MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby mmasand » 15 Apr 2019 13:06

^ I'm referring to fuel farms that operate in the vicinity of bases/civil air fields. They haven't invested in underground carts.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Hari Nair » 15 Apr 2019 20:56

tsarkar wrote:
Karan M wrote:But bottom line, once shots were fired on the Indian side, they were *definitely* weapons free.

This is very different from what I know. Unless war is formally declared - and in this case it wasnt - it requires Controller approval.....

Anyways, this incident has too many versions and is too sparse on details.

From an Indian perspective, we could have better prepared for it given the time-demonstrated logic-defying tribal-thinking of the Pakistanis.

The issue is not pilots or radar operator bravery, competency or equipment but a command failure at higher military levels to prepare for all possible contingencies.

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I'm afraid, I need to agree with Sarkar saab's conclusions. His last three sentences sum it up so very accurately. If we strike the hornet's nest a night before, expect a reaction from them - did our higher command anticipate the possible reactions? If not, then why?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 15 Apr 2019 20:59

Hari Nair wrote:
tsarkar wrote:This is very different from what I know. Unless war is formally declared - and in this case it wasnt - it requires Controller approval.....

Anyways, this incident has too many versions and is too sparse on details.

From an Indian perspective, we could have better prepared for it given the time-demonstrated logic-defying tribal-thinking of the Pakistanis.

The issue is not pilots or radar operator bravery, competency or equipment but a command failure at higher military levels to prepare for all possible contingencies.

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I'm afraid, I need to agree with Sarkar saab's conclusions. His last three sentences sum it up so very accurately. If we strike the hornet's nest a night before, expect a reaction from them - did our higher command anticipate the possible reactions? If not, then why?


Again +108

Good that the last 3 lines are getting repeated emphasis.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nam » 15 Apr 2019 21:08

On 27th, I forgot the number of times CCS meet. Those who followed the event on Social media, would notice India was seriously preparing to punish Pak.

I am pretty sure WC Abhi was not send because of "peace". The news of NH1 being handed over to IA would have given enough hint to Pak, they are about to receive lot of "peace" from us..

India had Pak on notice on 27...

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby sudeepj » 15 Apr 2019 21:12

Strategy comes first, equipment follows and tactics follow that. What is the GoI strategy?

To sum up in one sentence, it is to respond with India spectaculars when Pakistan attacks with terror spectaculars.

Given that Pakistan will respond, and will have the initiative since we are not defanging Pakistans offensive capabilities before we go in for 'India spectaculars', we need our baseline capabilities to match Pakistans conventional forces. We need a silver bullet force to pull of the India spectaculars. We need an information management strategy to actually make it a spectacle.

We also need a plan in case Pakistan attacks civilian targets or a govt. target that is civil in nature.

Ultimately, like previous strategies, this India spectacular strategy is also one to manage public reactions/expectations as well as buy time. It also introduces an extra variable in Pakistani calculations. A devastating India spectacular can cause a Pakistani govt. to fall, or a Paki general to lose face with its own resulting fallout. It can cause the Jihadis to turn on their masters. It can impact budgetary support from international organizations. So overall, I think this is a reasonable strategy.

With every year, our preponderance in conventional over match with Pak grows. No govt. will be willing to sign off on a war that causes several thousand Indian dead and a few times that number wounded, slows down FDI and hobbles the creature called Vikas.

At some point in time over the next few years, the stars will line up just right and the GoI will take out Pakistani offensive capabilities. After that, it will be 'mowing the grass' time.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby sudeepj » 15 Apr 2019 21:20

Hari Nair wrote:
tsarkar wrote:This is very different from what I know. Unless war is formally declared - and in this case it wasnt - it requires Controller approval.....

Anyways, this incident has too many versions and is too sparse on details.

From an Indian perspective, we could have better prepared for it given the time-demonstrated logic-defying tribal-thinking of the Pakistanis.

The issue is not pilots or radar operator bravery, competency or equipment but a command failure at higher military levels to prepare for all possible contingencies.

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I'm afraid, I need to agree with Sarkar saab's conclusions. His last three sentences sum it up so very accurately. If we strike the hornet's nest a night before, expect a reaction from them - did our higher command anticipate the possible reactions? If not, then why?


My take on it is different.. Pakis being the aggressors in this case, with their offensive capabilities intact, would have pulled off something or the other. If we had hardened Kashmiri airspace, they would have attacked in Jammu. If Jammu was similarly hardened, they would have attacked Punjab and so on farther south. It was better/easier for us to restrict the theater of action to Kashmir, perhaps by making it an inviting target. This will continue to be the case till we take out Paks offensive capabilities.

