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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 13:14 
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This topic has been off-and-on in the news with some amount of discussion as well, but has never got detailed attention it deserved.

Army Aviation Corps or AAC, an IA unit, was setup in mid-80s, primarily to take over the Supply, SAR, MEDEVAC roles for the Siachan outposts from IAF, has it's role expanded quite a lot.
It's quite a large operator currently, but the assets are exclusively rotary-wing in nature (Cheetah series, Chetak series and ALH series). However, recent reports suggest that they are in line to get offensive platforms like LCH (114 in order) and maybe even some of the soon-to-be-procured Apaches as well.

But what is quite interesting are the recent reports about it being keen in acquiring fixed wing transport platforms for the MC - which, IIRC, has got successfully blocked by the IAF.

So, let's discuss how optimal usage of precious air assets (both fixed and rotary wings) is justifiable to be handed over to AAC, vis-a-vis the roles that they should be taking over, which were hitherto exclusively an IAF domain.
Some of the roles that comes to mind are 'tactical' CAS (limited to ground-troop support) at a very limtied level of say a Brigade formation (both offensive and defensive formation), FAC/FAO type roles etc.

And if so, what does that do to the other IAF's fighting rotary assets that are primarily for supporting armoured columns and infantry units but under operational control of the Army. Should they be also consilidated under AAC? One unit, one goal etc ...

Also why limited to only rotary assets, how about Transport and fixed-wing assets as well?

Where does all this end? What is the criteria based on which such re-ditribution of roles and assets should be undertaken?
And so on and so forth ...

Pls note there'll be some pretty emotional outbursts when such a thing gets discussed, as it would amount to encroaching on IAF domain - and some amount of reactionary posts wrt IAFs current attitude towards the LCA program etc.
But my sincere request to all posters is to keep that to the minimum as much as possible. Pls note we are here to look at a situation/scenario as dispassionately as possible with an ulitimate aim to strengthen Bharat, and in the process if some of it's institutions gets right-sized, so be it.

Paging deejayji, Tsarkarji, rohitvatsji, vaibhav.nji, shivji adn everybody else ... pls contribute!!


Last edited by maitya on 17 Jul 2015 13:45, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 13:16 
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To set the ball rolling, this topic got introduced in the LCA thread by chaanakyaji with the following series of posts ... X-posting
chaanakya wrote:
Is it possible to use LCA in CAS role for Ground forces? In that case , Army can have its own Aviation Wing providing CAS through LCA independently of Airforce which could be freed to undertake Deep Strike Missions, CAP and controlling the Sky or Airspace dominance role.
1962 indicated the need for such a force.


chaanakya wrote:
Manish_P wrote:
Is it possible to use LCA in CAS role for Ground forces? In that case , Army can have its own Aviation Wing providing CAS through LCA independently of Airforce which could be freed to undertake Deep Strike Missions, CAP and controlling the Sky or Airspace dominance role.

The LCA Tejas is fighting an uphill battle to get accepted by it's primary user, the IAF... on what basis can we think that the indian army will find it suitable for it's requirements :?:

Well , just a thought . Like IN got into LCA Navy , IA can ramp up its Aviation corp to use LCA for CAS roles. May be some changes in weapons profile could be effected. Aviation Corp is primarily Heli Unit. Once it also tries its hands on LCA MK1 IAF would get some competition. I think IA has a proposal on similar lines pending with AHQ , though not with LCA. It is opposed by IAF tooth and nail to ensure Air exclusivity. Still IA managed AAC with Helis in ground support roles, relatively young corp raised in 1986 against all opposition from IAF.


Last edited by maitya on 17 Jul 2015 13:19, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 13:17 
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To which shivji added ...
shiv wrote:
chaanakya wrote:
Is it possible to use LCA in CAS role for Ground forces? In that case , Army can have its own Aviation Wing providing CAS through LCA independently of Airforce which could be freed to undertake Deep Strike Missions, CAP and controlling the Sky or Airspace dominance role.
1962 indicated the need for such a force.

The "Combat Hawk" will fulfil that role. Maybe in some areas inshalla the HTT 40.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 13:20 
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To which I had posted ...
chaanakya wrote:
Manish_P wrote:
Is it possible to use LCA in CAS role for Ground forces? In that case , Army can have its own Aviation Wing providing CAS through LCA independently of Airforce which could be freed to undertake Deep Strike Missions, CAP and controlling the Sky or Airspace dominance role.

The LCA Tejas is fighting an uphill battle to get accepted by it's primary user, the IAF... on what basis can we think that the indian army will find it suitable for it's requirements :?:

Well , just a thought . Like IN got into LCA Navy , IA can ramp up its Aviation corp to use LCA for CAS roles. May be some changes in weapons profile could be effected. Aviation Corp is primarily Heli Unit. Once it also tries its hands on LCA MK1 IAF would get some competition. I think IA has a proposal on similar lines pending with AHQ , though not with LCA. It is opposed by IAF tooth and nail to ensure Air exclusivity. Still IA managed AAC with Helis in ground support roles, relatively young corp raised in 1986 against all opposition from IAF.


Ummm Chaanakyaji, I wouldn't agree with that.

End of the day, however reprehensible IAF's attitude and actions towards indigenous products has been, it's still our force - so these institutional attitude issues needs to be solved, if required, by force-feeding etc. - but I'd prefer (and I'm sure most of us would agree as well), the clean-up initiative will need to come up from it's officer cadre (like Navy) itself - aka from within, and not from outside, and we need to be patient till that happens.

But solutions like cutting-off the head because of a headache, is not desirable.

End of the day IAF is a professional fighting force, barring none - albeit extreme tactical in it's outlook, but that's where the scope-of-improvement is. That competency needs to be retained (so Wing Co and below ranks) while enabling them to develop the strategic outlook (Air Cmdr and above ranks) of self-sufficiency towards product development requiring developing and nurturing the MIC ecosystem etc etc.

For e.g. you go to a good/large BRD - you will see Cpl/Sgt ranks far outweigh the officer cadre wrt professional (mostly technical) qual etc. And it's far more evident on a day-to-day work-profile.
Almost ~2+ decades back, one witnessed the M53-P2 engine test being conducted, completely end-to-end, by a group of NCOs and other airmen (max rank seen was a MWO, but mostly were WO, JWOs and Sgts) - not a single tech aphsaar were on sight (guess they were too busy, signing-off various PL/SL/ELs, in triplicate and other std baboon-giri, that is normally witnessed in Dilli corridors). When enquired, the smiles were quite instructive of what those men felt about usability of these aphsaars.

