Karan M wrote:sameerjoshi wrote:BTW.....A Mig 25 will never fly low and slow over anything...it is simply not used in that role due to operational limitation of its huge engines. Also flying at Mach 2+ (which was the mission speed at a height of around 13 km for this scenario) it will get the same quality of imagery akin to flying at Mach 0.5 or so.
And this gutsy pilot story is also a 'fable fabricated beyond comprehension'. Yes, MiG29s were used to escort this sortie (and not Mirages)......
As I recall from the conversation, during Kargil, the IAF was busy adapting whatever equipment and capabilities it had, to make the best of a tough situation. And as regards photo quality, the kit on the MiG-25 captured a wider area at good enough resolution for the IAF, as versus pods on other IAF aircraft. Of course, didnt get into specifics regarding particular items but correlating it with public info seems reasonable in that we didn't have many aircraft or a surplus of options. IIRC we only had Vinten pods then.
As regards this episode being a fable, the details as I remember them, came from a pilot who mentioned setting it up and the basic escort details (he was from a Mirage 2000 sq, so the working assumption that it was the Mirage 2000s doing the escorting). He did mention though that MiG-29s did do escort work for even the Mirages.
The specific pilot in question was fairly senior at the time and also deeply involved with the LGB work from the Mirages.
The low and slow part comes from "lower" the relative altitude of the ground vs aircraft (thanks to the peaks), and slow (slower than usual M2+). The speed issue was mentioned for some specifics - IIRC it had to do with turn limits & not crossing the LOC but the sortie was not the norm was clearly mentioned.
Per memory, he was also part of the mission planning itself, ergo his first hand account of how risky the mission was given the MiG-25 platform limitations and the SAM threat (which is why the other MiG-25 pilot/s demurred & they had a right to) but one agreed even so.
Its been a while now, but these are the specifics I remember, from the conversations at the time. All errors of interpretation/recollection mine onlee.
You may have more first hand detail on the matter given your experience.
Karan, I will just say that the IAF does not seek volunteers for missions. A squadron is tasked for a mission and they select the most capable crew to carry out the mission. NO refusal is tolerated. By your analogy that they have the right to refuse a dangerous mission, how do you explain the IAF fighter sorties on Tiger Hill and Tololing during the first two days of the Air assault with tons of SAMs flying in the battle zone? Would the IAF have tolerated any refusal by any of its pilots during this testing time when the army lads were facing a wall of lead in Drass and Batalik during that time.....