London, Feb 10 (IANS/RAY) Pakistan is concerned about India’s military capabilities, according to Brigadier Ben Barry (retd), an expert on land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Speaking at the release of the IISS’s annual flagship publication “The Military Balance”, to which he was one of the main contributors, Barry said: “Pakistan is concerned about India’s modernisation and its nuclear deal with the United States.”
He, however, clarified that the concern was not as a result of anything the Narendra Modi government had done, but because of acquisitions over a period of time, especially from the US.
“Pakistan’s conventional forces will give a good account of themselves (in the event of a war with India), but feel numerically inferior,” Barry said.
He explained that the Pakistan Army was battle-hardened after extended operations against armed opponents within its country.
According to the IISS’s estimate, the Pakistan Army has a strength of 550,000 soldiers, compared to the Indian Army with 1,150,900 personnel.
In a special essay on China’s ballistic missiles, “The Military Balance” noted: “Beijing is continuing to make significant strides in ballistic-missile research and development.”
In this respect, the DF-5B, a liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), served as a reminder.
China possesses 62 ICBMs compared to India having none. It also boasts of 80 Medium Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs), while Pakistan has 30, and India has developed a mere 12.
India’s Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) arsenal, though, is 42, relative to China not having any and Pakistan having 30.
“The Military Balance” makes an interesting observation about the present Indian government’s policy regarding the Indian Air Force.
“Cancellation of the Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft requirement after the decision to purchase off-the-shelf French Rafale combat aircraft has increased uncertainty over the future of the fighter-aircraft fleet.”
The journal feels, though, India enjoys a slight long term edge over China in the realm of aircraft carrier capability.