Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby sarabpal.s » 05 Jan 2013 15:21

EH 101 spotted flying in delhi.
IMHO they become operational from palam airport

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 05 Jan 2013 15:47

These eh101 are for netas only. Will never be used in war or even disaster relief. For all our purpose they dont exist.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby D Roy » 05 Jan 2013 18:17

there are actually 330 million gods or 33 crore. Westerners often make this mistake.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby srin » 06 Jan 2013 10:40

Singha wrote:These eh101 are for netas only. Will never be used in war or even disaster relief. For all our purpose they dont exist.


And Augusta Westland won't be blacklisted as long as they supply these despite all sorts of allegations and investigations.

If only we can have VVIP Artillery guns ... :twisted:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 06 Jan 2013 15:12

shiv wrote:This is not about not wanting more refuelers, but asking what operational requirements refuelers will be asked to fulfil for India. I can tell you how the US uses its refuelers. It does not put them at risk, and does not lose them, But it uses them for very long range overseas missions, for long range training flights and to extent loiter time or range by refueling over safe airspace. The US uses them for power projection. What will India use them for and how?


1. Less need to base assets close to the border, where they are more vulnerable to air strikes

2. Ability to strike at longer ranges over enemy territory / ocean

3. More loiter time over enemy targets / area of operations

4. Ability to carry more weapons for a long range strike

5. More flexibility for retrieving aircraft if the 'home base' is having issues

6. Long range deployments e.g. Red Flag

7. Defence of Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep, etc.

There must be 10 other reasons I can't think of as well.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 06 Jan 2013 22:29

eklavya wrote:
1. Less need to base assets close to the border, where they are more vulnerable to air strikes

2. Ability to strike at longer ranges over enemy territory / ocean

3. More loiter time over enemy targets / area of operations

4. Ability to carry more weapons for a long range strike

5. More flexibility for retrieving aircraft if the 'home base' is having issues

6. Long range deployments e.g. Red Flag

7. Defence of Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep, etc.

There must be 10 other reasons I can't think of as well.


The original point was, how many of these missions call for the loss of a few refuellers to enemy fire as part of their job description?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby eklavya » 06 Jan 2013 22:56

As far as I know, in the normal course of business, the refuelers operate in sanitised airspace.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vivek_ahuja » 07 Jan 2013 00:59

shiv wrote:The original point was, how many of these missions call for the loss of a few refuellers to enemy fire as part of their job description?


Just as a data point:

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the IRIAF (Iranian Air Force) possessed a larger force of airborne tankers based around the B-707 and even a B-747 design. During the war, these tankers saved countless lives and aircraft by providing refueling assistance to those that were declaring emergency on fuel while returning from attacking targets at ultra-low level in Iraq. Standard tanker stuff. As expected.

There were several instances however, where the tankers were made part of deep strike missions into western Iraq that required these tankers to enter enemy airspace under protection of F-14s to allow other aircraft such as the F-4s to go and strike iraqi airbases. During this time, the only security the tankers had were the F-14s escorting them and the idea was that they had enough air-dominance capability against Iraqi fighters at the time (up till about 1985/86) that they would be able to scare the opposition away just by lighting up their radars at long range and letting the Iraqi pilots know who's around.

So the Iranians understood that tankers were the force multipliers in their arsenal but for certain high value targets, they risked them as required.

Now against Pakistan, no such requirement for India exists. The Tankers will operate safely over Indian airspace.

But against China, once the initial Tibetan airbases are struck and suppressed, it might be operationally useful to be able to launch one-off style attacks against much afar airbases in mainland China for psychological reasons or even to create strategic feints. And these may be deemed important enough to use tankers over tibetan airspace (or the south-China sea :mrgreen: ) if necessary.

