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Does S-400 air defense missile system signal an end of Pakistan Air Force?

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Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal |

India’s weapons shopping spree, development of ballistic missile defense systems and continuous upgrading of nuclear arsenal negatively influence the regional strategic stability. Recently, India signed S-400 missiles deal with Russia and also celebrated the September 29, as a Surgical Strike Day to intimidate Pakistan and divert the attention of the opposition from the corruption scandal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian ruling elite seems convinced that with the modernization of the Indian armed forces and pile up of military hardware, India would be able to shift the balance of power in its advantage which would inevitably establish its hegemony in the region. Pakistan has been struggling to maintain a strategic equilibrium with India, despite its armed forces engagement on the Western border to combat the transnational terrorist syndicate and suspension of the United States’ military aid and Coalition Support Fund.

The encouraging factor is that Pakistan did not express its anxiety over the Indo-Russian recent S-400 deal. It has remained concentrated on its bilateral ties with Russia.

Trump administration’s South Asia and Afghanistan policy announced on August 21, 2017, and National Security Strategy document released on December 18, 2017, reveals India’s significance in the United States grand scheme of things. Despite these odd developments, Pakistan’s armed forces are ready to respond an Indian military adventurism.

While responding to the recent Modi government’s celebration of ‘Surgical Strike Day’ and Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warmongering, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major Gen Asif Ghafoor stated that ‘Pakistan should launch 10 if India launched one surgical strike’. Pakistan’s response to India’s military buildup is very calculated and systematic.

Read more: Celebrating surgical strikes that never happened- Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

Instead of entrapping in the conventional arms race with India, it has increased its reliance on its nuclear weapons capability. It announced full spectrum deterrence policy and development of the battlefield or low-yield nuclear weapons. Indeed, the buildup of low-yield nuclear devices has caused much hyperventilating in the Western countries and their think tanks, but it has checked India’s Cold Start Doctrine and Pro-Active Military Operation Strategy.

India signed S-400 missiles deal with Russia and also celebrated the September 29, as a Surgical Strike Day to intimidate Pakistan and divert the attention of the opposition from the corruption scandal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Western security analysts are objecting Pakistan’s development of battle filed or low-yield nuclear weapons without realizing that currently, the Great Powers are immensely investing in the improvement of their low-yield nuclear weapons. It was reported, “Russian Federation not only has more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world but also is investing in an arsenal of modern, low-yield nuclear weapons that could be used for limited nuclear warfare.”

Similarly, according to the United States’ posture Review released in February 2018, the Americans were also modernizing their nuclear arsenal. Hence, Pakistan’s diversification of its nuclear capability is not against the trends in the global strategic environment.
President Putin and Prime Minister Modi finalized the S-400 defensive systems deal on October 5, 2018. India’s $5 billion investment in the purchasing of S-400 Long Range Surface to Air Missile System stirred the South Asian strategic environment.

Read more: India’s irrational behavior – Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

“The S-400 is Russia’s fourth-generation air and missile defense system, accessing aerial targets up to 400 kilometers away, and has the potential to counter threats from ballistic missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and aircraft.” It was reported that S-400 is more accurate than its contemporary systems such as Americans Patriot system. However, the strategic analysts have consensus that both defensive systems are not 100 percent accurate and therefore the offensive strikes pierce the defensive shield.

The buildup of low-yield nuclear devices has caused much hyperventilating in the Western countries and their think tanks, but it has checked India’s Cold Start Doctrine and Pro-Active Military Operation Strategy.

The destabilizing factor is that S-400 and Patriot missiles gives a ‘false sense of security and can instill a tendency to pre-empt.’ The S-400 missiles neither destabilize Pakistan’s defensive fence nor make ineffective its offensive strikes. In addition, S-400 will not be able to cover the entire Indian Territory. Pakistani armed forces can easily perforate this kind of defensive shield by using its cruise missiles.

Secondly, they can saturate it with the employment of their multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) capability. On January 24, 2017, Pakistan tested its medium-range, surface-to-surface, ballistic missile Ababeel, which used MIRV having capability to deliver multiple conventional and nuclear warheads.

Read more: India and Pakistan’s sea-based nuclear weapons cause regional alarm – Dr….

Third, they can reduce the time of detection by forward placing of submarine-launched systems—Babur III submarine-launched cruise missile. The encouraging factor is that Pakistan did not express its anxiety over the Indo-Russian recent S-400 deal. It has remained concentrated on its bilateral ties with Russia. It was reported that the Pakistan Army and the Russian military would carry out joint military drills—Friendship 2018— at the training range of the National Counter-Terrorist Center in the Pabbi Mountains, Pakistan, from October 21 to November 4, 2018. Last year, similar joint drills were held in the North Caucasus.

In summary, the strategic stability in South Asia is being threatened by the offensive posture and induction of lethal weapons by India, but it does not destabilize Pakistan’s deterrent capability.

Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal is Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He is also an advisor on Non-Proliferation to SASSI, London and a course coordinator at Foreign Services Academy for the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Email: jaspal_99@hotmail.com. This piece was first published in Pakistan Observer. It has been republished with permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.


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19 COMMENTS

  1. India will bankrupt Pakistan in arm race. already pakistan spending 4-5% of its GDP. BMD is not 100% effective but it will give enough doubt in adversary mind if all its strikes will go through or not. Indian doctrine is also moving towards counter force than on counter value. India with the help of US/Japan is going to put hydrophone in Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, it is buying more Anti submarine platforms. pakistan navy’s tiny submarine force will not survive. pakistan lacks long ranged and supersonic cruise missiles and wont be able to reach many Indian cities. with AWACS, Aerostat Radars babur style cruise missiles are easy to detect.
    Pakistan should stop its misadventures in India and everything will be fine.

