Why is the Indian Air Force not afraid of a Chinese stealth fighter aircraft J-20?
Toms Thomas, Indian Navy, retired.（印度海军退役士兵）
Updated Aug 16, 2017 · Upvoted by Harsha Ranganath, Medical Officer at Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Air Force is not afraid of the J-20, because no competent air force ever fears a single weapon system.
Wars are won with ‘Magic Bullets’ only in the minds of ‘armchair generals’ who think playing ‘World of Tanks’ on Steam makes them experts in armored warfare or that reading issues of ‘Aviation Week’ makes them authorities in the field of air wars nd tactics.
Amateurs discuss weapons and tactics, professional soldiers discuss logistics.
Wars are won or lost due to multiple factors, technology is just one of these, there are intangibles such as doctrine, training, morale and logistics. The Romans proved this against Hannibal, and the Soviet Union against the Germans.
During the opening stages of World War Two, the Germans gave the British and the French a sound whipping despite the fact that the majority of German equipment was inferior to what the allies possessed at the time. Superior strategy and tactics, coupled with impeccable planning and logistics management by the German General Staff prevailed over material disadvantages. A British commander is said to have ruefully remarked-”you haven’t fought, until you have fought the Germans”.
During the Arab Israeli wars, especially the first three, Israeli equipment was at either a qualitative or quantitative disadvantage compared to the amply provisioned Arabs, but execrable leadership by Arab line officers and flag commanders ensured that a lot of that equipment ended up in Israeli stores and museums at the end of these conflicts.
European arrogance and racism lead the allies to seriously underestimate Japanese fighting capability and motivation, leading to the Malayan debacle and Pearl Harbor.
The point I am trying to get across here is that wars are much more about the soundness of overall strategies and training+logistics than they are about individual weapons and tactics. This has been proven by the Greeks against the Persians, the Yemenites against the Saudis and the Afghans against the British and the Soviets, among countless others.
The J-20 is a single weapon system, it has a place in the Chinese order of battle, it has a niche in their overall strategic framework. The Indian Air Force has its own planning and counter-planning setup, they will study the 20’s capabilities, the strengths and weaknesses of its air-frame, weapons and sensors, and will adjust doctrine accordingly. We are already heavily invested in long range surveillance technologies like Aerostat Balloons
Low Frequency Radars…
and AWACS platforms..
All these technologies, and many others significantly blunt the advantages offered by stealth platforms.
In addition, India is already well into the development of stealth platforms of its own specifically to counter the J-20 and J-31, such as the MCA and the PAK-FA.
And if history is any guide, showing an engineering prototype at an airshow for a press release is very different from fielding a combat capable weapon system, the teething troubles suffered by the USAF with the F-22 and F-35 programs are an experience that the Chinese- who have a vastly inferior R&D and resource base-are likely to repeat.
The Indian Air Force probably fears the co ption and impotence of the Indian military procurement bureaucracy and the indecisiveness of its political masters far more than any Chinese airplane.
Answered Dec 3, 2016 · Upvoted by Aryan Pundir, Officer at Indian Air Force
China is trying to dominate the world both economically and strategically (in terms of military domination) . The finest example is the new stealth fighter Chengdu J-20 popularly known as J-20.This aircraft can be called the copy of US F-22 Raptor.J-20 aircraft is fifth generation stealth aircraft. This is twin engine aircraft.
Indian air force is considered as the most skilled air force in the world. Sukhoi 30-MKI is our front line fighter ,which is considered as one of the best and it is packed with all the latest tech and equipment.
Indian Air Force not afraid of Chinese stealth fighter aircraft J-20 because Chinese pilots are not skilled to compete with Indian pilots.
According to some reports china will be able to produce high tech equipments but not be able to operate them properly. In contrast,Indian pilots are skilled and able to compete with any fighter in the world.
India is also working on it’s fifth generation fighter aircraft program FGFA(Fifth generation fighter aircraft)based on Russian plane PAK-FA 50 and AMCA (Advanced multi role combat aircraft ) which will far better than the Chinese counterpart .
India is also procuring S-400 Triumf from Russia which can also kill stealth aircraft's. This will help in securing our motherland against air threats.
Their are numerous examples in the history of military that an army with more high tech weapons will not surely win but it depends on the skill and courage of the person.We take the example of Battle Asal uttar where are old tanks destroyed the powerful Patton tanks.
And above all machine can do nothing without man because what makes the weapon deadly is the man behind it and Indians are well trained to perform their jobs which makes them the best.
Puneet Rastogi, B.E Computers, University of Mumbai (2006)
Updated Dec 8, 2016
I have just made a video for this question please have a look for video footage and explanation : YouTube Video 
There are 3 parts to the answer of your question , According to me.
