Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Karan M
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 02:04

IAF conducts multiple exercises throughout the year.

Also, TACDE info from way back. It would have advanced significantly over time. ACMI was added. More systems entered AF (including the Su-30 MKI).

For the lethal WVR arena, TACDE is where the threat of IIR CCMs with Helmet cueing will be extensively modeled and studied (and if we are lucky) some counters may be devised.

RF BVR can be fought with SPJs, and a variety of measures.

http://iaf00.tripod.com/tacde.html

The final phase of the course is the applied phase, wherein the trainees of all the four courses get an opportunity to operate in a real war-like scenario. This is done during a major exercise which is conducted at the end of each course. In this exercise, known as "Akraman", the trainees get an opportunity to plan and put into practice all tactics taught to them during the course with the emphasis being on integration of different facets of air power with mission accomplishment as the final goal.
The exercise involves 30 to 35 aircraft getting airborne at a time. This gives trainees an exposure to the planning required to undertake such missions. To carry out unrestricted training, this exercise is held at Gwalior twice a year. The successful trainees are given the symbol of Fighter Combat Leader(FCL), Fighter Strike Leader (FSL) and Master Fighter Controller (MFC).

In June 1994, the establishment replaced the MiG-21M/MF with MiG-27ML strike aircraft for role-oriented FSL training. However courses on MiG-21M/MF and Jaguars are conducted on an, as and when required basis.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby ldev » 19 May 2016 02:16

Karan M wrote:Check this out.

http://i.imgur.com/z1CVp5L.jpg

Waiting for the day that formation is above the Himalayas with AMCA, Su-30 MKI, Tejas, & FGFA.


The nearest aircraft is an F-22 with the SU-30MKI flying next to it with the Jaguar further down, with 2xF16s, 1xF15 and 1xF18.

Mods, please resize/delete if this interfers with page scrolling.

Image

ShauryaT
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby ShauryaT » 19 May 2016 05:09

brar_w: Imagine me in the MoD with an ability to write a check for $100 billion for IAF acquisition plans and IAF trying to convince me why they need every bit of those three letter acronyms in use in military tech jargon for the next 10 years. This is of course for India and the likely threats we will face against our likely opponents and objectives we have for our air force.

I am being told to make these massive investments in sensor suites, BVR weapons, 5th gen platforms, PGM's, high performance engines, SAM, BMD, etc. More so, I am being told to make choices, some of which go against my long term political interests or costs which do impinge on budgets.

What I fear is happening at these exercises. We are learning to operate as a "joint" force and getting exposed to more technology that supposedly will add "teeth" to our war fighting abilities. This is a direct interpretation from the MoD statement. IOW: Learning to operate as an "allied" force, duplicating and replicating to some degree US capabilities and approaches - A interest of the US towards India, my MoD has to be aware of.

If my poor country is coming up to cold (and beautiful) Alaska, do not tell me it is only to get some aviation experiences and a pat in the back. They have to tell me something more that can serve my interest and hopefully not only in the way the US wants to see it. Yes, the boys performed well but what have I learnt that goes towards making choices for the future, as a data point for a real-world scenario.

My forces are fighting with a force, which has invested in a strategy called "technological over match" and it costs to replicate the same. What is the ROI for real world scenarios, is the question. What are the likely risks for not doing so is the question. Just because the US has a particular strategy and its corresponding investments, does not automatically make it so for India too and if so, to what degree and at what pace? The data points are towards understanding policy choices. My questions are towards the same.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 19 May 2016 05:55

Shaurya you make an interesting point and I cannot argue and say that your points are wrong. But look at it this way. When it comes to power projection - even if it means fighting just 3000 km away using a base that is itself outside Indian shores (eg liberating an Island in the Indian ocean operating from Andamans) this experience is invaluable. The pressure on the IAF to keep all planes flying 100% of the days is an experience that simulates war more than anything else can in peacetime. Especially regarding transports I have heard IAF people say that unlike airlines that have to keep to schedules the IAF regularly cancels or reschedules flights if the weather is bad of if some sub system needs attention. That aside I am glad to see that the F-22 has made an appearance. While our normal state of mind is to fear China only the US can give us exposure to what a really capable stealth platform can achieve. So along with all the negatives - there are positives. And finally if the IAF has seen stuff put them in a spot of trouble - that learning would be invaluable.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 19 May 2016 06:08

@ShauryaT ^^^: "What is the ROI for real world scenarios, is the question. What are the likely risks for not doing so is the question."