Betw, When TSarkarji quotes about a shipyard and various labor-attitudes being displayed there and it's adverse impact on shaping IAF personnel's attitudes towards civilians. In the same vein, how about the above example (and there are many such examples) and it's impact on civilians attitudes being shaped. Though I have to admit, such interface is much less possible for a civilian population given the closed nature of the armed forces activities (by design).

Anyway I think I'm digressing!!

Coming back to the topic ... good/bad/ugly IAF is OUR force and under no circumstances their primary job and thus propriety wrt offensive/defensive Fixed-Wing A/C usage-ownership for sovereign air-space defense should be diluted.
So stuff like some sqns of LCA being handed over to AAC (and stunts like a few IL-76/C-17 platforms to AAC etc) should be avoided.

Having said the I'm not so sure the same logic should/would apply to offensive and defensive rotary wing asset ownership ... not an expert here (rohitvatsji, vaibhavji, deejayji et all are), but my personal view is upto battalion-level ground-offensive-support assets (and “tactical” CAS roles) should have under one command structure. Aka the battalion commander should have the comfort feeling one of his infantry/artillery officer, one who completely knows and feels and have the first-hand experience of infantry/artillery fighting on the ground, is the one operating an offensive/defensive platform in support of his ground offensive.

So yes IMVHO, “tactical” platforms like Apache/LCH/Rudra (for offensive) and ALH/Chetak/Cheetah (for defensive) etc etc needs to be under AAC, maybe under a divisional commander level (who then can flexibly assign it at battalion level - I doubt setting up support infra at a battalion level would be tenable) – but the “strategic” CAS/Ground Attack/Air Dominance/Air Superiority etc should always firmly be with IAF and IAF alone.

Maybe the concept of flying artillery etc are not too ingrained yet in IA thinking yet ... but I think that time is fast approaching, and IA and IAF needs to introspect and start thinking about it.

Wrt what Shivji is suggesting like fixed-wing FAO/FAC, ultra-light CAS roles via HTT-40, well, that’s an interesting thought (as always when it comes from shivji), and need to think it thru. It was actually proposed by the HAL Program Manager, when IAF completely decided not to support it at any cost. Come to think of it FAC roles is completely at a divisional level, so if we are saying offensive/defensive “tactical” CAS roles should be with IA at a battalion level, why not the FAO/FAC roles as well.

Hmmm …


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 13:22 
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And Chaanakyaji responded ...
chaanakya wrote:
maitya wrote:

<Completely OT for the larger topic in hand>
Ummm Chaanakyaji, I wouldn't agree with that.
End of the day, however reprehensible IAF's attitude and actions towards indigenous products has been, it's still our force - so these institutional attitude issues needs to be solved, if required, by force-feeding etc. - but I'd prefer (and I'm sure most of us would agree as well), the clean-up initiative will need to come up from it's officer cadre (like Navy) itself - aka from within, and not from outside, and we need to be patient till that happens.

But solutions like cutting-off the head because of a headache, is not desirable.

End of the day IAF is a professional fighting force, barring none - albeit extreme tactical in it's outlook, but that's where the scope-of-improvement is. That competency needs to be retained (so Wing Co and below ranks) while enabling them to develop the strategic outlook (Air Cmdr and above ranks) of self-sufficiency towards product development requiring developing and nurturing the MIC ecosystem etc etc.

For e.g. you go to a good/large BRD - you will see Cpl/Sgt ranks far outweigh the officer cadre wrt professional (mostly technical) qual etc. And it's far more evident on a day-to-day work-profile.
Almost ~2+ decades back, one witnessed the M53-P2 engine test being conducted, completely end-to-end, by a group of NCOs and other airmen (max rank seen was a MWO, but mostly were WO, JWOs and Sgts) - not a single tech aphsaar were on sight (guess they were too busy, signing-off various PL/SL/ELs, in triplicate and other std baboon-giri, that is normally witnessed in Dilli corridors). When enquired, the smiles were quite instructive of what those men felt about usability of these aphsaars.

Betw, When TSarkarji quotes about a shipyard and various labor-attitudes being displayed there and it's adverse impact on shaping IAF personnel's attitudes towards civilians. In the same vein, how about the above example (and there are many such examples) and it's impact on civilians attitudes being shaped. Though I have to admit, such interface is much less possible for a civilian population given the closed nature of the armed forces activities (by design).

Anyway I think I'm digressing!!

Coming back to the topic ... good/bad/ugly IAF is OUR force and under no circumstances their primary job and thus propriety wrt offensive/defensive Fixed-Wing A/C usage-ownership for sovereign air-space defense should be diluted.
So stuff like some sqns of LCA being handed over to AAC (and stunts like a few IL-76/C-17 platforms to AAC etc) should be avoided.

Having said the I'm not so sure the same logic should/would apply to offensive and defensive rotary wing asset ownership ... not an expert here (rohitvatsji, vaibhavji, deejayji et all are), but my personal view is upto battalion-level ground-offensive-support assets (and “tactical” CAS roles) should have under one command structure. Aka the battalion commander should have the comfort feeling one of his infantry/artillery officer, one who completely knows and feels and have the first-hand experience of infantry/artillery fighting on the ground, is the one operating an offensive/defensive platform in support of his ground offensive.

So yes IMVHO, “tactical” platforms like Apache/LCH/Rudra (for offensive) and ALH/Chetak/Cheetah (for defensive) etc etc needs to be under AAC, maybe under a divisional commander level (who then can flexibly assign it at battalion level - I doubt setting up support infra at a battalion level would be tenable) – but the “strategic” CAS/Ground Attack/Air Dominance/Air Superiority etc should always firmly be with IAF and IAF alone.

Maybe the concept of flying artillery etc are not too ingrained yet in IA thinking yet ... but I think that time is fast approaching, and IA and IAF needs to introspect and start thinking about it.

Wrt what Shivji is suggesting like fixed-wing FAO/FAC, ultra-light CAS roles via HTT-40, well, that’s an interesting thought (as always when it comes from shivji), and need to think it thru. It was actually proposed by the HAL Program Manager, when IAF completely decided not to support it at any cost. Come to think of it FAC roles is completely at a divisional level, so if we are saying offensive/defensive “tactical” CAS roles should be with IA at a battalion level, why not the FAO/FAC roles as well.

Hmmm …

</Completely OT for the larger topic in hand>



Ok that's a beginning of thought process.

No I am not suggesting to cut off the head.

It needs some changes in the way we approach airforce support for Army operations and pure Airforce operations.

I was just reading Siachen by Nitin Gokhale and the role played by 114 HU which was hived off from Airforce as Army needed Heli support on daily basis to support logistics in HA Posts.

Army has many operations which require close air support and ground support. You also mentioned FAO/FAC. Airforce may not be always in a position to spare its asset of willing to undertake operations for the fear of escalation.

