IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50579
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby ramana » 19 Apr 2002 04:03

Is it possible to compile actual expenditures on LCA and the proposed budget? That would give a true picture. I know that the budget was in then year rupees circa 1993(?). And a timeline. GJ probably has that

kgoan
BRFite
Posts: 260
Joined: 30 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby kgoan » 19 Apr 2002 04:13

Nitin, its cool. My last para was a bit of a joke (oh all right, and to con you to do the hard work :) ).

Seriously though, these days its the beancounters that really rule the roost. Being able to talk back to them in their own jargon, and having the technical expertise could be a devastating combo. Hopefully the site will help, even if its only as a FYI bit.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 19 Apr 2002 05:32

Peyoosh it's not as crazy at it sounds.

Current breakdown:
10 sqns - Offensive Air Support (CAS/BAI)
10 sqns - Deep Penetration Strike (includes 1 maritime strike)
18 Sqns - fighter
2 Sqns - multirole (DPS/fighter)
=================================
38 Sqns

Phadke's vision for 2020:
25 squadrons - "multi-role/Air Superiority Fighter (ASF) class"
20 squadrons - strike
15 squadrons - fighters
==========================
60 sqns + 3 dedicated EW sqns

Projected* ~2015:
12 sqns - LCA. fighter/OAS
10 sqns - Su-30MKI. multirole DPS/air superiority
9 sqns - Mirage 2000. multirole, but primarily intended for conventional or nuclear DPS
7 sqns - MiG 27. Multi role but optimised for DPS
5 sqns - Jaguar. DPS
9 sqns - MiG 21UPG. air defence - possibly replaced by more LCAs
3 sqns - MiG 29. air defence (upgraded to multirole?)
==================================================
55 Sqns

* Taking into account upgrades, retirements and replacement plans that have been already approved. The only purchase that isnt confirmed but is being actively discussed are the 126 additional Mirage 2000-5s - see JDW March th

Phadke seems to beleive this is affordable by 2020 if IAF expansion is pegged to economic growth. I am not really familar enough with all the numbers to say one way or another myself

Raman
BRFite
Posts: 261
Joined: 06 Mar 2001 12:31
Location: Niyar kampootar onlee

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Raman » 19 Apr 2002 06:31

Although the Phadke document mentions the obligation of the IAF to maintain sufficient tactical and strategic transport capability, it does not mention how this capability is to be realized within the 60 squadron framework. Other than mention of AWACS and mid-air refuelers, the article seems to only concentrate on "little friends".

We currently field the IL-76, An-32, Do-228 and HS-748. At some time, I imagine we will replace the An-32 fleet with MTA (when, of course, is another question). What about the rest? Any ideas on how many squadrons should we have in 2020, and which aircraft should they be?

++Rajesh

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 19 Apr 2002 07:03

Johann

Breaking that into incremental cost estimates:

LCA 250 a/c @ 25 million = US$ 6.25 billion
Su MKI 175 a/c @35 million = US$ 6.2 billion
M2 Ks 150 a/c @ 40 million= US$ 6 billion
Upgrades 200 Mig/60 Mig 29/180 Mig 27/40 M2ks = US$ 2 billion

This adds up to US$ 21 billion and is basic airframe cost.

Missiles, spares, engines etc. @ 30% of airframe cost (an underestimate in my opinion) = US$ 6.3 billion.

AWACS = US$ 2 billion (8 a/c @ 250 mm)
AAR = US$ 500 million (10 a/c @ 50 million)

This leaves out:

Enahancing supply and strategic lift/transport capability - a very serious and real need given the nature of wars we have fought sinc ethe 80s. I believe this will absorb US$ 3 billion at the very least. No idea of costs - ballpark estimates from civila aviation quotes - US$ 3 billion for 100 medium lift a/c - this is a complete guess.

