Indian Air Force vs Pak Air Force: Here’s How the Numbers Stack Up

Indo-Pak tensions have reached boiling point in the past week, in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force bombing Balakot in Pakistan, and reports of planes being shot down.

If the situation escalates, what would we be looking at? As of 2019, what inventory does the Indian Air Force have at their fingertips?

What inventory does the Pakistan Air Force have at their disposal as of 2019?

Let’s dive in.

Indian Air Force

Combat Aircraft

  • Mikoyan Gurevitch MiG 21 – Single-Seat Supersonic Fighter Aircraft – 114

  • Mikoyan MiG 27 – Swing Wing Ground Attack Aircraft – 44

  • Mikoyan MiG 29 – Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft – 66

  • HAL Tejas – Multirole 4th Generation Lightweight Fighter Aircraft – 12

  • Dassault Mirage 2000 – Multirole Fighter/Strike Fighter Aircraft – 41

  • Sukhoi Su-30 – Two Seat, Twin-Engine Air Superiority/ Strike Fighter Aircraft – 242

  • SEPECAT Jaguar – Strike Fighter Aircraft – 91

AWACs (Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems)

  • Beriev A-50 – Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWACS) Aircraft – 3

Reconnaissance

  • Boeing 707 – Reconnaissance – 1

  • Global 5000 – Electronics Signals Intelligence – 2

  • Gulfstream G100 – Surveillance – 2

Electronic Warfare

  • Gulfstream III – Electronic Warfare Aircraft – 3

Tanker

  • Iluyshin IL – 78 – In-flight Refueling Tanker Aircraft – 6

Helicopters

  • Mil Mi – 17 – Utility – 229

  • Mil Mi-24 – Attack – 17

  • Mil Mi-26 – Heavy Lift – 3

  • HAL Dhruv – Utility – 83

  • HAL Chetak – Liaison/Utility – 77

  • HAL Cheetah – Liaison – 17

  • CH-47 Chinook – Transport/Utility – 4

So that’s a basic look at the Indian Air Force’s combat inventory. It’s a detailed but non-exhaustive look at India’s airborne warfare capabilities.

Now let’s take a look at what the Pakistan Air Force has in its inventory.

Pakistan Air Force

Combat Aircraft

  • General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon – Multirole Combat Aircraft – 74 (in service)

  • CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder – Multirole Combat Aircraft – 99 (in service)

  • Dassault Mirage III – Interceptor/Strike Fighter Aircraft – 75 (in service)

  • Dassault Mirage 5 – Attack Aircraft/Fighter-Bomber Aircraft – 82 (in service)

  • Chengdu F-7 – Interceptor/Strike Fighter Aircraft – 60 (in service)

Reconnaissance

Burraq – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(Reconnaissance/Strike) – 12

SATUMA Jasoos II – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(Reconnaissance/Training) – 45

Leonardo(SELEX Galileo) Faco – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – 25

CASC CH4 – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(Reconnaissance/Strike) – 4

AAI RQ-7 Shadow – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – 12

GIDS Shahpar – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – 5

AWACs (Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems)

  • Saab 2000 Erieye – Twin Turboprop Regional Passenger Airliner / Multi-Mission Aircraft – 3

  • Shaanxi ZDK-03 – Medium Lift Transport Vehicle – 4

Electronic Warfare

  • Dassault Falcon 20 – Electronic Support – 3

Tankers

  • Iluyshin IL – 78 – In-flight Refueling Tanker Aircraft – 4

Once more, this is simply a glance at the Pakistan Air Force’s combat inventory. It’s not an exhaustive list.

(With inputs from World Air Forces 2019, Bharat Rakshak and Military Factory)


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