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Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Ved
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Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 23 Jul 1999 09:15

I have tried to put together my thoughts in some order - a debate on air power is something which the country needs but, unfortunately, does not fully comprehend. <P>Introduction<P>1. Operation Safedsagar, as the air operations in the Kargil area were called, was, indeed, a milestone in the history of military aviation, as this was the first time that air power was employed in such an environment.<P>Effect of Environment<P>2. The severe degradation of aircraft and weapon performance is still not completely appreciated by the layman. No aircraft has yet been designed to operate in a Kargil-like environment. At high altitudes, a crucial factor in aircraft performance is the reserve of power available, which, for the MiG and Mirage fleets, was a strong point in their favor. In comparision, the Fairchild A-10, which was widely quoted as being the ideal platform, would have been a misfit. It is widely (and incorrectly) stated that using Mach 2 aircraft would not produce results; the layman needs to understand that all air-to-ground attack speeds are approximately the same (750-950 kmph) for all fixed-wing aircraft.<P>3. Due to the very different attributes of the atmosphere, even weapons do not perform as per sea-level specifications. Variations in air temperature and density, altering drag indices and a host of other factors (which have never been calculated by any manufacturer for this type of altitude) cause weapons to go off their mark; for the same reasons, normally reliable computerised weapon aiming devices give inaccurate results.<P>4. In the plains, a 1000 pounder bomb landing 25 yards away from the target would still severely disable, if not flatten, it. In the mountains, however, a miss of a few yards would be as good as the proverbial mile, due to the undulating terrain and masking effects. There is, thus, a need for pinpoint accuracy in conditions where that very attribute is severely degraded by the factors mentioned above.<P><BR>The First Few Days<P>5. While there was considerable pressure from outside the IAF to operate only attack helicopters, the CAS succeeded in convincing the Govt that in order to create a suitable environment for the helicopters, fighter action was required. Notwithstanding this, the loss of one fighter and one Mi-17 chopper to enemy action indicated the need for a change of tactics, resulting in withdrawal of armed helicopters and employment of fighters in modified profiles out of the Stinger SAM envelope. By itself, the change of tactics is nothing unusual, and is an inherent part of the qualities of flexibility and adaptability; in fact, a far more serious lapse would be a dogged tendency to persist in sacrificing assets when, clearly, there was a need for a re-assessment. It is for this reason that NATO, after deploying 100 Apache attack helicopters in Greece, reconsidered bringing them into Kosovo till the shooting was over, as they felt the environment didn't justify it. Unfortunately, IAF Mi-25/35 attack helicopters were not able to operate in this terrain. <P>6. One of the many facts that have emerged clearly is that target acquisition by the pilot is the bottom line. Totally unfamiliar surroundings made target recognition difficult from the ground, let alone from a fast moving aircraft. As a result, the initial few sorties from high levels were not effective as desired. However, once revised and modified profiles, tactics and manner of system usage had been perfected, the accuracy of the airstrikes improved dramatically. Any time the target was spotted, a success rate of close to 100% invariably resulted.<P><BR>The Increasing Effects of Airstrikes<P>7. As a result of these attacks, severe damage to enemy personnel and equipment became apparent in various areas. It is surmised that airstrikes contributed to a significant portion of the enemy's casualty list, as apparent in the numbers. However, the most telling effects on the ground were from intercepts of enemy radio revealing severe shortage of rations, water, medicines and ammunition. Losses due to airstrikes and inability to evacuate their casualties were also mentioned in the intercepts. This was the actual manifestation on the ground of the result of effective airstrikes by the IAF. The effect of accurate attacks is best summed up by a message received from one of the HQ of the Army.......<P> "You guys have done a wonderful job. Your Mirage boys with their precision laser guided bombs targeted an enemy Battalion HQ in Tiger Hill area with tremendous success. Five Pakistani officers reported killed in that attack and their Command and Control broke down - as a result of which our troops have literally walked over the entire Tiger Hills area. The enemy is on the run. They are on the run in other sectors also. At this rate the end of the conflict may come soon."