What are the scenarios and the answers? Seriously, (no sarcasm implied or to be inferred).

Not seeing China as an adversary during the 1950s Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai phase got us 1962. How do we prevent a rerun?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby ShauryaT » 19 May 2016 06:22

shiv wrote:Shaurya you make an interesting point and I cannot argue and say that your points are wrong. But look at it this way. When it comes to power projection - even if it means fighting just 3000 km away using a base that is itself outside Indian shores (eg liberating an Island in the Indian ocean operating from Andamans) this experience is invaluable. The pressure on the IAF to keep all planes flying 100% of the days is an experience that simulates war more than anything else can in peacetime. Especially regarding transports I have heard IAF people say that unlike airlines that have to keep to schedules the IAF regularly cancels or reschedules flights if the weather is bad of if some sub system needs attention. That aside I am glad to see that the F-22 has made an appearance. While our normal state of mind is to fear China only the US can give us exposure to what a really capable stealth platform can achieve. So along with all the negatives - there are positives. And finally if the IAF has seen stuff put them in a spot of trouble - that learning would be invaluable.
Shiv ji: Not arguing against these exercises. On the contrary, trying to see what have we learnt that adds to our knowledge that act as data points for informed decisions. But, seriously, are there any non IAF personnel in the MoD even asking these questions. What seems clear is there is a "design" on the part of the US to influence our folks, which is fair.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 19 May 2016 08:13

Re. That red flag pic....So finally it has happened...crown jewels exposed..

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby deejay » 19 May 2016 09:05

manjgu wrote:why cant the so called Indian IT vity wallas in cooperation with IAF do a desi chota REd Flag excercise?


Ha, this is an assumption right? You don't imagine that IAF landed up at multiple of these exercise and did well without practice.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 09:24

ShauryaT wrote:I am being told to make these massive investments in sensor suites, BVR weapons, 5th gen platforms, PGM's, high performance engines, SAM, BMD, etc. More so, I am being told to make choices, some of which go against my long term political interests or costs which do impinge on budgets.


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.
That by itself, as versus the glossies shown by arms vendors and seeing the actual equipment that works and how its used, is invaluable

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Shreeman » 19 May 2016 10:27

deejay wrote:
manjgu wrote:why cant the so called Indian IT vity wallas in cooperation with IAF do a desi chota REd Flag excercise?


Ha, this is an assumption right? You don't imagine that IAF landed up at multiple of these exercise and did well without practice.


dont be silly. widow makers are for showing the SHQ at home fine skills by flying low over own home. air forces dont practice or anything during peacetime, they take these pills. look up google about the imported pills now availsble to eyeAyeEff. No one will tell you how they would have failed if the medicashun was not imported.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby shiv » 19 May 2016 14:51

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. 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.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 19 May 2016 15:00

Cain Marko wrote:Re. That red flag pic....So finally it has happened...crown jewels exposed..


Exposed? How so? These aircraft are designed to, and have conducted training, and large force exercises (in addition to deploying) with many international air-forces and have systems, and checks (hardware and software) built into them to allow for these things to occur and not expose any of its more potent features such as RCS, Radar modes, and other EW/EA systems inside. Even the B-2 and the F-117 had been designed with that in mind and allowed their operators to safely and without fear of letting out the capability, take part in Red Flag exercises over the years. It would be quite stupid not to bake these things in and deprive your pilots and crews the opportunity to learn in a multi-nation setting with highly diverse capability, and tactics especially so if you expect to fight alongside many of these allies.

The F-22 has been in bi-lateral or multi-lateral exercises with foreign Typhoons, rafale's, F-16's, F/A-18's, Flankers (Malaysia), Mig-29's etc. By this time its capabilities and shortcomings are well understood. Kinematics is where it reigns supreme, in WVR it has a major shortcoming in that it does not yet have an HMS and HOBS missile (some units just went live with the 9x) although that will soon change. Its real combat capability of deploying at high altitude, at high speed and lobbing Aim-120C7/D is also unlikely to show up in a multi-nation Red Flag where performance is restricted. They have Northern Edge and other exercises for that.

