Aditya G wrote:I think Combat Hawk may have some potential in IAF if it is developed as an upgrade package, and not a new plane. IAF may find that the upgrades improve the quality and content of the training delivered to student pilots - in which case it will be a win win. It will also allow IAF to use student pilots to deliver a small range of combat missions, such as flying CAPs over own airbases like Agra and Gwalior.
However, we should not entertain the notion that Hawk can supplement the squadron shortfall. When the balloon goes up, IAF will throw all hawks into the battle and we will end up loosing a lot of good men.
In war, IAF's #1 priority will be to ensure air defence over own territory and over own troops. Hawk will be found wanting in that role as it will not have the speed to intercept Paki fighters. Even if an intercept is made, can Hawk defeat even a F-7PG with eye-ball mark-2 alone? Even an old MiG-21FL is preferred in such circumstances.
During peacetime, I doubt Hawks can intercept a high flying airliner. For UAV interception, LCH or Apaches may be better suited.
Nevertheless, I am wonder how Hawk compares to Hawker Hunter in performance. If all things remain same as in 1965, could Hawks attack Sargodha?
Aditya why do you keep on harping on air combat. Attacking the enemy on the ground at the border and just beyond the border are roles that take up at least 50% of the air force's attention and the combat Hawk will be for that role. Top cover when necessary will be by some other aircraft. Did you see Air Cmde Tikoo Sen's (BRF handle Abhibhushan) vision of a future aircraft that I posted earlier? Whenever we discuss combat on this forum all we seem to talk about is air combat. Why? It is the ground attack role that is just as important in war. Air combat capability is to facilitate that ground attack role as far as possible.