Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in war

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Viv S
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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Viv S » 03 Apr 2016 00:28

Akshay Kapoor wrote:Viv,

Op Pawan had little to do with equipment. It was a failure of clear objective, lack of political will, intelligence and planning at govt level. Better weapons would not have helped.


I'm not saying the quality of the equipment was the cause of the debacle. After all, the Army did have the LTTE on the run by the end, before a political decision ended their mandate. What I am saying is that better equipment would have saved lives - BPJs, NVGs, recce aircraft, foliage penetrating radar, better air support, combat controllers capable of precision targeting... hell even something as basic as encrypted radios would have prevented the platoon from the 11th Sikh LI from being cut-down on the grounds of the Jaffna University.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Y. Kanan » 03 Apr 2016 02:16

Austin wrote:ZU-23-2 , ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" AD Gun still used widely


Nowadays the ZU\ZSU series weapons are only used against infantry, an unexpected role for which they are extremely effective.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby NRao » 03 Apr 2016 02:35

Watch 1:15 for about 30 seconds.

https://youtu.be/_cxATLtHZZA

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby vasu raya » 03 Apr 2016 06:03

no ball
Last edited by vasu raya on 03 Apr 2016 20:29, edited 1 time in total.

shiv
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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 03 Apr 2016 06:51

Viv S wrote:That said, one approach is to invest in the right technological tools rather than place place fighting men in harm's way equipped with gear that is unlikely bring back home safely.


No disputing this, but it brings up two opposing "philosophies in warfighting" that make a huge difference in many situations - I am not going to commit and say that one is better. Let me explain

1. One philosophy of warfighting is to avoid placing fighting men in harm's way. This philosophy is embodied in that famous quote by Gen Patton about which ba$tard needs to die and who must live. "Bringing fighting men back home safe" is not a sentiment that can be dismissed as effete or misplaced

2. The other philosophy of warfighting is expressed in the lyrics of the song "Ae mere watan ki logon"
khush rehna desh ke pyaaron
ab hum to safar karte hain



The English equivalent is to give one's today for your tomorrow.

It seems obvious that all fighting forces follow route No 1 as far as possible but resort to route No 2 as and when necessary.

The question then is how much equipment needs to be procured and kept ready, along with the necessary logistics chain to follow route 1?

When the focus of warfighting effort is to keeps one's own fighting men away from harms way, one must increase the distance from which an enemy is hit. That means standoff munitions and sensors. We have had dozens of discussions on BRF where people say "CAS is so old hat. In this era of manpads you cannot send men in aircraft over a battle zone. They will simply get shot out of the sky. Even xyz helo is useless. if you must send a helo, send an Apache/Ka 52. Or else keep your aircraft 60 km away and use PGMs. That way no aircraft are lost"

Any armed force that does not (or cannot) follow this philosophy is declared "obsolete/outdated" "WW2 vintage"

The second consequence of keeping men out of harm's way is the reduction in role of the grunt/average infantryman. Positions are taken and held by special forces who can call in CAS on demand, and those same special forces, if under intense attack can simply be evacuated so the position is lost but men come home safely.

There is an inherent contradiction in "playing safe" and fighting war. If you play it too safe men will survive, but war objectives take a beating. Remote control long distance warfare is still failing after 5000 years of recorded history of warfare.

The question is: "Is an armed force that accepts casualties and invests less in keeping men at a safe distance from the war zone an obsolete force that is unable to fight "modern war"?

The problem I see with such an attitude is that it is a blinkered, one sided viewpoint if we call combatant safety as "modern war". It is blinkered because it does not consider ISIS, Taliban or LeT as "combatants" at all. Fact is unless one attacks Grenada, there are two sides fighting war. ISIS, Taliban and LeT are investing nothing in keeping their combatants "safe" so they can come home safely. Their philosophy of warfighting is clearly different. What evidence is there that "modern war fighters" are winning and that the baddies who don't care about combatant deaths are losing?

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Austin » 03 Apr 2016 11:06

Y. Kanan wrote:
Austin wrote:ZU-23-2 , ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" AD Gun still used widely


Nowadays the ZU\ZSU series weapons are only used against infantry, an unexpected role for which they are extremely effective.


They are also effective if you fly within their effective engagement envelop , even if 1 23 mm round hits an aircraft it may be an effective mission kill , then these days you have lot of low flying UAV and CM that can be a good target for curtain of lead if you can integrate with right RF/FC and passive system , I saw one OFB upgrade in Defexpo few years back doing exactly that.

Most Jihadi types or mercinary use these system on jeeps and trucks as some kind of anti-infantary weapon they are just basic ZU-23 with WW2 style targeting system.

Here is one from Punj LLoyd cant find the OFB one

http://www.punjlloyd.com/defence/upgrad ... efence-gun

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Gyan » 03 Apr 2016 14:03

I also advocate:-

Non automated and basic version of Dhanush 155mm howitzer prepositioned in large numbers near China Border. The cost of each will be 1/10th of M777

Issue 12.7mm HMGs to infantry and para military forces developed from 12.7 NSV of our T-72/90 tanks for use in forested & urban areas mounted/ transportable on Vehicles.

Buy and issue heavy Vidhanshak anti Materiill rifle till the light version get imported.

Issue bullet proof shields to Quick Reaction teams.

Do not be over eager to end Production of Su-30MKI and order another 120 to be produced till 2025.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shyamoo » 03 Apr 2016 21:14

The way I see it, there are 2 philosophies (extreme ends) to obtaining the objective: 1) complete dependence on technology and minimizing loss of life. 2) less dependence on 'modern' equipment and lesser regard of loss of human life.

Range is the determining factor. At arms length, a gun/knife is more effective than a rifle, rifle more effective than an artillery gun, etc. So, it comes down to how effective an army is in being able to utilize it's weapons, by getting close to the optimum range of the available weapons.

Then there is the option of jugaad. Essentially, extracting more use or effectively using a weapon beyond its design parameters will make an obsolete one 'modern'.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Viv S » 03 Apr 2016 22:53

shiv wrote:When the focus of warfighting effort is to keeps one's own fighting men away from harms way, one must increase the distance from which an enemy is hit. That means standoff munitions and sensors. We have had dozens of discussions on BRF where people say "CAS is so old hat. In this era of manpads you cannot send men in aircraft over a battle zone. They will simply get shot out of the sky. Even xyz helo is useless. if you must send a helo, send an Apache/Ka 52. Or else keep your aircraft 60 km away and use PGMs. That way no aircraft are lost"

Any armed force that does not (or cannot) follow this philosophy is declared "obsolete/outdated" "WW2 vintage"

I believe this ^ is what they call a strawman. Who said anything about 'armed force' being obsolete? The equipment that it fields can be of varying levels of obsolescence, but that can be mostly chalked up to a limitation of resources rather than a deliberate decision to unnecessarily put lives in harm's way. When there material limitations, they'll still do the best they can with the resources they have, and accept heavier casualties as unavoidable.

Also, this isn't a different "philosophy", its a basic survival instinct. Or a universal philosophy, if you will. Mankind went from slings to bows to crossbows to muskets to rifles to cannons to howitzers to missiles (despite the fact that you can still kill a man with a sling even in the 21st century). That evolution wasn't a product of the strategic thinking in the Pentagon. To attack the enemy while avoiding his attacks is natural - you can employ stealth, speed, range or indeed sheer numbers to do that, but the objective is the same.

The second consequence of keeping men out of harm's way is the reduction in role of the grunt/average infantryman. Positions are taken and held by special forces who can call in CAS on demand, and those same special forces, if under intense attack can simply be evacuated so the position is lost but men come home safely.

There is an inherent contradiction in "playing safe" and fighting war. If you play it too safe men will survive, but war objectives take a beating.

No one's proposing that safety take precedence over victory. The idea is to invest in the right solutions, one's that don't hazard the lives of the crew (as opposed to moderately risking them). The Tejas is an apt example of balancing cost with capability.

Remote control long distance warfare is still failing after 5000 years of recorded history of warfare.

Still failing after 5000 years... not really sure the ancient Sumerians had any analogue to 'remote control long distance warfare'.

The question is: "Is an armed force that accepts casualties and invests less in keeping men at a safe distance from the war zone an obsolete force that is unable to fight "modern war"?

The problem I see with such an attitude is that it is a blinkered, one sided viewpoint if we call combatant safety as "modern war".

The problem is you're mixing up two very different things under the same 'modern war' buzzword i.e. conventional warfare & counter-insurgency. The tools that are designed to fight one, are poorly suited for the other. F-22s & B-2s are too expensive to buy to bomb the Taliban, while the Super Tucano isn't going to survive a clash against any foe with a real air force.

In any event, finding a cost-effective means of engaging in low-intensity conflicts is something for the US, Russia and NATO to worry about. India as a matter of policy, does not use offensive airpower or artillery in CI ops, and our conventional challenges (esp. vis a vis China) are daunting enough.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby TSJones » 04 Apr 2016 02:28

ISIS, Taliban and LeT are investing nothing in keeping their combatants "safe" so they can come home safely. Their philosophy of warfighting is clearly different. What evidence is there that "modern war fighters" are winning and that the baddies who don't care about combatant deaths are losing?


You are confusing issues.

1. ISIS can't outfight a properly trained and *motivated* modern army. Not gonna happen.

Please don't use the Middle East for an analogy of a modern army losing to a primitive one. I don't see a properly motivated, trained army of ME origin other than Turkey and Israel. End of story.

2. The Taliban hasn't won anything other than kicking Russia out of Afghanistan withe use of manpads.

They certainly can't kick the US out. The US is still there and probably will be for a long time to come after the example set by Iraqi-ISIS debacle. Obama wants a political settlement but not like what happened to Iraq.

3. What you are misconstruing are politics vs, "modern army".

Fanaticism is indeed powerful but it can't necessarily out fight a modern army. However, it can politically outlast a non fanatical, non completely ruthless. non genocidal. opponent whether it has a modern army or not.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 04 Apr 2016 06:34

Viv S wrote:No one's proposing that safety take precedence over victory. The idea is to invest in the right solutions, one's that don't hazard the lives of the crew (as opposed to moderately risking them).

Plenty of people right here on this forum are at pains to point out that any technology that puts men at risk is soon going to result in those men being killed, implying that the other side will win. The impression that is being given is that one must hit adversaries from further and further and further away as he gets capability to hit you from further away. What I see being suggested time and again is that in 1971 there were no manpads so CAS was possible with lightly armed aircraft buzzing over the battlefield. In 2016 a battle area is going to be thick with manpads and SAMs so all the aircraft that perform CAS roles from within range of those weapons are obsolete. Why are they obsolete? Because they put pilots at risk and those pilots will get shot down. So this 1971 war tactic must be discarded for what is now being touted as the "way to go". The way to go is to keep pilots well away from the battle zone so that they hit combatants from 20, 30 or 100 km away using smart munitions

After a point this strategy only offers diminishing returns. That is because the infantry are in the thick of the battle zone anyway. If you keep pilots away from the battle zone you are preserving pilots and aircraft and "keeping them out of harm's way". If the infantry lose the battle because the opposition is willing to lose 20 men for every man you lose then keeping pilots out of harm's way was a pointless exercise. If you don't even have men on the ground to lose - you are not holding the ground. You just have pilots buzzing up in the air. That is what is happening in Afghanistan

Ultimately, few weapons can be discarded as old and useless. Slingshots, as you say still kill. So do knives and bayonets. men still carry knives and/or bayonets. This does not mean that technology must not be upgraded. It only means that upgraded technology does not necessarily replace older tech. CAS aircraft buzzing over the battlefield are not going to disappear because you have pilots buzzing about 100 km away with PGMs. Yes the former will put pilots in harm's way. But that is necessary in war.

Viv S wrote:The problem is you're mixing up two very different things under the same 'modern war' buzzword i.e. conventional warfare & counter-insurgency.

The problem is in your mind. You are classifying wars as "conventional" and "counter insurgency". "Modern wars" are wars taking place right now being fought by India in Kashmir, by the US in Afghanistan and by a whole lot of nations in Syria and Iraq. It's also called asymmetric warfare. It is designed to nullify the advantage of technology.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 04 Apr 2016 06:49

TSJones wrote:
You are confusing issues.

1. ISIS can't outfight a properly trained and *motivated* modern army. Not gonna happen.

Please don't use the Middle East for an analogy of a modern army losing to a primitive one. I don't see a properly motivated, trained army of ME origin other than Turkey and Israel. End of story.


No confusion. Just re read what you have written.

There is no motivated and trained army on the ground. But there is high technology in the air, away from the ground. No pilots are dying and there are constant reports of some ISIS or other target being destroyed. But that high tech in the air isn't winning the war. And it's not winning because there is no trained and motivated army on the ground to do the job.

Keeping combatants away from a war zone and avoiding casualties seems like such a humane idea, but I don't see it winning any wars. This seems so obvious until someone tries to convince you that technology can win wars and keep one's combatants out of harm's way. That is simply not true.

There is a "middle zone" where lower tech with better motivation, training and morale can prevail over higher tech with less motivation. This is definitely political, but the infusion of expensive technology as a war winning strategy minus motivation and the intent to see a conflict through to the end is also political.

The introduction of A-10s was to hit the enemy at close range while keeping pilots relatively safe. The retirement of A-10s in favour of a plane that can hit a target whose name comes out of the president's mouth is a political decision. It does not mean that the replacement is a better option. It is more expensive and higher tech and keeps the pilot well out of the battle zone. That's about all. And that is why the US is now looking at light CAS aircraft, which still have a role despite all the rhetoric I hear on this forum (not you personally) that lightly armed slow aircraft will get shot out of the sky and have no place in modern wars or "conventional wars". (Call it what you like)

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby TSJones » 04 Apr 2016 08:16

Obama is not trying to win. He's trying to reach a political settlement which after considering all the factors, may not be possible or even the right goal for that matter.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 08:16

There is no motivated and trained army on the ground. But there is high technology in the air, away from the ground. No pilots are dying and there are constant reports of some ISIS or other target being destroyed. But that high tech in the air isn't winning the war. And it's not winning because there is no trained and motivated army on the ground to do the job.


This is mixing up military with politics. The reason the ground game isn't there is because there is no political will amongst the various stakeholders to put one there, not because they are afraid of losses, but because of the political realities within a region. Its not purely a military tech thing.

Keeping combatants away from a war zone and avoiding casualties seems like such a humane idea, but I don't see it winning any wars. This seems so obvious until someone tries to convince you that technology can win wars and keep one's combatants out of harm's way. That is simply not true


You can't win a war from the air, only accomplish objectives. To win most wars you still need to hold territory. But that has little or nothing to do with the sort of technology you possess or whether one should use an F-15 or a Hawk.

There is a "middle zone" where lower tech with better motivation, training and morale can prevail over higher tech with less motivation. This is definitely political, but the infusion of expensive technology as a war winning strategy minus motivation and the intent to see a conflict through to the end is also political.


This assumes that both are mutually exclusive. The Gulf war had motivated troops and a large-scale showcase of military technology some of which is only now proliferating.

The introduction of A-10s was to hit the enemy at close range while keeping pilots relatively safe. The retirement of A-10s in favour of a plane that can hit a target whose name comes out of the president's mouth is a political decision.


The part in BOLD is the reason why there is a case to be made about a re-look at the mission of the A-10. It went form an anti-armor weapon, to a CAS due to the nature of the wars the US found itself in. However the part in BOLD, about the pilot being relatively safe does not hold true in many modern scenarios.Even if we ignore attrition and safety (which we can't) the mission objectives still need to be achieved and if have a low-probability of success that simply means more resources need to be committed - resources that you may not have. The odds of an A-10 mission being successful over an IADS are quite low, low enough for its resources to be allocated to other more survivable assets for those missions. While the A-10 still preforms exceptionally well at some missions, it no longer holds advantage over as many mission-sets as it did at the time it was designed. For the very same reason the Prowler isn't as effective as an EW asset as a Growler and particularly the Growler with the next generation pods - The threat improves..either you stay at pace or you fall behind. If the A-10 can survive a dense SAM network and an improved MANPAD threat then by all means let it operate in such an environment and let it use its guns at below 10,000 feet. If not, then you better be smart about it and figure out something that can accomplish the mission with a rate of success that you can actually live with and keep those A-10's around for those missions where they are the best options.

. It does not mean that the replacement is a better option.


All that matters is if the replacement can accomplish the mission. If you think an A-10 can play as well in an IAD rich environment as an F-35 then by all means show some evidence of that. There are areas where the A-10 will always be superior to the F-35, or F-16 that will replace it but that is a nature of transitioning from a 100+ squadron air-force to a much smaller multi-role fighter equipped air-force. The disadvantages are that you loose the super specialty aircraft like the A-10, or dedicated EW escort fighters. The advantages are that you gain an entire new type of capability such as RPA's and space based assets.

And that is why the US is now looking at light CAS aircraft, which still have a role despite all the rhetoric I hear on this forum (not you personally) that lightly armed slow aircraft will get shot out of the sky and have no place in modern wars or "conventional wars". (Call it what you like)


I am afraid that the rhetoric you hear is not being properly interpreted here. The US has a genuine use for such an aircraft given its COIN missions and the fact that throughout the CENTCOM AOR, outside of a possibly Iranian threat, it finds itself in an environment where there is total air-superiority, total lack of air-defenses beyond the MANPAD threat and even there the MANPAD threat is quite dated. In such an environment it can make an extremely strong case that the tens of thousands - hundreds of thousands of hours its aircraft will fly over these regions for CAS or ISR, and other strike missions can be handed off to lower-cost aircraft that are cheap to buy and really really cheap to operate given they share pretty much everything with commercial aircraft. With the Scorpion for example they offload a $15-$20K per hour mission on an A-10 to a $3-$4K per hour and this has implications and frees up money for other priorities.

It also helps that the A-10 with its legacy systems is getting more and more expensive to operate. No where is anyone here, or anyone in the pentagon suggesting that these light CAS aircraft be purchased, sent to the PACOM AOR, or to EUCOM and begin training for potential near-peer conflict with China or Russia.

When this has come up in the Indian context, Viv and other have made it a case to point out that the IAF does not involve its fixed wing assets in COIN like say a Russia, US or the EU. If that position is to be held than those missions would be off limits to such an aircraft.

If you are trying to see the US's looking into a light CAS aircraft as evidence that the argument that they will get shot down is incorrect than that is an inaccurate interpretation imho since the context, the type of air-defenses, the quality, and equipment of the enemy is a factor. No matter what tactics, without massive support an A-10 unit will loose a lot more aircraft and pilots when operating against an HQ9 setup compared to an F-35 or even an F-15. You can work around that by accounting for attrition but there are obvious limits to how much force structure you build up, can built up, or how many losses you are comfortable with. The US for example can never put more assets in PACOM than the Chinese can therefore a 1:1 loss ratio assures defeat.

In fact Textron's entire business is case is this. They saw what these aircrafts do, aircraft that cost tens of millions to buy, and tens of thousands to operate. The saw that supersonic was useless, large protection from low MANPADS, high SAM's, and EA/EW disruptions was not required. What was required was a cheap craft that could fly at medium altitudes, had a diverse payload and the sensors to perform Precession strike from medium altitudes day or night. They designed an aircraft that took an F-16 or an F-35 and removed everything that wasn't required for a COIN mission and added a straight wing to what remained. The reason why it is getting a serious look is that there are combat flight hours per year that justify a look - In short the pentagon can save a lot of money, and more importantly use up their expensive fast jet fleet slower by looking for a cheap way to do COIN.
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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 04 Apr 2016 08:37

brar_w wrote:the IAF does not involve its fixed wing assets in COIN like say a Russia, US or the EU.

That is rhetoric again. COIN and India's anti terrorism war at the LoC in Kashmir are exactly the same - the risks and methods depend on what weapons the insurgents/militants/opposing forces have.

I am not sure why anyone should get upset when politics comes in. For the Indian armed forces US politics ensured that the "freedom fighters" from US ally Pakistan were armed with manpads. India has been asked to ignore US politics and shut up and fight your war. That is absurd.

If the US's wars are different from India's wars there is no reason why India should copy the US, which is what seems to be the demand when it comes to free advice being offered on here to the Indian armed forces (not by you personally), trotting out the same tired excuses that not fighting the US way puts pilots at risk and therefore India should learn how to fight wars using US methods and US style equipment, and discard obsolete methods and equipment.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 08:45

That is rhetoric again. COIN and India's anti terrorism war at the LoC in Kashmir are exactly the same - the risks and methods depend on what weapons the insurgents/militants/opposing forces have.


If that is indeed the case than the Hawk makes perfect sense. It may make perfect sense even otherwise given the number of things that could be done with it outside of COIN given that it still retains its training role. I've said it earlier in the debate as well that there can be a number of uses the IAF envisions for the dream-hawk.

If the US's wars are different from India's wars there is no reason why India should copy the US, which is what seems to be the demand when it comes to free advice being offered on here to the Indian armed forces (not by you personally), trotting out the same tired excuses that not fighting the US way puts pilots at risk and therefore India should learn how to fight wars using US methods and US style equipment, and discard obsolete methods and equipment.


Every nation has a different national security requirement and way they fight wars given a whole host of things that influence that. There are huge contrasts between the US requirements and needs from major weapons systems and Russians for example, or even for the IAF. There are also similarities, but there are differences as well. Air-Defenses are a perfect examples of design drivers being different. For a Russia or India, they need an integrated air-defense system to protect their national assets, people and troops. The US has virtually no such need to deploy ground based IAD in CONUS to protect against incoming low flying fighters for example. Another sharp contrast has been fighter ranges. In the EUCOM centric model the US has always traded away any radius that was north of 500nm for other performance gains. The Russians given the vastness of their country and air-space they had to protect demanded greater range on internal fuel while the western fighters traded away that internal fuel for tanks.

Similarities in requirements can come from a common threat, common operating advantages and disadvantages etc and those can be looked at case by case. As I have mentioned earlier as well, folks here tend to totally neglect AOA's and Needs assessment that are critical in formulating weapons system requirements and those things ultimately dictate what performance or capability a particular system has.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 04 Apr 2016 09:01

When it comes to "Close Air Support" it involves some risks to the pilots. It is essential to mitigate those risks. Those risks can be mitigated by:
1. Keeping the aircraft 50 km away but this decreases the real time support that troops get while increasing costs
2. Alternatively one can use an A-10 like aircraft that exposes itself to fire directly and has better chances of coming out with battle damage than most other aircraft. This too is both risky and costly
3. A third alternative is to use conventional aircraft in a zone that exposes them for short periods to enemy fire. That that is how CAS aircraft have traditionally been used by the IAF. There is risk but the risk is minimized as far as possible using technology and training. "Motivated and trained pilots" You don't need an A-10, F-16, or F-35 for that.

There is one thing at least 3 people have mentioned which I agree with, and that is "getting a job done". If the job can be done with less risk and more efficacy, that route must be preferred. Risk in war will always have to be balanced against what is needed to get the job done. There is no such thing as 100% efficacy and no risk. Drones are not going to take over any more than nukes took over war.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2016 09:15

There was an interesting debate at one of the think-tanks in the US that I attended, about the A-10, and a fighter pilot started out by saying that the A-10 is an exceptional aircraft, and then went on about some of the missions it has done remarkably well in Afghanistan and Iraq. He then went on to share a hypothetical scenario where the enemy could have actually fought back and contested the air, the ground, space and everything in between. He said something like, the post-war debate and media narrative may well have been how the US Air Force suffered from last-war'itis (equally dangerous to next-war-itis) and completely ignored the operational realities the A-10 found itself in, and spent hundreds of millions keeping a capability operational that was totally unnecessary.

The A-10 debate in the US was settled in the late 90's, when the USAF quite publicly and formally acknowledged that it would be trading away, quite consciously and through an informed and disciplined process, speciality aircraft and the capability it brought in favor of a smaller force structure (forced onto it by the political realities of the post-cold-war US) and that going forward they would be placing their bets on Remotely piloted aircraft, protecting space based assets, and reducing the cost to acquire of the asymmetrical capability it had developed as a result of the second offset strategy of the 70's & 80's. What happened was that the US found itself in a counter insurgency, and a lot many A-10 pilots who had known no other type of war began to come up through the ranks feeling that this was the only war the US needed to prepare for. Couple that with the Congress shaving a trillion dollars of the ten year budget and we had ourselves a showdown between the USAF that wanted to preserve its future, and the A-10 community that wanted to preserve a capability that had served the US well over the recent past. It ultimately got resolved thanks largely to more money through a budget agreement, but the narrative the media drove home was that the A-10 community somehow won a symbolic battle.

I often quote folks that have done CAS and/or written about it in that "its a MISSION not an aircraft". With CAS you have different sub-sets, different requirements and different scenarios you find yourself in.
Some of them are -

* You need to get to the troops on the ground fast - so moderate-long distances but a lack of time : Here the A-10 is indeed inferior to any aircraft that can get to the area using a supersonic dash.

* CAS when the enemy's air-defenses have not been severely degraded: Threats can come from the air, from the ground in the form of fighters, SAM's, EA/EW disruption, and MANPADS and AAA. Here you need an aircraft that can either simultaneously deal with these threats and still provide support, or you need a very large package that opens the air-space up for a dedicated CAS aircraft to do what it has to do. Either way, you'll end up with situations where you don't have enough EA/EW assets to help escort your slow, low flying CAS aircraft, or you won't be able to position enough ARM's over kill boxes to take out pop out emitters. In this case, a self escorting, survivable aircraft definitly scores much more than the A-10 or a similar aircraft.

The A-10 will still do the mission if called to, but you build your force structure, doctrine and training around what is required to accomplish objectives with high degree of probability and frankly there is little guarantee that an A-10 irrespective of what the attrition rate is, can provide adequate close air support when the threat to it from the air, from the ground and from non kinetic sources is still high. If your probability of mission success is low, it really hurts the overall close air support mission and then forces your grunts to make other arrangements. Simply put, if air-support is unlikely to show up in the form of an A-10 for example launching a bomb or a missile, the infantry for example has to find other ways to obtaining that kinetic effect. There are options for example for lobbing an SDB from the ground if one can't be put up from the air, but you have to invest in that and hope that it is available as required:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkkfE5yHejc


* Another kind is where you need persistence for both ISR, and in the support role: Here compared to an F-16 and F-35 the A-10 is generally superior given that the others have their loiter times greatly influenced by other designs trades that make them multi-role fighters. IN such a role a hellfire or an SDB armed Reaper, avenger or even a lower cost drone is even better because the ones available NOW can give you more than a dozen hours and soon they'll be able to refuel. Even conventionally armed bombers like a B-1 or B-52 are much better than the teens or the A-10 in such a scenario since they have a huge payload, and can hang around for a long time once they do arrive in the theater.

* COIN, or CAS in a low-threat, or no threat environment: Here is where your A-10 really does well. But a Scoprion can do perhaps 80% of the mission of the A-10 (all but going low and using the cannon) at a fifth or so of the operating cost.

There will be lot many more scenarios but what this highlights is that CAS is not an aircraft that does it all...it can be broken down tactically where a lot many characteristics come into play, characteristics that are impossible to put onto one aircraft at an acceptable cost, or frankly at any cost.

I think in a nut shell, the A-10 and similar aircraft largely now serve a niche role compared to the era in which they were designed. The Scorpion is also a niche aircraft. However, if the niche mission ends up being an incredibly important mission in terms of hours you spend doing it, at least over an decent period of time, it more than justifies the retention or acquisition of the capability. If the US pulls out of the ME, there would be no case for the Scorpion, or to retain the A-10 beyond 2020 for that matter. But as long as the US stays, there is both a common sense case, and a business case to be made that perhaps a lot of the manned missions of the F-16, A-10, and of the F-35 in the future can be offloaded to the Scorpion or similar aircraft to save cost and preserve the air-frame lives of the more expensive aircraft - With minimal if any impact on the outcome of the air-operation.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby vishvak » 04 Apr 2016 23:19

Some articles from wiki
Weapons of Vietnam war
weapons used by Vietcong
Famed trails called Ho Chi Minh, and operations to destroy the trails.
Prolly OT here.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Viv S » 05 Apr 2016 15:50

shiv wrote:After a point this strategy only offers diminishing returns. That is because the infantry are in the thick of the battle zone anyway. If you keep pilots away from the battle zone you are preserving pilots and aircraft and "keeping them out of harm's way". If the infantry lose the battle because the opposition is willing to lose 20 men for every man you lose then keeping pilots out of harm's way was a pointless exercise. If you don't even have men on the ground to lose - you are not holding the ground. You just have pilots buzzing up in the air. That is what is happening in Afghanistan

- Do we require troops to hold ground in war? Yes.
- Will the infantry & armour be in the thick of battle? Yes.
- Will it require CAS? Yes.
- Can CAS be performed from stand off ranges/altitudes? Yes.

So where is the diminishing return? 'Keeping them out of the harm's way' doesn't imply 'keeping them out of action'.

Ultimately, few weapons can be discarded as old and useless. Slingshots, as you say still kill. So do knives and bayonets. men still carry knives and/or bayonets. This does not mean that technology must not be upgraded. It only means that upgraded technology does not necessarily replace older tech. CAS aircraft buzzing over the battlefield are not going to disappear because you have pilots buzzing about 100 km away with PGMs. Yes the former will put pilots in harm's way. But that is necessary in war.

Where there is a substantial concentration of SAMs/MANPADs/AAA, CAS aircraft aren't going to be buzzing over the battlefield. Those that try will find their lifespans severely reduced.

The problem is in your mind. You are classifying wars as "conventional" and "counter insurgency". "Modern wars" are wars taking place right now being fought by India in Kashmir, by the US in Afghanistan and by a whole lot of nations in Syria and Iraq. It's also called asymmetric warfare. It is designed to nullify the advantage of technology.

None of this rebuts my statement. Whether you call it asymmetrical warfare, or unconventional warfare or counter-insurgency, is all besides the point. Fact remains, it has nothing in common with the kind of conventional warfare that is the Indian military's primary concern.

And as far as our insurgencies in J&K and the NE are concerned, we are NOT going to use Combat IJTs or Combat Hawks or Reapers or Apaches or artillery in our COIN operations. Period. Nothing larger than an 84 mm RL and then too used with care (take a look at the differences in structure between an RR unit and a regular infantry battalion). The first, last and only time we employed air power against an internal target, was in Mizoram in 1966. A move that was, in retrospect, recognized as mistake by all sections including the military.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 06 Apr 2016 06:48

It appears that Styx and Exocet anti-ship missles have not become obsolete yet. Styx appears to have been around since the 50s

Multibarrel rocket launchers are another "World War 2" tech that are not disappearing anytime soon

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Abhibhushan » 06 Apr 2016 07:56

brar_w wrote:There was an interesting debate at one of the think-tanks in the US that I attended, about the A-10


Excellent post. Needs to be read carefully by all jingos

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Manish_P » 06 Apr 2016 10:03

I would like to add 'Needs to be read carefully by all jingos ...keeping jingoism aside'

Couldn't agree more Abhibhushan Ji

Good quality posts in this thread (Really miss having a 'like' or 'upvoted' option)... some should be stickys or kept in the thread of good posts

CAS - its a MISSION not an aircraft


That line, to me, is gold.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 06 Apr 2016 16:10

I have been desperately trying to think of weapons to add to the list here and it turns out that almost no class of weapon is really obsolete.

However when I look at jugaad, it looks like the Toyota pick-up truck is the most versatile creature. Will post links only as inline images slows down viewing of the thread
1. http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media ... 1420520835
2. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/y99ZJ2L8usw/maxresdefault.jpg
3. http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/ ... 64x523.jpg
4. http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/Z2PIz ... -1-1-0.jpg
6. http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/04/ ... 64x566.jpg
7. http://images.fineartamerica.com/images ... ittock.jpg
8. http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh16 ... cookie.jpg

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 06 Apr 2016 16:16

What is so good about Toyota pick ups? Availability? Ruggedness? Payload?

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby brar_w » 06 Apr 2016 16:28

shiv wrote:What is so good about Toyota pick ups? Availability? Ruggedness? Payload?


Any fighting force, whether a uniformed military, or an insurgent, terrorist force has to -

A) Make do with the resources they have including, finding innovative ways to use that equipment to solve operational challenges in the 'present'. A pick up truck is a terrirost's best friend and they have used it for everything form suicide bombings to modifying it in different ways simply because thats the limit of their technical ability, but also because thats what they had in plenty. Militaries have also shown innovations to existing weapons at times of war, or high threat. Raytheon and the US-Army converted the Patriot Air Defense system to a make-shift Air and Missile Defense system in mere months leading up to the Gulf War putting on pause the long drawn out plans to field a true AMD system that came in later with the phased array radar upgrades, and mainly with dedicated PAC-GEM-T(Upgraded algos and warhead) and ERINT/PAC3 missile much later. Plenty of recent innovations shown by the Russians as well in Ukraine by using existing stuff in different ways to gain tactical advantage and of course India's battlefield innovation during Kargil are also well docuemnted. Additional examples of battlefield innovation can be found in Annie Jacobsen's book on the history of DARPA that has chapters dedicated to quick turnaround innovations in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq from everything to taking things like Gallium Nitride from the laboratory to putting the technology in the hands of soldiers in months, to low-tech items as training rats and honeybees to hunt mines and IEDs.

B ) Match the capability of their equipment with the threat that then allows to take risks with obsolete or operationally challenged weapons if that means better resource allocation elsewhere. Since you brought up the Exocet easier, it along with the Harpoon are perfect examples. The USN, and many NATO Navies have resisted the investments required to field highly capable state of the art anti-ship missiles, either subsonic, supersonic or even hypersonic. R&D projects have occurred in all three categories but the consensus over time was that it was a poor allocation of resources given both the ways in which they can deal with the anti-surface threat to their navies, and the coastal defense needs of some if not most of these nations. A higher capability was simply NOT REQUIRED that justified following through on a host of programs that were in the development pipeline to keep the R&D machine churning, programs like say a RATTLRS, LRASM-B, and others aimed at creating supersonic to hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. Both Europe and the US are seeing a reversal in this after decades of neglect, because the threat now justifies an upgrade of missiles that while not obsolete thanks to upgrades, are being severely challenged given that both the main threats to NATO and the USN outstick them currently.
Last edited by brar_w on 06 Apr 2016 19:25, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby TSJones » 06 Apr 2016 16:59

shiv wrote:What is so good about Toyota pick ups? Availability? Ruggedness? Payload?


they are rugged, relatively inexpensive, easily available and repair parts are everywhere.

same with ford f-250's but they are more expensive and bigger than toyotas so they buy used ones.

all the same, I really wouldn't want to get in a shoot out while using them.

at least humvees can resist light machine gun fire.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Manish_P » 06 Apr 2016 19:16

at least humvees can resist light machine gun fire


They are meant to.. being purpose built military vehicles as against the Toyotas (and the Ford f-250s) which were essentially meant for civilian functions.

And even they continue to be up-armored based on the nature of the threats where they operate

That the Toyotas/Fords/'Technicals'.. are used is just the nature of jugaad required by non-regular militias/good terrorists/bad terrorists who do not have (or cannot be seen to have) big daddy's backing

Hell if required, and available, even these can be used

But i doubt their mileage and reliability (not to mention spares availability) will be as good at the modern toyota's and ford's :)

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 06 Apr 2016 20:52

It seems to me that all those Toyota jugaad vehicles are basically methods of population domination rather than military domination. The two deadliest weapons I could see mounted on those trucks are the ZSU 23 and the rocket launcher. I suspect the latter will be grossly inaccurate while the 23 mm is probably useless to aim at anything over 300-500 meters. Not because the weapons is inaccurate but it is difficult for anyone to hit anything above that range without sophisticated sighting equipment. Simply spraying 23 mm shells over ranges of 1000 meters or more will do damage but the shooter will not know what he is doing. But from a defensive position I guess they can lay down withering fire on any attackers

These are terror weapons and I can now see why the US and European nations are developing a class of PGMs designed to hit individual vehicles on the move. Aside from that these jugaad Toyotas will need tanks, armoured vehicles or air power to take them out.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Gyan » 06 Apr 2016 21:00

The relevance of CAS, especially when we are fighting on our own borders will be reduced if there is Mass induction of Prahaar and Pinaka-III

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby brar_w » 06 Apr 2016 21:07

shiv wrote:These are terror weapons and I can now see why the US and European nations are developing a class of PGMs designed to hit individual vehicles on the move. Aside from that these jugaad Toyotas will need tanks, armoured vehicles or air power to take them out.


We'll there's a reason why Lockheed is building over 8000 Hellfire's a year now and why the UK is pushing the Brimstone on even fast jets. Discrimination is not at all challenging when you'r target looks like this:

Image

So as long there is institutional and political will and tactical freedom to execute, you can keep taking these things out using Reapers.

Lockheed Martin is cranking out "upwards of 700" Hellfire missiles per month, according to Frank St. John, the company's vice president of tactical missiles and combat maneuver systems.

"We went through a phase when it was pretty lean," St. John said. "We were probably down to 100 per month at one point in time. It's been ramping up pretty consistently ever since."

"My belief is that we'll be producing JAGM and Hellfire in parallel for a lot of years," he added.


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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby sohamn » 06 Apr 2016 22:16

USAF is using 40 year old aircrafts for CAS in Iraq and Syria. Its a very cost effective juggad especially in area's where they have complete air superiority. But it also shows how a slow TurboProp aircraft is much superior to fast jets when it comes to troop support.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a19887/ov-10-war-isis/

Image

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Yayavar » 06 Apr 2016 22:36

seeing the picture from brar_w: that is a longtime jugaad -- ushtranaal of Panipat, to Jeep mounted RCL at Longewala and toyota mounted weapnos all over in Afghanistan/mid-east now....

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 07 Apr 2016 06:05

Gyan wrote:The relevance of CAS, especially when we are fighting on our own borders will be reduced if there is Mass induction of Prahaar and Pinaka-III

No doubt artillery that ranges all the way to 100 km (eg Pinaka) will bring a new flavor to the tools the army has. The Indian army is also set to induct the LCH. But this also calls for very close army-air force coordination. The Air Force will still be needed for air dominance over the battle zone and interdiction of supply lines, comm and logistics which cannot be achieved simply by saturation fire from artillery.

But that is a whole different topic.

I had a sudden "aha" moment. The Pakistani air force and Army are being equipped by the US with exactly the weapons to take out the jugaad weapons of ISIS and Taliban like Toyota truck mounted watchmacallits. This is a threat to our own military vehicular traffic in case of conflict.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby deejay » 07 Apr 2016 07:56

Pic of Chevy Jugaad:

Image

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby deejay » 07 Apr 2016 07:59

Hell Canon on a bulldozer jugaad
Image

Barrel Bombs
Image

Grenade Catapults - Older

Image

Contemporary

Image

None of these weapons are safe, stable or accurate. Yet, in a 21st century battlefield they were/are used regularly. A reflection of available resources, desperation and the technological capabilities/evolution of the fighting forces or native country.
Last edited by deejay on 07 Apr 2016 08:13, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby TSJones » 07 Apr 2016 08:03

shiv wrote:
Gyan wrote:The relevance of CAS, especially when we are fighting on our own borders will be reduced if there is Mass induction of Prahaar and Pinaka-III

No doubt artillery that ranges all the way to 100 km (eg Pinaka) will bring a new flavor to the tools the army has. The Indian army is also set to induct the LCH. But this also calls for very close army-air force coordination. The Air Force will still be needed for air dominance over the battle zone and interdiction of supply lines, comm and logistics which cannot be achieved simply by saturation fire from artillery.

But that is a whole different topic.

I had a sudden "aha" moment. The Pakistani air force and Army are being equipped by the US with exactly the weapons to take out the jugaad weapons of ISIS and Taliban like Toyota truck mounted watchmacallits. This is a threat to our own military vehicular traffic in case of conflict.


Are you saying that in a conflict with Pakistan, India will not have complete air superiority?

please review:

Packeestan : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... _Air_Force

and now India

India: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... y_aircraft

I can assure that in any conflict the US will get into, we plan for complete air superiority for our cammie clad goodwill ambadassadors. :D

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby Manish_P » 07 Apr 2016 08:18

:shock:

TSJones coming from a military veteran such as yourself, that is a shocker

Air Superiority is not just one-on-one jousts by fighter aircrafts, Sir

Or are you just spreading platitudes, US SD style :)

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby shiv » 07 Apr 2016 08:35

TSJones wrote:Are you saying that in a conflict with Pakistan, India will not have complete air superiority?

Nothing is certain unless one recognizes what needs to be done and does it. "Air sueriority" for India will depend on having knowledge of Pakistani capability and working to nullify that capability

You probably recognize the word "jugaad' - which is basically a hack. Unless I am mistaken the US did not supply F-16s to Pakistan with wiring and pylons to carry nukes. But Pakis were smart enough to do that on their own. That's a bit like Toyota can't be faulted for supplying trucks to Iraq and Syria. They did not deliberately ready the trucks for ZSU 2s.

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Re: Obsolete/Old & jugaad weapons that are still relevant in

Postby TSJones » 07 Apr 2016 08:38

Air dominance is essential and if history is any guide India will repeat this in any conflict it has with Pakistan.

In short, if the Pak air force loiters around looking for vehicles to whack, they indeed themselves are going to be whacked very quickly.


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