Choppers - the IAF wants 200 ALH/Mi to replace the current light fleets types, another 1 billion at least

Trainers (IJT and AJT) = US$ 1.5 billion

Bases = the IAF would need at least 4 new bases, maybe 5 to support 55 squadrons, as the current bases are full, really full. Training bases for enhanced crew needs.

I would gess this enatils capex of around US$ 40 billion = or USR 3 billion a year for the next 13 years - no way!

To add the operating expenses would alos increase significantly

My guess is that it will be either the M2K or the LCA - not both. That brings down the basing needs and training needs too. Fewer AWACS and fewer upgrades would help, too. PErhaps fewer reserve a/c - attritiona nd reserves would lower the number of a/c needed for new squadrons - I have used 21/22 - we could move to 19 - 16 flying and 3 reserve - taht would help take US$ 3-4 billion out.

Anyways, a force expansion is NOT on for 2015 - it may well begin at 2020 time - the fleet would be relatively modern and the capex needs lower. We will stay with 40-44 operational squadrons and 150 combat capable trainers.

From my conversations with IAF folks - they regard the AWACs/AAR, trainers and transports as being critical.

The only way this can "happen" is if we go down to 14-15 a/c per sqaudron - 12 operating and 2/3 reserves. Now is that a possibilty - wonder whatthe advantages/diasadvantages are.

Cheers

Peeyoosh

Sukumar
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 93
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Sukumar » 19 Apr 2002 10:37

Does anybody know the answer to the organizational question ? see page 1

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 19 Apr 2002 12:31

Sukumar

I don't thing the concept of a wing is used anymore in routine operational admin - the only times I have heard of it used is when refferring to the "Fighter Wing" or the "Transport Wing" - a sort of a functional division rather than an admin one.

The oeprating hierarchy seems to be

Flights/Squadrons/AOG (optional)/Command for the fixed wing types.

The concpet of an AOG is used for a highly sensitive area where there is likeley to be action - you want people pretrained and prepared with ready command/control and prepared mission profiles for anticipated threats. I am not sure, but I think AOGs interact more deeply with ground command too, so people know whom to call and speak with.

Contrast this with the WW2 and 50s when sending massed squadrons of fighetrs and bombers was a standard need (strategic bombing, fighter sweeps etc.) Cannot think of a single IAF mission profile that would call for (say) 3 squadrons of Mig 29s.

Operations for the IAF are likely to involve more types (or with specilaised tasks and weapons even if teh airframe is the same) of a/c but relatively smaller number of each type, especialy given the nature of the IAF/PLAAF/PAF - which is why the concpet of the wing is being pushed out.

Peeyoosh

JCage
BRFite
Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby JCage » 19 Apr 2002 15:00

Hi,
J ,
Good summary .Will dig up some dates/data to refine if possible.

Peeyoosh ..good points.The LCA cant be pegged at 25 mill ..has to be 20 or lower.Hence the 220 number.So if you put 25 then lower numbers than 220.The MKI at approx 30.Thats the aim.

I'll get around to this later,but the exact 55 sq force is an effort to ask for *more* sources.Even 50 or therabouts would do.And one has always been told,that once the demand-valid-exists,resources can be arranged.

Now,regarding the AWACS,they are vital.The IAF today does have a FOW(Fog of War) problem as compared to the RAF,USAF,FAF,IDF who go into a battle with all their assets identified and maintain a God's eye view thru'out.They *need* the AWACS.With it,you can get away by using less.(read kargil)
Ditto AAR.The IAF doesnt want to get left behind in the quest for comparable platforms viz the PLAAF.To use the Su MKI's and the Jags etc to thir full potential AAR's will be budgeted for.

Will be back later.

Regards,
Nitin

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 20 Apr 2002 10:34

Lt us do this the other way around. Given the lats capex udget for the IAF as US$ 1 billion, and 6% annual growth, over teh next 13 years teh IAF will have US$ 21 billion to spend. These numbers are as good as its going to get!

In perspective the entire capex on the IAF in the 90-s was less than US$ 5 billion (around US$ 3 billion I believe) . These are agressive numbers, the relaity is likely to be lower.