In nonafterburning, full military power, the Raptor can operate at slightly above 50,000 ft. However, it is known that the F-22 opened its aerial battles at about 65,000 ft. during its first joint exercise in Alaska, apparently using afterburner.
Last edited by brar_w on 19 May 2016 19:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby ldev » 19 May 2016 18:35

IAF Jaguars making a nice crosswind landing at Gander Airport, Canada, on their way back from Red Flag.


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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby ldev » 19 May 2016 18:53

And the SU-30s also landing at Gander on their way back from Red Flag.


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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Eric Leiderman » 19 May 2016 19:45

At some stage in the future the IAF will be assessing the FGFA/T50

Even though the F22 capabilities have been only partially exposed, (as have our BARS capabilities)

There will be parameters which can be compared and deficiencies reduced or eliminated.

Overall very valuable experience for the IAF (as these pilots will be de-briefed and lessons learnt will be incorporated in our training regime)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 19 May 2016 19:57

Its just not the radar modes that aren’t shared in an international large force exercise. Its also the RCS (among other things) and kinematic performance. They have two ways to mask that. First is to simply delay depot visits and schedule them after a major exercise. The F-22 has an RCS management system that tracks dings, and major surface repairs and their impact on the RCS. Once a threshold is reached, they recommend going back to the depot and undergo an RCS restoration process before heading out to a deployment etc. In the past they have relaxed that requirement in order to keep the aircraft flying more at a lower cost. On top of that, they also wear Luneburg lenses on even foreign deployments for non-exercise purposes.

Needless to say that all this impacts the tactics and how the system is deployed but that aside, tactics and procedures are something that the IAF can get a good idea on (what works, what doesn’t in its context) when they go up against the raptor.

Also, despite the HMS/HOBS constraints they can also get a fairly good idea of its close in performance. The long range stealthy attack tactics however won’t be revealed in such a setting. They reserve a full red-flag, and other exercises for that.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby nirav » 19 May 2016 20:06

The F22s have flown with the bakis too .. USAF seem to have a pretty solid "air exercise" mode on the Raptors ..

Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 19 May 2016 21:19

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Re. That red flag pic....So finally it has happened...crown jewels exposed..


Exposed? How so? These aircraft are designed to, and have conducted training, and large force exercises (in addition to deploying) with many international air-forces and have systems, and checks (hardware and software) built into them to allow for these things to occur and not expose any of its more potent features such as RCS, Radar modes, and other EW/EA systems inside. Even the B-2 and the F-117 had been designed with that in mind and allowed their operators to safely and without fear of letting out the capability, take part in Red Flag exercises over the years. It would be quite stupid not to bake these things in and deprive your pilots and crews the opportunity to learn in a multi-nation setting with highly diverse capability, and tactics especially so if you expect to fight alongside many of these allies.

The F-22 has been in bi-lateral or multi-lateral exercises with foreign Typhoons, rafale's, F-16's, F/A-18's, Flankers (Malaysia), Mig-29's etc. By this time its capabilities and shortcomings are well understood. Kinematics is where it reigns supreme, in WVR it has a major shortcoming in that it does not yet have an HMS and HOBS missile (some units just went live with the 9x) although that will soon change. Its real combat capability of deploying at high altitude, at high speed and lobbing Aim-120C7/D is also unlikely to show up in a multi-nation Red Flag where performance is restricted. They have Northern Edge and other exercises for that.

In nonafterburning, full military power, the Raptor can operate at slightly above 50,000 ft. However, it is known that the F-22 opened its aerial battles at about 65,000 ft. during its first joint exercise in Alaska, apparently using afterburner.


I understand all that you put forth, but my comment was in the context of a comment long time ago that iaf should only truly show mki capability if the f22s were brought into the exercises...AFAIK, despite numerous bilateral exercises between the two forces, this is the first time raptors are in play.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 21:28

shiv wrote:
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 :P :P ). 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 :lol: :lol: .

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.
Last edited by Karan M on 19 May 2016 21:50, edited 1 time in total.

Indranil
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 19 May 2016 21:50

Shiv ji and Karan,

Please stop going at each other for a moment. There is nothing to win here, except an internet argument. Consider going back a few pages and reading your own comments. You both have to tried to prove whose knowledge of history, geography and modern airfare is more correct. And now you guys are trying to prove whose allegiance and patriotism is more pure :roll:

Come on you oldies. You can do much better than this.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 21:56

Indranil, care to point out where I have gone at Shiv and called his patriotism into question? Go ahead, show me the quotes. Otherwise, kindly don't ascribe motives where none exist.

