The People’s Liberation Army Air Force laugh is beginning to make a transformative shift in its war fighting capabilities with the commissioning of its first fifth-generation fighter aircraft the Chengdu j-20 a the induction of the j-20 a will present a greater and fundamentally different threat the militaries in the asia-pacific compared to the Russian su-35 flank or family derivatives that currently formed the mainstay of Chinese air power the j-20 a represents the fast emerging capability for low-observable strikes inside Indian airspace by China in a crisis and for an Indian Air Force IAF struggling to mass combat potential on any given day the latest developments in Chinese airpower require imaginative and cost-effective counter capabilities given the limitations of the defense budget stealth technology is a core component in the transformation of the path from a predominantly territorial Air Force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations the twin-engine j-20 a built by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation is a single-seat stealth fighter designed for long-range fighter missions which can pose a significant threat to forward bases in the opening phase of any conflict due to its radar evading properties long-range and ability to carry significant amounts of munitions the j-20 contains three weapons Bay’s for two Eric missiles and a variety of missiles and surface attack weapons the j-20 also features an active electronically scanned array a ESA radar nose mounted infrared search and track incenses and fuselage mounted cameras to give its pilot 360 degree imaging these capabilities are set to grow as a platform matures in the coming years saddling China’s rival air forces with a formidable challenge the IAF’s fleet of current aging combat aircraft including the numerically dominant fleet of saw 230 m ki is few answers to an aircraft like the j-20 a stealth aircraft will always have the to detect the su-30mk from very long ranges and can take positions to either avoid it or engage on the best possible attack parameters defending Indian airspace from any potential Chinese aerial challenge or intrusions in the future with the proliferation of stealth aircraft in the region will be eventualities that the IAF must contend with currently the IAF is on course to fall seriously short in both the quality and quantity of its fighter force to pose a counter with its entrenched procurement plans out to 2032 when it hopes to achieve its elusive 42 Fighter Squadron strength which that considers the benchmark to effectively take on China and Pakistan the IAF needs to adopt a more flexible approach to countering emerging Chinese air combat capabilities like stealth one solution could be to pursue the acquisition of modern airborne warning and control system AWACS aircraft which can improve the situational awareness of the IAF and help better utilize its limited fourth-generation combat aircraft an idea of where to look for a low observable aircraft second developing a modern impotent ground-based integrated air defense system iAds with long wavelength frequency agile ground radars focused on counter stealth capabilities for a defence against China paired with the smaller number of 4th & four-point-five generation multi-role fighters to provide flexible air defense this combination far more than any aircraft which the IAF has in the procurement or a development pipeline at present is likely to remain a serious threat to any low-observable would-be intruders into Indian airspace building on the acquisition of the long-range s400 air defense systems from Russia in terms of quantity and quality could prove the first steps in the second option while analysts have critically pointed to the fact is that it is comparatively simple to develop flying prototypes that look like fifth-generation fighters case in point the j-20 AR the Russian Sukhoi t-50 which India plans to acquire at some point in the future it is exceedingly difficult to transition to produce something in Kwon that performs like a fifth-generation fighter both in low observability and sensor fusion enabled situational awareness while western fifth-generation aircraft may still have significant advantages in low observable technologies or situational awareness capabilities once the Chinese jade 20a enters the Puffin significant number in the coming years it will represent transformative capability jump in any conflict over less capable militaries in Asia including India

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