Commited Programs

AJT - around 60 a/c (US$ 1/1.3 billion)
IJT - around 40 a/c (US$ 400 mm)
Su 30 MKI - build of around 140, (US$ 5 billion)
ALH/Variants (US$ 600/900 mm)
10 M 2Ks optimised for armageddon (US$ 400 mm)
125 Migs/180 Mig 27 upgraded (US$ 400 mm)
Miraeg/Jag Upgrades (US$ 100 mm)
Tu lease/buy (US$ 100-200 mm)
Munitions upgrades (LGB kits, stand off weapons)

Very High Priority Programs
An 32 replacements/transport a/c (US$ 1 billion++)
UAV build up (US$ 50-150 mm)
220 Light multirole a/c (US$ 5 billion)
Stock of BVR missiles (around 500/750), improved short range missiles (US$ 1 billion)
AAR (esepcially for the Mig 29s) US$ 250 mm
AWACS (6 a/c) US$ 1 billion
Mig 29 upgrades (US$ 250 mm)

SAM purchases (all those S-300/400 batteries cost humungous amounts) - no idea of the investment needed, could run into billions.

Upgrades to the ADGES and radar systems are needed.

Not sure how he missile force budget will come up.

These programs would swallow up around US$ 17 -19 billion or so.

The most "used" arm of teh IAF today is the transport arm. Ignoring the choppper/transport needs would be the one of the worst mistakes that can be made. I suspect the true expenses on upgrading the lift capability (fixed wing and rotary) is going to be pretty much the same as a fighter program - around US$ 3-5 billion.

Recce a/c are also needed - the Canberras, and even the Mig 25s are fading away.

The funds for an additional 150 a/c for enhanced force strength are not there.

I'd even go so far as to say that if the LCA program is seriously delayed, the IAF is going to have to consider reducing strength by around 4-5 squadrons but inducting M2Ks (around 125) instead of the LCA. The numbers may be lower, but the punch is a different matter altogether!

Peeyoosh

JCage
BRFite
Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby JCage » 20 Apr 2002 14:58

Peeyoosh,
Hi good summary.We can hopefully try and put numbers from previous/similar deals.To get an idea.
We really cant take the 90's as indicative.Because the 90's were definitely pegged as the lowest capex times.

The 10 M2K's are bought already and hence their payment too cant be included here.
Same goes for the AAR's.Uzbek Il 78's iirc.

Tu lease is being offered as part of the Gorshkov for the IN.Anyrate,even if not part of the Gorshkov financing,its a IN issue,not IAF.

According to NRMohanty ,each Su30MKI =(apprx)31 million $.Thats like 4.34 billion dollars for the whole lot of 140.
HAL says production of 12 /yr.Therefore 372 million per year.

We can similarly dig out data for each a/c in turn and try to align them up.

In particular ALH numbers wanted,costs/unit,no.yr for how many yrs.

Re AWACS..max figure,i've ever seen is three.no plans-immediate at any rate-for six.

re AN32's..i wouldnt be surprised,if they were rebuilt and equipped with new engines or the like.The Avro is still soldiering on.

Re UAV's..does anyone know the Nishants price?
The project is on the brink of sucess/completion.They even used it against terrorists in Kashmir as part of its trials.
The Nishant will be the UAV of choice as compared to Searchers and i presume its cheaper than the Searcher.

Re SAM purchases in huge quantities..i dont think so.No humongous ones of S300/400's anyway.
What we are seeing now is digitisation/upgradation of all sam assets..sa3,sa6,sa8.This will /should give them quite a bit of new life and has already started.For ATBM capability,i presume only a few batteries of S300/S400 will be purchased/and(major pop. centres ) or the Arrow,if available.The IAF/IA seem to be more interested in the latter.

The Akash will trickle flow in..replacing older Pechora batteries.The original purchase numbers announced in Miltech gave clues to that.This way,the expenditure can be kept to manageable levels.