You both have to tried to prove whose knowledge of history, geography and modern airfare is more correct. And now you guys are trying to prove whose allegiance and patriotism is more pure


I don't know what's going through Shiv's head or claim to know his thoughts.

I didn't presume he called my patriotism into question. I took his statement at face value and answered it.

You are more than welcome to show your knowledge of history, geography, air warfare and how correct it is, if you think we are not up to scratch.

Go ahead, share how you think the IAF should approach BVR, WVR, pros & cons etc as I haven't seen a single detailed post from you on those lines in the recent discussion about what capabilities the IAF has, should pursue and what are their pros and cons. Its a cheap shot to make such comments then when you haven't been contributing to the discussion.

For the record, and I base this objectively, the IAF is second to none in skill & tactics. It however has a ways to go in acquiring significant capabilities which others have - items like LRAAMs, stealth fighters, LRSAMs etc. They will come as our indigenous capabilities mature and partner programs advance.

Till then and even after that (see the USAF for example) these exercises will remain valuable because of the constant change in systems and technologies that constantly occur.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 19 May 2016 22:40

It is okay. Intentions and perceptions don't always match. Let's just cool it off for a while. We are spiraling down to unnecessary chatter which is not befitting of posters like yourselves.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 22:55

I still don't quite get what you mean. If you want me to stop replying to Shiv, fine - I can do that..

.......................................................................

BTW, for the best AF tag - for the IAF, IMHO these are the basics:

Training

    Current tempo of int'l exercises + simulators for all major types at all bases
    Hawk/Pilatus/HTT-40 at high serviceability + LCA LIFT for advanced tactics at a MOFTU equivalent
    Pilot: Airframe ratio of 1.5:1 (as mandated) or even 2:1
    Simulation work at IISc etc about specific attributes of different engagements

Equipment
Aircraft
    75%+ serviceability & all issues resolved with bulk of fleet.
    Networked targeting with AWACS support. Use FCRs only for quick fixes. Will drastically improve BVR efficacy. Go look at standard fighter SPJs & then figure of what use are x-Band jammers when dealing with S/L/UHV etc bands.
    Ample munitions - means local Astra, NGARM, NGLGBs, Nirbhay, ASB-Glide & variants in bulk production and induction
    LRAAMs - of both RF & IIR types
    WVRAAMs for bulk of IAF fleet need a change (Su-30 MKI uses R73E whose kinematic characteristics are well known to most AF WW by now, even assuming IAF got a customized seeker)
    Complete sensor fusion (beyond the 7 IACCS)
    Ample supply of EW aids (not just x pods for y fighters), MAWS, investment in next gen aids (DIRCM)

Force multipliers
    More AWACS - AWACS India program needs to focus on bistatic radars
    More UAVs including UCAVs for S/DEAD
    IFR (the biggest need right now)
    Bistatic radars
    Choppers for IA support

SAMs
    LRSAMs - S4XX or Indian equivalent for key IACCS and strat nodes; AFB need to be protected against PLAAF Arty strikes
    VSHORADS (Igla is our best bet right now, eons old and countermeasures developed by NATO).
    CIWS for PGMs
    Defensive aids - eg chaff & flare for LGBs, GPS jammers for GPS guided bombs

And most importantly constantly working with local industry for getting local hardware. From the security aspect this is vital.

So how many AF can field the above? I can think of only one which has most (not all) of these aspects in play. Good point though is IAF is also working on many of these aspects as is local R&D.

Recent report of DRDO & Ukraine working together on ESM - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolchuga_passive_sensor.
That's what it looks like to me.
We already have capabilities there:
Divya Drishti is a joint SI Dte – DRDO programme, with the aim of interception, monitoring, direction finding and analysis (IMDFAS) of communication signals. The system will be installed at various locations on static and mobile stations. All stations will be connected through a satellite communication network. The system caters to the mission of building aircraft flight profile (Mission Analysis).


There is no "best". More reasonable question to ask is, can IAF fulfill its warfighting aims and what does it take for that.

IMHO point 1 - serviceability of existing fleet is the biggest priority plus ample supplies of defensive aids and munitions.

