ArjunPandit wrote:^^thanks kartikji, could it be because the Su 30 had long legs in past..and also Su 30 was an unknown to the west unlike Mig 29, which both US and european got their hands on extensively in FSU days..
Please no ji in your addressing of me.
The Su-30 having long legs has nothing to do with the exposure to the MiG-29 squadrons in exercises conducted within India. Yes, when it came to flying across continents, the MiG-29s were incapable of it till the UPG upgrade happened and they became in-flight refueling capable.
But even for Mirage-2000s, except for the exercise in South Africa, they've not ventured out of our country. But at least on Indian soil, they are active participants in exercises. The MiG-29s weren't even given that, with some peripheral roles in most exercises, completely at odds with their status as the premier air superiority fighter in the IAF that focused entirely on air defence and air superiority.
Especially against the RSAF, which exposes them against the F-16 Block 52. The MiG-29s are all based on the Western front and will take on PAF fighters in a conflict. Their primary threat is the F-16 and these exercises would validate tactics and the capability of the MiG-29s in BVR combat against these jets. It was the pasting at the hands of the French AF Mirage-2000-5s in the first exercise that brought home the lack of BVR training of the IAF pilots and brought about a big change in the IAF's approach towards BVR combat.
Let's see if the fact that the MiG-29s are now upgraded and available in large numbers means that they also get to participate in exercises.