What can be added to the list..upto 220 Indra 2's over the next decade.
And large numbers of Tactical Surveillance radars for low flying a/c...

Re Recon a/c ..the MiG25's will be rebuilt/overhauled and kept viable.This has already been announced.2000-2001 fin year.So cant be in the finance.

With TES series and larger no of IAF a/c equppied with Vinten pods and SLAR pods,we can get by without buying any new recon a/c.

In essence,all these are decade long programs,with many being "indigenous"...and if we add them up,the money might be there for additional a/c.

Also note the significance of the M2's being repeatedly referred to as part of the Nuke trident/platform.Might indicate that the funds for such a role/acquisition might come "differently"..ie earmarked for nuke/strategic force.We have to see whether any such plans are there..but it might make sense.Give strategic capability without soaking up the services Cap ex.Eg the ARmy has greater needs than even the IAF.

Regards,
Nitin

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 21 Apr 2002 13:24

Sree are you interested in a rough model of CAS/BAI in Afghanistan? Because as it always happens things diverted from the theoretical and doctrinal norm.

Nitin, what sort of capital expenditure should we be looking at then?

JCage
BRFite
Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby JCage » 21 Apr 2002 23:15

J,
I'll try to look up unit costs etc.Give me a few days.

Regards,
nitin

Sree
BRFite
Posts: 103
Joined: 27 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Southern Africa

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Sree » 22 Apr 2002 19:12

Originally posted by Johann:
Sree are you interested in a rough model of CAS/BAI in Afghanistan? ...
Johann:

Short answer -- yes please!

(With apologies to Sukumar!)

Thanks in advance, and look forward to it ... (B-52s and GPS guided munitions ... boy, what would the RAF guys flying Typhoons in the Falaise Gap, not to mention the IAF guys flying Tempests over Skardu and Mysteres over Chhamb and Hunters over Longewala have said ... )

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 23 Apr 2002 06:02

Sree I am going to step through some tiresome details on the planning and preparations for wider air war before I get to the subject of CAS in order to put in proper context.

September 11
September 15 – Bush declares Bin Laden responsible for WTC & Pentagon attacks, after Congressional resolution authorises $ 40 billion and all necessary means to put a stop to the perpetrators
September 19/20 – Gen Franks is ordered to begin planning a campaign. First major deployments of aircraft and enabling units announced.
September 27 - first CIA personnel (mostly from the paramilitary division) inserted into Afghanistan to liaise with Afghan field commanders

General Tommy Franks, US Army as CINC CENTCOM was Joint Forces Commander and directed the campaign largely from CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, Florida.

The Commander, 9th Air Force is also commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF). COMCENTAF naturally became the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) for the campaign. Lt. Gen. Charles Wald even though due to transfer to a new posting at the Pentagon held on until November when the campaign turned the corner. He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Mosley (also USAF).

JFACC fully controlled the use of resources directly involved in the air campaign ‘owned’ by not just the USAF but by the USN, USMC and US Special Operations Command, and other coalition air forces. This is something of a first – even in the Gulf War, the Marines only donated those available sorties (15%) that were left over from organic support to the Marine Expeditionary Force, and even these were progressively withdrawn as the ground campaign approached.

Wald established the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Prince Sultan airbase in Saudi Arabia as JFACC HQ on September 21st. The CAOC took only 2 days to initially establish the ‘air picture’ over Afghanistan, relying on AWACS, U2s, Canberras, EC-135s, Nimrods and other platforms. The CAOC had in the months before gone through some very sophisticated upgrades that broadened and deepened its ability to manage an air campaign for the entire campaign, and the Saudis at first refused to allow use of the facility. A great deal of effort went into changing their minds. Using the data from recce assets planners working with the Franks in Tampa and the Pentagon created a list of fixed targets (the 'master air attack plan')in Afghanistan, starting with threats to US aircraft (most of which were dispatched in the first 15 minutes of the war). The MAAP was then translated into a series of daily Air Tasking Orders which were electronically transmitted to Wing/Sqn/Operations Group hqs (as the case may be) deployed on carriers in the Arabian Sea and on land in Diego Garcia, Pakistan, the Gulf, and Central Asia. There would also be a mission briefing -preferrably teleconferenced- between mission commander and JFACC representative with the Wing/Sqn/Operations Group commander present.