Induction of Airforce in to an area of army operation is thought of a offensive deployment, escalation of hostalities which could soon spiral out of control.

Airwing as part of Army might just prevent that escalation ladder. not that that would always be so.

You have classified CAS role as strategic along with air dominance, air superiority and ground attack.

I would think of it a supportive role. May be I am wrong in thinking that.

The problem with Airwing of IA as I would see is

1. having separate airfield
2. duplicating maintenance infrastructure
3.maintaining separate set up parallel to what IAF already has.
4.Making changes to warfare doctrine.
5.Training requirement and infrastructure
6.Defining mission profiles without requiring IAF support
7.common Air traffic control
8.Communication and network inter-operability
9.Use of platforms like AWACS/AEW&C
10.protocol for separation and role definition

( not in any specific order)

What I had in mind the events like 1962 war where IAF , reportedly, refused to move in or like Longewala where it had to provide CAS/ground attack. Second on Siachen. Third one specific army requirements which resulted in AAC.

There are many advanced Military that operate its Ground forces with integrated Airwings. They do have a variant of F-16s AFAIK.Its not a new concept . For India it would be new given the compartmentalised services with each having their own turf to protect.

I don't know if LCA could fulfil CAS/GS roles like the way Helis could do. May be many changes would be required. may be other A/cs would be more suitable like what shiv suggested Combat Hawk or HTT-40. If that is could we MoDiFy LCA in CAS roles easily. So instead of BVR missiles we can have more ground oriented weapons and not AAM. We may need LCA to be able to fly and land from unpaved runways and short runways as well. May be fly at low speed and low altitude. Have more body armour to withstand ground fire from HMGs.But lot of requirements which Airforce needs in LCA may not be needed for Army. so like LCA MK1 could also go to IA with some MoDification.

May be IA can develop mission specific profiles for LCAs which would cater to IA and not much worry about STR/ITR. which would be needed in air combat and air dominance or CAP roles or dog fights. LCA while in IA could shoot and scoot, strafe, bomb the area before Helis move in to in-filtrate or ex-filtrate.

Once enemy knows that Air support is not from Airforce but from Army the ladder of escalation would become that much difficult for them to justify by inducting their airforce. Of course they can always use their air elements with their Army. that will keep conflicts from getting out of hand as mission profiles would be limited.

More customers for LCAs , more desi development and more production.

if OT pardon me for thinking aloud.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 14:45 
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x-posted from the LCA thread ...

Abhibhushan wrote:
Quote:
What I had in mind the events like 1962 war where IAF , reportedly, refused to move in


I must admit that I am flabbergasted ! In 1962 I was a flight commander in a fighter squadron located in Ambala. I distinctly remember the run-up to the operations in 1962: Our senseless 'Forward Policy', the positioning of ill-equipped (nil equipped?) soldiers in penny packet posts that could never be defended, the enormous air maintenance operation to feed these hapless soldiers, hectic training to learn how to provide close air support at 20k feet at the extremities of our radius of operation effectively, spending weeks with the army in forward location to understand the nature of support the army will need, being earmarked for formations we would support and getting to know the guys (often mates from NDA) and creating a bond, and the frustrating wait for the orders to go out and actually strike, an order that never came. The frustration was more acute because we knew that application of offensive air power in the Ladakh sector would / could transform the battles in that sector to a rout of the enemy. China was not in a position to mount an air operation in that sector. We could strike effectively. The terrain was flat. No vegetation to hide from air strikes. No way to hide vehicle track on the barren land.

The GOI decided to not to use airpower, apparently on the advise of the American Ambassador. The PM did not speak to the CAS even once while deciding to withhold offensive use of air power. It was a sad day for the country. And now sir, your slander that the Airforce refused to move in is just preposterous. I am sorry if my harsh words hurt you, but I am disgusted by your IAF bashing.

You may like to look up a blog entry 'Puzzlement in 1962' at Tkstales.wordpress.com


Sir a few questions ...
Abhibhushan wrote:
<snip>
the enormous air maintenance operation to feed these hapless soldiers, hectic training to learn how to provide close air support at 20k feet at the extremities of our radius of operation effectively,
<snip>

Sir, in your view, and with the benefit of a hindsight, would you prefer this air maintenance operations be conducted by dedicated unit like AAC - while IAF would focus on deep-CAS type of roles, which are far suited for their training/role?

Abhibhushan wrote:
<snip>
spending weeks with the army in forward location to understand the nature of support the army will need, being earmarked for formations we would support and getting to know the guys (often mates from NDA) and creating a bond
<snip>

And, sir, in today's context (currently we are slightly better off in terms of air-assets than those in '65 etc) would you prefer extreme-close CAS, down at battilion level type CAS support be undertaken by folks from IA - the officers who would have better appreciation of the "thinking" of the battalion commanders and thus have a instinctive understanding of the nature of support they'd be needing.

While IAF focuses of "further" CAS roles like taking our supporting infra like bridges, rail-heads, fuel-stations, ammo-dumps etc.

Kind of a two layered-CAS, one at an immediate level almost moving along with an offensive battalion (even division level) - and other at, say 50+ KM further on concentrating on the supporting infra etc.


Last edited by maitya on 17 Jul 2015 15:13, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 14:59 
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Thanks maityaji.

Now that it has got a separate thread of its own perhaps we can start with the role and protocol separation between IA and IAF, identifying various mission profiles which may or may not require IAF support or which could be performed by IAF alone and how it would fit in current war doctrine of Cold Start.

And in the light of discussion perhaps we could identify planes suiting IA roles and see if LCA , being indegenous effort, could fit in the role under IA.

By Protocol separation I meant transfer of operation control of Air assets deployed for CAS to the theatre commander rather than resting with IAF. Interestingly I find in the linked Wiki entry

Quote:
IAF operates & flies attack Helicopters like the Mil Mi-25/Mi-35 which are owned and administered by the Indian Air Force, but under the operational control of the Army & play a major role to support the armoured columns and infantry.


Here both Roles and Protocol are separated but Assets are operated by IAF.

Another interesting point is that Army operates its own training School. I think it is drawing upon the personnel from IAF and its maintenance facilities till Army gets its own fully developed. Does this mean Helis are completely transferred to IA or facilities/training Infras are duplicated across the services?

