Karan M wrote:You are being shown how the best AF in the world wage wars and what they are capable of, and your people have the intelligence to pick and choose from those operational concepts and bring that knowledge into India.
Sorry I must say this. I think the IAF is the best in the world. The US AF is the largest and most powerful. "Best" is a different issue.
Read the portion I have marked again.
Plural in terms of the portions underlined.
The best AF in the world - not just the USAF. Not just the IAF. The pick of the elite across the world from across NATO, Asian AF etc all visit Red Flag & the IAF gets the opportunity to observe them & compare its standards against theirs (and as multiple reports have shown, it often is better off than them in several criteria).
Where we are playing catch up, is in terms of tech & if we can jump (for instance) by learning from such experiences, it would be great.
For instance, if IAF sees that in multiple LFE, BVR kills are often discounted by a certain percentage but for the stealthy EMCON type platforms which achieve higher Pk, it will go looking to see how it can use its existing assets to achieve that. Also, start reevaluating how many BVR missiles it needs for inventory - direct impact on Astra volumes.
Stuff like this from actual exercises would be really worth its weight ...
If the USAF did not think they would learn from the IAF they would not invite them and I think it is somewhat insulting to the IAF to say that they are going solely to get lessons from the best in the world.
Oh come on. As if any post of mine has "insulted the AF". You are just looking for niggles, where there are none.
Its very obvious why the USAF invites the IAF - its a world class AF which has not only got superbly trained crew & SOPs, but also some really hard to obtain (to the west anyhow) equipment, like the Su-30 MKI. The combination of the two means the USAF would be glad to get the occasional beatdown as long as they get a wake up call. Of course, that stings so you have guys like Fornof cooking up claims about the MKI (and then IAF releases even more details and goes
). Or the uppity RAF gets put paid to when the IAF mission commander says, hey - we won.. and apart from the Bishen Bedi types who objected to Ganguly taking his shirt off at Lords the rest of India, many worldwide go
Very few AF in the world can go toe to toe with the USAF, skills wise. The IAF can again & again. IAF is no babe in the woods, it even made a decision to go to Red Flag every 5 years. Funding & also what it was learning.
Cope India 2005 - IAF comes out with flying colours | India Defence wrote:“IAF pilots were outstanding. We watched them very closely and have learnt a lot from them".
-- Captain Eathen White, USAF F-16 commander
Cope India 06: Fast-paced and full of firsts | Stars and Stripes wrote:“We try to replicate how these aircraft perform in the air, and I think we’re good at doing that in our Air Force, but what we can’t replicate is what’s going on in their minds. They’ve challenged our traditional way of thinking on how an adversary, from whichever country, would fight.”
-- Col. Hugh Hanlon, 13th Fighter Squadron commander, USAF
Greg Neubeck", F-1F pilot, Delegation Leader Cope India'04 wrote: - I pity the pilot who has to face the IAF and chances the day to underestimate him; because he won't be going home.
See how quickly they changed their concept of "Red Air" after what happened in Cope India '04. This is the strength of the US, in that they not only move fast (which the IAF too does) but that they have the funding to implement a lot of stuff which would otherwise be unavailable to any other AF.
To access Su-30 MK tactics & capabilities, they even started exercising with the RMAF. Which is why I posted that excerpt about Bars being improved to final IAF requirements in 2012 in my prior reply to you. That, the arms race so to speak is intense & thankfully, the IAF is keeping pace.
Next, its absolutely to IAF's benefit to exercise with other Tier1 forces.
The advantage these forces have had over the IAF in the past is Cold War level funding & NATO technology transfers. As such, they train & develop SOPs for a lot of kit the IAF has inducted (relatively) recently - items like AWACs for instance. Its absolutely to IAFs advantage that it observes what these folks do, while retaining that edge (due to pilot skill in the absence of such capabilities & yet doing the same function).
Now who is Tier 1- that "depends" on what you wish to look at.
Sweden? Tier 1 for stealthy BVR - those datalinks on Gripen.
RAF? Tier 1 for most functions. Has been busy being Khans buddy & as such got a lot of access to tech & also develop counters.
FAF? Same as above. Add EW - the French are widely reputed for great EW.
USAF? The big daddy whom most NATO AF lean on etc.
NATO forces - they all have niche capabilities the IAF can observe & compare. For instance, if RAF took out a radar site with its "simulated" ALARM & the IAF saw the pros and cons of that deployment (not all can be sanitized), that feedback would flow into development of NGARM.
The IAF exercises with the Israelis too. Their edge is their extensive stocks of reliable US made gear which allows their local industry to work closely with IDFAF to tinker with more and more exotic concepts.
So, in short, the IAF is darn good & by exercising with other elite forces, even if they are not often as powerful as it is, it can still pick up useful stuff.
I for one would hope, we "learn" more than we teach. And that we have SOPs in place for this. That training mode on radar thing makes me sort of feel comfortable about that.
The IAF (IMHO) has earned its spurs and the world knows it (bar the occasional Fricker type armchair marshal in the west like that Andreas Rupprecht in Combat Aircraft who went to great lengths to mention the IAFs "notorious accident rate" but didn't even mention the widespread respect international AF have for them via these exercises)..
IMO, while its give and take, I want the IAF to take more than give, but I guess it wont be that straightforward.
IMHO, we should exercise with multiple AF worldwide and pick up more and more "edges", that will more than be worth it in a shooting war. An entire playbook of tactics which constantly change & we remain ten steps ahead of the opposition.