I am simply trying to point out that we should not close our minds from the outset about tankers being our achilles heal and therefore that our operations should be based around it rather than to use it as the true force-multiplier it really is. Aggressiveness and ability to take losses (whether you actually do or not can be argued based on how you protect these tankers wherever you take them) will count during a war with China.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Surya » 07 Jan 2013 01:44

The original point was, how many of these missions call for the loss of a few refuellers to enemy fire as part of their job description?


none because the general plan is there will designated sanitized spots where the tankers will loiter.
strike ingree and egress packages will know\or be told where to head if refueling is needed.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Surya » 07 Jan 2013 01:44

The original point was, how many of these missions call for the loss of a few refuellers to enemy fire as part of their job description?


none because the general plan is there will designated sanitized spots where the tankers will loiter.
strike ingree and egress packages will know\or be told where to head if refueling is needed.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_20317 » 07 Jan 2013 01:44

Vivek Ahuja ji, tankers over a contested airspace. Aap to marvane wali baat kar rahen hein.

Shiv ji tankers are exceedingly important for naval usage also. Imagine 4-5 chinese vessels floating around in IOR and your OTH radar (which we do not have) goes say 1000 km (already overambitious range) and the Admiral wants to look at say an average of 2-3 places per vessel. If this is not challenging enough imagine further 4 cheeni subs also enter IOR and whole of our navy begins to look for them, basically forcing you to use land based Su-30. Unfortunately in the oceanic realm Su-30 would be too short legged and with just one Brahmos also somewhat underarmed for such an operation. In such a scenario (easily supportable by the chinese) tankers will at least provide the range to Su-30.

Baaki sab Jajmaan ki shradha.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vivek_ahuja » 07 Jan 2013 01:50

ravi_g wrote:Vivek Ahuja ji, tankers over a contested airspace. Aap to marvane wali baat kar rahen hein.


I never said contested airspace. I said suppressed enemy airspace. Big operational difference between the two.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vivek_ahuja » 07 Jan 2013 02:00

Aditya G wrote:
vivek_ahuja wrote:

Code: Select all

  Tanker       Fuel (internal + cargo pallets; Kg)
A-310 MRTT           ~78,000
A-330 MRTT           110,000
IL-78MKI             105,720       
KC-135               ~80,000
KC-767                91,043
KC-10                160,200



How about a KC-130J? It should be the cheapest of the lot.

Offload rates per refueling pod can be up to 300 gallons / 2,040 lbs (1,135 liters / 925 kg) per minute simultaneously. The J tanker's offload is significantly greater than previous Herc tankers. As an example, at 1,000 nautical miles, the fuel offload is well over 45,000 lbs. Rapid ground refueling is also a premium capability. In austere conditions/scenarios, the KC-130J can refuel helicopters, vehicles, and fuel caches at 600 gallons / 4,080 lbs (2,270 liters / 1,850 kg) per minute.


The reason I didn't include the KC-130 in the above table is because of its slower speeds as a turboprop aircraft. Which means that jet fighters have to slow down quite a bit in order to tank with it. Not good.

But great for refueling other turboprop transports or helicopters. Unfortunately for us, none of our transports or helicopters have refueling capabilities. The transports are not needed to anyway in the Indian context, since they have enough range to operate to anywhere India really needs to go, unlike the USAF etc. But helicopters could use the capability. But here too we have a whole bunch of Russian helicopters and they never really bough into the idea of refueling helicopters in a big way as the Americans did.

Besides, we never want to go after terrorists etc in other countries anyway, so why to increase range of helicopters, hain ji? :((

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 05:58

vivek_ahuja wrote:
ravi_g wrote:Vivek Ahuja ji, tankers over a contested airspace. Aap to marvane wali baat kar rahen hein.


I never said contested airspace. I said suppressed enemy airspace. Big operational difference between the two.


Should we buy extra tankers so that we can lose one or two over airspace that we failed to suppress adequately? Even the US never envisaged tankers over Soviet territory. Iran/Iraq are different ball game

There are some risks that can probably be taken given adequate distance between the tanker in hostile airspace and air bases out of which hostile fighters can fly combined with known radar suppression/destruction. But are we buying extra tankers simply to plan such risky missions on the excuse that we must not rule out such things so let us buy a few extra that we can afford to lose?

