Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Surya
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Exercise Cope India '04

Postby Surya » 27 Feb 2004 01:14

Please post any new Cope India links. No discussions.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2004 02:02

Surya et al: Please feel free to go through the old thread and post all the news links/photos. I will be doing the same. Then we can move the thread into the Military Issues Archive.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2004 02:27


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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Khalsa » 27 Feb 2004 02:30

Articles

Elmendorf, India set for first bilateral exercise

U.S. and Indian Air Forces train together

COPE India 04 Begins

MAAS team ensures mission safety

USAF, IAF fire crews train, play together

Cope India brings out fighter ops

Namastay! The sights, sounds and tastes of India

Photos ------------------- Warning - Large File Sizes

A two seater Mirage-2000 waits for an USAF F-15 on a take off run

Wing Commander Hundal on hand as first of the USAF F-15 arrive

IAF and USAF personell talk shop as the USAF sets up for COPE India 2004

IAF support crew are shown the procedures on the F-15 by their USAF conterpart[

An F-15 in formation flying with Mirage-2000 high over the Himalayas

An american personell is shown the WSO station in a Sukhoi-30K

A flight of two Mirages 2000, F-15s and Sukhoi-30Ks

Two F-15s in formation with a flight of two Mig-27s

Mirage 2000TH [KT202]

Su-30MK-1 [SB010]

Formation Flying IAF Su30 - USAF F-15C -- IAF picture

Staff Sgts. Todd Pederson and Robert Roe wait near the flightline as an F-15 Eagle flies overhead.

Senior Airman Joshua Frederick cleans an F-15's canopy following the day's missions on Feb. 18 during Cope India.

Sergeant Spears "rescues" Airman First Class Joshua Miller during an F-15C egress exercise. All three firefighters are from Elmendorf AFB.

Two Indian air force firefighters go for the ball in a volleyball game with their U.S. Air Force counterparts during Cope India '04.

Airman 1st Class AJ McGee removes the raydome cover off an AIM-9X Sidewinder on an F-15C Eagle prior to takeoff as Cope India '04 kicks off in Gwalior Air AFS, India. Airman McGee and approximatley 150 airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, are participating in the PACAF-sponsered exercise, which runs through Feb 25.

Elmendorf AFB's 3rd Communications Squadron member Staff Sgt. Darcy Miller configures a system that will allow long-haul communications to connect Cope India '04 to the outside world from Gwalior AFS.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Clyde Weisbeck and Indian air force Corporal Rao Prasad hook up a fuel hose to an F-15C here Feb. 18. Both are participating in Cope India '04, the first bilateral fighter exercise between the two air forces in more than 40 years. Senior Airmen Weisbeck is with the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Unit from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and is one of 150 U.S. airmen deployed for the exercise.

As Indian Air Force airmen look on, members of Elmendorf's 3rd and 611th Civil Engineer Squadrons drive stakes in the ground to reinforce a Barrier Engagement System being used at Gwalior AFS, India, for Cope India '04. The bilateral fighter exercise, which runs through Feb. 25, includes F-15 Eagles and approximately 150 Elmendorf airmen. (Left to right: Airman First Class Kevin Baker, Tech. Sgt. John Freischmidt, Staff Sgt. Todd Pederson)

Airman First Class Kevin Baker (left) prepares to pull the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System cable across the runway with a miniature arresting hook, as Staff Sgts. Robert Roe (center) and Todd Pederson secure the cable in place.

Tech. Sgt. John Freischmidt, Alaska Electrical Power Production technician, tightens the turnbuckle on a section of the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System barrier, as Airman First Class Kevin Baker, watches. The MAAS team technicians ensure U.S. aircraft supporting the exercise can land safely in an in-flight emergency.

Staff Sgt. Craig Spears (top) and Senior Airmen. Jason Rice, 3rd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters, perform an F-15C egress exercise during Cope India '04, while Indian air force firefighters and maintenance personnel observe.

