Pakistan’s saber-rattling at the Line of Control after the September 29 surgical strikes by India’s special forces is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
The 2003 ceasefire has collapsed with shelling and heavy gunfire rapidly spreading along the LoC.
On Tuesday, Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha said that things were “live” at the de facto border. Senior army officers said Pakistan is likely to up the ante in the LoC fighting and Indian soldiers have orders to retaliate with lethal force.
Amid rising tensions with Pakistan, a head-to-head comparison of the two militaries captures the edge India has.
1) Fighter planes
Indian Air Force has a fleet of more than 600 fighter jets, including Sukhoi-30s, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars and MiG variants. Rafale jets on order.
Pakistan air force’s combat squadrons account for 500-plus aircraft including F-16s, two Mirage variants and the new JF-17s.
2) Missile reach
With the Agni-V, India can deliver nuclear warheads at ranges of over 5,000 km.
The Shaheen-III ballistic missile in the Pakistani arsenal can strike targets 2,750 km away.
3) Underwater warfare
Indian Navy has a fleet of 13 boats of Russian/German origin and one nuclear-powered attack submarine leased from Russia. Arihant, a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, is under trials. Six Scorpene are submarines under construction.
Pakistan operates five French-origin Agosta submarines.
The Indian Army has close to 4,000 tanks and the fleet is a mix of Russian-origin T-90s, older T-72s and the indigenous Arjun tanks.
The Pakistan army’s tank count stands at around 2,000 with Al-Khalid, Al-Zarrar and T-80UDs accounting for the bulk of the armoured fleet.
5) Nuclear warheads
6) Aircraft carriers
India operates INS Vikramaditya with Mig-29K fighter planes and Vikrant is under construction at Kochi. A third carrier, Vishal, is also planned.
Pakistan navy doesn’t have an aircraft carrier.
7) Armed forces strength
India: 1.4 million
8) Defence budget
India: $39 billion
Pakistan: $8 billion
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