Rest can be managed.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 19 May 2016 23:40

^^^ Thank you.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 23:46

Indranil, hardly an issue. Let me just stick to facts in the thread, will make your admin load easier. I can understand where you are coming from.

I wish there was a sticky wherein we just post important developments of the AF. Not discussions etc. Can admins do that? Important points. Leave aside the bla bla of DDM or our consequent whine-concern-anger-fests. But then we have so much DDM. Some amount of editorializing will occur.

I am concerned we lose out the real valuable points.

Right now for instance, one would have to download the entire thread and then parse details.

I was updating the BR Wiki, I guess that's the other option.
Last edited by Karan M on 19 May 2016 23:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 23:47

For instance, this was an attempt to catalogue what the MiG-29 is really capable of - looking at IAF and outside both.

I looked at various exercises wherein MiG-29s took on various other aircraft and weapons systems.

http://bharatrakshak.wikia.com/wiki/MiG-29
Last edited by Karan M on 19 May 2016 23:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2016 23:50

I wanted to constantly update the above & create sub sites for each aircraft type. Never got around to it (time). Plus there is always the sneaky thought whether even collating all this information publicly is good or bad.

nirav
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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby nirav » 20 May 2016 00:00

wonderful page there .. great work !

I like the idea of having news and discussions threads separate .. the discussions thread tends to veer off in to wayy OT stuff routinely ..

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Mihir » 20 May 2016 00:19

The IAF exercises with the Israelis too.

When did this happen? In a hush-hush manner out of the public eye, I presume?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Indranil » 20 May 2016 00:24

Karan,

Completely agree with you. The "all-gyan-no-mess" threads were an interim measure. But, modifying old posts is still a difficulty. We have been considering what you are suggesting for some time, but never really made an honest effort towards it.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2016 01:55

Mihir,

Public reports of pilots with the IDFAF in years past.
Of course now with F-16 Block 50/52s coming to KKD the need to send folks reduces.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby srai » 20 May 2016 03:01

Karan M wrote:...

BTW, for the best AF tag - for the IAF, IMHO these are the basics:

Training

    Current tempo of int'l exercises + simulators for all major types at all bases
    Hawk/Pilatus/HTT-40 at high serviceability + LCA LIFT for advanced tactics at a MOFTU equivalent
    Pilot: Airframe ratio of 1.5:1 (as mandated) or even 2:1
    Simulation work at IISc etc about specific attributes of different engagements

Equipment
Aircraft
    75%+ serviceability & all issues resolved with bulk of fleet.
    Networked targeting with AWACS support. Use FCRs only for quick fixes. Will drastically improve BVR efficacy. Go look at standard fighter SPJs & then figure of what use are x-Band jammers when dealing with S/L/UHV etc bands.
    Ample munitions - means local Astra, NGARM, NGLGBs, Nirbhay, ASB-Glide & variants in bulk production and induction
    LRAAMs - of both RF & IIR types
    WVRAAMs for bulk of IAF fleet need a change (Su-30 MKI uses R73E whose kinematic characteristics are well known to most AF WW by now, even assuming IAF got a customized seeker)
    Complete sensor fusion (beyond the 7 IACCS)
    Ample supply of EW aids (not just x pods for y fighters), MAWS, investment in next gen aids (DIRCM)

Force multipliers
    More AWACS - AWACS India program needs to focus on bistatic radars
    More UAVs including UCAVs for S/DEAD
    IFR (the biggest need right now)
    Bistatic radars
    Choppers for IA support

SAMs
    LRSAMs - S4XX or Indian equivalent for key IACCS and strat nodes; AFB need to be protected against PLAAF Arty strikes
    VSHORADS (Igla is our best bet right now, eons old and countermeasures developed by NATO).
    CIWS for PGMs
    Defensive aids - eg chaff & flare for LGBs, GPS jammers for GPS guided bombs

And most importantly constantly working with local industry for getting local hardware. From the security aspect this is vital.

So how many AF can field the above? I can think of only one which has most (not all) of these aspects in play. Good point though is IAF is also working on many of these aspects as is local R&D.

...
IMHO point 1 - serviceability of existing fleet is the biggest priority plus ample supplies of defensive aids and munitions.

Rest can be managed.


Good summary. For the initial phase of war, I would stress on LR-PGMs for offense along with DEAD tools (NGARM, LR-PGM with smart bomblets, air-launched decoys (MALD) and standoff-jamming/ECCM) for enemy MR/LR-SAM defenses.