<P><BR>IAF Air Strikes : the Results<P>8. IAF air strikes against enemy supply camps and other targets yielded rich dividends. A noteworthy fact is that there was not a single operation on ground that was not preceded by airstrikes. Inevitably, some Army personnel at some locations who did not actually see these missions harbored, understandably, the feeling that the IAF was not as effective as they had hoped. While that would happen in any operation, it is a fact that each and every airstrike was the result of coordinated planning between 15 Corps and the AOC, J&K. <P>9. Firstly, in the area of interdiction of enemy supplies, the successful and incessant attacks on the enemy's logistic machine had, over the last few weeks, culminated in a serious degradation of the enemy's ability to sustain himself in an increasing number of areas. The series of attacks against Pt 4388 in the Dras sector was an excellent example of how lethal airstrikes combined with timely reconnaissance detected the enemy plans to shift to alternate supply routes which were once again effectively attacked. In this the IAF succeeded in strangling the enemy supply arteries, amply testified to by enemy radio intercepts. The primacy of interdiction targets as opposed to Battlefield Air Strikes (BAS) targets was clearly brought out, as also the fact that air power is not to be frittered away on insignificant targets like machine gun posts and trenches, but on large targets of consequence (like the supply camp at Muntho Dhalo, enemy Battalion HQ on top of Tiger Hill, etc). Gone are the days of fighters screaming in at deck level, acting as a piece of extended artillery. The air defence environment of today's battlefield just does not permit such employment of airpower anymore, a significant fact that needs to be understood by soldier and civilian alike.<P>10. The second major impact of air power in this operation was in the area of casualties. Normally, an enemy defending a well fortified position (in this case, Pakistan) suffers between 3-6 times less casualties than does the force on the offensive. However, this operation has seen the reverse, with the enemy casualties far in excess of those suffered by us. One significant fact must not be lost sight of; of the two warring sides, it is the Pakistani Army that suffered air strikes, which, obviously, contributed significantly to its casualties. It is felt that without the use of air power, our own casualties could have approached if not exceeded four figures.<P>11. The third aspect is that of attack chopper operations. Besides the capability of the machine itself vis-a-vis the area of operation, the creation of the right air defence environment is a crucial factor which would determine the employment of this platform. Effectiveness versus vulnerability would need to be examined; during Op Safedsagar, the abundance of man portable SAMs in all enemy-held areas precluded the effective employment of attack choppers. As a result, whether Army or IAF, choppers were constrained to operate in SAM-free areas. Nevertheless, IAF Cheetahs were instrumental in carrying out front line roles like providing a platform for the Airborne Forward Air Controller (FAC), a fighter pilot who guides the fighters in to the attack against ground targets.<P>12. The fourth major impact of air power is in the enormous difference it made to the ground operations, no better example of which exists than the message from the HQ of a field Army unit, (shown in italics above) stating that " as a result of the precision airstrikes on Tiger Hills our troops have literally walked over the entire Tiger Hills area. The enemy is on the run.."<P>13. Fifthly, night operations were carried out using ingenuity and imagination; at times, excellent results were achieved by aircraft like MiG-21s.<P>14. Sixthly, the effort put into air defence escorts and area Combat Air Patrolling by day as well as night proved an effective deterrent which ensured total air superiority. At times, PAF F-16s orbited a scant 15 kms (on their own side of the LOC) from our strike formations attacking Pakistani targets, kept at bay by our own air defence fighters flying a protective pattern above the strike.<P>15. The seventh aspect is the high degree of imagination, flexibility and IAF-Army coordination which marked every phase of the operation. <P>16. In the final analysis, the effective application of air power has indisputably saved further casualties as well as compressed considerably the timeframe in which our Army has made such progress on the ground. In this context, the basic functions of air power have been repeated, though on a much larger scale, when compared to the IAF's operations in this area during 1947-48, when IAF Tempests carried out strafing and rocket attacks on the intruders and Dakotas ferried in as well as paradropped troops and supplies. As then and now, when called upon by the nation the IAF has joined as an equal partner to the Army to meet the national objective. <BR> <BR>Conclusion<P>17. Almost from the very beginning of the operations, IAF intellects were busy ticking over in a near constant brain-storming session aimed at deriving lessons from Operation Safedsagar. Being an ongoing process, the immense experience gained from this operation would stand in good stead in the times to come. These lessons would be applicable to all the world's Air Forces, for it is the first time in the history of military aviation that such an air operation took place in such an environment. While conventional long-accepted air power theories no longer held good, a new set of operating paradigms had to be evolved almost overnight to cope with the situation.<P>18. Operation Safedsagar was, therefore, a turning point in the history of military aviation, and an operation that will, no doubt, be discussed and dissected for the next few years.<P><BR>[This message has been edited by Ved (edited 23-07-99).]<p>[This message has been edited by Ved (edited 24-07-99).]