Quote:
Training is imparted to all candidates at the Combat Army Aviation Training School (CATS) at Nashik. The Army Aviation training was previously conducted in School of Artillery, Deolali


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 15:23 
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Abhibhushan wrote:
Quote:
What I had in mind the events like 1962 war where IAF , reportedly, refused to move in


I must admit that I am flabbergasted ! In 1962 I was a flight commander in a fighter squadron located in Ambala. I distinctly remember the run-up to the operations in 1962: Our senseless 'Forward Policy', the positioning of ill-equipped (nil equipped?) soldiers in penny packet posts that could never be defended, the enormous air maintenance operation to feed these hapless soldiers, hectic training to learn how to provide close air support at 20k feet at the extremities of our radius of operation effectively, spending weeks with the army in forward location to understand the nature of support the army will need, being earmarked for formations we would support and getting to know the guys (often mates from NDA) and creating a bond, and the frustrating wait for the orders to go out and actually strike, an order that never came. The frustration was more acute because we knew that application of offensive air power in the Ladakh sector would / could transform the battles in that sector to a rout of the enemy. China was not in a position to mount an air operation in that sector. We could strike effectively. The terrain was flat. No vegetation to hide from air strikes. No way to hide vehicle track on the barren land.

The GOI decided to not to use airpower, apparently on the advise of the American Ambassador. The PM did not speak to the CAS even once while deciding to withhold offensive use of air power. It was a sad day for the country. And now sir, your slander that the Airforce refused to move in is just preposterous. I am sorry if my harsh words hurt you, but I am disgusted by your IAF bashing.

You may like to look up a blog entry 'Puzzlement in 1962' at Tkstales.wordpress.com


I am really sorry if it sounded like "Slander". I will look up relevant entry in tkstales. Of course the moot point is that Airforce never came as you have indicated and we all know. I don't know if Krishna menon had any role to play in this.
I would paraphrase that "IAF was not asked to move in". Would that be correct?
That goes against the concept of Integrated theatre of war or even battlefield. Another Nehruvian folly , perhaps remedied in 1965 and 71.
Would it have helped if Air Assets were part of operational control of Forces commander operating in the Area?? Effectively any decision to go to war would have meant deployment of Air Assets in CAS /ground attack roles as well as deemed fit by IA.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 15:35 
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No Use of Combat Air Power in 1962
By Air Vice Marshal AK Tiwary

Quote:
During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the political leadership did not use the combat air arm of the IAF. General Kaul the Army Commander responsible in NEFA, later confessed, “Lastly, we made a great mistake in not employing our Air Force in a close support role during these operations”.2...............


Quote:
To begin with was the influence of Prof PMS Blackett on PM Nehru in defence matters soon after Indian independence. Blackett was a British advisor for defence. He had advocated only a tactical role for the IAF firmly advising against escalating any war that India may get involved in the future.3.........


Quote:
Mullick concluded that Chinese bombers will bomb Indian cities in response to IAF’s combat use.


Quote:
next factor was a counsel on similar lines by the American Ambassador John K Galbraith half way through the war who over estimated the capability of the Chinese air force in the absence of proper air defence infrastructure in India.4....


Quote:
The fourth factor could be the lack of joint planning between Indian Army and Air Force as opined by George Tanham, “The air force knew nothing about the army plans and was not consulted in any way about defence against a Chinese attack – not surprisingly as the army did not have any specific plan”.5........


Quote:
Lt Gen Kaul later stated that, ”Unfortunately, it was the reluctance on the part of the IAF to be able to mount offensive sorties as a legitimate exercise of self-defence which added to the fears of Government in Delhi. If the Air Staff had undertaken to do this, the political appreciation might have been different (?)”16..........



Quote:
No doubt the Director Operations, then Air Commodore HC Dewan advised against using combat air. ....


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 15:42 
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chaanakya wrote:
Would it have helped if Air Assets were part of operational control of Forces commander operating in the Area?? Effectively any decision to go to war would have meant deployment of Air Assets in CAS /ground attack roles as well as deemed fit by IA.

The best exposition of this is the book "Air Power in Modern Warfare", by Jasjit Singh. That book is a must read for any Indian interested in the role of air power in the Indian context. Jasjit Singh writes how the distribution of air assets can lead to troops on the ground feeling that they do not have air support while the Air Force is playing its role in suppressing enemy air action and taking out logistics lines deep inside - acts that will affect the war in 1 or 2 weeks time but not immediately as the soldier on the ground may want.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 15:50 
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The Army has had a fixed wing component for a long time. The little known but vital role played by Major Atma Singh flying an observation post aircraft the Krishak in locating Paki tanks and guiding the IAF to those tanks needs to be told. During the battle of Longewala Major Atma Singh suffered an engine failure and landed in the nattlefield. The IAF gave him top cover while the calmly fixed his plane and took off again. there is a story somewhere. the man got a Vir Chaakra for hhis action. he died recently IIRC

Normally the IAF places an liaison officer with the army in forward areas but while discussing BVRAAMs and dogfights these little things get left out. :P


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 15:55 
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Here is an old post from Abhibhushan in a thread I had started long ago called "Design Your Own Fighter". It's a fighter jock's view of a CAS aircraft which could help troops on the India China border
viewtopic.php?p=968744#p968744
Abhibhushan wrote:
I must thank the good doctor for prescribing just what an old fighter jock would love. While all of you go all out to design a 5th gen ++ super duper fighter, I want to take a detour and come up with some thing that my pongo friends would love to see in the sky.

There is one huge battlefield that might one day call me in for offensive air support which I am unable to provide today. I need an aircraft that can operate over Wallong and Along and perhaps a hundred kilometres north of it for releasing weapons in marginal visibility and if possible even by night. I need an aircraft that will take off from Leh or Chshul with one and a half tons of ordnance and be able to operate comfortably with full load at 20000 feet or more. I want an aircraft that can have a radius of action of 200 km flying at 15000 feet above sea level.

Let me now design this beast.

Take a basic Kiran. Retain the wings/tail. Build it as light as possible using composites. Redesign the main body for a single pilot and lots of internal fuel. Give it an internal bay for carrying about 50 x 68mm or 57mm unguided rockets and four hard points fit for 350 kg class loads. Give it a light contour mapping / imaging radar slaved to an HMS. Replace the 2 machine guns of the Kiran Mk 2 with one GSh23. Give it a glass cockpit and a DARIN III fit. Give it an integral laser target designator. Power it with an unreheated Adour (as used in the Hawk). Play around with the wing structure a little to improve its low speed turning performance. See if the RCS can be reduced by tinkering with the intakes. If possible, give it one or two short range light air to air missiles carried over the wing like the Jaguar. Give it a self defence electronic suit. If the Adour is unable to lift all this load then make it really an overpowered beast by fitting an unreheated Kavery!

Produce it in 36 months. Test and certify it in the next 24 months. Produce it in large numbers. In 1962, we could not / did not use offensive air power. Let there not be a repeat of that situation.

PS. I do not foresee a dense air defence air presence in the projected hostile area. If one comes along, I shall need top cover by the air dominance fighters you all are designing.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 16:18 
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BTW how come the IAF can own Prithivi ballistic missiles and Brahmos land based cruise missiles but the IA can't have fixed wing combat aircraft?