‘Emerging Targets’ it was thought at the time would be detected using platforms such as UAVs and in some cases special forces. If the target was approved by the commander and his (no jokes)legal advisory team, the ATO and if possible video stream would be transmitted to available aircraft already in the area or en-route.

In the early hours of October 7th the first cruise missiles and JDAMs hit targets in Afghanistan, 3 weeks after the terrorist attacks. Only now can we begin appreciate the speed and the efficiency with which all of this was organised.

Sukumar
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 93
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Sukumar » 23 Apr 2002 07:14

Originally posted by Johann:
......... If the target was approved by the commander and his (no jokes)legal advisory team, the ATO and if possible video stream would be transmitted to available aircraft already in the area or en-route...........

Johann, I was under the impression that the ATO was quite a detailed document that was walked thro in the pre-mission briefing. When you say ATO is transmitted to an aircraft enroute - is that a verbal order some kinda data transmission ? how does it work ? same question with video stream, is that thro the JTIDS link ?

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 23 Apr 2002 08:48

Johann

It may also be useful to discuss teh enemy forces as expcted and as faced, along with the UKUSA and NA ground troops.

1. Very few SAMs, other than MANPADS, no fighters
2. Not truly mobile forces
3. Highest value targets were individuals, followed by troop concentrations, or was it logistics next?
4. No defence in depth possible, the Talib would cede ground as needed
5. The possibility (and liklehood) of defections - times when a show of forcee was as effective as force itself.
6. Pakistani radar acting as a AEW line for approaching aircraft could not be discounted

Peeyoosh

Y I Patel
BRFite
Posts: 507
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Y I Patel » 23 Apr 2002 20:50

Johann

A recent article in NYT mentioned how pilots no longer know what targets they are going to hit when they leave the carrier deck - the targets are transmitted to them while they are enroute to Afghanistan. This seems to indicate that real time intel has made Air Tasking Orders obsolescent in this war.

Sree
BRFite
Posts: 103
Joined: 27 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Southern Africa

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Sree » 23 Apr 2002 21:27

Originally posted by Johann:
Sree I am going to step through some tiresome details on the planning and preparations for wider air war before I get to the subject of CAS in order to put in proper context.

...

‘Emerging Targets’ ... approved by the commander and his (no jokes)legal advisory team, the ATO and if possible video stream would be transmitted to available aircraft already in the area or en-route.

...
Johann, thanks a million -- this sets the context most informatively -- dare I hope for more, on the actual CAS/BAI model?

One minor question, possibly a techie's distraction -- transmitting video stream, would that have been via the JTIDS backbone? Wow -- what sort of data-transfer rates does it support, do you know (and are you allowed to tell, without having to kill us afterwards)?

Looking forward to more ...

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 23 Apr 2002 23:13

Sukumar, Sree

The most commonly installed system used for imagery transfer on strike aircraft (including a growing number of RAF Tornados but not A-10s or most F-16s) is 'Gold Strike', a cheaper interim alternative to JTIDS. Its built around a data modem integrated with the aircraft's existing VHF AM/FM secure radio. When I say stream I dont mean TV like transmissions; that would be unnecessary and distracting before weapons release. The idea is to quickly give the pilots enough of a visual cue to cut down the target acquisition time (usually by about a factor of 10). The system has a data transfer rate of about 16 kb/s. A maximum of 20 images can be stored in compressed format. Gold Strike is an upgrade of an earlier system that allowed appropriately equipped FACs to digitally transfer the latitude, longitude and elevation of a target straight to the strike aircraft again using data modems integrated with secure UHF/VHF radios. Installation of gold strike sped up donsiderably after the considerable difficulties with time lags between target acquisition by recce platforms and the actual strike platform in Kosovo. Gold strike is also nice because SOF if present on the ground and so equipped can quickly transmit battle damage assesment imagery to the air operations center or the pilot after weapons release, cutting down on the number of sorties needed.