Crew chief Staff Sgt. Jason Carlson (right) waits for Capt. Grant Lewis to exit so he can put his F-15 Eagle to bed for the evening. Sergeant Carlson and Captain Lewis, along with 140 airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, are participating in Cope India 04 here. Cope India is a bilateral dissimilar air combat exercise. Sergeant Carlson is assigned to the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, and Captain Grant is assigned to the 19th Fighter Squadron.

An F-15 Eagle takes off from here during Cope India '04, a bilateral fighter exercise between U.S. and Indian air forces. About 150 U.S. airmen are here supporting the first bilateral fighter exercise between the two air forces in more than 40 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith).

Capt. David Skalicky gives a tour of an F-15 Eagle to Indian air force officers here after the day's flying for Cope India '04, a bilateral fighter exercise between Indian and U.S. air forces. Captain Skalicky is a pilot from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith).

An Indian Air Force SU-30K Flanker lands here following a simulated combat mission with U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. About 150 U.S. airmen are here supporting Cope India '04, the first bilateral fighter exercise between the two air forces in more than 40 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)

Capt. Mark Snowden performs flight safety duties in the control tower here during Cope India '04. The bilateral fighter exercise between Indian and U.S. air forces is the first of its kind in more than 40 years. Captain Snowden is an F-15 Eagle pilot from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Louder, 19th Fighter Squadron commander, shows children how to blow bubbles at an orphanage in Gwalior, India, Feb 21. Colonel Louder, who is from Elemdorf AFB, Alaska, and approximately 130 airmen are in Gwalior for a bilateral fighter exercise with the Indian air force.

Captain Jeffery Mohr, an F-15C pilot with the 19th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, teaches an Indian boy how to play football at a Gwalior, India orphanage during a recent trip to the facility to donate toys and supplies to the children.

Staff Sergeants Darcy Miller, Contingency Systems technical controller and Suk Choi, Satellite Communications craftsman, secure grounding cable to prevent a safety hazard. All seven career fields of Contingency Systems are represented by the nine communications technicians at Cope India 04.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Mixon, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, Satellite Communications craftsman, adjusts the satellite used to provide Cope India 04 participants with phone and computer capabilities. The CS team provides a 24-hour operations center to ensure airmen are able to send and receive electronic information at anytime.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2004 02:30



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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Khalsa » 27 Feb 2004 03:35

Cutting-Edge Air Fighters of U.S. and Russia to Confront

The hard core units of the United States and Russia, the F-15C and the Sukhoi-30MKI respectively, will confront each other. However, like playing a trick without claws such as shell-and-guided missiles, only a practical in-flight engagement is scheduled.

The conflicts, which are hard to have imagined in the Cold War era, commenced on February 16 at Madhya Pradesh Province in the middle part of India. The United States and India are conducting the biggest joint-training operations in history.

Neighboring countries such as China, Russia, and Pakistan are strained to the limit by this long-term joint training operation which is scheduled to continue through February 27 as an 11-day program, because the military band between the two countries will exert a great influence on this region. Some experts have assessed that this operation was designed as a part of an “encirclement strategy” of the United States to check the skyrocketing military force of China.

Scale and Details of Training&
From the United States side, six F-15C fighters dispatched by the Alaska base, two C-5 carriers, and 140 soldiers from the Pacific Air Force command will participate in the operation. From the Indian side, most of the hard core units of India, such as the Sukhoi-30MKI multipurpose fighter made in Russia, Mig-21, 27, 29, and Mirage-2000 fighter made in France, will be mobilized to take part in this training. Although the U.S. and India started their first joint air force training program back in 2002 in India with the U.S. dispatching only one troop carrier at that time, this operation will be practically recorded as the first joint military training campaign in which the air fighters will participate. The air forces of the U.S. and India will implement the training operation by dividing itself into the assault and opposition side, focusing on fields such as long distance missile assault, derangement of radio wave, and missile interception. It has been known that they will lay stress on the mid-air discernment discipline and the ability of joint-operation implementation. In particular, India will aim at sinking in the mid-air blow tactics and strategies of the U.S.

