India-Pak standoff: A look at how India's Air Force compares with Pakistan's

Updated: Feb 28, 2019, 08:54 PM(IST)

Though military combat between India and Pakistan looks unlikely at the moment, Here is a look at how Pakistan's Air Force compares with India's.


Indian Air Force- The fourth largest in the world

In terms of personnel, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is the fourth largest in the world with over a lakh and 20 thousand soldiers and with nearly 813 combat aircraft.

India's Air Force is significantly stronger. On paper, the Indian Air Force is a more advanced and developed force than that of Pakistan.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has over 65 thousand personnel and possesses nearly half the number of combat aircraft that India does.

India ranks fourth among the countries in terms of combat aircraft with 5 per cent of the total share. Pakistan is ranked at number eight.

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

In terms of tankers, India ranks seventh

In terms of tankers, India is ranked seventh in the world with seven active fleets.

Pakistan has seven airborne early warning and control aircraft while India has only four.



India's MiG-21 fighter jets, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Tejas

Early March, a MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the IAF had crashed in Rajasthan's Bikaner district with the pilot ejecting safely, a defence ministry spokesperson had said.

The aircraft was on a routine mission and crashed after getting airborne from the Nal airbase near Bikaner. 


Pakistan's military aircrafts

As of 2017, Pakistan air force had 141 F-7 combat jets, 37 F-16a/c jets, 40 JF-17 jets and 69 Mirage 999 ep jets. It also had 90 Mirages 5-EF fighter jets.  

Besides these, Pakistan has ordered around 60 j-f-17 jets.

The country also has two falcons 20/200, 4 king air 350, 4 Saab special mission jets and 4 II-78 tankers.

(Image source: Twitter @CathayPak)


India's 33 fighter squadrons vs Pakistan's 25

India has 33 fighter squadrons while Pakistan has 25. A ratio of 1.3 to 1, still better than the Pakistan Air Force. But down from the 3 to 1 ratio three decades ago.

One, a squadron-to-squadron comparison does not throw much light on-field capabilities.

And two, IAF's serviceability is much better than PAF's which means more IAF aircraft is available for a mission at any given time.

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

India vs China

The Pentagon's estimate is in line with an analysis by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Earlier this year, China's Communist Party-backed newspaper Global Times said Beijing needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time.

The report said that in October 2019, China publicly revealed the H-6N bomber as its first nuclear capable air-to-air refuelling bomber.


India's defence budget five times that of Pakistan's

Pakistan's missiles are short to medium range missiles which can reach up to 2000 kilometres.

Pakistan has 140-150 nuclear warheads while India has 130-140 such warheads.

India's defence budget is five times that of Pakistan's and with this year's high allocation, India will have more to build its arsenal.



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