Indian Defense News Network on November 6, Indian satellite imagery experts said that in September this year, China deployed an advanced J-20 stealth fighter at Hotan Air Base.
In addition, the October 2020 satellite image released by the open source intelligence agency @detresfa_ on Twitter shows that the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) has deployed the “Rainbow” UAV at Hotan Air Force Base.
The report pointed out that the Hotan Air Force Base is located in China’s Xinjiang Province, north of Leh (the so-called “Ladakh region” in India).
According to reports, India and China have held multiple rounds of dialogue to resolve the Sino-Indian border standoff, but it is expected that the troops of both sides will continue to be deployed in these plateau areas in the winter.
An assessment report issued by the “China Aerospace Research Institute” (CASI) jointly established by the US RAND and the US Air Force stated that 12 unidentified “Flanker” fighters were stationed at the Hotan base. The assessment is said to be based on satellite imagery in June 2020.
According to the assessment, China has deployed 24 aircraft at the air base. Including 6 J-8 fighters, 12 “Flanker” fighters (maybe J-16), 2 Y-8 multi-purpose transport aircraft, 2 Air Police-500 early warning and command and control aircraft, and 2 Mi-17 helicopters .
India has also deployed fighter jets and helicopters at bases along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to deter China. In addition to MiG-29 fighters, Su-30 MKI fighters and Mirage 2000 fighters, India’s newly introduced Rafale fighters also flew to Leh. According to reports, the Indian Air Force has let the Rafale fighters conduct familiar flight training in the airspace of Leh.
With the receipt of 3 Rafale fighters yesterday, the number of Rafale fighters in service with the Indian Air Force has increased to 8. By the end of April 2021, France will deliver at least 13 more Rafale fighters to India.
According to the report, during the tense confrontation on the Sino-Indian border, China not only increased its aerial activities on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but also improved the infrastructure of air bases in the region.