First Showdown Between the Rival Air Fighters

The matter of primary concern in this training operation is the fact that Sukhoi-30MKI, which was designed by Russia in order to bring down the hard core unit of the U.S., the F-15C, will appear. The military experts praise that the Sukhoi-30MKI possesses better performance than the F-15C in the hedgehopping flight, defense of armor plate, and stealth performance. The participation of Sukhoi-30MKI in this operation is accomplished by the pressing demand of the U.S. As this air fighter appears to be introduced by the diverse Asian countries as their hard core air force unit, the U.S. tries hard to understand the performance of Sukhoi in this operation. According to this reason, the Indian air force and national defense ministry was, at the very beginning, opposed to revealing the performance of their major air assault unit to the Latent Enemy,the United States. India has made a contract with Russia to purchase 50 Sukhoi-30MKI and turned over 28 Sukhois so far. They planned to manufacture an additional 140 fighters in a technology importation method.

Changes of Military Strategy in Southwestern Asia
The military experts analyzed that this training operation is achieved for the strategic profits of the two countries harmonizing with each other. As the United States needs to induce India which grows in economical and military sphere alike, and India, by settling the relationship between itself and the U.S., aims at the improvement of the security state in the surrounding areas and the elevation of its international position. On the other hand, Pakistan criticized this operation as impeding their ability of dropping the nuclear weapon on the relevant territory.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby Khalsa » 27 Feb 2004 03:58

GettyImages (All pics by Prakash Singh)

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/CFW/details.aspx?iid=3012074&print=true
GWALIOR, INDIA: Indian Air Force Pilot R. S. Bhandari (L) shakes hands with United States Air Force Pilot Dave Skalicky (R) during a media interaction at Gwalior Air Force station , 25 February 2004. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/CFW/details.aspx?iid=3012077&print=true
GWALIOR, INDIA: US Air Force crew members carry out mantainence on a US F-16 Eagle aircraft at Gwalior Air Force station, 25 February 2004, during an Indo-US joint exercise

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/CFW/details.aspx?iid=3012091&print=true
Indian Air Force (IAF) police officer Sgt. S Banerjee (L) passes by as US Air Force maintainence crew member Jerri Bonvillain (R) as she pose for media in front of a US F-15 C aircraft at Gwalior Air Force station, 25 February 2004, during an Indo-US joint exercise.

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/CFW/details.aspx?iid=3012206&print=true
Two Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft take off during a joint Indo-US air exercise "Cope India -04" at Gwalior Air Force Station, Gwalior, 25 February 2004.

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/CFW/details.aspx?iid=3012210&print=true
A US Air Force F-15 C fighter aircraft takes off as an Indian MiG-27 fighter aircraft taxi's (REAR) during a joint Indo-US air exercise "Cope India -04" at Gwalior Air Force Station



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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby JaiS » 20 Mar 2004 12:30

Indian, US pilots size each other up

http://www.newindpress.com/newsItems.asp?id=IEH20040225131127&Title=B+R+E+A+K+I+N+G+++N+E+W+S&rLink=0

Indian, US pilots size each other up
Thursday February 26 2004 00:00 IST
GWALIOR: Lt Col Mark Henkel of the USAF talks fondly about that day long ago when he took on his first MiG-29.

Those were heady days _ the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Unified German Air Force was growing ecstatic over the fresh batch of MiG-29s it had inherited.

A USAF team rushed to the former German Democratic Republic to take a long look at the MiG-29. Henkel, who was much younger then, was there too, and he liked what he saw.

After years, he was trying to relive that day when his squadron, the Alaska-based F-15C aircraft, flew in to take on the IAF's best at the ongoing 10-day joint Indo-US air exercise in Gwalior.

Ask him about the SU-30K and Henkel says: ``Its a big aircraft.'' He would know; the F-15 was known to be one of the biggest aircraft for a long time till the SU-30 arrived.

Over the weekend, USAF pilots convened an urgent meeting for a brainstorming session to work out the tactics to deal with the SU-30K.

``It surprised them,'' says an IAF pilot, adding: ``I don't think they were expecting that kind of performance''.

Dave Skalicky would agree with him. He has flown over the Taj Mahal, seen the Himalayas and come back to Gwlaior, several joint exercises later, with a new-found respect for his Indian counterparts. His colleagues have had a ``few rides on the SU-30K and the MiG-21 Bison''.