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby shiv » 23 Jul 1999 11:06

My two paise:<P>Here is a Munthodalo attack picture from the Vayu Sena website reorientated and further labelled by me - in case the Pakis couldn't connect up two separate pictures mentally.<P> Image <P>MiG 21s at night? Do they carry FLIR?

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 23 Jul 1999 11:38

Salman,<P> Thanks. <P> The attack choppers you mentioned do have a ceiling limitation - but thats not all. Due to the heavy armour and weapon load capacity (precisely what makes them formidable at sea level)they cant climb as well as manoeuvre at that altitude. The terrain per se was not a problem, as you brought out.<P> My remarks on the effects on weapons were mainly for dumb weapons - PGMs control their flight as per the inputs from the sensors involved, and so make continuous corrections till impact.<P> Our own aircraft, even the MiG-21, could do the job much better, given the element of target acquisition. In terms of reserve of power, Russian aircraft are difficult to beat, barring exceptions like the Mirage. I have no knowledge that the IAF possesses the Antelope V.<P> Regarding type of weapons, I think the IAF essentially stuck to conventional High Explosive (HE) bombs, barring the first three days of low level attacks using guns and rockets. There were no inflamable targets and the terrain was barren, so incendiaries wouldnt have served any purpose.<P> MiG-21s were only one of the types used at night. My point was that even armed with only a stopwatch and a GPS, our pilots achieved remarkable success at night! Initially, target acquisition was easier as those poor old trigger happy Pakis opened up with whatever they had, making location that much simpler!! But even when they got smart (or finished their ammo/manpower?), airstrikes by night still got good results.<P> Thanks, Kedar. Lets just say that I have a consuming interest in air power and military aviation. Its a pity that otherwise responsible writers like Rahul Bedi attach their names to the drivel that appeared in Asian Age and Indian Express yesterday. What irks me are the factual innaccuracies! I wish they would engage in a discussion with the IAF before writing.<P> <P>

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby VivekT » 23 Jul 1999 13:24

A couple of clarifications,<P>1)<BR>The Antilope terrain following radar *is* used on IAF Mirage 2000s. The Mirage 2000Hs used by the IAF are derived from the Mirage 2000C interceptor and the Mirage 2000N-K2 low-level strike aircraft. The main difference is that the M2000H is a single seat variant of the M2000N-K2.<BR>Unclassified information released by the French indicates that the Antilope is capable of automatically ('hands-off') flying the aircraft at a constant height of 200m at 600kts. <P>2)<BR>why weren't Jaguars used in kargil? I don't know. In my opinion, they would be much better suited to operating there than the MiG-27s.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 23 Jul 1999 13:49

Salman,<P> Sorry... I though I had answered all of them! Incidentally, the Jaguar *was* used, but sparingly. <P> And, Vivek, the MiG-23/27 was far more effective than the Jag- though the Jag was not used in the offensive role, its main weakness being the power/load carrying capability in this theatre.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby shiv » 23 Jul 1999 14:16

I was told by an ex-IAF type that the Jaguars performance is a bit iffy at those altitudes - however, I have an article from Vayu Aerospace (I think) that mentioned that the Jaguar was used for recce apart from Canberras.<P>Anyhow I still cannot understand why the jaguar could not be used in the level flight high level bombing runs as the MiGs were.<P>I heard that FLIR was used at night. Was this on the Mirage 2000s or on the MiG 27s or both?<p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 23-07-99).]