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 16:20 
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In the era of Manpads and ATGMs being available down to Platoon level, the use of Helos is dangerous and not feasible. In Indian conditions the Helos in any case will be additionally handicapped in mountains due to altitude. Hence we should permit AAC to incorporate missiles like Prahaar and fixed wing aircraft like Variants of HTT-40 and also modified LCA. This turf war between IAF and Army should not hurt our war preparedness. And if IAF and Army cannot settle it then hand over CAS by fixed wing aircraft over to Navy (pun intended).

Note:- Even IAF and Navy are getting their Special forces/Marines read light infantry. Navy in any case has all kinds of fixed wing aircraft.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 16:34 
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From same wiki link again

Quote:
Other future acquisition plans are:

Reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters - HAL Dhruv will replace the existing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. While some helicopters will be procured as ‘Buy’ category, others will be ‘Designed and Developed’ by HAL as ‘Make’ category. RFP for the former has been issued and the procurement was likely to commence soon.

Tactical Battle Support Helicopter - This is being developed as a tri-services project by HAL. The helicopter will be called Indian Multi Role Helicopter. By 2007 the procurement process had already has been "set into motion" for Battle Support helicopters. These machines should be capable of carrying 10 - 12 men into the battlefield.

Special operations squadron - A special operations squadron is being raised to provide dedicated integral aviation support to the Para Commandos (India).


Heli-borne early-warning - Raising of a Heli-borne early warning flight has been planned for employing electronic warfare.

The Government of India on 2 July 2014, approved purchase of 39 Apache helicopters.

Light fixed-wing aircraft - The army is also planning to induct light fixed-wing aircraft in future for surveillance and communication tasks.

DRDO Imperial Eagle[7]


well it seems plan is there. They only need to overcome some stiff opposition. And later Light fixed Wing Aircraft can morphed into Light fixed wing Combat Aircraft. Sounds familiar? Some "Flights of Fancy", I daresay.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 16:47 
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shiv wrote:
The Army has had a fixed wing component for a long time. The little known but vital role played by Major Atma Singh flying an observation post aircraft the Krishak in locating Paki tanks and guiding the IAF to those tanks needs to be told. During the battle of Longewala Major Atma Singh suffered an engine failure and landed in the nattlefield. The IAF gave him top cover while the calmly fixed his plane and took off again. there is a story somewhere. the man got a Vir Chaakra for hhis action. he died recently IIRC

Normally the IAF places an liaison officer with the army in forward areas but while discussing BVRAAMs and dogfights these little things get left out. :P


I thought AOP was with IAF.

I think you meant Ground Liaison Officer of Indian Army who places requisition for Air Support .

Well we do have Joint Operations Centre as well.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 16:55 
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shiv wrote:
chaanakya wrote:
Would it have helped if Air Assets were part of operational control of Forces commander operating in the Area?? Effectively any decision to go to war would have meant deployment of Air Assets in CAS /ground attack roles as well as deemed fit by IA.

The best exposition of this is the book "Air Power in Modern Warfare", by Jasjit Singh. That book is a must read for any Indian interested in the role of air power in the Indian context. Jasjit Singh writes how the distribution of air assets can lead to troops on the ground feeling that they do not have air support while the Air Force is playing its role in suppressing enemy air action and taking out logistics lines deep inside - acts that will affect the war in 1 or 2 weeks time but not immediately as the soldier on the ground may want.


Does that indicate that there could be some Gap and needs to be filled in..

I mean there are clearly two different levels of requirement. IAF would concentrate on what would give best outcome in a week or two. But IA operating its forces on the ground may require immediate support where IAF may not be able to spare some due to its engagement on deep strike or CAP or SEAD or SEAA.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 17:29 
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shiv wrote:
Here is an old post from Abhibhushan in a thread I had started long ago called "Design Your Own Fighter". It's a fighter jock's view of a CAS aircraft which could help troops on the India China border
viewtopic.php?p=968744#p968744
Abhibhushan wrote:
I must thank the good doctor for prescribing just what an old fighter jock would love. While all of you go all out to design a 5th gen ++ super duper fighter, I want to take a detour and come up with some thing that my pongo friends would love to see in the sky.

There is one huge battlefield that might one day call me in for offensive air support which I am unable to provide today. I need an aircraft that can operate over Wallong and Along and perhaps a hundred kilometres north of it for releasing weapons in marginal visibility and if possible even by night. I need an aircraft that will take off from Leh or Chshul with one and a half tons of ordnance and be able to operate comfortably with full load at 20000 feet or more. I want an aircraft that can have a radius of action of 200 km flying at 15000 feet above sea level.

Let me now design this beast.

Take a basic Kiran. Retain the wings/tail. Build it as light as possible using composites. Redesign the main body for a single pilot and lots of internal fuel. Give it an internal bay for carrying about 50 x 68mm or 57mm unguided rockets and four hard points fit for 350 kg class loads. Give it a light contour mapping / imaging radar slaved to an HMS. Replace the 2 machine guns of the Kiran Mk 2 with one GSh23. Give it a glass cockpit and a DARIN III fit. Give it an integral laser target designator. Power it with an unreheated Adour (as used in the Hawk). Play around with the wing structure a little to improve its low speed turning performance. See if the RCS can be reduced by tinkering with the intakes. If possible, give it one or two short range light air to air missiles carried over the wing like the Jaguar. Give it a self defence electronic suit. If the Adour is unable to lift all this load then make it really an overpowered beast by fitting an unreheated Kavery!

Produce it in 36 months. Test and certify it in the next 24 months. Produce it in large numbers. In 1962, we could not / did not use offensive air power. Let there not be a repeat of that situation.

PS. I do not foresee a dense air defence air presence in the projected hostile area. If one comes along, I shall need top cover by the air dominance fighters you all are designing.

How is this "dream" close-combat offensive air support platform different from a A-10 Thunderbolt?

But this does open an interesting question (that needs exploring), in the context of the discussion in hand.

If such a platform exists, the most logical ownership of it would be with IAF or AAC? Aka, for an advancing (or holding fort) Infantry (or Armoured columns, maybe with limited Aritellery cover) with whom does such a platform be best suited with?
Somebody who is completely in sync with the ground offensive plan, having executed one multiple times before on the ground or with somebody with superlative experience/skill in flying only - both have their own advantanges/disadvantages!!

And also an interesting thought/query, if helis are severely dis-advantaged towards providing close-combat offensive air support on a mountainous corridor of engagement, what would be the utility of such a platform?

Any thoughts ...


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 19:39 
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Maitya:

Quote:
...... I want to take a detour and come up with some thing that my pongo friends would love to see in the sky.


