Rajiv,<P> Like Johann, I laud the principle of not accepting statements on face value. However, please understand there are two sides of the matter. It is possible for a serviceman to understand the civilian point of view if he takes the trouble to read and interact - however, it is almost impossible the other way around.<P> Be that as it may, I did not intend to give the impression that I was avoiding your questions - in fact, I thought I had answered them rather neatly in my earlier post(!). <P>"WILL THE ARMY HAVE TO DO WITHOUT CLOSE AIR SUPPORT FROM THE INDIAN AIR FORCE IN HIGH ALTITUDE AREAS IN THE FUTURE?? Has the IAF decided that its only role is Air defence and<BR>Interdiction?"<P> The roles of the IAF are...<P>1. To safeguard Indian airspace at all times, even if it means downing unfortunate Atlantiques in order to get the message accross.<P>2. In war, the air campaign is distinctly seperate (though coordinated with) from the surface campaign. The air war is aimed directly at achieving the Govt/national objectives, and not necessarily the army ones except by exception. This is important to understand. <P>3. To this end, air operations would include recce for AF tasks (as well as army/navy tasks as requested) - deep interdiction - battlefield air interdiction - counter surface force operations - counter air (anti enemy airfields) - combat air patrol - offensive sweeps (showing youself to the enemy radars in their territory, provoking a fight) - SEAD (suppression of enemy air defences) missions preceding strikes - escorts to strike formations - free escorts, that go ahead of the strike force - EW escorts to strikes - standoff EW missions - decoy missions coordinated with offensive strikes and more. ALL these missions are deep inside enemy territory.<P> Operations which are done in coordination with the army are airlift of army troops - special heliborne ops (SHBO) - paradropping - AND close air support (now called Battlefield Air Strike, BAS). For a soldier, the battle is right there at the front. However, what is not visible to him is the effort that goes on deep inside, operations that hit the enemy's logistic lines, communications, rail network, airfields which send enemy BAS etc.<P> BAS is definitely a role for the IAF - but specific environments demand specific actions. It would be foolish to be dogmatic about this, and would result in needless loss of valuable resources. Did you know that the IAF had to initiate (suitably gentle) disciplinary action against some of its youngsters who, in their enthusiam, put their brains between their legs and went right in, and to hell with the Air Marshals?!<P> In Kargil, BAS was OUT - this does not reflect a turnaround in IAF roles, but just an intelligent appraisal of the existing environment.<P>Hans,<P>"The answer lies in the Army having its own AIR corps for operations upto 150kms from the line of control . "<P> Does the color of the pilots uniform make any difference? The Army officer profile is structured around a 5-6 year flying tenure for its pilots, compared to 23 years in the cockpit for AF pilots. Changing that will have huge ramifications. Not changing that will be suicidial for a dedicated combat force. Apart from that, all our airfields are already full to the brim. The IAF has been fighting unsuccessfully for more than a decade to construct 2 new airfields. Where will the army operate, maintainin and store its ac? Who will service them? Training? <P>
Johann/Hans/Ved<P>What is the utility of a SABCA in an envoronment where the IAF cannot guarantee air dominance for at least the first 7 days of the war?<P>Give that there is a resource limtation - what is the ROI on a Hawk LIFT ( circa US$15 million) vs. a multirole aircraft such as the Su 30 - US$ 40 million? <P>By the way any opinions on the Mig 29M. Heard that it is likely to be a really mean animal - more fuel, limted TV engines and more hardpoints - makes up for the basic deficiencies in the baseline Mig 29. Wonder if the IAF ought to look at these considering taht it has a pretty large Mig 29 fleet (perhaps the largest in the world now, that the Mig 29 is being phased out of the Russian AF).<P>Peeyoosh<p>[This message has been edited by peeyoosh chadda (edited 02-10-1999).]
Guys everyone seems to be talking past veryone else. Time to cool down a bit....
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