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Sukumar » 23 Jul 1999 18:58

Like many other British aircraft, the Jaguar was designed for low altitude, fast penetration, release all weapons in one pass (if necessary) role.<P>So a fully laden Jaguar would not have been very useful in the high altitudes of Kargil. The Jag being used for photo-recon missions was a good idea since it is eminently suited for that mission.<P>If PGM delivery is not an issue, the MiG-27 is an excellent platform, though its load is limited. <P>For a CAS fighter to support the LCA in future, the IAF would be better off deriving one from the HJT-36. That way, the IAF has the same platform serving two roles of a good AJT as well as mud fighter. It would be cheaper too.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Gireesh Nair » 23 Jul 1999 19:41

Some excellent view points and ideas,congrats to all of you. HJT-36 future utilization is a wondeful idea. I have a question. Janes describes the Mig-27 as having an effective radius of operation,(range/endurance)as 225NM.on Low-low-low mode. Now is there any way of extending this range without compromising weapons payload ? Is there any update program that would sbustitute certain structures with composites to reduce wt.which in turn will be able to add more fuel ? The Mig-27 looks rather clunky in its design aspect and i am sure this can be refined by HAL, if there was an initiative.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Shirish » 23 Jul 1999 21:37

Ved: What about the stories about Maruts and Ajeets being used? I heard that HAL had fitted a sizable number with flare dispensers.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Shirish » 23 Jul 1999 21:42

Faheem,<P>A rolling take-off, is when the chopper runs down the runway to achieve a certain momentum/ speed before taking off, nose angled sharply towards the ground. It saves fuel.<P>Pawan Hans uses rolling take-offs for its Dauphin choppers at Juhu, Bombay , and having sat in one, I can tell you that it was scary as hell to see the ground rush at your face before a sudden lift off. But, it was a rush!

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby shiv » 24 Jul 1999 06:34

"Ved: What about the stories about Maruts and Ajeets being used? I heard that HAL had fitted a<BR> sizable number with flare dispensers."<P>What stories Shirish?<P>We have some older aircraft whose exhaust IR signatures are bigger and brighter than any flare.<P>IR suppression is one thing people are going to have to work on. The other thing is possibly some kind of structural strengthening near the exhaust pipe - though this may be difficult. It is tough to tell a jet engine to keep working when a high explosive pressure wave goes off at its tail end - but our old Su 7s have survived missile attacks and flown home.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Badar » 24 Jul 1999 06:50

Hi,<P>Excellent discussion everyone.<P>Prasad, it is a matter of how much you want to spend on the helicopter. It is possible to equip them with Chaff/flare rigs much like conventional aircraft. Anti Laser Aerosol dispensing systems are also available for use on choppers.<P>Ved, salman, shiv, was FAE used at kargil? FAEs would have been ideal in the conditions at kargil...against lightly armed infantry out in the open. Plus FAEs have very modest accuracy requirements, which is a plus for night ops.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Badar (edited 23-07-99).]