:D :D :D

It really does not matter whether the pilot wears blue or olive green.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 19:59 
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This thread, it seems to me wishes to address the fundamental concepts of military aviation. As an introduction let me start at the begining.

1. Aviation lends itself to military use. Soon after the first aircraft flew,military utilisation began. In UK as well as in the USA, military aviation began as a part of the Army and Navy. Only after concepts of military aviation matured, the need for a specialist 'Air Force' was felt. When the second world was joined by the US, only an USAAF existed. That force became USAF later.

2. When a bullet is fired or a rocket is launched or a bomb is dropped from an aircraft, the munition doesnot know whether the pilot in the cockpit is from the Army or the Airforce or the Navy or the Marine Corps. That information is not required for it to perform its task. From a military perspective, all that is necessary is the ability to fire/launch/drop the munition in correct time at correct placein utmost safety and security, with excellent weapon aiming and proper guidance where necessary keeping in mind the need for conservation of resources at the national level.


None of these military necessities are tied directly or indirectly to the colour of the pilot's uniform.

Utilisation of air assets is need based. There are no rules that are set in stone. Army pilots have flown airforce aircraft and have won battle honours. For example Major Atma Singh in 1971( At Longewala). Naval pilots have done the same. Example - Admiral Arun Prakash as a lieutenant when posted to a Hunter Squadron. Airforce pilots have operated off INS Vikrant flying naval aircraft. Airforce units have been placed under the operational control of the Army, like the Mi35 units. Till the mid eighties, all helicopter operations were under the airforce. A case was made envisaging military benefit in passing some helicopter tasks to the Army, and the Army Air Corps was born. In the early stages, airforce pilots were deputed to AAC to get the force going. Upto mid seventies, maritime recce task vested on the airforce. Thereafter the task as well as air assets were transferred to the Navy. In the early days, coastal recce was an airforce task. Now the task is shouldered by the coastguard.

If national interest is served by disbanding the airforce,as some BRFites have jestfully suggested, there is no harm in putting that thought into action.

Aviation is a domain. Domain Knowledge and expertise is valuable. The RAF and the USAF would not have been born if this was not the case.

(To continue)


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 20:53 
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chaanakya wrote:
I mean there are clearly two different levels of requirement. IAF would concentrate on what would give best outcome in a week or two. But IA operating its forces on the ground may require immediate support where IAF may not be able to spare some due to its engagement on deep strike or CAP or SEAD or SEAA.

I think this is exactly what will happen. Army aviation will look after close support (mostly, but not fully) while the Air Force concentrates on the deep strike.

I am not sure that a fixed wing jet force is likely to happen for the army very soon. Fixed wing aircraft require air bases and either the bases have to be shared with the Air Force of new bases set up. Each has its own complications.

Having said that army-air force cooperation has been good in past wars.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 21:00 
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Abhibhushan ji, My sincere apologies to you again. I don't mean to offend or slander or even show disrespect. Please continue in an objective manner as your training would have taught you. Accusations or adjectives get the goat of me.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 21:52 
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For years after the Kargil war, there were articles (from AMs and Generals no less) about IAF's role. It did seem that IA wasn't too happy about IAF's support, while IAF conveyed it did its job under really trying circumstances. Seemed they were talking past each other. We probably don't know what really happened at the top-most levels, but it wasn't pleasant.

I'd like to look at this topic in that perspective.

Have AAC operate CAS aircraft - attack choppers, modified Hawk (?) or get a lot of those soon-to-binned A-10s.
OR
Have operational theatre commands - and make it less of IA vs IAF.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 22:13 
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Abhibhushan wrote:
Maitya:

Quote:
...... I want to take a detour and come up with some thing that my pongo friends would love to see in the sky.


:D :D :D

It really does not matter whether the pilot wears blue or olive green.


Pongo...I haven't heard that word in soo many years... :lol: :lol:

Of course the landlubbers consider it offensive...ohh


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 22:37 
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Heard about that. But Operation Safed Sagar, despite initial losses , was a success. It indicated good coordination between IA and IAF.
However some questions remained about IAF's ability to provide CAS in mountainous terrain. Their training was for Plains and not in operations in Mountains. One or two Helis were lost with crew. Planes were also damaged by small arms fire etc,

However this article ( first para) gives some indication of requirement of plane for CAS.

Quote:
At the start of the Kargil conflict in 1999, the Indian Air Force (IAF) found itself ill equipped to provide Close Air Support (CAS) to the Indian Army (IA) in mountainous terrain. IAF attack helicopters (Mi-17) and Close Air Support (CAS) fighters (Jaguar, MiG-27, MiG-21 Bis) lacked the performance to effectively maneuver in valleys at high altitudes and target the enemy from close quarters for good accuracy. The aircraft were not kitted to use Precision Guided Munition (PGM) to engage the enemy from standoff ranges. They lacked self-protection suites against Man Portable Air Defense Systems (Manpads) and Short Range (SR) missiles. (Manpads use rudimentary IR guidance that can be spoofed by dispensing flares; radar guided SR missile can be spoofed by dispensing chaff.) Other than the MiG-27 and Mi-17, IAF CAS aircraft also lacked armor protection against small arms fire


Interestingly the article concludes with the following

Quote:
The IAF's lack of interest in dedicated CAS aircraft is at odds with the widely prevalent threat perception that the next war would be fought in the Himalayas. The IAF seems to believe that it would be able to meet the Army's CAS requirements along the LAC and LOC through standoff attacks by its multi-role aircraft. But the approach is both expensive and risky.



Quote:
There is a need for IAF introspection on whether it is now well equipped for a future bigger conflict in the Himalayas. Inducting a dedicated CAS fighter would be a step outside its comfort zone, as the IAF would require to develop and validate new tactics, but that must not be the reason for ignoring the option.


CAS is primarily for IA so better they are involved in the decision making.



This thread is looking at Aviation role in IA from the perspective of IA. I am looking at it from assessing if LCA, the only available indigenous platform with india, could be MoDified to CAS role and handed over to IA(AAC) if IAF wants only fully operational fighter plane not MK1 or MK1.5. but FOC complied MK2.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 22:47 
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Gyan wrote:
In the era of Manpads and ATGMs being available down to Platoon level, the use of Helos is dangerous and not feasible.


Did you mean the ATGM platoon, because neither are held at a platoon level in a regular infantry battalion. Even in case of the PakArmy its with platoons only with the LAT/HAT battalions at Div/Corps level.

Gyan wrote:
In Indian conditions the Helos in any case will be additionally handicapped in mountains due to altitude. Hence we should permit AAC to incorporate missiles like Prahaar and fixed wing aircraft like Variants of HTT-40 and also modified LCA. This turf war between IAF and Army should not hurt our war preparedness. And if IAF and Army cannot settle it then hand over CAS by fixed wing aircraft over to Navy (pun intended).