About the much-talked about MiG-21, he says: ``It's very good and we were surprised with its new avionics''.

On Wednesday morning, as four USAF 15C took to the skies to ``defend'' the Gwalior air base against ``invading'' IAF strike aircraft, both had a ``mission'' in hand. Forty minutes later, Gwalior was ``bombed'' by an IAF MiG-27 escorted by a fleet of SU-30Ks and Mirage-2000s.

The joint exercise, which ends on February 27, have given the IAF, starved of exposure for nearly three decades, an opportunity to pit its skills against the US Air Force's.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby JaiS » 20 Mar 2004 12:32

Indo-US Air Force exercise ends
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NDTV Correspondent

Wednesday, February 25, 2004 (Gwalior):

India and America today finished a joint Air Force exercise in Gwalior in, which the top pilots from the two countries matched their skills against each other.

While the all-powerful US Air Force had an easy run in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Indian top guns amazingly shot them out of the sky.

"They did very well, it's a very good group of pilots, a very good aircraft and overall I've been very impressed with the Indian Air Force," said Captain Dave Skalicky, US 19 Squadron.

Americans outflown

For the last ten days, five American F-15s have been faced off against Indian Sukhoi-30s, Mirage 2000s and MiG-21s in the skies above Gwalior.

NDTV has learned that the Indian flyers have out flown the Americans, right through the exercise.

On the first day all four American planes were shot down. Never once did the Indians come off second.

Amongst the American flyers, there is clearly respect for the Indians.

"They performed very well. I think in most cases they were equal to us, superior in some aspects. So it was a very good learning experience for both sides. It was a very tough scenario on all days, the pilot skill levels were also equal a lot of times. It felt like we were fighting ourselves, when we were fighting the Indian Air Force guys," said Captain Vogel, US 19 Squadron.

Testing tactics

This is more than just joint training. For both these air forces, it is an opportunity to test their tactics and flying skills against another country and to decide whether any changes need to be made.

The Indians had already made their changes after being beaten by the French Air Force last year.

And when these pilots go to Alaska later this year for another joint exercise, the Americans will have to prepare well for India's special brand of low technology.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby JaiS » 20 Mar 2004 12:34

Indian, US pilots share Gwalior skies, some tips

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=41868

GWALIOR, FEBRUARY 25: LT COL Mark Henkel of the USAF talks fondly about that day long ago when he took on his first MiG-29. Those were heady days — the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Unified German Air Force was growing ecstatic over the fresh batch of MiG-29s it had inherited. A USAF team rushed to the former German Democratic Republic to take a long look at the MiG-29. Henkel was there too, and he liked what he saw.

After years, he was trying to relive that day when his squadron, the Alaska-based F-15C aircraft, flew in to take on the IAF’s best at the ongoing 10-day joint Indo-US air exercise in Gwalior. Ask him about the SU-30K and Henkel says: ‘‘It’s a big aircraft.’’ He would know; the F-15 was known to be one of the biggest aircraft for a long time till the SU-30 arrived.

Over the weekend, USAF pilots convened an urgent meeting for a brainstorming session to work out the tactics to deal with the SU-30K. ‘‘It surprised them,’’ says an IAF pilot, adding: ‘‘I don’t think they were expecting that kind of performance’’.

Dave Skalicky would agree with him. He has flown over the Taj Mahal, seen the Himalayas and come back to Gwalior, several joint exercises later, with a new-found respect for his Indian counterparts. His colleagues have had a ‘‘few rides on the SU-30K and the MiG-21 Bison’’. About the much-talked about MiG-21, he says: ‘‘It’s very good and we were surprised with its new avionics’’.

On Wednesday morning, as four USAF 15C took to the skies to ‘‘defend’’ the Gwalior air base against ‘‘invading’’ IAF strike aircraft, both had a ‘‘mission’’ in hand. Forty minutes later, Gwalior was ‘‘bombed’’ by an IAF MiG-27 escorted by a fleet of SU-30Ks and Mirage-2000s.