The point is that tanker missions are not zero risk, but nevertheless you are not planning for "tanker attrition" as one might plan for fighter attrition. Fighter attrition will occur although you don't want any. In recent wars western air forces have managed to reduce even fighter combat attrition to near zero. But that was with unequal adversaries.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2013 07:05

the trick is surveil the area the tankers-fighters are going into continuously with a awacs placed further away. for instance in south china sea case, upto the point where the tanker holds back and lets the Su30s move further ahead to return later to same point for refueling on homeward leg, can be scanned by a awacs sitting 400km away to the south .... that will provide adequate warning without the strike pkg needing to on their radars. the awacs itself can refuel from the tanker before it holds back and lets the tankers+fighters go ahead.

suppose you need to strike a target 2500km away.
awacs + tanker + fighters take off
awacs tops up and holds back -> tankers and fighters move away
fighters top up
tanker holds back -> fighters move ahead
fighters complete strike and top up enroute back to awacs
awacs tops up and all return home :)

obviously its a high risk mission and the loss of the tanker or having it driven off station will mean the fighters do not make it back, the awacs being 400km nearer home and topped up might have a chance if another backup tanker can be sent out.

imo I have never understood why a big centerline rafale style fuel tank or a couple of inboard drop tanks cannot be used on the Su27 family. this would permit around 6000L of additional fuel for special DPSA missions.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 07:22

Singha wrote:
imo I have never understood why a big centerline rafale style fuel tank or a couple of inboard drop tanks cannot be used on the Su27 family. this would permit around 6000L of additional fuel for special DPSA missions.

If you are not into the "overseas force projection" business, there are only a limited number of countries in the world where deep strike would require longer overland ranges than fighters can manage. These would be Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, China, Australia and India. I have probably left out a few. The only "hot spots" where arms sellers and manufacturers would be planning raids for others would be India, China, Russia and USA. So in practice these would be the only four countries where one would talk of having aircraft for deep strike

The US and Russia have long range bombers but are now out of the game. That leaves only China and India - especially India wanting deep strike.

My feeling is that Indian deep strike should be outsourced to UCAVs and missiles. Forget manned fighters.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2013 09:07

yes but in the naval sense, given our lack of tankers, extra legs on the su30s would be a good to have thing.

btw with the passenger cabin of the A330MRTT totally empty (all offload fuel is carried in its normal tanks), there is scope for non-linear approaches for IN like a combi refueler-AEW which mounts the EMB145 radar and is a refueler as well.

this could help both land based su30 and ship based Mig29K extend their endurance while providing a long duration hawkeye type awacs cover to the fleet since the A330 has a huge endurance of around 20 hrs on full fuel + light payload.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 09:33

No question about overseas range and refuelling. The oceans are different from flying overflying China. There are vast "safe" expanses of ocean for refuelers. I suspect that the Indian requirement for refueling is not about overland hitting of China but overseas power projection in the Indian ocean, Malacca and Hormuz. These are the areas where refuellers can be used innovatively and to deadly effect.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2013 10:01

both the 787 and the A330 have very long range with full internal fuel and light payloads.

old record:
Qantas seem to have hit the record on taking delivery of one of their new Airbus A330-200s which flew non-stop from the factory at Toulouse, France to Melbourne, Australia, arriving on Christmas Day afternoon.

9,100 nautical miles (over 10,000 regular miles). 19 hours 45 minutes non-stop


new record:
787 test aircraft ZA006, powered by twin General Electric GEnx-1B engines, departed Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02 local time on an eastward route to Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6 December covering a distance of 19,835km (10,710nm) overflying New York and Luxor, Egypt on its leg to South Asia. The leg broke the distance record for the aircraft's weight class, 200 to 250t (440,000 to 550,000lbs), gaining credit for 19,144km (10,337nm).
The first record targeted by the 787 dates from December 2002 and is an endurance record for the 200-250t weight class aircraft held by an Airbus A330-200, which flew from Toulouse, France to Melbourne, Australia, covering 16,901km (9,126nm).