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby vram » 24 Jul 1999 07:28

>>>The primacy of interdiction targets as opposed to Battlefield Air Strikes (BAS) targets was clearly brought out, as also the fact that air power is not to be frittered away on insignificant targets like machine gun posts and trenches, but on large targets of consequence (like the supply camp at Muntho Dhalo, enemy Battalion HQ on top of Tiger Hill, etc). Gone are the days of fighters screaming in at deck level, acting as a piece of extended artillery. >>>>><P>Ved, very good article. I have one question. I have heard the above view being mentioned in the IAF' website as also in the media. However, the IAF website also mentioned that Muntho Dalo would be considered the *smallest* target in a conventional war. Although in Kargil it was the biggest target to be attacked. So if Muntho Dalo was the biggest target, the other targets attacked must have been mighty small. In fact, the IAF and everybody made a big deal about how difficult it was to target intruders perched on the mountain top. In this light, why wouldn't you consider IAF' air campaign to be merely glorified artillery?? <BR>

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby shiv » 24 Jul 1999 08:41

vram - it may be a question of semantics.<P>Ultimately one has to destroy the enemy's resources. The artillery were anyway hitting the men on the peaks but were unable to target the supply depots and stores.<P>Only the air force was able to do this and all accounts appearing now seem to suggest that there was (political?) pressure on the air force to restrict itself to:<BR>1) Using only helicopters<BR>2) Hitting only the men on the peaks.<P>Quite apart from fighting the war, what is remarkable is that the air force has resisted and fought off internal pressure to free itself from baggage and do what it knows best. Points one and two above have been repeatedly mentioned - the air force refused to use only choppers in a suicidal role, and the air force refused to be glorified artillery (like in Longewala) and restrict itself to the role of battlefield interdiction, but went on to hit supplies, which had a delayed but effective positive impact on the final outcome.<P>Badar, an article in Indian Aviation specifically mentions the use of rockets and guns initially, dumb bombs later, and a few "laser guidance kits" (whatever that means). The article specifically denies the use of napalm. FAEs (assuming napalm is not a variant of FAE) are not even mentioned. (I suspect the lay press does not have a clue about the existence of an entity called FAE - it is only us B-R freaks who keep talking about it.)<P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 23-07-99).]

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Badar » 24 Jul 1999 08:58

Hi,<P>Shiv, it is indeed possible we did not use FAEs. Windy conditions that are encountered at the altitude could have precluded their use as well as the proximity of our own troops to the areas to be hit (FAEs tend to be more of an area weapon). If wind was the reason that deterred us from using them, then my orginal question would simply change to, were cluster munitions used at kargil?<BR>

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 24 Jul 1999 09:10

Thanks, folks, for all the appreaciation.<P>Vram - "...In this light, why wouldn't you consider IAF' air campaign to be merely glorified artillery??" Looking specifically at this operation, you are almost correct; "almost", as there were a few targets which the IAF took on independantly of, but in coordination with, the Army. However, remember that Op Safedsagar was a very twisted application of air power in the doctrinal sense, The entire operation, as mentioned by you, was against BAS and interdiction targets. In an all out war, these operations would constitute a miniscule portion of the overall air effort like deep interdiction, strategic strike, counter-air operations against enemy airfields, etc. In fact, in an all out war the entire Kargil operation would have been run by a Group Captain commanding a Tactical Air Centre (TAC), in coordination with the Corps Commander, a Maj Gen! The aircraft used would have been the same as those used in other missions - thus, they would fly over Chaklala airfield on one mission and Muntho Dhalo on the next - some re-orientation! However, the point I made was that air power should be used against large targets and not insignificant ones - call it cost effectiveness, for want of a better word. For example, if crossing the LOC were not a constraint, the enemy supply camp of Gultari (12 kms into POK) would have been target no 1, as it is this base that feeds all the forward supply camps.<P>Badar - FAE was not used, unfortunately, as far as I know. India seems to have this unfortunate habit of insisting on re-inventing the wheel ("let DRDO do it!" syndrome) instead of buying off the shelf, and hang the delay. Example? AWACS. DRDO have been trying to copy the British cluster bomb (samples available) for 14 years and have yet to come up with an acceptable prototype!<P>Prasad- "...But for the fact that an attack helicopter is a soft target to the SAM, it is the best and most effective air attack in such terrain and operations." True - but if you spend on protective as well as offensive systems, you land up paying the universal price in aviation - WEIGHT! There's only so much thrust available to counter that, and a classic example of where this can lead to is the IAF Mi-25/35 attack chopper - lethal at low altitudes but unable to even enter the Kargil theatre.<P>Shireesh- To the best of my knowledge, Maruts and Ajeets entered the history books long ago.<P>Faheem- 1. A helicopter generates lift by its rotors. Lift is created by airflow over the rotors - more airflow, more lift, in very simple terms. In order to hover, a chopper can generate only so much lift, as the RPM is constant and only the angle (pitch) of the blades varies. Any extra requirement of lift above and beyond this has to be produced by forward motion, to get the extra airflow. Thus, when a chopper is heavily loaded OR at high altitudes, the only way of generating the extra lift to take off is to do a "rolling" take off, as opposed to a hover takeoff.<P>2. "...My questions are - is this realistic and would it not cause loss of life to the enemy due to deprivation of O2." very true, and it is this principle that is used in Fuel Air Explosives" (FAE). See my reply to Badar.<P>3. I remember saying I am an aviation buff, but I don't remember saying I was an airman (sigh)!<P><BR>