IMO, bulk production followed by low-rate production with a capacity to expand should be the norm for local precision munitions. 250-1000 units/year would be bulk production and for low-rate production 25-100 units/year. For those inducted, a MLU should be planned at 10-years when life-extension work is required.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 May 2016 04:26

FAF? Same as above. Add EW - the French are widely reputed for great EW.


Mostly hype when uber capability bordering absurdity is attributed to their systems (although they are highly advanced). I wouldn't put them superior to any of the others listed in there. They have nothing remotely equivalent to the VAQ community within the USN. I don't know the size and scope of their dedicated EW exercises, and what sort of ranges and experimentation that is made available but I haven't read about their upgrades over the last few years. As far as R&D and S&T efforts are concerned, again I really don't see any significant dedicated funding stream that justified their status given around online (mostly by french posters claiming a level of capability that pretty much defies logic) or even makes them superior to say the UK.

I would put the Israelis much higher to them when it comes to tactical EA/EW and of course the US has much more resources in both tactical and strategic Cyber/EW domain. To fight in the EM-Spectrum you need resilient waveforms, and wide-band jamming that can match the emitter agility(and with the SAM envelopes you need range that can't come from an internal self-defense suite) and of course you need a boatload of SA on the emitter threat (this is where the sheer number of EW resources and cyber comes in). You can't jam an agile emitter (Data link, Radar or a Comms node) if you don't read it and understand it (here EW is more important than EA and this is where cognitive and cooperative/Distributed EW comes in as a discipline within the EW/A community). The best they field is a self-defense EW/EA suite on their tactical fighter which has a capability set that isn't exclusive either - and that needs that for survivability for its its first line of defense against incoming SAM's (No stealth). They really aren't fielding many (if any) systems designed to meet these specific goals. Perhaps with the Neuron and its support assets that would change.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby aharam » 20 May 2016 06:12

Hi,
It's been a while since I posted. The discussion over the last few pages has been very enlightening, so I figured my 2 cents may be added.

Looking at force structure, IAF's goal should be to get to what USAF operated in the early to mid 2000s, barring the high end of envelope, i.e. F22s. Essentially, IAF needs a low, mid, heavy mix. At this point, LCA should be the low, and low is always procured in numbers, since it kinda forms the backbone. From a capabilities perspective, it can easily be superior to the F16 and that should be the goal. Mid is where we have a hole, and honestly, I don't believe at the price point the Rafale is the answer - too expensive for capabilities it has. It would have been a good mid if its price point enabled procurement in the 200s number range, but that is clearly not the case and 36 is laughable. If you have fewer medium fighters than heavy, exactly how does a commander decide what he can afford to lose?

The heavy end appears to be well manned by the MKI, I wish in was in the AF long enough to be able to fly it, but age catches up to everyone I guess. The problem with the heavy end is availability and serviceability. Here, IAF surprisingly has the numbers and maybe the focus should be on improving what we have to get near 80% availability at any point. Failing that, increase numbers so a 65% availability is good enough and the fear factor of not knowing the exact availability is a good deterrence.

Given this, the low, mid, heavy may not actually work and all indications seem to point to a missing mid. This can be compensated with low and heavy, since our heavy appears to be procurable in numbers and that is really what we should be doing.

This capability creep, associated mission creep parallels the development of tanks in WWII and post - we used to have light, medium and heavy tanks all of which ended up in the MBT. We can easily field a light, heavy AF as long as capability gaps in each design are plugged by the other and force deployment parallels this gap in capabilities. The good thing with this is that only pie in the sky requirements can result in overlap of low and heavy capabilities, so there is room to grow at either end.

Wasting further time and effort in the medium category appears futile at best, with mission creep in the low end and numbers at the high end eating into the fundamental requirement for the mid. Mediums were supposed to be better than light fighters and procurable in numbers much greater than heavy - if that's not the case, time to question the basics.

Just my 2 cents, please tear away.

Cheers
Aharam

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby srai » 20 May 2016 07:29

^^^

Agreed. Rafale's outrageous costs doesn't justify a medium category buy. $8-10 billion for just 36 Rafales with only 5-year support and no weapons in that package doesn't make any sense. For that same amount of money, the IAF could acquire 3 more squadrons each of Su-30MKI and LCA Mk.1/A along with force multipliers.