Mission retasking might be electronic (using standrard brief format) or it might be verbal - depends on whether the aircraft and the air operations centre are equipped with JTIDS (Link 16). The mission update would also if appropriate be accompanied by a threat update. JTIDS also allows image transfer - I'm sure the transfer rates are out there somewhere in open source.

Vikram, those a/c were at that point in the target were engaging emerging targets since fixed targets were so quickly exhausted. If we were talking about some complex strike package in dangerous airspace real time retasking would be almost out of the question.

As I was going to explain CAS in situations of plentiful airpower generally works on a push-pull model. In other words the AOC still has to indicate to the respective sqn/wg/OGs the general number of sorties it expects for the day, where it generally might need them and what sort of munitions to bring along for the picnic, based on what ground commanders are telling them. The area of operations is divided into a series of kill boxes and aircraft assigned to them based on expected demand. The aircraft once on station orbit for as long as they can waiting for something happens and sustained by frequent air to air refuelling. Detailled target info doesnt enter the picture until a FAC or the AOC actually calls a strike in.

Will expand later - including some of your questions Peyoosh

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 24 Apr 2002 14:33

Johann

So would it be right to say that targts of two kinds emerged - planned targets with a "package" to hit them and taregts of opportunity.

In a package situation how much flexibility is normal? To SEAD, top cover and the truck drivers? Do they get very detailed instructions or objectives and detailed tactical data?

The legal eagle bit was unique to Afghanistan - normally I guess its easier to get targets of opportunity provided one can spot them and there are aircraft in the zone to do damage.

Wonder where its worth to make investments? In a capabiltiy to spot and hit targets of opportunity or in a capability to launch multiple packages (at weakly defended and strongly defended targets)?

My guess is the IAF is more interested in the second lot while th USAF may find its doing a lot of the former.

Also wonder if UAVs/choppers will take over the second role?

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 25 Apr 2002 05:23

Catching up where I left off;

In the fortnight that followed October 7th some 2,000 pieces of ordnance were dropped. Taleban airports had been silenced, most remaining flying aircraft grounded or destroyed and most radars and SAM batteries neutralised. Al Qaeda training camps had been levelled and the same went for Taleban barracks, fuel depots, etc.

The problem was the list of 'strategic' targets had just about been exhausted. The press and public were getting restless because it was clear that there were few soldiers and terrorists in the camps and barracks when they were hit. It was also clear that the Taleban while bruised was nowhere close to losing its grip. They continued to issue communiques to the press and exercised some level of control over their troops in the field. The US had already admitted to hitting a Kabul residential neighborhood and a red cross warehouse with 2,000 lb bombs in two seperate incidents. The Taleban claimed far more civilian casualties and Al-Jazeera was only to happy to lap it up and broadcast it to an outraged muslim world.

Emerging targets just werent emerging nearly quickly enough unfortunately. A large percentage of available UAV time was locked up in the hunt for key Al Qaeda and Taleban leadership rather than their fielded forces. The target approval process for engaging these targets was described as being 'a bit constipated'. There is the now well publicised incident of the night of Oct 7/8th when a hellfire armed predator observed a convoy which seemed to be carrying Mullah Omar. The decision went all the way up to the JFC, Gen. Franks who denied permission to launch based on the advise of his mmilitary legal advisor. The problem with UAVs is that with tight rules of engagment it is possible to locate a target but often impossible to positively ID it.

All of this was pushing the US in a direction that Collin Powell had initially opposed for fear of popular/governmental Pakistani reaction; US forces working closely with NA field commanders to direct airpower against Taleban and Al Qaeda troops, positions and equipment.
___________________________________________

Peyoosh, I think I can agree with what you've said.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 26 Apr 2002 02:17

As early as October 15th Rumsfeld stated at the DoD press briefing that a lack of targetting information had meant that battlefield forces were not being struck, but that the situation was going to change very shortly.