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Rupak » 24 Jul 1999 11:28

I have yet to see in any publication that the 2000H carries the Antilope V attack-optimised radar. However, such a statement was apparently made on receipt of these aircraft, even though the original contract called for RDM. <P>Salman<P>Let me see if I can dig up the exact reference. Jimmy Bhatia confirmed in May 1998 that at least the "Battleaxes" aircraft were Antilope equipped.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 24 Jul 1999 19:37

Salman,<P>"....the claim of 100% accuracy..." A valid point, but look at it this way. While individual accuracy on the firing range may be about 20-50 yards for an IAF pilot (working figure), this applies to a single iron bomb. Imagine the same guy dropping 2-6 bombs - some have GOT to be on target. Imagine a formation of 2-6 aircraft - and the picture builds up.<P> As far as I know (I answered this last time, btw) the IAF used HE bombs only, except for the first few days when they came in low in gun and rocket attacks. I feel that the Mirages and MiG series were used for bombing, while the Mirages also doubled as recce, ELINT, and air defence. MiG-29s were AD, as were some MiG-21s. Jags I hear flew some recce missions.<P> No info on the Antelope, sorry. Rupak seems to have some hard facts.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Peeyoosh » 24 Jul 1999 21:08

Ved<P>Thanks for gthe effort and the work, great thread.<P>Tactically, Safedsagar (love that name - brilliant) was a success. Good adaptability and innovation was on display, but at the end of the day I feel overstating the strategic and learning value of this victory is too optimistic.<P>We cannot afford regular Kargills. If the situation occurs again, a restrained response would be dumb. Next time hit Skardu. Let the IAF take the intitiave rather than being forced to react.<P>My take on your conclusions.<P>Peeyoosh

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Prof Raghu » 24 Jul 1999 21:56

Wonderful thread.<BR>Ved, have you considered sending a revised version somewhere for publication?<BR>Admins, if the answer to the above question is a no, may I suggest this (suitably revised) as a possible article for BR journal?

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Rupak » 24 Jul 1999 22:41

Raghu<P>I have already asked Ved to consider writing this up for the next issue of the B-R Journal<P>Rupak