A330MRTT is a game changer for IN if we can acquire an adequate number. it can lead 6 su30 and refuel them upto 2-3 times probably extending their combat radius of 1500km to 3000km...or more if lesser num of fighters. this has already been tried out using Midas, all that talk of "6 hour missions"

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_23455 » 07 Jan 2013 10:09

"Deep Strike" Points to ponder:

1.The Chinese context is very different from the Pakistani context where even the original DPSA - the Jaguar, could have sufficed.

2. Is it "Deep Strike" e.g. through an enemy IADS/ADGES or a "Long Range Strike" against a HVT with only its own limited air defences?

3. Is this strike a one-off or part of a larger campaign? One can discuss individual platforms in one-off situations but a larger campaign brings into play doctrine, other platforms, and Large Force Engagements

4. The Su30 MKI's A/G capabilities roughly put it in the same league as the F15E Strike Eagle, the Tornado GRs, and the Mirage 2000N/D. But they don't put it in the same league as B1, B2, F111, Tu22, Tu160.

5. Standalone missiles are poor for time-sensitive targeting and moving targets. UCAVs are quite some way off in substituting aircraft just yet.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 10:14

Interesting records. A relative of mine who was here from Khan over Christmas had two 19 hour legs from Khan to Tokyo and back.

As regards P-8 - it uses CFM 56 engines which have a record of 70 million flying hours and 0.002% in flight shut down rate (as per Vayu)

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2013 10:30

in Cheen landwar context, it could only be against supply/airbases deep in the rear or against certain H&D targets in the eastern provinces a bit inland from the coast like sichuan, henan etc. most of this area is quite rugged in terrain unlike most of tibet. in tibet case the target itself may have organic fighters but in industrial H&D targets no point defences.

obviously some form of standoff weapon like crystal maze, AASM, etc will need to be used. the last thing people want to do 3000km out is low level attacks on targets or orbiting over the area shooting LGBs off. but things like shiny big bridges or power plants need very precise targeting to hit vital points...

targets being HVT will be static. I dont think we have the ability to locate mobile targets like 2nd arty missile units that far away like delingha in a time sensitive manner and mount attacks ... politically it might also be asked to leave such n-armed units alone to keep escalation low.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 10:35

RajitO wrote:5. Standalone missiles are poor for time-sensitive targeting and moving targets. UCAVs are quite some way off in substituting aircraft just yet.


Moving targets as in PGM vs individual vehicles are only for unequal low grade wars like US vs Al Qaeda or EU vs Libya. If it is trains or other vehicular traffic, the static roads, wayside points, stations, bridges, airfields and tracks need to be taken out and hit repeatedly. For armored columns and advancing massed enemy - it is artillery and MRLS and Cluster munitions.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Lalmohan » 07 Jan 2013 17:05

quantas flew their inaugural 747-400 london-sydney non stop, which was close to 22-23 hrs from memory
had about 50 people on board

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 07 Jan 2013 17:55

shiv wrote:No question about overseas range and refuelling. The oceans are different from flying overflying China. There are vast "safe" expanses of ocean for refuelers. I suspect that the Indian requirement for refueling is not about overland hitting of China but overseas power projection in the Indian ocean, Malacca and Hormuz. These are the areas where refuellers can be used innovatively and to deadly effect.

Here's an interesting TV Documentary(Link:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40knj0qg_Us) about a bombing raid on the Falkland islands by the Brits in 1982. Apparently took them 11 air-refuelers(Victors) just to enable a single Vulcan bomber fly from Ascension Island to the Falklands(a distance of about 4000 miles). End result:- 1 out of the 20 odd 1000Lb bombs dropped hits Port Stanley's runway(the intended target). Shows the astonishing amount of planning and effort required to execute even such a small and insignificant(by BRF standards :wink: ) operation. Especially when you don't have bombers like the B-1, B2 or Tu-160 and capable refeulers.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby rohitvats » 07 Jan 2013 18:16

A pretty neat video of A-330 MRTT selected by the IAF. A pretty huge bird and which no wonder can do multiple tasks. Just check the refueling assistant's console. :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTXZs2qHUYU

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_23455 » 07 Jan 2013 19:25

abhik wrote:
shiv wrote:No question about overseas range and refuelling. The oceans are different from flying overflying China. There are vast "safe" expanses of ocean for refuelers. I suspect that the Indian requirement for refueling is not about overland hitting of China but overseas power projection in the Indian ocean, Malacca and Hormuz. These are the areas where refuellers can be used innovatively and to deadly effect.