Prahaar is to be used by the Artillery, why do you need a ballistic missile to be used by a completely different arm with no relation whatsoever?

That is like asking an infantry officer to do a field surgery.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:15 
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Couple of points;

While it is completely true for rotary assets should be held by the IA, fixed assets as LCA etc need to be kept at an arm's length. We should avoid this trap of stepping onto each other's shoes. The navy's case is unique and quite different as they need air platforms to operate continuously in close synergy far away from land bases unlike the IA.

It is unfair for folks to expect the IA leadership to understand the nitty gritty of air-warfare and its optimal employment even within the TBA. Fixed assets allow the operational commander to effect the battle in much more depth than his brief may actually include. There needs to be an understanding on the operational depth field formations are assigned and can manage. You may have a situation where the IA and IAF may be trying to achieve the same thing with same/different platforms.

We need a service and its arms to excel at what they do and use eachother's services whenever required. If the IA can depend on the IAF for tactical airlift the later can also for its rotary requirements on the IA. The IAF already does use the AD's services for Field AAA batteries as part of its airfield defences.

Lastly, we need to percolate down the IAF's Corps level TAC's so that effective CAS may be employed for the troops. Could be otherwise, but the current defensive approach of placing requisition on the required air effort is sub-optimal and will not stand against a peer enemy.

While there has been criticism on the IAF wrt to CAS, which may be true. One needs to keep in mind that this need for more multirole platforms is not unique to the IAF but the same story across airforces worldwide.

IMO..What is really needed is more joint training, not singular service exercises with no perception of what own sister services are upto. The fact that we as a country have no Joint Doctrine is a telling reminder.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:30 
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vaibhav.n wrote:
Couple of points;

While it is completely true for rotary assets should be held by the IA, fixed assets as LCA etc need to be kept at an arm's length. We should avoid this trap of stepping onto each other's shoes. The navy's case is unique and quite different as they need air platforms to operate continuously in close synergy far away from land bases unlike the IA.

Why the distinction ? What if the said fixed asset is a short-range mud-mover - like A-10 or weaponized Hawk or HTT-40 or even IJT - dedicated for CAS role.

Quote:
It is unfair for folks to expect the IA leadership to understand the nitty gritty of air-warfare and its optimal employment even within the TBA. Fixed assets allow the operational commander to effect the battle in much more depth than his brief may actually include. There needs to be an understanding on the operational depth field formations are assigned and can manage. You may have a situation where the IA and IAF may be trying to achieve the same thing with same/different platforms.

I agree and it came up starkly in Kargil. For the Army commander, who was seeing his troops climbing up under constant fire from enemies on high ground, threat of MANPAD is a far thing in his mind. So why can't he take control and launch a CAS strike ? Why should he beg IAF (or anybody who isn't under his command) for it ?


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:43 
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ideally, the solution to all these problems posed by lack of synergy in combined arms ops is a combined command, where the commanding officer of a theatre controls ALL military assets in the area, suitably assisted by tri-services advisers.

replicating assets and their attendant support infrastructure and training all over the place is not only costly, it also prevents the units themselves from not gathering a wide variety of experience and thus competence.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:46 
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We tried that at ANC didn't we ? I haven't read too much good things about it.

Unfortunately, the debate about jointness at the command-level gets distorted with the issue of CDS, which is the only thing anyone brings up as soon as this topic comes up.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:55 
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Kargil Report resulted in Integrated Staf HQ and Joint Operations Centres in an effort to ensure better coordination between IA and IAF. Chief of Integrated Staff , we all know it became ceremonial post in the fight for primacy and ego wars. And the there was Chief of Defence Staff. That would be wading into old controversies. Jointness and Interoperability is yet to be achieved at the level required.

I think specific mission profiles for separate roles for IA and IAF air operations need to be defined. initial attempts resulted in IA getting its own Heli units or Rotary wing A/cs as you called. CAS is area specific and very localised support role for Army units in contact with Enemy. Inability to spare assets for such a role of even lack of preparedness ( as in Kargil) must be frustrating for IA. Hence the desire for fixed Wing assets.

One thing I noticed is that it should be rather slow moving and highly maneuverable with low level ground hugging flight etc. Area of operation could be defined to be limited to specific battle zones. may be under direct control of Div HQ.


But my question of interest would be could LCA be converted to such a role? And Hiw? and What changes required? Surely we don't need BVR and STR.

Airforce can provide CAP with multi role fighter planes or interceptors.

yes , there is chance for escalation. In fact IAF is not used in the initial phase for the fear of escalating the war. It is considered offensive instrument with clear intent .

Idea of Joint training is good. Specially when all forces would be operating from same platform like LCA_Army, LCA-Airforce and LCA-Navy.


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PostPosted: 17 Jul 2015 23:59 
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@srin, ANC failed because it was a completely half-arsed attempt. of course there would be institutional resistance to these things but they have to be overcome. can you imagine how much of a pain it would be in wartime for the forces to coordinate among each other ?

the commanders wont even be housed in the same cities in many cases ! left hand wont know what right hand is doing, or know it too late to do something. enemies would get through the lack of coordination, there might be avoidable friendly fire incidents, strikes on enemy formations would happen with disparate elements, the list goes on.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 00:08 
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RahulM - I'm not disputing any of that. I did mention theatre command in one of the posts above.

But .... our experience hasn't been good. The pilot project (the ANC) wasn't a success. And its learnings haven't been applied elsewhere.

And thinking about it more - at what level do you have jointness ? How effective would a Lt Gen be in dictating air tactics to an Air commodore (who is junior) ? Despite the difference in rank, functionally it isn't a command relationship, it is a peer relationship. And that means, two different services can't really work together under a single command.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 01:33 
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many things we have tried haven't been successes, project devil, ASLV and so on. doesn't mean we stop trying.

why on earth would a Lt Gen dictate air tactics to a Air Cmde he is commanding ? he would simply set down objectives and leave the Air Cmde to decide the tactics and then share the same with his peers, may be a Maj.Gen whose unit is participating in the same conflict. that's how leadership works, by delegating responsibility.
forget different forces, how do infantry generals move up and end up commanding strike corps, the heart of which is the armoured division ? or vice versa ?

senior officers do get exposure to other arms as they move up the ranks, so as to ensure jointness and an exposure to each other's capabilities.
you can have a look at the US combatant commands at how the thing works.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 01:38 
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I think the best fixed-winged aircraft for AAC would be UCAVs. perfectly fits to their required roles under direct IA controls - from bunker busting, smoking the terrorist from mountains, and precision target strikes (both urban and mountain).