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Johann » 25 Jul 1999 00:02

Sukumar is accurate in his explanation of Jag performance characteristics. With it's small wing area, the Jag is optimised for low level strike and recon. The same wing area compromises lift in the thinner air at 18,000 feet. Oh and by the way, I caught a glimpse of the discussion between Sukumar and V Verma a while back regarding Jaguar nose optics, so here it is; the nose contains a Ferranti laser range finder and collector. IOW the designator can be carried as a pod by the same a/c another a/c, or a ground unit.<P> Chaitanya, most of your answers are fairly accurate, but you have to qualify your statements; do you envisage the army/AF dealing with high or low intensity conflicts; what role are you examining choppers in? Attack choppers fulfill 3 basic roles; tank busting, escort/fire support for air assault heliborne ops and scouting.<P> Choppers are hard to beat in low intensity warfare when used in the escort/fire support role. They represent speed and flexibility to counter terrorist hit and run tactics. In high intensity warfare, especially in the Soviet model (and to some extent the French one) they become an integral part of the heliborne brigade with transport choppers to move men, scouts to gather tactical intel, heavy lifters to move arty, logistics and equipment and attack choppers to provide support. This of course is a very expensive option in terms of machines and not something India can afford to pusue at this time. The Soviets plan was to leapfrog NATO by simultaneously inserting heliborne forces behind their screening forces, and even further back around staging and logistical lines, while their armoured waves rushed in to make contact.<P> The other option is to use choppers as an integral part of the divisional or even brigade battle plan as tank killers. Choppers cannot operate too far ahead of friendly forces (arty range at the very most). However their speed and striking range is greater than that of any tank or surface ATGM. Defensively they represent and emergency reserve that can be quickly mobilised to stop an armoured flanking move or breakthrough. The advantage is that you need less choppers than tanks, although you will always need tanks.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby Ved » 25 Jul 1999 10:49

Thanks, Raghu.<P>Chaitanya, I'll have a bash at your q's after a few hours. BRB after some work.

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Re: Understanding Air Operations in Kargil

Postby VivekT » 26 Jul 1999 19:25

Here's some info about the Mirage 2000H. The source? Pakistan Institute for Defence Studies.<P>Mirage 2000E-H Vajra <P>Type: Multirole fighter. <BR>Design Features: Low-set thin delta wing with cambered section and cleared for 9g and 270/s roll at sub and supersonic<BR>speeds. For AD training, an airborne instrumentation sub-system pod fitted externally resembling a Magic AAM on the launch<BR>rail, enables the pilot to simulate a missile fire. <P>Avionics: The -5 version is equipped with a multi-mode Thomsom-CSF RDY Doppler radar which allows multi-target<BR>selections at all altitudes with look down/shoot down operation. This radar can simultaneously detect up to 24 targets and track<BR>while scan the 8 most threatening ones. Features the HOTAS concept. Also has a Thomson-CSF Antilope terrain-following<BR>radar for automatic flight down to 61m (600 ft.) Features a combined Head Up/Head Level display which gives data relative to<BR>handling, navigation, air & ground target engagement and firing. Has two lateral displays, for presentation of all sensor and<BR>system management information and the other display is dedicated to data fusion, providing the pilot with the latest tactical<BR>situation. <P>Engine: One Snecma M53-P2 turbofan rated at 14,462 lb. of thrust with afterburner or one Snecma M53-P20 turbofan rated<BR>at 21,384 lb. of thrust with afterburner. <P>Maximum Speed: Mach 2.2 <P>Service Ceiling: 16,460m (54,000 ft.) <P>Maximum Range: With internal fuel - 1000 nautical miles (1852 km; 1151 miles). <BR>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .With 3000L drop tanks - 1800n miles (3333 km; 2071 miles). <BR>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .With 4250 kg (550 lb.) bombs - 800n miles (1480 km; 920 miles). <P>G Limits: +9/-4.5 - normal and +13.5/-9.0 - ultimate. <P>Armament: Two 30mm guns with 125 rounds is fitted internally. Nine external hardpoints can carry air-to-air missile like the<BR>Super 530D, Magic-I/II or Mica. For the air-to-surface role it can carry a variety of guided and unguided bombs and missiles.<BR>Can also carry the Apache stand-off weapons dispenser which has 150km range. <P>Maximum External Stores Load: 6,300 kg. (13,890 lb.) <P>Self Defence: An automated ICMS Mk.2 with receiver/processor in nose to detect missile command links; extra pair of<BR>antennae near top of fin and additional DF antennae scabbed to existing wingtip pods.


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