A Report On Military Comparison Pakistan, China And India By Indian Media

In terms of OVERALL combat capability, the Indian army is no match to PLA, and it’s not even about number comparisons (which are most uninformative–e.g. how can one equate an 1000-ton corvette with an 8000-ton destroyer even though they both count as one warship?) This will keep being true as long as China is able to produce almost all weapon and equipment for the army (albeit of slightly lower quality in some cases) while India remains the top arms importer in the world.

There is no way a nation will win a modern large-scale military conflict without the support of a highly-capable indigenous industry. Fighting a war relying on foreign imports is like being in a gun fight where one has to order the bullets and wait for the delivery. If a war did break out between China and India, I don’t think India would be able to quickly resupply the forces with advanced weaponry like Su-30 or T90 if they can’t be mass manufactured in Indian factories (even local assembly is not quick enough because the parts will have to be imported). In the worse case, if Russia or European nations refuse to provide them due to China’s political and/or economic influence, how does the Indian force keep on fighting? Even in smaller conflicts, the fact that the aircraft are “non-renewable” will in some degree affect the strategy/tactics employed (“let’s not attack this time; we’d better save the fighters in case we need them later.”), hence limiting the force’s overall combat efficacy.

Even in peace time, reliance on foreign weapon manufacturer means that India will almost never acquire the most advanced weaponry, no matter how much money they are willing to spend. In contrast, THANKS TO THE ARMS EMBARGO starting 20 years ago, Chinese weapon manufacturers now have the technology and resource to develop things like 5th-generation stealth fighters (which is at lease comparable to, if not as good as, Russia’s T-50), anti-ship ballistic missiles (the only types in the world), hypersonic weapons (which the US and Russia models are also only in testing phase), and so on. With China pouring money into weapon development and Russia’s poor economic condition, it not impossible that in the future even Russia will have to look up to the Chinese in certain areas. Therefore, in the current condition, it is perceivable that the gap between China and India in terms of weapon technology will get even wider.


I noticed someone mentioning morale as the major factor in warfare. Firstly, there is no evidence indicating that Indian soldiers have better morale than the PLA, although for an Indian it is easier to believe that’s the case. Secondly, it is only true when the equipment of both sides are of the same generation. Morale counts for little if one side has stealth fighter that can shoot down the opponent with long-range missiles before itself even appears on the opponent’s radar screen (which is a highly-likely scenario in air-dominated modern regional conflicts).

To sum up, the disparity in military hardware between India and China is larger than it appears due to India’s heavy dependence on imports and negligence of indigenous industry; to make matters worse for the India side, China seems to be near the end of the technology-accumulation phase (20-30 years) and new waves of advance hardware is starting to come out (see J20, Y20, Wu14, or just visit pak defense forum). Assuming conditions of China remains constant, I would say the situation will keep getting worse for India for at least the next two or three decades.