Firstly Indian Air force is a professional competent unit , even if they think Chinese 5th generation Chengdu j-20 fighter jet is a possible threat to Indian security , they will make multiple counter plans and strategies to counter this threat , But any professional & reputed military will never panic because of just one weapon or weapon delivery system of adversary. India has already inducted a Brahmos Regiment in North east in the border near China, china does not have any counter measure for Bhramos ramjet supersonic cruise missiles, does this mean Chinese army /Air force should be in panic ? China and India has always had a healthy rivalry but honestly i dont think there is any possibility of a hostile war or chances of any direct conflict in near future any ways. Our economic ties and dependency hardly allow for any military conflicts.
首先印度空军是一个专业的有实力的军队，就算他们认为中国第五代成都J - 20战斗机可能会对印度的安全造成威胁，他们会制订多个计划和对策来应对这一威胁。任何一支专业&享有盛誉的军队永远都不会因为敌人区区一个武器或武器运载系统而乱了阵脚。印度已经在靠近中国的东北边境部署了布拉莫斯导弹群，中国对布拉莫斯超音速巡航导弹没有任何反制措施，这是否意味着中国陆军/空军才应该感到恐慌？中国和印度一直有着健康的竞争，但老实说，我不认为在不久的将来会有任何敌对战争或直接冲突的可能性。我们的经济关系和依赖性基本上不会允许任何军事冲突的爆发。
secondly India possesses extremely potent and tested anti aircraft weaponry as well as air defense & early warning systems. India's air defense network has two principal components - the Air Defense Ground Environment System ( ADGES ) and the Base Air Defense Zones ( BADZ ). The ADGES network provides for wide area radar coverage and permits the detection and interception of most aerial incursions into Indian airspace. The BADZ system, however, is far more concentrated with radars, interceptors, SAMs and AAA units working in conjunction to provide an intense and highly effective defensive barrier to attacks on vital targets. Most Indian bases and vital targets are protected by full squadron of S-125 Pechora-1b SAMs some critical spots are protected by additional deployments of OSA-AKM mobile SAMs. J-20 has never been pitched against Indian Air defense capabilities and Indian radar systems.
India is very close to acquire S400 triumf missile system from Russia which most analysts think is the best Surface to air missile system , its advance radar is extremely successful in detection of proven 5th Gen aircraft like russian T-50 and is expected to perform splendidly when pitched against F22 Raptor , F-35 Lightening and sure against Chinese J-20 as well. India has also sought proposals for advanced Aerial detection radar systems.
Third and most important point is that J-20 has not yet proved to be a very stealthy and successful fighter its self. there are considerable doubts over its stealth capabilities
Analysts have found out that the nose & canopy of J-20 use a similar stealth shaping design as the american F-22 raptor , yielding similar signature performance in a mature design at the front, however the aircraft's side and axi-symmetric engine nozzles may expose the aircraft to radar. Some have even raised concerns about the use of canards on a low-observable design, stating that canards would guarantee radar detection and a compromise of stealth.
The fact that in spite of an indigenous 5th generation fighter , china is keen to import Russian made 4+ generation Su-35 aircraft tells us about the conviction of Chinese in J-20. While economics could be one reason behind this move , it does not bode well for future of J-20 Stealth fighter.
Considering the Indian current capabilities , future aspirations of Indian Military , the diplomatic relations with china and current track record of J-20 stealth fighter, i do not think Chengdu J-20 posses any significant threat to India.
I hope my article helped you in some way , please do give me feedback and point my areas of improvement.
Arnab Panda, I am the jack of all kings
Updated Apr 19, 2018 · Upvoted by Harsha Ranganath, Medical Officer at Indian Armed Forces
Lets enter a wormhole and get back to somewhere around October 2016…….
Hillary Clinton was talking about imposing a no fly zone over Syria to effectively ground Russian and Syrian operations.
The US - Russia peace deal (or whatsoever it was) broke down when US led coalition jets bombed Syrian convoy. What did the Russians do?
Well they deployed the S400 SAM system.
Now lets enter the wormhole once again to september 2013. The USA proudly claimed that ‘An USAF F22 made the Iranian F4 pilot piss in his pants! ’
U.S. F-22 stealth fighter pilot taunted Iranian F-4 Phantom combat planes over the Persian Gulf (here is the link)
So ….. still don’t get it
So basically the F22s are there which by virtue of their brochure is a fifth generation stealth jet.
But today…. the Russians are still there and Pentagon has effectively dismissed any plans for a no fly zone over Syria.
The question is WHY????
The fact is stealth means low observability and not invisibility. So either the Americans knew their raptors can be shot down by Russia or the Russians knew their S400 can effectively ground the F22s.
But it is stealthy right??
Ok! so stealth is not an elixir or panacea of some fashion….
The answer is very lucid.