Here's an interesting TV Documentary(Link:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40knj0qg_Us) about a bombing raid on the Falkland islands by the Brits in 1982. Apparently took them 11 air-refuelers(Victors) just to enable a single Vulcan bomber fly from Ascension Island to the Falklands(a distance of about 4000 miles). End result:- 1 out of the 20 odd 1000Lb bombs dropped hits Port Stanley's runway(the intended target). Shows the astonishing amount of planning and effort required to execute even such a small and insignificant(by BRF standards :wink: ) operation. Especially when you don't have bombers like the B-1, B2 or Tu-160 and capable refeulers.


1. I think the problem for us is not capable refuelers (??) but enough refuelers - like 30-40 of them, given our mission matrix and force projection requirements. At our procurement speeds, I guesstimate 2025.

2. Combat refueling through buddy stores works in theory but the USN - the largest customer for this in real world ops - hates it because of a slew of operational tradeoffs and availability issues it causes.

3. The most effective solution, and one that would make the Chinese throw a hissy fit would be reflected in a PACOM photo release that shows IAF and IN aircraft tanking off US assets...but Shiv Shankar Menon would have a brain aneurysm at the very thought.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Jan 2013 20:11

abhik wrote:
shiv wrote:No question about overseas range and refuelling. The oceans are different from flying overflying China. There are vast "safe" expanses of ocean for refuelers. I suspect that the Indian requirement for refueling is not about overland hitting of China but overseas power projection in the Indian ocean, Malacca and Hormuz. These are the areas where refuellers can be used innovatively and to deadly effect.

Here's an interesting TV Documentary(Link:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40knj0qg_Us) about a bombing raid on the Falkland islands by the Brits in 1982. Apparently took them 11 air-refuelers(Victors) just to enable a single Vulcan bomber fly from Ascension Island to the Falklands(a distance of about 4000 miles). End result:- 1 out of the 20 odd 1000Lb bombs dropped hits Port Stanley's runway(the intended target). Shows the astonishing amount of planning and effort required to execute even such a small and insignificant(by BRF standards :wink: ) operation. Especially when you don't have bombers like the B-1, B2 or Tu-160 and capable refeulers.


Yes I had linked this video in the multimedia thread last November
viewtopic.php?p=1368985#p1368985

The interesting things is that there is an optimum range you can get with a few refuelers without having to go to the ridiculous lengths that the Brits went to. As someone said (maybe in that video) all air to air refuelling is a controlled collision between two aircraft and the a/c are both vulnerable at the time. It probably takes about 10 minutes to formate, refuel and separate. The weather must be good and it is always at relatively high altitude so radars can see the aircraft, and the tanker needs to be patrolling a particular area for the a/c to meet. All in all a juicy situation for an intercept, so safety has to be paramount. There is no scope for even suggesting that we willing to deliberately lose a tanker or two.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2013 20:29

the refueling console looks like a high end gaming rig or high frequency traders console.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby JTull » 07 Jan 2013 22:17

Singha wrote:the refueling console looks like a high end gaming rig or high frequency traders console.


:)
Those look like 14' screens. 3-5 20' screens are pretty standard for each desk on a trading floor. I've even seen online poker players use 2-3 27'' ones.

Do we know if we're going for 3 hose and drogue systems or a combination of 2:1 with a boom system?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby arun » 07 Jan 2013 22:22

Just for the record Airbus Military press release announcing it has been selected as the “preferred bidder” to supply 6 A330 MRTT aircraft to the IAF:

Airbus Military A330 MRTT selected by Indian Government

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby GeorgeWelch » 07 Jan 2013 22:51

shiv wrote:There is no scope for even suggesting that we willing to deliberately lose a tanker or two.


