Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

pragnya
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby pragnya » 05 Mar 2014 11:23

Vivek,

it's such a joy to read your posts. you must be one of the best writer of this genre. btw congrats for Chimera!! bought and read it in one go!! masterly write up.

chin up!!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Sanku » 05 Mar 2014 11:36

Rahul M wrote:thx vivek, more power to you !

one reason sale in India has been low is that it's not available from flipkart. that's the default choice for most readers.


I have been trying to buy through Pothi, and for same strange reason am not able to purchase.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Denis » 05 Mar 2014 11:58

Sanku: I purchased through Pothi and had seamless experience. Printed on demand and sent to me in 6 days.

Vivek: Needless to say, Amazing Read! even when I had read the entire scenario multiple times, the first time as and when it unfolded and later consolidating the same across multiple threads and reading it again. The book is now being read by my son who got hooked on seeing me take to it religiously as a post dinner activity.

A quibble - there are still some spelling and syntax issues at various pages. Not many, but some are there. I have noted a few and would be happy to share with you offline for correction before further reprints/editions.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby parshuram » 05 Mar 2014 13:50

Vivek ... Masterly put up .... More i read , More desperate i become for what is going to happen next . Waiting for my co[y of Chimera ... Keep The goodies coming

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby rohanldsouza » 05 Mar 2014 14:36

Vivek - I bought your book through pothi after having the electronic version on amazon. I personally prefer the Hard copy to the Electronic version.

Pothi has done a great by the way - order, printing, packaging.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Adrija » 05 Mar 2014 17:05

Vivek saar, purchased through Pothi and have read it twice already..........my congrats on an awesome read!

BTW, have put repeat orders as well- to both spread the jingoism and boost sales...........promise to do the same for the next one.......keep it coming!

Also, don't want to do a spoiler here for folks who have yet to read it, so is there a way I can get in touch for some clarifications please?

TIA

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby nash » 05 Mar 2014 18:06

3 post in a day thnx for BD gift... :)

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Mar 2014 08:58

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Mar 2014 08:58

Image

KASHMIR VALLEY
22ND MARCH + 2300 HRS


The tires of the heavy Tatra trucks rumbled over the snowy gravel and halted with a jerk. The hydraulic pumps began elevating the three-tube launcher of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles to vertical position. Within a minute the said tubes were vertical and locked in place as other equipment and comms came online. The Brahmos system was designed to be autonomous in its operations. A decentralized warfare system. All that it needed was targets within a three-hundred kilometer radius of the vehicle in any direction. With a supersonic cruise of Mach three, it was a premier first-strike weapon, and a deadly one at that.

These three vehicles had been on the move over the last week and had arrived in the Kashmir valley only the night before. The Pakistanis didn’t have satellites but the Chinese did. And it was to be expected that all information on Indian forces in the Kashmir valley was being passed on Rawalpindi. As such, the autonomous Brahmos system was a key element in keeping the enemy guessing till it was too late. With readiness-to-launch times less than ten minutes and a flight time of five minutes, the missiles could hit targets before they could react.

As the security convoy of infantry troops accompanying this deadly convoy moved a safe distance away, the crews inside got to work as target information was fed down to them from the Indian Army’s XV Corps Operations center. To the soldiers guarding the vehicles against any surprise attack by enemy special forces, the nine manmade pillars stretching monolithically into the deep blue night sky was an eerie sight. There were no lights and all vision was through their night vision goggles. The infantry force commander had informed all of them to avoid looking at these tubes when the time came, else they would instantly blind themselves. Of course, this suited the soldiers perfectly, since their job was not to look at the launchers but to scan outside their security perimeter, kneeling on one leg and with their rifles held at shoulders.

Every several seconds they heard the mechanical noises of the launcher vehicles as the crews inside kept on working and the minutes ticked past…
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 06 Mar 2014 09:11, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Mar 2014 09:02

Image

SRINAGAR AIRBASE
22ND MARCH + 2305 HRS


“Tower, this is Hawkeye-one, we are rolling.” The radio squawked in Verma’s ears as the aircraft began to accelerate down the runway. He removed the headset and put it around his neck. He then rubbed his eyes and shook his head to clear his thoughts. The ERJ-145 rolled down the runway and quickly lifted into the freezing air, climbing away from the night lights of Srinagar city. As the small aircraft quickly moved into the air, Verma put on his headset once more to hear the cockpit chatter.

“…Roger, tower. Hawkeye-one is airborne and entering TAC-01 air control. Out.”

Behind him, the men and women manning their stations got to work. Comms came online as well as the massive airborne radar mounted outside. The chatter within the crew increased as the aircraft began establishing its presence over the airspace…

All so familiar…Verma thought as he watched the crew at work. When the China war had ended, he had hoped he would never find himself sending men and women to their deaths in the deadly air orchestra of combat that he led from his seat here. The weight and stress of the combat operations against the Chinese had taken their toll on him, both physically and mentally. But fate had other plans in store for him, he reasoned. Three years after that war, he found himself dealing with the massive evacuation of people from the nuclear attack on Mumbai. That had barely been organized when he had been tagged by Bhosale to once again arrive in theater in Kashmir, relieve the emotionally distressed commander of the airborne control units and take operational command of Indian aerial forces over Kashmir and Ladakh.

When it rains, it pours!
First the Chinese. Now the Pakis. Different year, same shit. Goddamn it!


He brought up his speaker mouthpiece and got up from his seat to face the crew: “All right boys and girls, give me a snappy sit-rep!”
“Pike and Lancer flights are airborne and climbing,” the lead radar systems operator, or RSO, replied from his console. “Scabbard is on station and holding. Viking-one and –two are departing Agra!”
“Comms?” Verma asked.
“TAC-01 is at op-con ultra,” the comms operator replied. “We are on the grid and green across the board!” Verma nodded and then looked further down the line of consoles to the electronic warfare officer: “What’s the electronic spectrum picture?”
“Friendly ECMs are go. ECCM is green. We are radiating at long range. Friendly radars are up and on the picket line.”
“Threats?”

“Our friends across the border are up as well. Kilo-Echo bird is online and radiating!” Verma grunted on that one. He had expected the Pakistanis to be on the alert at night time. They had been doing so over the past days and as far as they knew, tonight was no different. A PAF Karakoram Eagle AEW had replaced the SAAB aircraft at Gilgit. Known to the Indian electronic warfare airmen as the Kilo-Echo, this aircraft was one of the Chinese made airborne aircraft mounted on the AN-12 knockoffs that Beijing liked to peddle to its allies. If anything, the quick replacement of the Swedish SAAB aircraft just two days after its arrival in theater was a clear indication of the electronic intelligence sharing that had been initiated between the Chinese and Pakistani air forces. The Swedish AEW was not integrated into the Chinese aerial ISR grid. The Kilo-Echo bird was.

“Any signs of our friends to the west?” Verma asked the EW officer to see if his suspicions could be confirmed.
“No red bird in the air at this time, sir. But I am recovering long wavelength atmospheric scatter corresponding to the Kilo-Juliet birds.”
“So!” Verma frowned as he drew his conclusions. “Our pals in the 76 ACCR are in theater; just not in the skies at the moment.”