At the time I remember there were those here on BRF who were skeptical that CAS from carrier aircraft or DG based bombers was possible, though I was confidant it could be done providing there were sufficient tanker support.

The first two SF A-Teams (aka Operational Detachment A/ODA) were inserted by helicopter October 19th in the Panjsher valley to work with Fahim's forces and Dara-e-Suf to assist Dostum. The ODA assigned to Fahim’s forces was driven to the frontlines at Bagram and began calling in strikes within 24 hours. Based on their success two more teams were inserted in Kunduz and Bamian a few days later. A fifth ODA was inserted in Uruzgan on November 7th to assist Hamid Karzai who had declared a rebellion October 21st. By the time Kandahar fell on December 6th there were 18 ODAs operating in Afghanistan.

I cannot stress enough that the turning point of the war against the Taleban was the introduction of the SF.

OK that’s it for background.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby svinayak » 26 Apr 2002 02:40

One minor question, possibly a techie's distraction -- transmitting video stream, would that have been via the JTIDS backbone? Wow -- what sort of data-transfer rates does it support, do you know (and are you allowed to tell, without having to kill us afterwards)?

Latest issue of Foriegn Affairs has articles on the Afghan campaign and is very good. One of the things that was noted was that all the planes in the campaign had not been fixed with 'Link16' data transfer module and hance target info was not really real time in most of the instance.

Rudra
BRFite
Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Rudra » 26 Apr 2002 02:54

acc to what I read, link16 has a data rate of
only 116 kbps and thats divided using TDM probably
as the air is a broadcast medium. so no fancy
videos and such, just plain B&W snapshots or
ground mapping radar images.

I dunno how the USN uses such a low rate medium.
probably just voice, and shared radar icon maps.

Commercial broadband wireless is another matter.
These puppies can push hundreds of Mbps if the
line of sight is clear. Satellites too can really
do a smackdown.

Sree
BRFite
Posts: 103
Joined: 27 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Southern Africa

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Sree » 26 Apr 2002 16:05

Fascinating stuff, really. Thanks to everyone who's contributing.

I know everyone's got a few other distractions (like earning a living, mebbe!), but can we have more, please, pretty please?

Peeyoosh
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 79
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: hong kong

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Peeyoosh » 26 Apr 2002 20:18

1) Why do pilots need real time video etc? A traregt dscription, location and a singloe snap should be enough for a pilot who has trained on identifying enemy targets. Not sure if data transfer is big issue - note that a target from 10000 feet and 500 kmph looks very different as opposed to from lower down and from a different angle. Maybe better to give the pilot data on target calss and location rather than a live feed!

2)What is the exact role of the FAC - feed information to a central control point or to the pilots? Can a FAC call for a second run on target? During Kargil photo recce was crucial for target identification and BDA - are FAC reports used along with photos for this?

3) What is the "FAC" - one man or a team? If its a team do they operate from one location or are they disperesd - how do they centralise information if dispersed?

4) When strike packages are sent out are SF people sent in as "controllers" as standard practice - how do theyu communicate?

5) How would India defend against FAC - equivalents inserted pre any war with basic aids such as smoke signals, radio beacons etc.?

Peeyoosh

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 26 Apr 2002 22:50

In Afghanistan ODAs had one Airforce special operations command combat controller attached. This allowed the ODA to break down into 4 detachments of three (which stayed in touch in with each other via radio) order to handle all the targets along the front, as well as liaise with their Afghan group's leadership. The latter was crucial to the air war, though in a regular setting at the brigade and above the function would be performed by an Air Liaison Officer. The FACs job is just as much to keep freindly forces and bombs out of each others way as it is to direct airpower against the enemy. At the CAOC and ground operations center information on SF and friendly positions passed on earlier was carefully cross checked with new requests for strikes. SF were posted at the ground operations centre (first at Karshi Khanabad in Uzbekistan and now in Bagram) and at CAOC in Saudi to keep track of friendlies and talk to them on the radio. It was their job to explain to non-SF personnel the what when and how of what the SF were doing.

