Two days before retiring from service, Air Marshal SC Mukul, the chief of India's Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has instructed a Group Captain-rank officer at HQ IDS to prepare a report on the recently revealed Chinese stealth fighter prototype. The report will be India's official assessment of what, by all accounts, is a Chinese fifth generation platform. The study will, of course, rely mostly on open source material -- photographs, graphics, unofficial assessments -- on the J-20, though a source of mine indicates that the the officer entrusted with authoring the report will also take inputs from the IAF Directorate of Operations, the Directorate of Naval Aviation, the advanced projects and AMCA divisions of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL), the Aircraft Research & Design Centre at HAL, apart from the R&AW. The report will be provided to the Indian Air Force and the office of the National Security Advisor. The HQ IDS orders studies on foreign weapon programmes as a matter of routine. These assessments, obviously remain classified though files on Pakistan's air force strength did leak in 2007.
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