“It would appear so, sir.” The 76TH Airborne Command and Control Regiment was the Chinese air force unit in charge of all its airborne radar and control aircraft. As such, Verma was intimately aware of this unit from the last war. In the months after the war, General Feng had been quick to resurrect the remains of this bird from its ashes. Now it was a threat again to the Indian skies…

But not at the moment! And that’s all that matters. Verma thought and turned his thoughts back to the Pakistani problem. Here he had to deal with the most immediate threat to Indian air control during the operations phase of the punitive strikes against terrorist targets in occupied Kashmir. This threat centered around the presence of a dozen advanced model F-16s split between Skardu and Gilgit. Of the two airbases, the bulk of the fighters were at Skardu with only two F-16s seen at Gilgit on defensive patrols. The PAF warfighting concept for this region was clear. The Gilgit based AEW aircraft would direct and control the much more forward based Skardu F-16s plus more aircraft being flown from airbases in mainland Pakistan. In theory, they could bring a lot of their forces to bear on the Indians. Reality was different.

Modern air combat is all about Temporal Aerial Density. This means that it is less about how many airplanes a nation has and more to do with their ability to concentrate more fighters than their opponent in a given time inside a three-dimensional box in space. If this box is further away from the airbases and the combatant does not have the ability to bring in a lot of aircraft inside this box in a small time, the overall effect of the large number of airplanes is rendered indecisive in the outcome of the air war. Verma understood this doctrine very well and in his mind, the three-dimensional box was spread over Deosai and Skardu. Airbases from Pakistan could allow PAF fighters to fly into this box but they could not do so quickly enough to stop the Indians from completing their strike packages. The PAF was not equipped with long endurance, high capability aircraft other than the very small batch of Block-52 F-16s.

On the Indian side, however, the long-range bruiser was the Su-30MKI. This Flanker derivate had long range and large endurance. Fighters deploying from nearby bases at Leh, Srinagar and so on also meant that other aircraft such as the Mirage-2000s and upgraded Mig-29s could and would join the fray as required. And Tanker support was available for those aircraft that needed that extra support to get home.

All in all, the PAF was a defensive force whose only strategic objective was to retain control of their own skies. They weren’t going anywhere and they knew it. The deployment of a good chunk of their newer F-16s to Skardu and Gilgit was as much about deterrence as it was about defenses…

Well, we will see how that holds up! Verma looked at his wristwatch and nodded.

It was time.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Mar 2014 09:02

Image

KASHMIR VALLEY
22ND MARCH + 2325 HRS


The valley became backlit with orange-white glow as the first of the Block-III Brahmos missiles leapt out of the tubes into the cold night sky. The nine-meter long missiles climbed straight up on an expanding tower of flame and smoke from their boosters and then slapped to their side using their maneuvering thrusters and accelerated away to the north, climbing above the Himalayan peaks around them. A few seconds later they ejected their booster rockets and the on-board air-breathing ramjet engines roared to life. As the smoking boosters fell to the rocks below on ballistic trajectories, the first three Brahmos missiles created a vapor cone in front of their noses and broke through it just before reaching the line of control. They crossed into occupied Kashmir trailing rippling supersonic shockwaves that shook the mountains…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Mar 2014 09:03

Image

SKIES ABOVE OCCUPIED KASHMIR
22ND MARCH + 2326 HRS


On board the Karakoram Eagle AEW, the sudden arrival of the Brahmos missiles on the radar screens sent a wave of panicked and chaotic comms chatter as the Verma’s counterpart in this aircraft attempted to make sense of what was happening whilst trying to send out the warning to all concerned commanders on the ground. They had two F-16s up on patrol near Skardu and these were ordered to punch afterburners and move into position to try and shoot down the incoming cruise missiles. But the Brahmos missile launches were timed for precision. And the two Pakistani pilots became aware of this fact as they dived from position and had to reverse back on their flight path. Even so, they were facing the missiles coming straight at them at Mach three. Coupled with their own closure rate, there was no time for the two pilots to engage anything and the two AMRAAM missiles they fired flew past their intended targets at a relative velocity of four times the speed of sound!

For their part, the three missiles were heading to their targets oblivious of the Pakistani attempts to stop them. They made it over their target area before a shot could be fired from the ground against them. These Block-III missiles had the ability for steep dives built in, which they put to use as they swept past the massive peaks surrounding Skardu airbase. The missiles passed the peaks and snap-dived into their targets: the Skardu runway.

At such high impact speeds, they slapped into the concrete of the runway at three precisely measured locations equidistant along its length. The inverted cones of smoke, dust and concrete thrown into the air rose up for a split second before the large warheads on the missiles exploded and the symmetrical cones were blown apart by a wall of flames…

Within minutes, the smoke began to slowly take shape in the form of mushroom clouds as the thunder rippled through the valley, echoing for several minutes across the peaks. The shockwave from the massive explosions also ripped apart one of the two F-16s that had been sitting on the operational readiness platform at the end of the runway.

As ground crews began to rush to the site of the strike, the word was passed up the command line: Skardu was shut down.

*****

To the pilots of the two F-16s flying overhead, this was clear as day and they didn’t need any confirmation from command regarding this. However it did complicate their lives substantially. It took the leader of the two-man flight only a few seconds to realize what had happened. Their main force of aircraft was now stuck on the ground at an airbase from which they couldn’t take to the air. Which meant that there would be no support around for a while for the two Falcon drivers until aircraft from the west and from Gilgit could come down to help out. As they scanned the skies above the southern peaks, they realized just how lonely they were…

*****

“Pike and Lancer leaders, weapons free! Weapons free!”

The Squadron commander for the No. 28 Squadron smiled within his mask as he heard the message from Verma on board the ERJ-145. The squadron had been flying well south of the maximum detection range of the Kilo-Echo and had been rearing to go. The squadron commander flipped the comms: “Pike leader to all elements! Punch tanks and move to contact on my mark! Three…two…one…mark!”

The eight Mig-29s comprising Pike and Lancer punched their two drop tanks in unison and accelerated with afterburners engaged to the north. They now outnumbered the enemy four-to-one inside Verma’s aerial kill-box. The Indians had just acquired a much higher aerial density in the skies above Skardu.

And the Mig-29 drivers intended to make it count.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby gkriish » 06 Mar 2014 11:41

Now this is worth the wait and worth the thrill cant wait for the next.............

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby member_26730 » 08 Mar 2014 18:36

HI Vivek,

Please post some more.
Fed of AAP bakwaas.Your posts will be welcome change.

Regards,
Rohan

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby anand_sankar » 08 Mar 2014 18:41

Mr Ahuja, kindly send the -16 drivers to their 'virgins' fast :rotfl:

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby raj.devan » 08 Mar 2014 22:29

@Vivek: Loved the bit about temporal aerial density. You aerial dogfight engagements are always a pleasure to read - especially the way you can get inside the mind of a fighter pilot in the midst of combat.

Fed of AAP bakwaas.Your posts will be welcome change

With nearing elections, politics is creeping even into this thread!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby disha » 09 Mar 2014 06:50

raj.devan wrote:@Vivek: Loved the bit about temporal aerial density. You aerial dogfight engagements are always a pleasure to read - especially the way you can get inside the mind of a fighter pilot in the midst of combat.

Fed of AAP bakwaas.Your posts will be welcome change

With nearing elections, politics is creeping even into this thread!


Raj' saar - what got your goat? Calling "AAP" bakwas? or posting about "AAP bakwas" in a scenario thread?

Imagine this scenario., bakis attack us with nuke - is successful and half of mumbai is destroyed. What will AAPtards do? I will take my response in "AAP" thread. Thanks.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby raj.devan » 09 Mar 2014 09:45

In Chimera, the politicians in the story did a lot of talking, but in the end failed to give any value addition to the fight against the Chinese - whether by giving the armed forces a clear mandate, or by assisting them with diplomatic maneuvres. In the end it was primarily because the politicians had kept out of the way that the Chinese had been defeated.

An antithesis to this was the Sri Lanka war in 87, where Rajiv Gandhi's government gave no clear mandate, but also interfered so much in rules of engagement that we took very high casualties and had to withdraw our troops.

But you're right. How each political party or coalition will react or not react to something like a nuclear attack can be discussed in the GDF. My guess is that if the government is a weak coalition they will spend their time conducting meetings till everything blows over.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Mihir.D » 09 Mar 2014 16:44

Vivek- Please update.

When is the next book releasing ?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby aditp » 09 Mar 2014 17:14

Pliss to update saar.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 11 Mar 2014 06:32

Image

CHAPTER 2

ABOVE THE LINE OF CONTROL
23RD MARCH + 0001 HRS


“Bandits turning…heading south. Closure rate at fifteen hundred.”
“Pike copies all.” Wing-Commander Oberoi responded the input from Verma’s boys in the AEW aircraft. He did the mental calculations to determine when the green dotted rectangle on his heads-up-display, or HUD, would turn into a solid one. This rectangle pair represented the input from the AEW on the location of the two Pakistani F-16s now heading south to meet his force head on…
He had to remind himself that this was real. And happening now.
There was sweat inside his gloves now.

So it is real after all!

He turned his attention to the aircraft he now controlled. The attitude of his Mig-29 was stable: zero roll rates, positive pitch. The rumble of the afterburners reminded him that he was still accelerating whilst climbing. Sure enough, the velocity and Mach counters were registering the gradual increase in his kinetic energy…

The dotted rectangle turned solid with an audio tone in his helmet earphones. The Mig-29 radars had also acquired the two enemy aircraft and the control was now transferred from the AEW radar. Sure enough, the radio squawked: “Hawk-Eye to Pike. Bandits handed over. Kill them all!

“Wilco!” Oberoi said and then looked left and right to see the other seven Mig-29s flying in a spread line-abreast formation. All aircraft would engage simultaneously. He switched frequencies:
“Pike elements: here we go! Weapons release on my mark. Break the enemy formation and dive for the deck. Do not let the buggers keep you at arm’s length! We do our business better up close and personal!”

First supersonics!” was the chorus response on the comms. Oberoi smiled at that. The squadron had really taken to its name with pride after the China war where they had been one of the first IAF units committed to combat against the Chinese aircraft in Ladakh. Now the phrase had taken had taken on a meaning of identity with the squadron as well as its charging war-cry.

Like the cavalry leaders of old…Oberoi thought as his hands cycled through the R-77 targeting and release. He and the rest of his pilots were now seconds away from reaching within missile launch range for the R-77 beyond visual range missiles. Each aircraft carried two of these tonight. They also carried a pair of R-73 close-range heat-seeking infra-red missiles for the up-close and dirty work. The innermost pylons were empty now that the drop tanks had been punched…

The audio tone inside his helmet screeched as the diamonds appeared inside the green rectangles in his HUD.
“Pike! Weapons release! Fire!

All eight Mig-29 pilots depressed the weapon’s release button on their control sticks within split-seconds of each other. And eight white R-77s dropped clean off the pylons and fell underneath the aircraft for a dozen feet before their motors ignited. The missiles accelerated from underneath the aircraft and climbed above them washing the parent aircraft with a large whitish smoke cloud. Oberoi’s cockpit swept aside the smoke from his launch as he kept his eyes focused on the large exhaust flash of the missile showing up on his night-vision goggles in a green-black background. The missiles were on their way. Eight R-77s against two F-16s.

His helmet audio screeched again. This time it was a more urgent screech. The two F-16 pilots had released four AMRAAM missiles.
Shit! Here we go!

“Pike! We have missiles inbound! Watch the skies and find the inbounds before you dive! Do not take your eyes off the inbounds!”
Several seconds passed during which he could feel his heart pounding inside his chest. No visuals. Were the missiles smokeless?
I hope not…He thought as he continued to peer at the horizon to his north even as the radar-warning receivers on his aircraft registered not just the F-16 radar but also their supporting Karakoram Eagle AEW much further north.

There! Four specks of light arcing down from the north.
“Pike! I have V-ID on four missiles! Arcing down at eleven position! Break formation and dodge these suckers! Break! Break!”

He rolled his aircraft a full two quadrants and dived. The rest of the Mig-29s did the same. All of them punched chaff shards out as they completed their dives and entered into the cloud floor above the mountains. Oberoi’s cockpit disappeared inside a muck of clouds and he lost all visibility within a blink. His hands instinctively pulled his aircraft level to avoid running into a solid rock mountain at point-blank range. Out here in the Himalayas, this was a problem just as severe as any other. Coupled with bad clouds, it could be catastrophic to any novice…

“Oh shit!” Oberoi shouted as he flipped his aircraft to a side and skipped past a solid rock mountain peak at eight-hundred kilometers an hour. He realized he had dropped significantly in the clouds and not having a ground reference, had not realized it. This needed correction and he pulled his aircraft up into the muck. His audio screeches confirmed that the missiles had stopped following him a while back. But his radio was alive with the chaotic chatter of pilots dodging missiles within the mountains.

Time to get up there…Oberoi thought as he pushed the throttle forward and pulled the control stick back. Agile as the Fulcrum was, it responded like a sports car and pitched up to seventy degrees and yet continued to accelerate through the clouds. Within seconds he was above the cover and was staring at the brilliant starry skies above. Of course, now that he was up here, he didn’t like feeling so alone…

“Pike-two! Where did you go? I lost visual on you!”
“I have you at my nine, leader!” Oberoi turned his head to this left and saw his wingman’s Mig-29 climbing through the cloud floor trailing contrails. He then looked back to his right to see where he thought the F-16s should have been. But there was nothing to be seen there…

“Hawk-Eye, this is Pike-one,” he opened the comms channel with the AEW, “I need a fix on our two bandits right away! Over!”
The response came few seconds later: “Roger. We have one bandit within two kilometers due west. We have lost contact with the other bandit after he dived behind clouds of chaff.”
To my west…Oberoi scanned the skies as he brought the aircraft heading in that direction. There were large cumulous clouds in the skies above showing as white against the greenish-black sky. But no relative motion suggesting man-made presence. “Pike-two, do you see our prey? I got nothing over here.”

“Roger! I have our prey noon-high within the cloud bank! Two kilo-mikes!” Oberoi jerked his head up and saw the F-16 as it cut through one cloud bank and into the other, looking for its own prey.
“Follow my lead, -two!” Oberoi said as he brought the control stick back into his stomach and felt the aircraft pitch up even more as they climbed. This time they leveled out underneath the clouds and were waiting for the Pakistani pilot to burst out of the cover he had had flown into. A second later this happened and Oberoi saw the clipped-delta silhouette of the F-16 punch through the white cloud embankment. By this time both Indian pilots had switched to their R-73 missiles and as Oberoi lined up behind the single-engine exhaust of the diving F-16, he prepared to launch one…

Except the Pakistani pilot had other plans. The F-16 abruptly flipped to its right and dived for the cloud floor below. If he got within it, there would be no chance of a pursuit.
“Pike-two! The bugger has spotted us! Don’t let him reach the cloud cover! Follow me in!”
“Wilco!”

Oberoi punched the throttle forward and felt the sudden burst of acceleration as the three aircraft dived for the cloud cover below. The Pakistani pilot was now punching bursts of flares that instantly decimated the night-vision of the two Indian pilots so close behind him…
This guy knows his trade. Oberoi waited for the audio tone confirming his lock. But the F-16 was no match for the Fulcrum in a dogfight. And try as he might, the F-16 driver could only stave off the inevitable for a while…

“I have tone! Pickle one!” Oberoi shouted over the comms as the gee forces pulled him into his seat coming out of another tight turn behind the now-desperate F-16 pilot who had run out of flares. Oberoi always taught his pilots to not panic in combat. And here was a classic example why. In his desperation to stave off the Indian pilots, the Pakistani pilot had punched flares faster than he had probably realized. And now he had none left. He had also let the flares act as a glowing path leading to himself within the night sky. Now he had other Mig-29s converging from all sides. There was no escape now.

Oberoi felt the shudder as the R-73 flew off its rack. Unlike the R-77, its motor ignited simultaneously and flew in a quick clockwise arc into the orange-yellow exhaust of the F-16. The small fireball that ensued enveloped the small aircraft and broke it to smithereens. Oberoi and his wingman flipped and flew on either side of the explosion as the pieces flew past, trailing smoky columns with them…

“Splash one bandit!” Oberoi exclaimed in jubilation over the comms as he pulled his aircraft level near some ridgelines. But that was short lived.
The aircraft suddenly became backlit by flashes and thunderous rumble of explosions all around him. Tracers flew past in streaks and he could hear the whizzes of their flight inside his cockpit. He looked down from the cockpit and saw on either side a ridgeline lit with flashes of anti-aircraft fire aimed at him…

Oh shit! Pike flight! Climb, climb, climb! We are over a hornet’s nest down below!” He shouted as he punched flares and afterburner and brought his aircraft into a near vertical climb above the gunfire below. He saw the tracers and explosions falling behind him as he reached above the clouds.

“Pike leader, you all right?” his wingman asked as he pulled level to his portside. Oberoi didn’t respond. His heart was pounding in his chest and he swore that if he relaxed his hands from the stick and throttle, they would start shaking uncontrollably. So instead he grabbed them even stronger.

“Roger, -two. All clear. Some dings and scratches but otherwise clean. Wouldn’t want to do that again, though. Where’s the other bugger?”
“No V-ID on the second bandit, leader. Hawk-Eye speculates that he was shot down by our long-range volley.”
“Right,” Oberoi thought and then the thought came to him: “Our losses? Who hasn’t checked in?”
“Pike-three is down. Took a direct hit from one of the AMRAAMs. Pike-five is trailing smoke and bugging south with Pike-six on escort.”
Oberoi looked around and saw the other four Fulcrums apart from his own accounted for in the skies around him. He switched comms to Verma on board the AEW: “This is pike-leader. Skies are clear of two Falcons. We are bingo fuel and egressing south. Over.”

“Hawk-Eye copies all. Good work. Scabbard is on station and will reinforce. Pike is cleared to egress. Out.”

Oberoi switched off the comms and flipped the aircraft to the side as the five Mig-29s of his flight headed south in an arrow formation. As they cleared the line-of-control, they saw an entire line of flashes on the peaks and tracers and explosions moving back and forth. The muffled thunder from the explosions could be heard even above the rumble of the two engines inside the cockpit…

“You seeing this?” Oberoi asked his wingman and waved down with his hand. The wingman nodded from his cockpit but otherwise said nothing.
Oberoi turned his attention forward and allowed himself to relax his grip as Scabbard flight and its massive force of sixteen Su-30s streaked to their side, heading north into occupied Kashmir.

The realization struck Oberoi yet again:

it had begun.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Manish_Sharma » 11 Mar 2014 13:59

So 8 R-77s kill One F-16,
while 4 AMRAAMs down one Mig 29 and injure the other.

Now let's see what the big boys sukhois have in store for porkis.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 12 Mar 2014 09:58

Image

LEH
23RD MARCH + 0025 HRS


The six army pilots looked up as the two truck convoy roared on to the tarmac from the other and accelerated towards them. Lt-Colonel Jagat flicked the red flashlight off and folded the maps as the others stepped back to see their “cargo” for this flight. As the heavily armed soldiers began offloading from the back of the two trucks, Jagat stuffed the maps into his chest pocket and zipped up the leather flight jacket.

“Here we go, boys.” He nodded to the other five pilots. They saluted and walked off, leaving Jagat and his co-pilot near the open cockpit of the Dhruv helicopter. Jagat noticed the team leader of the special-warfare team heading towards him, his team in tow. The click-snap noise of the crew-chief checking the side-door mounted machine-gun caused them to jerk their head. Jagat checked his watch and looked at the co-pilot:
“Start pre-flight. I will be in there shorty.”
“Yes, sir.”

The co-pilot walked away and opened the side-door of glass cockpit and clambered aboard. Jagat saw the team-leader walk up to him and saluted.
“Major Pathanya, reporting as ordered, sir.” Jagat sized the man up. He had never met him before and so far as his job was from the grunts within the secretive SOCOM, had never heard about his specific deeds in Bhutan. For Jagat, this young Major was like so many others he had taken on dangerous heliborne operations in the Kashmir valley. What made one more any more or less special? He conceded that today’s mission was right up insane creek; and certainly these men in front of him with their faces painted in winter highland camo weren’t his regular customers. But hell, when the mission demanded a quick and dirty airborne insertion, they called on him. This Major and his team were just along for the ride.

“Very good, Major,” Jagat said as he returned Pathanya’s salute. He then checked his watch: “Right on time. Get your men and equipment on board this helicopter and the two others you see there.” He motioned to the two other Dhruv helicopters parked nearby, their fuselages visible only against the bluish moonlight and the main rotor blades oscillating slightly in the chilly winds of the Leh valley.
“Yes, sir.” Pathanya said crisply and looked back at his team who immediately split into three groups and began carrying their backpacks and personal weapons to the respective birds. Pathanya would fly with Jagat for obvious reasons. He walked over and slung his backpack on the floor of the helicopter as his other team-mates entered through the rear cargo entrance. The distant thunder on the horizon caught his attention. He stepped back from the door and heard the rumble coming from the northwest…

“They have opened up on both sides,” Jagat noted as he walked around the cockpit to the other side. “The line of control is being lit up nice and heavy by artillery fire from both sides.”
“It’s all good, though.” The co-pilot offered as he put on his flight-helmet and lowered the night-vision goggles. “For us, anyway. Provides a nice little distraction on the frontlines for us to sneak through.”

Pathanya grunted and shook his head. It was always the same. Everybody had their own little corner of the war to handle. So it was here. He could imagine what the soldiers underneath that bombardment were facing. After all, he had endured the same during the battle of Wang-Chu bridge in Bhutan. Was Pakistani artillery any better or heavier than what the PLA Highland Division had thrown at him and his team? He was certainly under no rush to find out! Of course, there was nothing like being knocked over by the shockwave from a nuclear blast…

The pain in his thigh shot up his body to remind him that this was no game. As if he needed any such reminders. There was a small glow of orange to the northeast that silhouetted the Ladakh mountains for a few seconds before the inky black night took over again. The muffled rumbling followed several seconds later under his feet. He could feel the first signs of fear somewhere in his hard outer core trying to creep out. It had to be suppressed if he was to be effective tonight. Time to change thoughts!

“Sir, what’s our flight look like?” He asked Jagat as the latter flicked on his night-vision goggles. A small green glow reflected back on the visor of his helmet. Pathanya noticed the cockpit was all darkened. There were no lights inside the helicopter except for extremely dimmed ones in the cockpit designed for use with low-light helmet optics. It was certainly eerie to him to see the helicopter turbines coming to life but nothing in the cockpit to accompany it. Nothing to show a novice what was happening. This was not a cockpit for the inexperienced…

“Standard S-H-B-O, Major.” Jagat noted without turning away from his task. “We are departing from Leh in a few minutes and will be heading to our forward-area-rearming-point west of Kargil. We will refuel there, meet with our escorts and fly you and your team into the A-O. Once there, we will hold and let your boys do your thing. After that we are to pick you up and be back to our jump-off point within an hour.”

The co-pilot turned back to face Pathanya: “We will be going in hard and fast. Low-level nap-of-the-earth flight in the mountains with only low-light optics and no visual landmarks other than our trusty nav system here.” Pathanya could make out the shining white teeth of the grinning co-pilot underneath the helmet and the visor.

Damned SOCOM pilots!

Pathanya moved back into the cockpit and grabbed his backpack and rifle as the turbines spooled up and the rotors were spinning at full RPM. He looked at the three other team-members inside the cabin:
“Hold on to your seats, men. And I mean hold hard!” He shook his head and continued: “We have some real aggressive pilots up front!”
One of the Lieutenants tucked his backpack closer to his chest: “Aggressive special-forces helicopter pilots? Oh good god! That’s all we needed!”

Pathanya smiled and grabbed his backpack into his chest as well just as the helicopter leapt off the ground like a panther leaping on its prey. Which was apt considering Jagat was always assigned the call-sign Panther-Actual by the operations people. Something to do with his past, if the rumors were to be believed. And with what Pathanya had seen of the man, he was ready to believe anything the rumors said about him.

The crew-chief on board made sure their passengers were still there after the violent lift-off and then went back to manning the machine-gun. Pathanya saw him speaking something into his helmet comms mouthpiece but it was inaudible over the rumble of the engines. But he did see a smile on the NCO’s face as he got the response from the cockpit. Probably Jagat had wanted to make sure his passengers were still on board after that liftoff.

Yeah, this flight was going to be real fun…Pathanya thought as he put his head back on the metal skin of the helicopter and let the vibrations relax him. Through the open side door of the helicopter, he could see over the shoulder of the crew-chief and saw the Leh valley falling behind as the three helicopters of Panther flight climbed to the northwest.
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 12 Mar 2014 10:21, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 12 Mar 2014 10:12

Image

THE KARGIL MOUNTAINS
23RD MARCH + 0110 HRS


The blades of the Mi-17 helicopter threw up a cloud of snow and water droplets as it touched down on the helipad. The undercarriage tires pressed against the gravel and compressed as the engine power was reduced and the mass of the helicopter bore down on them. As the crew-chief got off the rear ramp and confirmed solid contact with terra-firma, Gephel walked off and headed towards the camouflaged command trailers a few hundred feet away. He had to hold on to his beret for the first couple dozen feet for fear of it being ripped off his head by the main rotor blades of the Mi-17 whipping above his head. He was met by one of Ansari’s operations officers who saluted and hurriedly pointed towards the left-most of the command trailers. Gephel nodded and followed the man.

It was hard to see the ground under his feet out here. The loose gravel and the slushy-wet snow felt like it would give way the very next step. Gephel frowned as his boots sank into the slush and looked up to see solid clouds above. Leh had been clear with only partly clouds. But out here, the weather had become worse. He frowned as his minds ran over possible implications of continued bad weather to the upcoming operations. Would they have to hold off? Did they even have that option anymore?

“In here, sir.” The Captain escorting Gephel said as they reached the closed door of the command trailer. He grabbed the handle and unlocked it just as a series of light flashes to the north silhouetted the valley. The sound followed within a couple seconds. Gephel realized the proximity of their location to the line of control a few kilometers north. The artillery duel between the two armies was not far off. In fact, he could see the flashes of friendly heavy tube-artillery firing away to the west…

Gephel sighed and opened the door before stepping inside. He saw the small operation room occupied by half dozen men, Ansari included. Three of the other NCOs were on the comms. Ansari and a couple of his operations people were leaning over the map table. Ansari was on the phone but waved Gephel inside as he continued talking. Gephel walked over and saw that one of the screens inside the trailer showed the black-white feed from one of the air force’s Searcher-II unmanned aerial vehicles. The top-left screen data showed Gephel that this was Cougar-two orbiting above Deosai. Inside occupied Kashmir!

“The air-force is running SEAD missions along our ingress corridor,” Ansari noted as he put the phone back in its position on the side comms panel. “Their Jaguars just snuffed out a few of the Pak anti-air positions along our path. So now they are backing that up with aerial drones. Cougar-two is one of two high-altitude drones over Pak territory at the moment. And it will be our eyes for the next two hours.”

“And then the air-force wants their drone back?” Gephel asked neutrally. It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened in the Indian military.
Ansari nodded and pointed to the digital map on the table in front of them: “It should be sufficient for our purposes. Panther is in the air and Leopard will rendezvous with them at the refueling point.”

Gephel crossed his arms. So far everything was on schedule. But going by past experience, how long would that last?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby sudhan » 12 Mar 2014 14:07

Finally.. Boots about to hit the ground!! Excellent build up, Ahuja saar!

Moooaaarr!!! :mrgreen:

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Sanku » 13 Mar 2014 16:05

I finally managed to order Vivek's book from pothi -- it took me many attempts with 4 different browsers and different versions, when FINALLY INTERNET EXPLORER worked to complete the transaction.

Vivek_Ahuja Saar, any wonder the sale of your book in India is not higher than it is ?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby asbchakri » 13 Mar 2014 17:20

sudhan wrote: Moooaaarr!!! :mrgreen:


You sound like Katy Perry :rotfl: :rotfl:

but yeah more posts please

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Mar 2014 09:46

Vivek_Ahuja Saar, any wonder the sale of your book in India is not higher than it is ?


Indeed. :oops:

Hopefully the experience with Fenix will be better, saar. Fingers crossed onlee.

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 14 Mar 2014 10:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Mar 2014 09:49

Image

SKIES ABOVE OCCUPIED KASHMIR
23RD MARCH + 0130 HRS


As the two flashes erupted to the south, the two pilots inside cockpit of the PAF Karakoram Eagle airborne-radar aircraft reflexively jerked their heads towards it. The minute orange-yellow flashes were magnified by several orders of magnitude in their low-light goggles. As they watched, the flashes broke into hundreds of smaller fragments of trailing comets and the intensity of the light dissipated away as these fragments went earthwards in their projectile paths…

The captain of the aircraft immediately pushed the throttles on all four engines and brought the aircraft to a diving bank. They had just witnessed the decimation of their two F-16 close-escorts to the south and he wasn’t about to wait to find out why. All he knew was that it was his responsibility to protect one of the crown jewels of the Pakistani air force from destruction at Indian hands…at all costs. Whoever had destroyed the two F-16s were surely after the airborne-radar. And he had to get it away from them as far as possible.

The destruction of the runway at Skardu had trapped eight of the twelve Block-52 F-16s on the ground. These were now at the mercy of the Indian strike jets. The other two on patrol over Skardu had met their fate at the hands of the swarm of Indian Fulcrums. And now the last two of the dozen F-16s in occupied Kashmir had been literally swatted from the sky with a sickle of death by a massive force of Indian Flankers charging north into this airspace. As the wreckage of these last two friendly aircraft in the southern skies fell to the earth, the captain of the Karakoram-Eagle knew that there were now no more defenses between them and the Indian Flankers. So they had to escape, hastily as it was.

The sudden abrupt motion of the aircraft caught the radar crew in the back by surprise and jerked them within their seats as the aircraft banked and lost altitude. Their radar picture immediately became gibberish. The crew shut down all systems to prevent damage as the aircraft took drastic evasive maneuvers and egressed further north into Chinese airspace. The flight crew knew that the Indians would not dare pursue the aircraft into Chinese territory for fear of triggering a massive Chinese military response.

“Kilo-Echo bird has stopped radiating.” The EW operator said flatly.
Verma took a deep breath and nodded. The Flankers of scabbard flight had successfully cleared the airspace over occupied Kashmir in a deadly swipe. Two more F-16s had been shot down for zero losses and now the sole Pakistani airborne radar aircraft was scampering north in all due haste. He couldn’t order its pursuit despite the pleas of the Flanker pilots. No. The Kilo-Echo bird was out of the fight. It wasn’t dead, but the net effect was the same. For now, he needed Scabbard flight to reorient itself and face the incoming threats from the west as Pakistan recovered from the initial element of surprise and began sending up waves of fighters to try and take back control of the skies over Kashmir.

It would have been nice to take out some more airbases in mainland Pakistan. But that was an escalation that was off the cards for the Indian forces. New-Delhi wanted this done surgically and fast. But because they had given away the game before it could begin, Bhosale and Verma had been forced to take out the Pakistani air threat that had been deployed to deter the strikes against militant training camps and other facilities. But Pakistani military was not one to take a humiliation of this kind laying down. Now they were scrambling fighters across the board to take back control of lost airspace. Commanders such as Verma at the sharp end of the sword were left to wonder whether that thin red line between strikes against terrorist targets and all-out war with Pakistan had already been crossed when the first Brahmos missiles had disabled Skardu airbase.

Any such distinction, of course, was purely for political reasoning only. As far as those in uniform were concerned, the balloon had gone up. If New-Delhi chose to cover its eyes and ears and allege otherwise, it was because of its own inability to see the adapting situation in front of them. Verma and Bhosale had known for the last week that things would unfold this way and had prepared for it. The Prime-Minister and his cabinet were probably being briefed at this very instant.

They will realize the truth soon enough…Verma thought as he crossed his arms and saw the comms chatter between the Flanker flight leaders and his operators directing them towards two flights of obsolescent Pakistani Mirage-IIIs and another flight of JF-17 fighters scrambling out of Sargodha airbase in Pakistan.

“Are there any other Pak birds over occupied Kashmir apart from the egressing Kilo-Echo bird?” Verma asked the operators in front of him. He got several negatives in response.
Good. Kashmir airspace is ours.
For now, anyway…he corrected himself as he brought his comms mouthpiece up and spoke into it: “This is Hawk-eye-actual. The window is pried open. It won’t stay that way for too long. Make it count and give them hell!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Mar 2014 09:50

Image

THE KARGIL MOUNTAINS
23RD MARCH + 0140 HRS


The Dhruv helicopters flared for landing on the gravel and whipped up a cloud of dust. Jagat powered down the helicopter as he and his co-pilot looked outside for signs of life. The swirling dust obscured the view and the wartime blackout conditions didn’t help. It was several seconds before they could make out soldiers running across to them across the landing ground with refueling equipment. One of the officers wearing military woodland camo battledress and a contrasting white winter smock ran over to the side of the cockpit, holding his cap with one hand. Jagat opened up the cockpit door and peered outside to see his crew-chief already on the ground and helping the soldiers to refuel the helicopter.

“How long do you need?” Jagat asked the officer who had come up to the cockpit.
“Ten minutes!” The lieutenant answered over the sounds of the roaring trucks and other military vehicles heading down the highway further away.
“Make it fast, son! The meter is running!” Jagat said and then lowered his comms mouthpiece as the lieutenant ran off to supervise the refueling for the other two helicopters of Panther flight.

“Panther-two, -three: do you guys see our escorts anywhere? I do not see them from where I am parked right now.” Jagat looked to see his co-pilot who shrugged his shoulders.
“Uh…that’s a big negative, Panther,” one of the other two pilots reported. “I got nothing over here. Just some parked vehicles and trailers.”
“-Three here. I got negative V-ID on Leopard birds, parked or otherwise.”
“Shit!” Jagat said as he switched comms to get in touch with command. Pathanya moved up behind the co-pilot as he listened to the chatter.

“What’s the problem?” He asked the co-pilot in a whisper as Jagat began spewing expletives while the ops people at Ansari’s HQ tried to find out what was going on.
“Leopard flight is our designated close escort for the mission,” the co-pilot explained in a whisper. “They were supposed to rendezvous with us here at our jump-off FARP just south of the LOC. But we have no comms with them and don’t see them around. Somebody ****** things up at command or Leopard got stuck in bad weather en-route and had to put down somewhere.”
“Shit!” Pathanya blurted out. The co-pilot grunted.
“Yeah. Join the cursing club.”

A sudden burst of rotor noise caught all of Panther by surprise and Pathanya jerked as four thin, sleek, helicopters flew just overhead at high speed. Jagat and his co-pilot stretched forward to see the four helicopters as they banked to the south, one kilometer to the west…

“Scratch that request, Viper-actual,” Jagat said matter-of-factly, “I think Leopard just got here! Over.” He flicked the comms off and then changed VHF frequencies to match Leopard comms: “If you gentlemen are done goofing around, I would like to get this job over with!”

Pathanya saw the four helicopters now returning back to the FARP at much lower speeds and spreading out in a finger-four formation as they flared for landing. Only when they touched down did he see that these were four LCH gunships. All four choppers carried a two man crew consisting of a weapons-system-operator, or WSO, and a pilot. He also saw the protruding cannons underneath the chin of the helicopters as well as rocket pods and dual-pylons for a total of four Nag anti-tank missiles per bird. This was serious firepower on hand.

“If only we had these in Bhutan when we needed them,” Pathanya blurted out and then stopped himself. The co-pilot heard him but chose to not say anything. He understood Pathanya’s sentiment.
The radio squawked: “Apologies for the delay, Panther! Give us a few minutes to fuel up and we will be good to go.”
“Roger,” Jagat noted and then checked his watch. “Make it snappy, if you would please.” They were getting behind schedule already. Jagat looked out the cockpit glass and swore in silence. Pathanya glanced at the co-pilot and then moved back into the cabin to check on his men.

“What’s going on up there?” One of his men asked as settled down next to his backpack and pulled out the maps and images for a final mental dry run. Pathanya looked at the man as he removed his small flashlight.

“Usual errors in getting the right people at the right place at the right time under combat conditions. Don’t worry about it though. It’s all under control.”
He saw that the answer did not convince his men. But they took it nonetheless and did not ask follow up questions knowing fully well that their team leader probably didn’t know any more himself. Pathanya looked at them for a second and then turned his eyes to the maps spread out on his lap. One of the pictures he pulled out was a copy of the file picture RAW had of Muzammil and his chief operatives in the LET. Each of his team members had a copy of the picture to allow them to positively ID the man amongst all of his bearded cohorts. Pathanya looked at the picture of the man in long flowing beard and reminded himself that this was the man responsible for the strike on Mumbai. And since then he had been stretching his vocal cords spewing religious hatred and promising renewed jihad against Indian forces in Kashmir and elsewhere.

This was the man. Right here.

Pathanya looked to the side and heard the metal clanks suggesting that their refueling was complete and that the ground crews were preparing the helicopter for dust-off. Looking at the vast military operation currently in play to punish these militant outfits and Pakistan as well, it was now anybody’s guess as to what it meant to capture this one man when so much else was going on. Would it even matter anymore as the two nations slugged it out? Was that what this man and his handlers in the ISI had wanted?

There was only one way to find out.

Pathanya tucked the picture inside his chest pocket as he heard the turbines of the helicopter spooling up. He heard Jagat talking to his pilots up front:
“Panther-actual to Leopard-actual. You have the lead, we have the tail. Take us to the A-O. Over.”
“Wilco, Panther. Leopard-two, -three, -four. You know the drill. Protect Panther from all threats, ground and air. Use deadly force as required. Advise corrections to waypoints as necessary. All right, gentlemen, here we go!”

Pathanya saw through the front cockpit glass as the four gunships leapt off the snowy-gravel and over climbed out of view. Jagat turned back to face Pathanya and his men: “Hold on boys, here we go!”

A few seconds later the helicopter lifted off the ground in rapid acceleration that left Pathanya holding tight. He saw two of the LCH gunships move up front of the Panther birds from above and took up position as the seven helicopters dusted off the FARP. The view of the flashes of artillery fire were now directly visible to the north from the cockpit glass. Pathanya grabbed his rifle and backpack and lofted it behind his back as his men did the same. He heard the last of the radio messages and recognized Ansari’s voice straight away:

“Viper-actual here. Confirmed target package within A-O and have eyes on from Cougar-two. Execute! Execute!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby member_28397 » 14 Mar 2014 12:47

Great writing Vivek saar, a big fan of how you build up the scenario and gives excellent finishes :).

I hope in future may be you enter in realm of science fiction and mix it will India military responses to alien encounters or full throttle military invasions. Bring back immortal warrior of Mahabharata Ashwthama ;) to fight back with Indian military to hold aliens :D. I hope you do present some scenarios like these. Best of Luck

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby rkhanna » 14 Mar 2014 12:52

Err have I missed something? Who be Cougar-two? Need my fix now !!! :((

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Bala Vignesh » 14 Mar 2014 13:31

Khanaji Cougar-2 is the UAV over Deosai

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby rkhanna » 14 Mar 2014 14:00

Many thanks :)

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby srai » 15 Mar 2014 07:11

vivek_ahuja wrote:Image

CHAPTER 2

ABOVE THE LINE OF CONTROL
23RD MARCH + 0001 HRS


“Bandits turning…heading south. Closure rate at fifteen hundred.”
“Pike copies all.” Wing-Commander Oberoi responded the input from Verma’s boys in the AEW aircraft. He did the mental calculations to determine when the green dotted rectangle on his heads-up-display, or HUD, would turn into a solid one. This rectangle pair represented the input from the AEW on the location of the two Pakistani F-16s now heading south to meet his force head on…
He had to remind himself that this was real. And happening now.
There was sweat inside his gloves now.

So it is real after all!

He turned his attention to the aircraft he now controlled. The attitude of his Mig-29 was stable: zero roll rates, positive pitch. The rumble of the afterburners reminded him that he was still accelerating whilst climbing. Sure enough, the velocity and Mach counters were registering the gradual increase in his kinetic energy…

The dotted rectangle turned solid with an audio tone in his helmet earphones. The Mig-29 radars had also acquired the two enemy aircraft and the control was now transferred from the AEW radar. Sure enough, the radio squawked: “Hawk-Eye to Pike. Bandits handed over. Kill them all!

“Wilco!” Oberoi said and then looked left and right to see the other seven Mig-29s flying in a spread line-abreast formation. All aircraft would engage simultaneously. He switched frequencies:
“Pike elements: here we go! Weapons release on my mark. Break the enemy formation and dive for the deck. Do not let the buggers keep you at arm’s length! We do our business better up close and personal!”

First supersonics!” was the chorus response on the comms. Oberoi smiled at that. The squadron had really taken to its name with pride after the China war where they had been one of the first IAF units committed to combat against the Chinese aircraft in Ladakh. Now the phrase had taken had taken on a meaning of identity with the squadron as well as its charging war-cry.

Like the cavalry leaders of old…Oberoi thought as his hands cycled through the R-77 targeting and release. He and the rest of his pilots were now seconds away from reaching within missile launch range for the R-77 beyond visual range missiles. Each aircraft carried two of these tonight. They also carried a pair of R-73 close-range heat-seeking infra-red missiles for the up-close and dirty work. The innermost pylons were empty now that the drop tanks had been punched…

The audio tone inside his helmet screeched as the diamonds appeared inside the green rectangles in his HUD.
“Pike! Weapons release! Fire!

All eight Mig-29 pilots depressed the weapon’s release button on their control sticks within split-seconds of each other. And eight white R-77s dropped clean off the pylons and fell underneath the aircraft for a dozen feet before their motors ignited. The missiles accelerated from underneath the aircraft and climbed above them washing the parent aircraft with a large whitish smoke cloud. Oberoi’s cockpit swept aside the smoke from his launch as he kept his eyes focused on the large exhaust flash of the missile showing up on his night-vision goggles in a green-black background. The missiles were on their way. Eight R-77s against two F-16s.

His helmet audio screeched again. This time it was a more urgent screech. The two F-16 pilots had released four AMRAAM missiles.
Shit! Here we go!

“Pike! We have missiles inbound! Watch the skies and find the inbounds before you dive! Do not take your eyes off the inbounds!”
Several seconds passed during which he could feel his heart pounding inside his chest. No visuals. Were the missiles smokeless?
I hope not…He thought as he continued to peer at the horizon to his north even as the radar-warning receivers on his aircraft registered not just the F-16 radar but also their supporting Karakoram Eagle AEW much further north.

There! Four specks of light arcing down from the north.
“Pike! I have V-ID on four missiles! Arcing down at eleven position! Break formation and dodge these suckers! Break! Break!”

He rolled his aircraft a full two quadrants and dived. The rest of the Mig-29s did the same. All of them punched chaff shards out as they completed their dives and entered into the cloud floor above the mountains. Oberoi’s cockpit disappeared inside a muck of clouds and he lost all visibility within a blink. His hands instinctively pulled his aircraft level to avoid running into a solid rock mountain at point-blank range. Out here in the Himalayas, this was a problem just as severe as any other. Coupled with bad clouds, it could be catastrophic to any novice…

“Oh shit!” Oberoi shouted as he flipped his aircraft to a side and skipped past a solid rock mountain peak at eight-hundred kilometers an hour. He realized he had dropped significantly in the clouds and not having a ground reference, had not realized it. This needed correction and he pulled his aircraft up into the muck. His audio screeches confirmed that the missiles had stopped following him a while back. But his radio was alive with the chaotic chatter of pilots dodging missiles within the mountains.

Time to get up there…Oberoi thought as he pushed the throttle forward and pulled the control stick back. Agile as the Fulcrum was, it responded like a sports car and pitched up to seventy degrees and yet continued to accelerate through the clouds. Within seconds he was above the cover and was staring at the brilliant starry skies above. Of course, now that he was up here, he didn’t like feeling so alone…

“Pike-two! Where did you go? I lost visual on you!”
“I have you at my nine, leader!” Oberoi turned his head to this left and saw his wingman’s Mig-29 climbing through the cloud floor trailing contrails. He then looked back to his right to see where he thought the F-16s should have been. But there was nothing to be seen there…

“Hawk-Eye, this is Pike-one,” he opened the comms channel with the AEW, “I need a fix on our two bandits right away! Over!”
The response came few seconds later: “Roger. We have one bandit within two kilometers due west. We have lost contact with the other bandit after he dived behind clouds of chaff.”
To my west…Oberoi scanned the skies as he brought the aircraft heading in that direction. There were large cumulous clouds in the skies above showing as white against the greenish-black sky. But no relative motion suggesting man-made presence. “Pike-two, do you see our prey? I got nothing over here.”

“Roger! I have our prey noon-high within the cloud bank! Two kilo-mikes!” Oberoi jerked his head up and saw the F-16 as it cut through one cloud bank and into the other, looking for its own prey.
“Follow my lead, -two!” Oberoi said as he brought the control stick back into his stomach and felt the aircraft pitch up even more as they climbed. This time they leveled out underneath the clouds and were waiting for the Pakistani pilot to burst out of the cover he had had flown into. A second later this happened and Oberoi saw the clipped-delta silhouette of the F-16 punch through the white cloud embankment. By this time both Indian pilots had switched to their R-73 missiles and as Oberoi lined up behind the single-engine exhaust of the diving F-16, he prepared to launch one…

Except the Pakistani pilot had other plans. The F-16 abruptly flipped to its right and dived for the cloud floor below. If he got within it, there would be no chance of a pursuit.
“Pike-two! The bugger has spotted us! Don’t let him reach the cloud cover! Follow me in!”
“Wilco!”

Oberoi punched the throttle forward and felt the sudden burst of acceleration as the three aircraft dived for the cloud cover below. The Pakistani pilot was now punching bursts of flares that instantly decimated the night-vision of the two Indian pilots so close behind him…
This guy knows his trade. Oberoi waited for the audio tone confirming his lock. But the F-16 was no match for the Fulcrum in a dogfight. And try as he might, the F-16 driver could only stave off the inevitable for a while…

“I have tone! Pickle one!” Oberoi shouted over the comms as the gee forces pulled him into his seat coming out of another tight turn behind the now-desperate F-16 pilot who had run out of flares. Oberoi always taught his pilots to not panic in combat. And here was a classic example why. In his desperation to stave off the Indian pilots, the Pakistani pilot had punched flares faster than he had probably realized. And now he had none left. He had also let the flares act as a glowing path leading to himself within the night sky. Now he had other Mig-29s converging from all sides. There was no escape now.

Oberoi felt the shudder as the R-73 flew off its rack. Unlike the R-77, its motor ignited simultaneously and flew in a quick clockwise arc into the orange-yellow exhaust of the F-16. The small fireball that ensued enveloped the small aircraft and broke it to smithereens. Oberoi and his wingman flipped and flew on either side of the explosion as the pieces flew past, trailing smoky columns with them…

“Splash one bandit!” Oberoi exclaimed in jubilation over the comms as he pulled his aircraft level near some ridgelines. But that was short lived.
The aircraft suddenly became backlit by flashes and thunderous rumble of explosions all around him. Tracers flew past in streaks and he could hear the whizzes of their flight inside his cockpit. He looked down from the cockpit and saw on either side a ridgeline lit with flashes of anti-aircraft fire aimed at him…

Oh shit! Pike flight! Climb, climb, climb! We are over a hornet’s nest down below!” He shouted as he punched flares and afterburner and brought his aircraft into a near vertical climb above the gunfire below. He saw the tracers and explosions falling behind him as he reached above the clouds.

“Pike leader, you all right?” his wingman asked as he pulled level to his portside. Oberoi didn’t respond. His heart was pounding in his chest and he swore that if he relaxed his hands from the stick and throttle, they would start shaking uncontrollably. So instead he grabbed them even stronger.

“Roger, -two. All clear. Some dings and scratches but otherwise clean. Wouldn’t want to do that again, though. Where’s the other bugger?”
“No V-ID on the second bandit, leader. Hawk-Eye speculates that he was shot down by our long-range volley.”
“Right,” Oberoi thought and then the thought came to him: “Our losses? Who hasn’t checked in?”
“Pike-three is down. Took a direct hit from one of the AMRAAMs. Pike-five is trailing smoke and bugging south with Pike-six on escort.”
Oberoi looked around and saw the other four Fulcrums apart from his own accounted for in the skies around him. He switched comms to Verma on board the AEW: “This is pike-leader. Skies are clear of two Falcons. We are bingo fuel and egressing south. Over.”

“Hawk-Eye copies all. Good work. Scabbard is on station and will reinforce. Pike is cleared to egress. Out.”

Oberoi switched off the comms and flipped the aircraft to the side as the five Mig-29s of his flight headed south in an arrow formation. As they cleared the line-of-control, they saw an entire line of flashes on the peaks and tracers and explosions moving back and forth. The muffled thunder from the explosions could be heard even above the rumble of the two engines inside the cockpit…

“You seeing this?” Oberoi asked his wingman and waved down with his hand. The wingman nodded from his cockpit but otherwise said nothing.
Oberoi turned his attention forward and allowed himself to relax his grip as Scabbard flight and its massive force of sixteen Su-30s streaked to their side, heading north into occupied Kashmir.

The realization struck Oberoi yet again:

it had begun.


I think a more sound tactic for the 8 IAF MiG-29s would have been to fly in two groups of 4 aircrafts each and coming in from different direction at different interval. The first 4 Mig-29s would engage the two F-16s with 8 x RVV-77s (2 each) while the the other 4 MiG-29s coming in from different direction and out of range of F-16s AMRAAM would time their run in such a way as to attack the surviving F-16s when they are at their most venerable point during/after evasive maneuvers (loss of altitude and airspeed). They would be easy pickings at this point. Even for the first 4 MiGs, they could split into two groups and launch their salvos of 4 BVRs at short intervals so that the second salvo reaches right after the first F-16 evasive maneuvers have taken place.

raj.devan
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby raj.devan » 15 Mar 2014 16:41

The narration of the Mig29 versus F16 airfight had a distinct air of polish and finesse. It almost felt like it had been written by a combat fighter pilot.

Srai's idea is good. But I think that given the extremely short time one gets to scramble and meet the enemy, it may be difficult to set up such an elaborate plan. Also, given the uncertainty of combat and the invitable fog of war, it probably makes sense for aircraft to stick together in formation.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby Bala Vignesh » 15 Mar 2014 17:18

Sraiji,
Don't reckon such tactics need to be applied when you are the top dog in the skies and are on the offensive, imvho. Plus when you are doing a offensive fighter sweep such tactics are going to be of little help as you want a concentrated force to punch through whatever the enemy attempts to put in front of you.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby RajD » 15 Mar 2014 19:30

But still, sir, 8 R77s for 2 bandits and not even one confirmed KO at BVR, the second one downed in WVR knife fight. As against only four AMRAAMs one confirmed KO, and the second one is escorted out of the theater by another bird. So, in all 3 birds rendered inoperational. How would you consider the efficacy of these missiles? how would reflect on it?
Regards.
Rajendra

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby nash » 15 Mar 2014 20:02

In last scenario, chimera, IAF lost about sq. of MKI(18-20) and Mig29(14-16).

And this is 2017, means number of MKI and Mig-29 should be around 240 and 50 respectively, with dozens of upg. M2K.

IMO, if in last scenario IAF able to beat PLAAF, then now IAF should able to handle 2-front war.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XIII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 15 Mar 2014 20:18

RajD wrote:But still, sir, 8 R77s for 2 bandits and not even one confirmed KO at BVR, the second one downed in WVR knife fight. As against only four AMRAAMs one confirmed KO, and the second one is escorted out of the theater by another bird. So, in all 3 birds rendered inoperational. How would you consider the efficacy of these missiles? how would reflect on it?


I should mention that there are a multitude of factors that are non-linear in air-combat scenarios. It is not an argument for 8 missiles / 2 targets == factor of safety x kills . It is as much about time to contact and engagement zones. Each missile behaves differently. The R-77 is different from an AMRAAM. And unlike WVR engagements, (where if you have 4 IR missiles homing on you, you are pretty much screwed) BVR engagements are more iffy. Depending on what the terrain on the side of the defenders is, there will be different levels of cover available to the two sides. Also note that the Pakistanis have their AEW up as well. So any moves your Migs make, can be countered by the F-16s in an unexpected way, unraveling the overall plans. When both sides are moving at Mach 0.9 and closing with AEWs up on both sides, it is very hard to flank the enemy.


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