With the ongoing retirements of MiG-21 and MiG-27, the immediate replacement need seems to be more in the light category. That's where the LCA Mk.1/A fits in. Some 12 squadrons would be needed here. Production is getting ramped up to 16/year with the potential for up to 25/year once Tier-1 component assembly outsourcing takes place fully. That's one-to-two squadrons a year capacity, and this should be utilized fully, especially given the price of LCA Mk.1 stands at $30 million/unit. If numbers are needed at affordable prices, then LCA fits the bill.

Medium category, for the time being, are being served by recently upgraded MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar. Together they make up 12 squadrons and will serve the IAF till 2030-2035. As opportunities arise, few more second-hands could be acquired either for additional reserves or to raise couple of more squadrons. By 2025, LCA Mk.2, which is almost the size of Mirage-2000, would be coming online. AMCA would be around the corner too post 2030.

Heavy category made up with license produced Su-30MKI at a rate of 12-14/year should be continued for a few more years past 2019 when all 272 units will be delivered. HAL has acquired the capability to build Su-30MKIs from raw materials. Huge infrastructure already exists and a lot of time and energy have gone into increasing their serviceability rates. Growth potential of this platform is immense as well. "Super MKI" MLU is on the works. These heavies could do all the missions envisaged for a medium category aircraft albeit at a bit higher costs per sortie for certain mission profiles. But given huge Rafale acquisition cost, operating costs would not be that much of a factor in the long run; the costs over 30-year ownership (including acquisition cost) would turn out to be very similar. For long-range, heavies perform better.
Last edited by srai on 20 May 2016 13:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2016 13:50

Brar_W wrote:Mostly hype when uber capability bordering absurdity is attributed to their systems (although they are highly advanced). I wouldn't put them superior to any of the others listed in there. They have nothing remotely equivalent to the VAQ community within the USN. I don't know the size and scope of their dedicated EW exercises, and what sort of ranges and experimentation that is made available but I haven't read about their upgrades over the last few years. As far as R&D and S&T efforts are concerned, again I really don't see any significant dedicated funding stream that justified their status given around online (mostly by french posters claiming a level of capability that pretty much defies logic) or even makes them superior to say the UK.


I rate them highly based on the ranking both by JED which was basically the trade mag for the EW operators group AOC - Association of Old Crows having some interviews based on how they do EW. Interviews with other NATO AF with their experiences vis a vis FAF in Europe & Tom Cooper et al's notations re: French gear in Iraq-Iran conflict. Online posters have little to do with it..

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 May 2016 14:05

JED covers tactics and developments (their educational series from a decade or so ago were 'gold') and I have had the privilege of meeting some of their most prolific contributors and attending a few of their sessions over the years and they generally tend to respect the French just as about as much as others - and of course many elsewhere rate them highly. I don't however, see much in their current inventory and pipeline to support the sort of status that some (not you) have attributed to them. They are good yes, but right about at par with other NATO forces that are similarly or better resourced. Again, I would put the IDF ahead when it comes to EW/EA in many areas and the US quite a bit ahead in that it still has much higher levels of R&D and S&T spending and still maintains an exclusively EA/EW focused community within both the USAF and USN apart from the handful of larger platforms for the passive mission. Outside of the SIGNIT mission they haven't been making the sort of strategic investments to conduct modern large scale EA/EW and haven't really fielded or shown an inclination to field EW capability for their TAC Fleet that is cross spectrum and beyond just defensive protection for their fighter fleet.

As I said perhaps that can change with the arrival of the Neuron, but at the moment they will fight the high end battle under the NATO umbrella and needless to say a very significant amount of the EA/EW work performed for that umbrella would be using non French assets. This months JED highlights the need for a robust R&D effort to overcome the challenges that have tilted the fight in favor of the defenders by opening up huge swaths of the spectrum previously not used (through agile emitters). In the US for example EA/EW R&D outpaces EA/EW procurement by a factor of 3-4 (JHED May 2016 - John Knowles) and this is the need of the hour for high end EA/EW work is going to be an order of magnitude more complex compared to what has been conducted in the previous 2-3 decades and if you don't make investments in systems NOW, you won't have them in the acquisition phase in 5-10 years when they are needed. This is true for both EA and EW. I'll have to dig through JED to see whether they have covered any french NG system plans at all but with the FCAS (Neuron/Taranis etc) they do open up another dimension with passive EW and can work a number of systems into that operational construct say a decade down the road when the first examples could possibly appear - things that they can't really do with the non stealthy fighter fleet that has a different EA/EW requirement footprint and tactics. For Non Russian (and now Chinese) 'western' air-forces I would put the USAF/USN and IDF miles ahead when it comes to EA/EW resources, R&D and capability..Some of the capability that is in the experimentation phase (generally 5-8 years away from being 'operationalized' in the EW domain) is eye watering and with the resurgence in EW spending it would practically make the current EW/EA systems obsolete the day it is put to use, even the really high end stuff currently in service with the western AF's.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2016 14:29