    • Everything you assert means nothing” the perceptive should know that knowledge and work devoted to Lord Almighty Allah and his messenger avail.

    • India is piling up weapons while 100 of millions population is belove the level of poverty.
      Armed race in the region is for what???
      Who is India scared of??? Pakistan???
      Pakistan is a small country in every way and Pakistan has always got threatened from Big Populated India.

      But it is the right way to take the country in the region??? Why doesn’t India focus on human development and peace process in the region??? If America and Japan can come to a collabration and cooperation, why not India and Pakistan sit and talk and resolve their issues through dialoque. With resonable give and take both countries can end this Stupid Armed race in the region.

      Indian politocs revolves around Hatard against Pakistan and may be thats why they give a damn shit to peace process. And I think they are in delusion that if they pile up more weapons and more arsenal, they will become powerful.

  2. Please note that you guys broke out of India and not the other way around. It has the most diverse communities and is a continent in itself with one of the most liberal constitution in the world. Stop believing that you guys are holier and keep lying to yourself.

    • Do you know what was the reasons that demanded the creation of an independent country for Indian Muslims, the narrow mindedness of Hindus the present example of cruelness of action taken by Indian government on unarmed Kashmiri Muslims

  3. Pakistan has recently signed a arms deal with China which consist of 42 lethal drones that are most uptodate technology after American drones.These drones are being purchased to counter the Indian S-400 Missiles.These drones are assigned to fire Plenty of missiles in indian airspace (in case of war) which will fool the S-400 batteries because 100 of missiles Arent easy to taken down by a single delivery system.S-400 will lose his missiles as it will detect the enemy missiles at a range of 400 km on 28000ft or above and starts firing. Now how pakistan will destory S-400s so After this all scenario when S-400s are engaged in shooting down drones missiles,Pakistan will send UAVs equipped with cruise missiles (MIRV) which will target the S-400 beyond 400kmand easily destory the S-400 system.

  4. Ghazi …and you think India will take it sitting…come one come all, come to my stall. Pak’s entire annual budget doesn’t even match the Indian railways budget, what war are you talking about. Rather than war mongering, we should stress on the betterment of society. If at all war breaks out , pak will be sent back to the stone age, and India will take a hit but it would survive and more over this is all political bullshit, cause the lay man don’t wanna fight….they wanna live

  5. I don’t think you or we need to fight just be just to Muslim and give right of self determination to states and Kashmir which is under your army illegal occupation. What are we doing is just spending more and more to stock pile lethal weapons which both know are useless at the end of day and talks will solve the problems otherwise one will hurt the other and same will continue to reciprocare. we should love and respect our neighbors else there is no solution.

  6. Pakistan should show the way to India by conducting a referundum in Balochistan. Pakistan need to stop oppression in Balochistan and vacate to give freedom to Baloch. This if done could pave way for India to follow.

  7. Donn. Throghout our history, from the time of Prophet Muhammad SAW, we the believers were very few in number than you, the non believers but by help of Our God Almighty we have defeated you and again as predicted, we will defeat you by help of Our God in the third world war.just wait and see

  8. Donn.. agree with you. But indo pak war is not indo Pak war.. it’s a big game guys.. grow up.. betterment of the people my foot. In which world you people are living. This world is a real game of thrones.

  9. Bullshit and factually wrong. Pakistan has nothing but cheap unreliable unproven Chinese crap. This is a known fact everywhere. There is no corruptiom charge against modi. But Pakistan and Pakistani loves to support the opposition in India because they are Pakistani mujras honey trapping them.

  10. INDIA WILL FIND PAKISTAN READY TO COUNTER IT’S ALL MOVES , INSHA ALLAH . NO NEED IT DISCUSS IT HERE . WILL ANYBODY LET INDIA KNOW , HOW MANY WAR’S AMERICA WON AFTER WWII PLEASE ?

  11. LETS NOT PLAY AND BLAME EACH OTHERS JUST PRAY FOR PEACE BUT LET ME ASSURE U PEOPLE ONE THINK ITS NOT A MATTER OF WEAPONS PAKISTAN ARMY IS ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO KNOCK OUT ALL TYPES OF TERRORISTS WHEATHER INDIAN AFGHAN SUPORTED.ON THE OTHER HAND US AND HIS ALLY IN AFGANISTAN FAILED TO DO SO AND U R CALLING THEM NO ONE ARMIES WITH SUPER ARM TECHNOLOGY WHERE IS UR ACHIEVEMENTS IN AFGANISTAN BY SPENDING MORE THEN 10 YEARS .AND FOR INDIAN PEOPLE AND SUPPOTERS JUST ONLY THINK THAT AN ARMY WHO LOSSES MORAL DAY BY DAY WITH UNARMED KASHMIRI PEOPLE HOW THAY FIGHT WITH NO 1 ARMY AND SPY OF ISI 🤣🤣🤣IN THE WORLD AND

  12. John White weapons doesn’t make any difference it’s the will to fight n embrace shadat, with all it’s superior weapons n mighty airfore, n navy the Americans had to run from Vietnam and it will run the same way in Afghanistan also

  13. USA today is helpless with the most powerful and advance warfare systems …………… Afghanistan is not equal to their one districts annual budget but guess what………….. stop investing in destruction and invest in human development ………..at the end of the day arms exporting countries want us to fight for their business.
    eagerly waiting and hoping for ever lasting peace and love between Pakistan and India

  14. Thire will be no war between india and pak.both armies want to turn the attention of the public towards armed forces.so that they used a huge amount of tax and others income for thire gernals brigadeier karnals majors benifits and the poor illitrate public only wactch the defence socities and karnal gernal banglows and villas.so for the bright and rich future of our kids dont mind and discuss such baseless armed forces self created storie.weapons brings no fruits but destuction and sheed of blood…

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