It's not about being 'willing to deliberately lose a tanker'.

It's about realizing that s*** happens.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby abhik » 07 Jan 2013 23:05

RajitO wrote:...
1. I think the problem for us is not capable refuelers (??) but enough refuelers - like 30-40 of them, given our mission matrix and force projection requirements. At our procurement speeds, I guesstimate 2025.

The thought I got while watching this video was that the Americans would have made short work of that runway with a single B-52/B-1 bomber and far fewer of their refuelers. The thing with us is that we don't have long range bombers, only fighters. So say tomorrow we have to attack Timbuktu and the only refuelers we have are less-capable(i.e. smaller) Boeing 737 or KC-130s(as opposed to an A330) we might have to come up with a plan as ridiculous as the Brits.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 08 Jan 2013 05:38

GeorgeWelch wrote:
shiv wrote:There is no scope for even suggesting that we willing to deliberately lose a tanker or two.


It's not about being 'willing to deliberately lose a tanker'.

It's about realizing that s*** happens.
I think planning goes way beyond expecting that "s*** happens" How much s*** is one expecting might happen? How much s*** has happened to others who have operated tankers in combat situations? How have they kept their tankers safe? How many have they lost to enemy fire? Are there lessons for us to learn or do we simply say - 'We need 24 tankers. We are willing to lose 12 so we will buy 36"

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 08 Jan 2013 06:38

I think the brits could have staged that vulcan quietly out of a friendly place like jamaica in the west indies and saved themselves the world record attempt. But then we forget they own the guiness book of records.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vivek_ahuja » 08 Jan 2013 07:15

The point of that particular strike was a feint designed to reduce the Argentinian aerial density over the Falklands. And by all accounts it worked. Such are the one off missions that require risk and help you win the war. If tankers are necessary for it, they should be used.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 08 Jan 2013 07:30

The thing is it was possible to refuel British tankers themselves to extend their range. AFAIK we cannot do that with Il 78. But it would be possible to do something similar using buddy-buddy refuelling, albeit for a smaller fuel load. However, as I see it, all such antics are over sea or over friendly territory. It ain't gonna happen over China without great planning and not a little chutzpah.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 08 Jan 2013 07:33

With midas or a330 we wont need such tankers refueling tankers.the victors were bombers converted into small tankers... The brits moved to use lockheed tristar/ vc10 tankers a bit later iirc.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby member_23455 » 08 Jan 2013 08:52

abhik wrote:
RajitO wrote:...
1. I think the problem for us is not capable refuelers (??) but enough refuelers - like 30-40 of them, given our mission matrix and force projection requirements. At our procurement speeds, I guesstimate 2025.

The thought I got while watching this video was that the Americans would have made short work of that runway with a single B-52/B-1 bomber and far fewer of their refuelers. The thing with us is that we don't have long range bombers, only fighters. So say tomorrow we have to attack Timbuktu and the only refuelers we have are less-capable(i.e. smaller) Boeing 737 or KC-130s(as opposed to an A330) we might have to come up with a plan as ridiculous as the Brits.


1. That Black Buck mission was triggered by the RAF's political need to get into the fight when the Navy and Army were the ones with an actual mission. It was also a one-off and contrary the spin put out there, not very effective...
(More here from the rather controversial "Sharkey" Ward of 1982 fame http://bit.ly/FPBk4f).

2. The Americans even for one-off strikes like El Dorado Canyon (Libya, 1986) deploy large force packages, which ironically require massive tanking support - there is a USAF documentary on Desert Storm floating on YouTube which actually chronicles the mind boggling number of tanker sorties they were generating during the aerial phase.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 08 Jan 2013 09:14

in the recent libya war,a converted ohio class apparently fired 'dozens' of thawks joined by DDG ships to wipe the libyan ADS off the map in the first hours.
with unopposed airspace, 2 B1 bombers staging out of dakotas with full bombloads refueled over the atlantic and destroyed a unspecified number of targets in libya before escaping back home. not sure what the 'global power' stmt was all about, perhaps 80 JDAMs on a sortie was deemed lot more effective than 20 sorties by french/brit strike a/c or maybe the euro strikes did not want to reach that deep to the border in the south.

