China's air force, or PLA (AF), in live fire exercises over the Tibetan plateau - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Sunday 19 August 2012

China's air force, or PLA (AF), in live fire exercises over the Tibetan plateau

And here is the caption from the PLA Daily, courtesy of whom these photos are posted: "The air force of the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organized its fighters to carry out actual combat training on the Tibetan Plateau on August 10, 2012, in a bid to explore and perfect the new methods of operation for the aviation force in high attitude areas. The photo features the formation of J-11 fighters."


  1. I wonder if the IAF has in the recent past carried out any live firing; there would be some tweaking required due to the conditions at HAA

  2. Is this a warning bell to the Indian government or a mere coincidence or a tactic to unnerve the already tensed government? For years, India has taken comfort in the fact that as Tibet is a mountanious plateau, higher than Arunachal/Sikkim/Ladakh on our side, the Chinese Army and Airforce is seriously inhibited from launching full scale operations against India. For the last 2-3 years, we have been hearing stories how these inhibitions are slowly being overcome, but today we got the full picture for the first time. These pictures have been published by PLA Daily, the military newspaper of Chinese military. Since China does not enjoy press freedom and these pictures were published by a state owned entity, it definitely contains tacit approval from the Chinese government. Well, things are getting interesting...Here's hoping that the it remains at the level where it is and the situation does not deteoriate further....

  3. Clearly China is threatening India perhaps for the alleged and proposed cooperation with US in the Pacific. Actually in the name of its self defense, the China is heading towards the WW-III.

  4. china want prempetive atteck in ladhak and arunachal and india militry not prepare for that i want indian army and IAF jointely exercise in thos area i listion india have no rader in high pick area this is bad when amrican set up rader in arcatic and alaska so why we not set up those area china is not mature nation it is one man thinker party quick buy light howitjer and air defence equipment

  5. Don't Panic...the looser CONGRESS is in control and making hey while we all sleep. Indeed, they will make sure that we loose 2nd time also to the Chinese.

    Let see when Chinese decide to whack us as our political army and political government, political bureaucrats and political technocrats are good in just talking and debating.

  6. The loadout on the planes seems to be quite low. On a Su-30 having just rocket pods? were there other photos carrying short range air to air missiles along with the pods? What is the pod on the outermost wing pylon?

    The biggest problem posed by high altitude like the Tibetan plateau is the weapons carried by the planes is limited! This only seems to confirm that! If they can only use a high capacity plane like Su-30 for rocket bombing only thats a waste or rather a gross under utilization, perhaps forced by the conditions.


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