The basic FAC equipment for each detachment included satellite radios, GPS units, binoculars, laser range finders and laser designators. Plus of course spares and batteries for the whole lot. While there is only one person on the radio with the pilot or C2 node at a time, the amount of equipment, the workload, and needs for basic security that close to the front means that the GFAC will need help from other personnel who need not be FAC trained. When it comes down to it a FAC is a person with the right radio and the right terminology who can tell the pilot where to drop his ordnance.

The FACs most crucial role is when he cues the pilot to the target, describing it and the location of any friendlies in proximity. Today the FAC can also transmit the precise lat, long and elevation of the target to the aircraft and the PGM. Until the FAC gives clearance the pilot can not release. In a situation with tight RoEs and where friendlies arent in danger of being overrun the pilot will attempt to confirm with his own eyes (and a pair of binoculars) what he has been told before he will release. Despite all of this friendly fire and collateral damage still occur, but far, far less then when a FAC is absent.

As I said on the previous page FACs go through two different sets of procedures for pre-planned and contingency calls for air support. I'm not going to describe the exact processes devised for the SF at the start of the campaign. They found that CAOC's standard 72 hr. cycle was not appropriate for responsively maintaining a high rate of support and interdiction sorties. Working together SF, CAOC and the ground operations centre found ways to cut the pre-planned targetting cycle to 12 hours.

With todays extremely dangerous low level environment aircraft are generally operating from 14,000 ft. + Kosovo showed us that at those altitudes the pilot struggles to detect small targets, and even when detected will have a hard time classifying them as military or civ, and IDing them as friendly, hostile or neutral. The result is either that few weapons are released, or unaccpetable collateral and friendly casualties. IOW today we are especially dependant on the GFACs for good results against mobile, tactical targets.

It used to be that there were certain criterion for defining CAS aircraft
- the ability to handle well at low altitudes and survive the heavy ground fire
- the ability to loiter over the battlefield for long periods on call
- rough field capability so they could be deployed close to the front and provide quick response

These design criterion made other roles mutually exclusive, and the result was highly specialised aircraft such as the A-10 and Su-25. For the US at least thats no longer necessary. They've found ways to allow strike aircraft, fighters and bombers to deliver pinpoint CAS/BAI without sacrificing their primary roles. Of course it has required substantial investments in air to air tankers, PGMs and C3I.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Peyoosh, they dont need a live feed. But they do need to be able to receive imagery updates when going after mobile targets in fluid and chaotic environments like Kosovo or Afghanistan.

Hiw do SOF communicate?
There are a new generation of field radios that combine satcom, line of sight, aircraft and other frequencies and data modem capabilities. It used to be that they had to lug several different sets around with them, with spares and batteries for each. More things to learn and more things to go wrong.

How do you defend against the GFAC?

That's simple, dont lose air superiority. Seriously speaking the questions depends on whether they are operating behind your lines or not. The SF in afghanistan were right in front, and often outnumbered but they were always among frindly forces. If they're on the other side you have to find them - with either luck or radio DF. Snipers or even Artillery FOOs might be a good option as far as taking them out quickly goes.

Rudra
BRFite
Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Rudra » 26 Apr 2002 23:27

search for JTRS in fas.org

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Johann » 30 Apr 2002 00:00

dont want to lose this thread...so upsy daisy

JCage
BRFite
Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby JCage » 30 Apr 2002 03:23

Johann,
Data collection in progress.Will post when i get a bit more.

Regards,
Nitin

Calvin
BRFite
Posts: 623
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Calvin » 28 May 2002 03:07

up

Calvin
BRFite
Posts: 623
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: IAF Organizational/Functional Structure

Postby Calvin » 28 May 2002 05:42

up


Return to “Military Issues Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests