Karan M wrote:
Jammers are useful if you are nose-on or 180 degrees receding, given the fact jammers are nothing but lower powered "versions" of a radar type set-up. If you are maneuvering, your jammers will lose the target aircraft so its radar would work again. So unless you have a towed decoy to seduce incoming missiles, really there is no 360 degree SPJ in the true sense (think sphere not angles), which is why chaff remains so popular.
That apart, the issue was the F-16s were not in missile range. To get that range, the MKIs, especially Avenger 1, were on burner and closed in to the F-16s despite the risk of oncoming missiles, not theoretical but real as they had already launched. This occurred repeatedly. Avenger1's ultra-aggressiveness was what frustrated the Pakistanis, and they retreated to form a BARCAP. They were not able to shoot down the Su-30s, were losing rounds, running out of fuel, being locked in place, remember the clock was ticking and more Indian reinforcements were rushing to theater. And meanwhile, Avenger 1 was racing in to the fight at burner, maneuvering into danger to get his own WCS solution and then getting out - on that day, that crew took the game to the line and beyond. This is the reason many feel that even the Avenger 1 crew deserved an award. Just imagine the situation for a moment, AMRAAMs on the way, RWR is buzzing with a F-16 tone, instead of staying defensive, the Avenger 1 crew went in nonetheless and to the point they would start getting the F-16s within their dynamic launch envelope, and racing out only when it became clear the threat was all but unbeatable. To do it once, is nuts enough, apparently they did it repeatedly. Abhinandan was not the only ultra-aggressive person in theater that day.
If anything justified the IAFs investment in its pilots, its efforts in choosing them, training them to pair their aggression with skill, the choice of the heavy duty Flanker platform, it was this. They stayed in the fight and took the fight to the Vipers who were attacking from was a classic advantageous position and hence expected the Flankers to stay wholly defensive.
And these were our standard squadron pilots, not a hand-picked crew from CCS executing a prepared ambush. The same situation, on Feb 26th, the PAF pilots *ran*. They saw a large formation of Mirage 2000s headed their way, refused to engage. In our case, outnumbered the Su-30s stayed in theater, stayed in the fight, and did not screw up tactically, kept moving into offense, frustrating the Pakis, till the AEW&C called it off, and then they retreated to form the BARCAP. And then came Abhi.
Yes, the issue persists with the R-118 and SAP-518, but typically what you can do is decouple the RWR from the SPJ and set latter to auto. It has its own ESM receiver and will jam accordingly as and when it sees a threat, without being triggered by the RWR and then manually allocated to specific threats. Not perfect, but still functional.
Very informative post on air battle on 27/02. @Deejay do you endorse ?