The right use of stealth involves using your assets very wisely (what they call strategic use)
Talking about the J20…. it looks kind of a Mig 1.44 + Dassault Rafale + F 35 fusion from the front. The funny thing is that the plane involves cannards which were removed from the Su 35 and the PAKFA just to improve stealth characteristics. Moreover, the rear part of the plane doesn’t look stealthy either. So it’s IR signature isn’t a swanky thing.
说到J20…它的外观类似米格1.44 +达索阵风+ F-35前脸的杂烩。有趣的是，为了提高隐身性能，这架飞机使用了从苏35和帕卡法上拆下的炮弹。此外，飞机的后部也不隐身。所以它的红外信号可不算什么值得夸耀的东西。
This is exactly what the IAF top boss said.
But what puzzles the most is it’s engine. I doubt China has made an engine that can provide the necessary thrust to their jet. Given the fact it is supposed to be used in Tib as well as the Pacific, the engines need to be extra powerful and durable. The current ones are bought from Russia which don't have supercruise ability which is critical for a fifth generation aircraft. Engine development is a problem even experienced engine manufacturers are facing including Russia and USA.
The exhaust looks pretty conventional so if they say it’s IR signature is very low, I think you can take it with a pinch of salt.
Now with a not so trust able engine, there will be operational deficiencies if these are placed in Tib. So basically there is no need to worry.
Well honestly speaking, if your jet looks like a bird on a radar, your job with stealth is done as it can sneak in and out of enemy airspace without raising eyebrows.
Now it has to do the task. How well it does it is only known to the PLAAF
Another important aspect of the fifth generation jets is data fusion which China isn't babbling about.
In a nutshell….. The chasis is ready but key software and hardware components are missing or as they say…… ‘in various stages of reverse engineering.’
Fairley Industries LLC Fairley, former Co-Pilot
Answered Jun 30, 2017
I am sitting back and laughing as I admire this indian propaganda. Do you think India is ready to compete on the world stage in military aviation? The truth is India buy aircraft from all over the world then subcontract avionics out through other companies all over the world. The Tejas is Indians first and only indegious fighter while the contract for the Rafael is still being negotiated by India with the first few batchs to be built in France. India has paid alot of money into the T-50 program and has yet to get a fighter or even the technology from Russia to produce their own indegious twin seat FGFA. By the way, every time a Su-30 breaks down the engine goes back to Russia.
China J-20 is a competent aircraft. It flys and has a low radar cross section. Lets not forget the airframe mated with indigenous license built AL-31 engines. They also operate the AL-41 engines in the SU-35.
India Air Force might be the best strategist so far. They did dominate the U.S. Red Flag in Cope India but hear is the problem with that. Alot actually. The best Aircraft in that scenario was the Mig21 bis. Small radar cross section. Fast. Jammar pods. Off bore weapons. Deadly. They actually scored all the kills while MKIs took a AWACs role. It was Indian Aces versus a regular deployable squadron.
Im not shitting on India but we must be honest and not fall into the propaganda. As long as you fly French, Russian, American, British, etc(India Airforce is like a Paris Airshow) aircraft. Outsource your Avonics from everywhere from Germany to Isreal. You do not have yet a full squadron if Tejas fighters. You have yet to build one squadron of T50 aircraft or even any R&D out of the deal. Your. losing two aircraft a month on average do to maintaince issues. It would be hard to say India is ready to compete with the technology found in the J-20/J-31 when India has yet to develope technology. China has developed two 5generation fighters to compete with the F-22 while India is building a fighter to compete with J-10, F-16, and J-17.
Danial Shazly, Ex-Editor, Asian Defence & Diplomacy
Answered Dec 7, 2017
The Indian air force has put in so much effort to analyse this jet. The pilots i know have confirmed that the J-20 being a 5th generation jet. There are still areas where the Indian Air Force is able to detect. The J-20 may look like a very sophisticated jet but the IAF believed that their Su-30MKI is able to engage with these jets without any concerns about its abilities.
The Indian intelligence have put in a significant amount of work to analyse the J-20. They have drawn some conclusion based on the design perspective, the power plant and stealth features. Now stealth can be detected even in far distance of over 100km.
When i talk about the threat of J-20. The IAF pilots would say “Yes they are a threat, but we can deal with the threat based on our analysis of the performance of the jet, its capabilities and from there we could understand its potential weaknesses and strength. We have a tactics to engage the J-20” The IAF will be further improving their jets to meet the new threat. Existing assets such as the Su-30MKI, Dassault Rafale and even the Mirage 2000 are capable jets to counter the J-20. The J-20 in many’s view could be the ultimate weapon in the PLAAF but when the jets starts to take action such as super cruise performance, opening of weapon bay doors, radar emissions etc, the IAF Flankers could detect it even far away!…
Another confidence to the IAF Pilots is the exercise with the US F-22. That confidence is good enough as the pilots was able to shoot down F-22 with their Su-30MKI in close combat. The IAF pilots understand whats coming out of China and i believe they are very much prepared to face any such threats from China.