Most of their EW work tends to be held under wraps and brought out for selective usage under NATO exercises to validate their concerpts or exports to good old munnas as was done during the past Iraq conflict. Way before the US focus on LPI/Stealth became public, I remember reading french interviews where they were eschewing high power systems and thinking of more discreet methods of getting sensor to shooter information in. In short they were tracking what was happening in the US etc and were matching it (to the level of their funding). And given they could not afford LO/VLO, it makes sense they looked at EW as more critical than before.

Even straight logic helps in that Thales, Safran & MBDA together comprise three of the world's largest (and best) avionics and missile houses. The sword & shield being under one or commonly aligned houses helps in understanding the state of the art and countering it. Their radars & electronics systems which India has inducted are usually proven, and work.

Israel is in the same boat but personally, they tend to be over hyped viz overall military prowess thanks to the high number of part timers. These help in weapons develoment as a bridge between regulars and developers but as soldiers, their SOPs are sometimes jaw dropping.I remember before an assault into an urban environment at night, their squad leader yelling into a megaphone to gather his newbie soldiers together. Good going there. The first house assault ended in a firefight.

They are very good, technologically, no doubt, but their SOPs and general state of affairs viz draftees, making them into an uber force is myth making assiduously done often to for specific national objectives (i.e. dissuade the Arabs). They are world leaders along with the US in terms of disposable and self propelled decoys though as shown in the Bekaa conflict. Also, every once in a while, they tend to sell half baked stuff to other countries which has not had its niggles worked out and then depend on the customer funding or waiting till solutions are found. With the French, you pay a premium, but mostly, you get what you paid for.
Last edited by Karan M on 20 May 2016 14:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 May 2016 14:36

Most of their EW work tends to be held under wraps and brought out for selective usage under NATO exercises to validate their concerpts or exports to good old munnas as was done during the past Iraq conflict. Even straight logic helps in that Thales, Safran & MBDA together comprise three of the world's largest (and best) avionics and missile houses. The sword & shield being under one or commonly aligned houses helps in understanding the state of the art and countering it.


That is the case with practically all high end EW/EA capability for all users. Its the nature of the beast. Even the US reserves at least 2 (if not more) large force exercise types a year so that it can fight with full spectrum and use its Cyber and EW capability to practice with it in a joint manner. They don't use it on even NATO exercises to its full capacity.

Even straight logic helps in that Thales, Safran & MBDA together comprise three of the world's largest (and best) avionics and missile houses.


I wouldnt look it in that way given its consolidated. A better way would be to compare investments. How much do they spend on EW, Space and Cyber (they are increasingly linked - more so in the high end EMS battle) for example compared to their peers that have similar economic conditions. That is more important since a consolidated industry often leads to perception of lots of size and depth but what is important is how many projects they are receiving funding on and what is the size of that funding. I wouldnt think they'd be much different from the UK (in this joint spending) and the US is of course miles ahead. The EW--Cyber--Space spending in the US is about the 65-70% of the Overall French Defense spending.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation - 21 Sept 2015

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2016 14:39

brar_w wrote:That is the case with practically all high end EW/EA capability for all users. Its the nature of the beast. Even the US reserves at least 2 (if not more) large force exercise types a year so that it can fight with full spectrum and use its Cyber and EW capability to practice with it in a joint manner. They don't use it on even NATO exercises to its full capacity.


Ditto for the French & I've read multiple accounts of participants in these exercises rating French capabilities very highly.

I wouldnt look it in that way given its consolidated. A better way would be to compare investments. H


I'd take consolidation any day over just investments. The first can lend a very high degree of synergy and efficiency at a reasonable level of invest.


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