ton of terrain guidance and remote piloting experience can be gained. they can get realistic tactile platform to do their ops sitting right under HQs. Human piloted fixed wings are no-no for IA, as it just placates IAF.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 01:43 
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http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news ... rmation/0/

Quote:
The AAC performs a crucial role both in war and peace time operations. However, with the changing battlefield scenario, more and more air elements are being added to the inventory of land forces all over the world and the Tactical Battle Area will present an entirely different picture in future warfare. The Indian Army requires flexibility and swift action to challenge the enemy forces. With the crucial elements of firepower, reconnaissance, observation and transportation, the Aviation Arm of f the Indian Army will be a formidable force with sufficient firepower assets in its inventory. Further, it would be more flexible and effective for Counter Surface Force Operation (CSFO), destruction of enemy air defence assets, tactical transport, Counter-Insurgency Operations (COIN), offensive employment in urban warfare, Search And Rescue (SAR) operations, battlefield support, High Altitude Warfare (HAW), anti-tank role and scout duties .

The AAC will have an integral Aviation Brigade, which will have a squadron each of utility, armed and reconnaissance helicopters. Future acquisitions of Light Utility Helicopters (LUH), light attack, Armed Helicopters (AH) and heavy-lift helicopters will greatly enhance the capability of the Indian Army and will be a game changer in any future conflict.



And our Neighbour from North

Quote:
Chinese Army Aviation Corps

Separated from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Aviation Corps is well equipped with attack, transport and other specialised helicopters as well as light fixed-wing aircraft which carry out air maneuvers and provide support to ground operations. ......The PLA also has sufficient number of fixed-wing transport aircraft which includes the Y-7, Y-8 and XTW4.


Quote:
The mission of the AAC is to find, fix and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver and to provide combat support and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team. On a modern battlefield, the AAC, unlike the other members of the combined arms team, has the organic flexibility, versatility, and assets to fulfill a variety of maneuvers like Combat Service (CS), Combat Service Support (CSS), surveillance, reconnaissance roles and functions. Aviation can accomplish each of these roles within the limits of finite assets and capabilities during offensive or defensive operations and also for joint, combined, contingency or Special Operations. ..



Quote:
The AAC in the future would need to have more than 300 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in its inventory. Indeed, its long-term plans include a flight of five fixed-wing aircraft each for its six regional or operational commands with a sufficient number of both small and large sized UAVs including the recently inducted IAI Heron and Searcher UAVs.

Analysts believe that by the year 2025, the Indian AAC which would be advanced in both in number and machine compared to its rivals, would be advanced in both in number and machine compared to its rivals, would be listed among the largest Army Air Corps in the world. /


What happens if these roles are hived off from IAF and handed over to IA, then IAF can concentrate on more important roles: Air Dominance, CAP, Deep Strike, strategic bombing against enemy infrastructure,Intercepting roles, Providing AWACS/AEW&S services, Recce, intelligence, long range operations etc., not exhaustive.

Incidentally this article indicates that China (PLA) has fixed wing assets. And we do have plans to have one.

Some names that cropped up

Combat Hawk
HTT-40
A-10
IJT


Abhibhushan ji has also some requirement for A/cs operating in mountainous areas.


LCA????


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 01:48 
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SaiK wrote:
I think the best fixed-winged aircraft for AAC would be UCAVs. perfectly fits to their required roles under direct IA controls - from bunker busting, smoking the terrorist from mountains, and precision target strikes (both urban and mountain).

ton of terrain guidance and remote piloting experience can be gained. they can get realistic tactile platform to do their ops sitting right under HQs. Human piloted fixed wings are no-no for IA, as it just placates IAF.



I was thinking abt UCAVs. It seems from various reports that CIA operates such drones, as it is popularly known, far away from remote locations. May be we could consider RAA to operate it as well. Of course Army should have it as well. Striking Azhar in his mosque deep inside enemy territory , when Airforce has established dominance and one has intelligence from behind the lines about location, RAA could fit the bill.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 01:59 
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http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories ... r_wing.htm


Quote:
Eventually, the Indian Army reportedly plans to raise Army Aviation Brigades one each with all its strike and pivot Corps. A squadron each of armed/light combat helicopters could form part of these aviation brigades to meet the requirements of the third-dimensional manoeuvre arm.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 02:03 
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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 835750.cms

Quote:
New Delhi: The Indian Air Force may crib all it wants, but the Army is pressing on regardless - with its plans to have its own air force, albeit a 'mini' one. Fighter jets may not be on its wish-list, but the 1.13-million strong force wants everything else, from attack helicopters to fixed-wing aircraft.

Army's long-term plans include a squadron each of attack/armed, reconnaissance/observation and tactical battle-support copters for each of its 13 corps. The three 'strike' corps, with HQs at Mathura (1 Corps), Ambala (2 Corps) and Bhopal (21 Corps) will get more 'air assets' in keeping with their primary offensive role, say sources.

To top it off, each of Army's six regional or operational commands will at least get 'a flight' of five fixed-wing aircraft for tactical airlift of troops and equipment. "Army Aviation Corps, which is observing its 25th anniversary this month and operates around 250 light helicopters, has plans till the end of the 14th Plan (2022-27)," said a source.



Quote:
Holding that IAF does not fully comprehend its operational philosophy and concepts like 'close air support' or 'nuances of the tactical battle area', Army says it wants 'full command and control' over 'tactical air assets' for rapid deployment.

IAF contends 'air assets' are 'scarce resources' that should be handled by a force with operational expertise and requisite 'air-mindedness'. But Army is unconvinced.

It feels the IAF can continue with its larger 'strategic role' and the 'tactical role' should be left to it.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2015 02:11 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2010 13:30
Posts: 9511
A Good Article by ADGAA Lt Gen Pawar

http://www.claws.in/images/journals_doc ... 202011.pdf


He says

Quote:
The army aviation should possess a mix of light fixed-wing aircraft and all categories of helicopters, including attack
helicopters/gunships for various roles like reconnaissance, surveillance, combat fire support, airborne command posts, combat service
support, special operations and logistics.
..
..
Army aviation’s greatest contribution to battlefield success is the ability it gives the field force commander to apply decisive combat power at critical times virtually anywhere on the battlefield
...
...The primary mission of the army aviation is to fight the land battle and support ground operations. Its battlefield leverage is achieved through a combination of reconnaissance, mobility and firepower that is unprecedented in land warfare. The army aviation as the manoeuvre force in the third dimension is the centrepiece of the land force operations. Reconnaissance, attack, utility and cargo helicopters complemented by light fixed-wing and support services like air traffic control and logistics, are all required to support the army in its range of military operations
....

....



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