Shiv is always looking for cost effective third world solns. he will like the economy of effort here
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07 ... yed-ready/

Two Bombers, 24 Hours, 100 Libyan Targets Destroyed
BY DAVID AXE07.13.117:00 AM

It began with an email in late February. The message, sent by air planners at the Germany headquarters of U.S. Africa Command to the 608th Air and Space Operations Center located at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, jump-started a “byzantine” process of communication, planning and paperwork involving no fewer than 10 U.S. military headquarters scattered across the globe.

The goal? To fly a pair of 150-foot-long U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers, pictured, on a more than 12,000-mile round trip from their home base in South Dakota, over the Atlantic Ocean to Libya, where they would conduct two bombing runs each on Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

If that seems like a lot of fuss over just two planes in an air campaign involving scores of jet fighters from a dozen NATO nations, consider this: the B-1 can carry more precision munitions than any other warplane except one. In a roughly four-day period involving 24 hours of combat time, those two B-1s and their combined eight crew members destroyed more than 100 Libyan targets. It would take dozens of NATO fighters to achieve the same effect.

The epic Libyan bombing run — described in detail by Air Force Magazine – illustrates why, even in this era of budget cuts, the Pentagon is determined to sustain its bomber fleet potentially into the 22nd century, by spending $40 billion or more on 100 new Next-Generation Bombers. Stealth fighters are great (when they’re not grounded, that is). But for taking out a bad guy’s ground forces and facilities, nothing beats a bomber.

But the gigantic warplanes certain have their drawbacks. They guzzle fuel like nobody’s business. And being so few in number — America’s fleet of B-1s, B-2s and 1960s-era B-52s numbers just 160 — military commands have to beg the Air Force to use them. Finally, flying halfway around the world to drop a few bombs, something only bombers can do, requires a mind-boggling bureaucratic process.

Which is why Africa Command, the headquarters that oversaw the U.S.-led phase of the Libya campaign, emailed its bomber query to the 608th weeks in advance, initially requesting stealthy B-2s. Africa Command got three B-2s for just one mission on the opening night of attacks on March 19. After that, the B-2s were slated to be elsewhere.

So the 608th, part of the 8th Air Force, which in turn falls under U.S. Strategic Command, relayed the bomber request to Joint Forces Command. That headquarters bumped the order down to the Air Force’s Air Combat Command, which owns the B-1s. Once Air Combat Command decided it could spare two B-1s, it temporarily transferred the bombers over to Strategic Command, which flew them over the Atlantic, at which point they fell under Africa Command’s direction.

But that’s not all. To get from South Dakota to Libya, the two B-1s each needed help from five or more Air Force KC-135 or KC-10 aerial tankers. “Tanker planning … ends up being the real story,” the 608th’s Col. Michael Tichenor said. Tanker rendezvous were arranged in conjunction with a tanker-control agency in Illinois plus the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, which own the actual refueling planes.


Plus, the bombers laid over at an undisclosed European base after their first bombing run, only compounding the mission’s complexity. Refueled and rearmed, the B-1s took off, struck more targets, then headed back to the U.S., meeting additional tankers every couple thousand miles.


The planning process was so elaborate that some Air Force officers seemed pleasantly surprised that it worked at all. The 8th Air Force “has been doing long-range aviation since the beginning of time,” its commander Maj. Gen. Floyd Carpenter said. But the 608th is a new unit and “has never gotten to do this in reality,” Carpenter said.

“We spend a lot of time planning,” he added, “and now we’ve proved that we can execute the plan, as well.”

The flaming wreckage of more than 100 Libyan targets is testimony to the destructive prowess of America’s bombers. But these impressive warplanes would never leave the ground without bureaucrats and refuelers to support them.


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