Bharat Fact

India Unveiled

Tense China-India Border sees deployment of J-20 stealth fighters close to Sikkim

Recent satellite imagery has revealed the deployment of China’s most advanced J-20 stealth fighter jets at an airbase in Tibet, close to the disputed border with India. This move has sparked concern in India, raising tensions between the two Asian giants.

The images captured  show a squadron of six J-20s stationed at the Shigatse airport, a dual-use facility serving both military and civilian purposes. The deployment also reportedly includes eight J-10 fighter jets and a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft.  This location is worryingly close to the Indian state of Sikkim, a disputed territory that has been a flashpoint for tensions in the past.

Located at a high altitude of over 12,000 feet (3,782 meters),  Shigatse is a dual-use airport that serves both civilian and military purposes.China has been investing in improving road and railway networks in eastern Tibet, potentially connecting these areas closer to the Indian border to the Shigatse airport.

The J-20 is a twin-jet, all-weather stealth fighter jet developed by China and classified as a fifth-generation aircraft. This means it has advanced features like radar-evading stealth technology, high maneuverability, and sophisticated avionics.

The India-China border, also known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), is a highly militarized zone with a significant presence of troops from both sides.

This development signifies a worrying escalation in the already strained relationship between China and India. The presence of China’s most advanced fighter jets so close to disputed border raises the specter of a potential military confrontation. It also highlights the growing military capabilities of China and its assertive stance in the region.

India already has Rafale squadrons stationed at bases like Hasimara in West Bengal, geographically positioned to defend the eastern border.The deployment of Rafales strengthens India’s air defense capabilities in the region. The Rafale is equipped with a diverse arsenal of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including the Meteor, considered one of the most advanced beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles globally. It can also carry laser-guided bombs and other precision weapons.These 4.5 generation fighter jets boast advanced features like maneuverability, long-range missiles, and sophisticated avionics, making them a formidable force against the J-20s.

India has been undertaking a significant border modernisation program along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in recent years, particularly since tensions flared up in 2020.  India is constructing new military bases and outposts along the LAC to enhance its troop presence and forward deployment capabilities.India is also upgrading existing airbases and building new landing strips closer to the border is crucial for quicker air support and rapid deployment of troops and equipment.

China first deployed the J-20 in 2017, and it has become a significant part of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The exact capabilities of the J-20 remain classified, but it is believed to be capable of long-range air-to-air combat, precision strikes, and electronic warfare. The J-20 is often compared to other fifth-generation fighters like the American F-22 Raptor.

PIC Source : from X Post @AllSourceA

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