ldev wrote:The bottom line is, does it really matter? We do not know what the missile load out was on the SU30s on February 27. But neither the R-27 nor the R-77 got a lock, assuming that they were both carried that day.
So now you are stating that you don't even know what the missile load out was on Feb 27th? Ok
Since the R-27 or the R-77 did not get a lock...why did the F-16s not press home the attack, after the first salvo of AMRAAM launches? The AIM-120C5 outranges both the older model variants of the R-27 and R-77. This should have been a cake walk for the PAF, as they had the superior and longer range missile. The whole point is to "successfully" shoot first to ensure a kill. How did that work out exactly for the Pakistan Air Force on Feb 27th? Rather than "fake" a Su-30MKI kill, they could have actually gotten one for real.
How did AIM-120C5 equipped F-16s allow Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to get that close to a twin seater F-16, then get a successful lock on that F-16 and shoot that bird down with a R-73 CCM? And that too sitting in a MiG-21 Bison! What is the range of the R-73 compared to the AIM-120C5 AMRAAM? Why did the PAF not shoot him down, with a AIM-120C5 AMRAAM, before he came in visually close to a F-16? He got shot down after launching the R-73 from his MiG-21. Why did the PAF allow it come to that?
ldev wrote:So clearly in 2018, the IAF knew that their Russian missiles did not have the range of the AIM-120C5.
And yet the AIM-120C5 did not hit a single Su-30 despite the longer range vis-a-viv the R-27 and the R-77.
When you are outgunned in air combat, you are either shot down or you exit the combat zone (and hope the enemy does not give chase). Neither were the Su-30s (and the Mirage 2000s) shot down and neither did the IAF exit the combat zone. On the contrary, the IAF interceptors stayed right there. And this despite the IAF (and even the PAF!) knowing that the Russian missiles aboard the Su-30MKI did not have the range of the AMRAAM. Even the French MICA does not have the range of the AIM-120C5! But this range deficiency certainly did not stop the IAF from putting an effective wall against the PAF strike force.
When the IAF gets the Meteor equipped Rafale from May 2020, the range advantage will come back in the IAF's favour. But a longer range missile - when viewed in isolation
- means nothing. Air combat is an ever-changing cat and mouse game. When one side gets a perceived advantage, the other side will try to negate that advantage. Which is what the IAF skillfully did on Feb 27th. And which is what the PAF will "attempt" to do when the Rafale arrives in India in May 2020. See this tweet below.https://twitter.com/DefencedotPak/statu ... 48864?s=20
----> PAF CAS, ACM Mujahid Anwar Khan: ‘Whatever capabilities the Indian Air Force acquires, like the Rafale/Meteor BVR combo, the Pakistan Air Force will match it - the balance has to be maintained. Have no doubt about that.’
That tweet is laughable because they are beggars. Whatever counter they get, it will have to be via baksheesh onlee.
ldev wrote:Much has been made of the re-order by the IAF of Russian missiles in the aftermath of February 27 and the rhetorical argument that the IAF must be happy with this missile duo otherwise "why would they have ordered more". I can think of 2 answers.
One, while we do not really know the exact variant of the R-27 and the R-77 that were ordered in 2019, Wikipedia at least states that it was the R-27-ER1 & ET1 variants that were delivered (SARH & Infra-red), both with slightly longer ranges than the R & T versions which the IAF presumably had before in their old inventory.
Again, one must assume that the R-77 deliveries made in 2019 were the RVV-SD.
i.e. in response to the IAF's urgent requirement to re-stock and their complaint that they did not get a lock, the Russian response could have been that this time around we are giving you later/better variants of the missiles and these will have better performance And in the short term the IAF does not really have any other option.
The Derby ER integration and order process will take it's time as will ramping up Astra orders. So I would not read much into the ad-hoc order of more Russian missiles.
The IAF chief's interview was last month, well after receipt of the latest R-27 and R-77 missiles in mid 2019 and yet he is clearly in favor of the Astra integration explicitly. And all available indications are that for WVR infra red the IAF wants to go to ASRAAM.
I would be wary to put up this argument, if I were you.
Please note the range of the Astra Mk1 vis-a-viv the AIM-120C5. Most sources put the range of the Astra Mk1 at around 80 - 110 km. The range of the AIM-120C5 is 110 km. So depending who you ask, the Mk1 variant falls either woefully short of the AIM-120C5 or just about matches the range of the AIM-120C5. At this rate, the PAF will surely outgun the IAF. Should India dhoti shiver?
The situation is just as bleak with the Israeli I-Derby ER. The missile has a range of only 100 km, as per wiki. And the AIM-120C5 will outrange the missile by a whole 10 km! How can the missile get a lock?
Both the missiles you are advocating for do not give any significant advantage - in range - over the AIM-120C5. They are either short or just match the range of the AMRAAM. How can the IAF get a lock with these missiles, when the PAF will have the upper edge with the AIM-120C5?
And the R-27-ER1 and ET1 variants hovers around the range (but does not exceed) of the AIM-120C5. But since the Russian missiles never actually reach their advertised range (or even work!)....the IAF is doomed onlee!
And why even get ASRAAM? It has a range of only 25 km. IAF planes will be shot out of the sky at such a meagre range.
Range of the missile is just one factor, among many other factors. So what is the counter if the enemy has AIM-120C5? You do not retire Su-30MKI and buy F-21 and/or F-15EX
In a future air combat zone, a Su-30MKI can carry other equipment (jammers i.e. SAP-518 or the DARE one), a combo of air-to-air missiles (Astra in conjunction with I-Derby ER, AIM-132 ASRAAM, R-77, R-73 or R-27ER1/ET1) which in turn is supported by other assets (Netra and/or Phalcon) and other combat aircraft (Mirage 2000I with MICA or Rafale with Meteor or Tejas with Astra Mk2 or MiG-29UPG with R-77, R-73 or R-27ER1/ET1), etc, etc, etc. Thus the options are endless. It makes sense to diversify, as it leaves the enemy guessing as to what is coming and where it is coming from. Countering all the possibilities (which is not possible anyway!) sucks up huge resources and can Pakistan afford that?
A lot of debriefing has occurred at Sargodha, over the performance of the AIM-120C5 vis-a-viv the SAP-518 jammer. And the PAF will be working on some counter, either via equipment acquisition or change in tactics. They have already confirmed that they are gaming (and practising) similar scenarios like Operation Swift Retort. And the IAF is doing the same as well. Rafale will be a game changer for the IAF and Tejas (and her subsequent variants) will be revolutionary. MiG-29UPG and Mirage 2000I will be equally effective. I am waiting for the Super Sukhoi upgrade to commence, as that will make the Rambha deadly.
Moral of the Story - The cat-and-mouse game in full effect.