Military strength Comparision between India and China, While the second round of talks between the two nations are underway, the present border situation has fuelled fears of an extended military confrontation between the two sides. But how prepared are the two countries for a conflict? What are their military capabilities?
China is in the third position while India stands fourth out of 138 countries in the 2020 Global Firepower military strength rankings. While the United States is on the top of the chart, Russia is on the second spot.
A look at the military capacities of the two most populous countries in the world.
Military strength Comparision between India and China:
Manpower: India has a total of 622,480,340 personnel while China has 752,855,402 available. India’s number of active personnel (1,444,000) are also lower than China’s (2,183,000). However, India has more bench strength with 2,100,000 in reserve in comparison to China’s 510,000.
Air Power: With 538 combat aircraft and over 700 helicopters, the strength of the Indian air fleet stands at 2,123. China’s total resources stand at 3,210, with over 1,200 combat aircraft and more than 900 helicopters.
Land resources: China is ahead and better equipped than India in terms of land resources. Beijing has at least 33,000 armoured vehicles, 3,500 combat tanks, 3,800 self-propelled artillery, 3,600 field artillery and 2,650 rocket projectors. India’s total resources include 8,686 armoured vehicles, 4.292 combat tanks, 235 self-propelled artillery, 4,060 field artillery and 266 rocket projectors.
Naval strength: At present, India has a total fleet strength of 285, including one aircraft carrier, 16 submarines, 10 destroyers, 13 frigates, 19 corvettes, three crafts for mine warfare and 139 coastal patrol vessels. China, on the other hand, has a total fleet strength of 777, including two aircraft carriers, 74 submarines, 36 destroyers, 52 frigates, 50 corvettes, 29 crafts for mine warfare and 220 patrol vessels.
Defence expenditure and personnel
Though China’s finance ministry declared its official military budget in 2019 as $177 billion, analysts report the actual figure to be between $261-266 billion.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2019, China’s defence budget was $261 billion, while the corresponding figure for India was $71.1 billion. These are the second- and third-highest military spends in the world.
In terms of manpower, China has 21,83,000 active personnel and 510,000 reserve troops, while India has 14,44,000 and 21,00,000, according to Global Firepower.
Resources on land
In the realm of military resources on land, China possesses 3,500 tanks, 33,000 armoured vehicles, 3,800 self-propelled artillery, 3,600 towed artillery, and 2,650 rocket projectors.
India, meanwhile, has 4,292 tanks, 8,686 armoured vehicles, 235 self-propelled artillery, 4,060 towed artillery and 266 rocket projectors.
China’s total air fleet stands at 3,444, and includes 1,232 fighter jets, 371 dedicated attack crafts, 224 for transport, 314 trainers, 111 for special missions, 911 helicopters, and 281 attack helicopters.
The Indian air fleet has a strength of 2,141, including 538 fighter jets, 172 dedicated attack crafts, 250 for transport, 359 trainers, 77 for special missions, 722 helicopters, and 23 attack helicopters.
China currently has two aircraft carriers, 36 destroyers, 52 frigates, 50 corvettes, 74 submarines, 220 patrol vessels, and 29 crafts for mine warfare.
The Indian fleet, meanwhile, consists of one aircraft carrier, 10 destroyers, 13 frigates, 19 corvettes, 16 submarines, 139 patrol vessels, and three crafts for mine warfare.
According to SIPRI’s 2020 Yearbook, the Chinese nuclear arsenal currently stands at 320, while India has 150 weapons.
The Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi 30 that India have give Indian Air Force an edge over China’s J10, J11 and Su-27 fighter jets. India also has all-weather multirole aircraft, whereas only the J10 in China has this capability.
India also has more experience in fighting wars then China. It has fought many wars with Pakistan over the years and won all of them. China, on the other hand, fought the last war in Vietnam in 1979.
When it comes to high altitude warfare, India is better prepared than China here too. There are many aircraft in India which are capable of flying at high altitudes, whereas Chinese pilots have to fly with limited supplies and fuel due to difficult weather conditions in their airbases near Tibet.
Both India and China are nuclear powered countries. What makes this comparison interesting is that India keeps on participating in war exercises with other big countries like the US, France, the UK etc. The Americans can help Indians with intelligence inputs in case the situation deteriorates further. China, on the other hand, has been fighting many countries on too many fronts, the latest being on the spread of the coronavirus disease.