The joint exercise, which ends on February 27, have given the IAF, starved of exposure for nearly three decades, an opportunity to pit its skills against the US Air Force’s. And while they size each other up in the skies, on the ground the USAF pilots are trying to get used to the spicy curry and take some time off to make a few quick trips to the bazaar and the historical monuments.

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Re: Cope India 2004 (Only Links)

Postby JaiS » 20 Mar 2004 12:37

Feb 4, 2004: Joint exercise for Indian, US air forces
http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/feb/04josy.htm

Indian and American air forces will hold their first joint combat exercise in Gwalior from February 14 to 26.

In the run up to the exercise, an IAF team went to America to get familiar with USAF operational procedures. Three Indian pilots flew with their American counterparts in twin-seater F-16s, according to an IAF spokesman.

The exercise, Cope India '04, will be the largest that India has held with any foreign air force, the spokesman said.

For the Americans it is a chance to try out the IAF's Russian fighters, including the Su-30MKI. Though there were reservations about fielding the Su-30MKIs, it is learnt that the IAF is going to field them along with Mirage 2000 fighters, Jaguars and MiG-21s.

The US is expected to field six F-15Cs.

Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy had discussed the basic contours of the exercise with his American counterparts during his visit to the US in September 2003.

A major aspect of the growing Indo-US defence cooperation is to develop interoperability.

"Progress in interoperability will depend on a number of factors to include frequency of training exchanges, exchange of doctrines, and access to equipment," an American official recently told rediff.com "India's desire to buy US equipment through FMS (Foreign Military Sale) and US willingness to sell state-of-the-art equipment are converging. The more we exercise together, the greater the rationale on both sides for providing India access to the weapons, communication, doctrine and other technologies," he said.

In October 2002, the two sides carried out an air transport exercise codenamed Cope India '02. "Those exercises were meant to develop a baseline for future interoperability that include fighter aircraft exchange," the official said.

The same year the two air forces also began an instructor pilot exchange programme.

The two air forces are set to conduct Cooperative Cope Thunder (July 04) in Alaska, he added.

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Postby Rakesh » 09 Oct 2004 19:13

3rd Wing Explains 'Cope India' Exercise

Aviation Week & Space Technology 10/04/2004, page 50
David A. Fulghum Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

3rd Wing explains what happened when U.S. pilots faced innovative Indian air force tactics

Indian 'Scare'

The losing performance of F-15Cs in simulated air-to-air combat against the Indian air force this year is being perceived by some, both in the U.S. and overseas, as a weakening of American capabilities, and it is generating taunts from within the competitive U.S. fighter community.

The Cope India exercise also seemingly shocked some in Congress and the Pentagon who used the event to renew the call for modernizing the U.S. fighter force with stealthy F/A-22s and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The reasons for the drubbing have gone largely unexplained and been misunderstood, according to those based here with the 3rd Wing who participated. Two major factors stand out: None of the six 3rd Wing F-15Cs was equipped with the newest long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. These Raytheon APG-63(V)2 radars were designed to find small and stealthy targets. At India's request, the U.S. agreed to mock combat at 3-to-1 odds and without the use of simulated long-range, radar-guided AIM-120 Amraams that even the odds with beyond-visual-range kills.

These same U.S. participants say the Indian pilots showed innovation and flexibility in their tactics. They also admit that they came into the exercise underrating the training and tactics of the pilots they faced. Instead of typical Cold War-style, ground-controlled interceptions, the Indians varied aircraft mixes, altitudes and formations. Indian air force planners never reinforced failure or repeated tactics that the U.S. easily repelled. Moreover, the IAF's airborne commanders changed tactics as opportunities arose. Nor did U.S. pilots believe they faced only India's top guns. Instead, they said that at least in some units they faced a mix of experienced and relatively new Indian fighter and strike pilots.

Maj. Mark A. Snowden, the 3rd Wing's chief of air-to-air tactics and a participant in Cope India, spoke for the 13 U.S. pilots who attended the exercise. They flew six F-15Cs, each equipped with a fighter data link for rapid exchange of target information, AIM-9Xs and a Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, he says. The aircraft had been to Singapore for another exercise and for the long, six-week jaunt it was decided not to bring along the additional maintenance package needed to support AESA-equipped F-15Cs.

