the forces there, it is also a political signalling to China and the World that India is no longer going to take it as it did in the past, meekly. Panda has a big army and Air Force with a lot of reverse engineered fighters. Claims of their capability is albeit questionable. If panda decides to engage with India how can Indian Air Force swing and probably finish the battle in few days is what we are going to see.
Xi Jinping is being advised by Generals who do not know Air War. He is being led down the garden path by generals with ambition.
Terrain is going to play a major role in the war with Panda. Both for Army to Army engagements and for Air operations. Let’s see the aspects of terrain that is going to shape the battle in favour of India. Let‘s see each attribute separately.
Army to Army Contact: Panda is going to fight India at high altitudes on surface. Area of contact is going to range from 10,000 feet to 14,000 feet. To put things in perspective, normally, human beings would need additional oxygen above 10,000 feet unless he/she is acclimatized, which is a process that can take anywhere from 7-20 days depending upon the final altitude. This is not a major disadvantage for him as it is for us, because Panda’s soldiers would travel to these regions over higher altitude acclimatizing in the process.
What is really going to bake his cookie is when he uproots forces from east which is at sea level and inducts them into high altitude through air. Acclimatization timing for these soldiers is going to be so high that war would be over by then. This also means China cannot induct fresh forces from plains when his force level depletes due Air Interdiction by IAF and by India Army action. This needs to be understood by the readers clearly.
Courtesy – defenceaviationpost.com