People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF): Shifting Airpower Balance and Challenges to India's Security
Working Paper

Published By

CISAC, page(s): 28

February, 2002

China is India's largest and most important neighbor, and despite recent efforts at improving relations between the two countries, the over half-century-old border dispute remains unresolved. While the prospects of a Sino-Indian border war are remote, it is essential that India understand the security implications of the rapidly modernizing Chinese military. It is in this context that this paper attempts to assess the airpower balance and the growing strength of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The paper argues that even if the pace of its modernization remains slow, the PLAAF will have decisively surpassed regional air forces in strength and capabilities by the end of the current decade.

Air Commodore Ramesh V. Phadke is an active duty officer of the Indian Air Force, currently working as Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses, New Delhi, India. He has held five command positions and many important staff appointments. He is a postgraduate in Defence Studies and has been working on airpower issues. His current interests include China's military modernization and India's national security.

He was a CISAC visiting fellow in 2001 as part of the project "Strategic Stability: China and South Asia."

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