Cope India was held Feb. 15-28 at Gwalior, about 150 mi. south of Delhi, where the Indian air force has its Tactics Air Combat Development Establishment, which operates late-model MiG-21 Fishbeds as fighter escorts and MiG-27 Floggers as strike aircraft. Aerospace officials who have heard the classified brief on the exercise say the MiG-21s were equipped with a "gray-market" Bison radar and avionics upgrade.

Mica-armed Dassault Mirages 2000s are also stationed there. Brought in for the exercise were Sukhoi Su-30s (but not the newest Su-30 MKIs) carrying simulated AA-11s and AA-12 Adders. There also were five MiG-29 Flankers involved in a peripheral role and an Antonov An-32 Cline as a simulated AWACS.

"The outcome of the exercise boils down to [the fact that] they ran tactics that were more advanced than we expected," Snowden says. "India had developed its own air tactics somewhat in a vacuum. They had done some training with the French that we knew about, but we did not expect them to be a very well-trained air force. That was silly.

"They could come up with a game plan, but if it wasn't working they would call an audible and change [tactics in flight]," he says. "They made good decisions about when to bring their strikers in. The MiG-21s would be embedded with a Flogger for integral protection. There was a data link between the Flankers that was used to pass information. [Using all their assets,] they built a very good [radar] picture of what we were doing and were able to make good decisions about when to roll [their aircraft] in and out."

Aerospace industry officials say there's some indication that the MiG-21s also may have been getting a data feed from other airborne radars that gave them improved situational awareness of the airborne picture.

Generally the combat scenario was to have four F-15s flying at any time against about 12 Indian aircraft. While the U.S. pilots normally train to four versus 12, that takes into account at least two of the U.S. aircraft having AESA radar and being able to make the first, beyond-visual-range shots. For the exercise, both sides restricted long-range shots.

"That's what the Indians wanted to do," Snowden says. "That [handicap] really benefits a numerically superior force because you can't whittle away some of their force at long range. They were simulating active missiles [including] AA-12s." This means the missile has its own radar transmitter and doesn't depend on the launch aircraft's radar after launch. With the older AA-10 Alamo, the launching fighter has to keep its target illuminated with radar so the U.S. pilots would know when they were being targeted. But with the AA-12, they didn't know if they had been targeted. The Mirage 2000s carried the active Mica missile. Aerospace industry officials said that some of the radars the U.S. pilots encountered, including that of the Mirage 2000s, exhibited different characteristics than those on standard versions of the aircraft.

The U.S. pilots used no active missiles, and the AIM-120 Amraam capability was limited to a 20-naut.-mi. range while keeping the target illuminated when attacking and 18 naut. mi. when defending, as were all the missiles in the exercise.

"When we saw that they were a more professional air force, we realized that within the constraints of the exercise we were going to have a very difficult time," Snowden says. "In general, it looked like they ran a broad spectrum of tactics and they were adaptive. They would analyze what we were doing and then try something else. They weren't afraid to bring the strikers in high or low. They would move them around so that we could never anticipate from day to day what we were going to see."

By comparison, the U.S. pilots don't think they offered the Indians any surprises. The initial tactic is to run a wall with all four F-15s up front. That plays well when the long-range missiles and AESA radar are in play.

"You know we're there and we're not hiding," Snowden says. "But we didn't have the beyond-visual-range shot or the numerical advantage. Eventually we were just worn down by the numbers. They were very smart about it. Their goal was to get to a target area, engage the target and then withdraw without prolonging the fight. If there were a couple of Eagles still alive away from the target area, they would keep them pinned in, get done with the target and then egress with all their forces.

"All their aircraft seemed to be capable of breaking out [targets] and shooting at the ranges the exercise allowed," he says. "We generally don't train to an active missile threat [like the Mirage's Mica or the AA-12 for the Russian-built aircraft], and that was one of the things that caused us some problems."

USAF planners here see Cope India as the first step in an annual series of exchange exercises.


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