The only area where I think we could have done better was information management. Once a day, sleepy press conferences are not enough to feed the 24x7 machine. Channels for drip-drip leaks should have been kept open.. Enemy channels should have been monitored to counter them fast.. Foreign press needs to be cultivated in every sense of that term. etc. etc. etc.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 15 Apr 2019 21:29

Nair sir,

About the last part,

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I am not sure here whether the GOI was really ready to go to war. If we were indeed ready to teach the TSP guys a lesson, the events of Feb27th were more than enough. Instead, we chose to rapidly de-escalate, citing purpose served.

Despite making our point inexpensively and at the lowest cost possible (a F16 vs Bison after all), I do wonder what would have happened if the IAF had been given a far freer hand than defensive maneuvering and allowed to take the fight far further into the PAF hinterland.

The entire messaging over job military target etc smacked of babu driven gobbledygook to me. A very fancy way of saying we are being peaceful, and yet striking only terrorists. Pakistan didnt care for all that and did what it had to and we let that chance go too. And that was indeed a political decision.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby ArjunPandit » 15 Apr 2019 21:40

I have been saying that modi knows nation is not prepared for a full blown war. Saw one of his interviews eons back, in which he said light will not come and all that. You know very well, a decade of inaction can't be wished away with our bureaucracy. It is being undone but it will take time. I am counting on around '22 23 window. To have a sledgehammer on pakistan. this has been my bet since 2016.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Hari Nair » 15 Apr 2019 21:46

Karan M wrote:Nair sir,

About the last part,

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I am not sure here whether the GOI was really ready to go to war. If we were indeed ready to teach the TSP guys a lesson,...... Pakistan didnt care for all that and did what it had to and we let that chance go too. And that was indeed a political decision.


Karan Saab,
Just a few quick points..

The Govt had wanted the target(s) at Balakote to be blown up sky-high and to be visible as such.
The window for strike, given the nuclear overhang was short. No arguments on that! Given that fact, it was up to us to counter the obvious reaction from the other side. Again, the window to counter that effectively was short.

Sarkar saab is pointing out a very pertinent fact on higher command and anticipating reactions after the hornets nest has been struck. -you are highlighting the tactical aspects which comes later, about which there are no arguments.

I'm afraid I do not see any Babudom interference here. If any body briefed / informed you otherwise, I do not believe its correct.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Lalmohan » 15 Apr 2019 21:59

incidentally, pakistan also initially announced that it had struck 'non-military' targets in India, which considering they were on an IA base made it laughable; they wanted to major on the '2 jets shot down' story, until that unravelled fast
what conversation would we be having if abhi had got home that morning with a falcon in the bag?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 15 Apr 2019 23:04

Hari Nair wrote:Karan Saab,
Just a few quick points..

The Govt had wanted the target(s) at Balakote to be blown up sky-high and to be visible as such.
The window for strike, given the nuclear overhang was short. No arguments on that! Given that fact, it was up to us to counter the obvious reaction from the other side. Again, the window to counter that effectively was short.

Sarkar saab is pointing out a very pertinent fact on higher command and anticipating reactions after the hornets nest has been struck. -you are highlighting the tactical aspects which comes later, about which there are no arguments.

I'm afraid I do not see any Babudom interference here. If any body briefed / informed you otherwise, I do not believe its correct.


Are sir, no sa'ab for me. You don't get to choose the sir though, its default. :D

First, my point was more simple actually, my take is that given the size of our border, our deployments etc, the Pakistanis would manage to land a few blows. In which case the reaction thereafter *has* to be disproportionate, and visible on their side, which would imply war in the worst case, or if we had prepared our cards well, at least a strike but the Pakistanis choose not to escalate even further because they know think/know our leadership is equally capable of taking decisive action, but our capabilities to wage war are also decisive and will be employed as such. Neither happened. One we would not have wanted (War), but the second, also didn't achieve the full stated impact.

First, the babudom interference or suggestions etc I see in 2 ways.

One was the overly restrictive messaging regarding "non military targets struck etc". As Gen GD Bakshi noted in one of his blunt assessments, whom were we messaging with this? Because one way or the other by crossing the border, we kicked the hornets nest over (as you note) and committed an act of aggression on sovereign soil. In what way would Pakistan even care for our messaging? The international community would one way or the other play their usual games.
In short this was just too much thinking for limited (if at all) any gain. In Gen Bakshi's view, and to be honest even mine, this entire messaging about non military targets reinforced the belief in the Pakistani pysche, that even this time, we were being cautious. The business of keeping the military out of the briefing, some MEA person leading the whole thing.. it just smacked of a half-way house. We struck and then we pretended as if we were diffident about it.

Second, the biggest babudom interference that i see (after perusing all the Def Committee reports) is from the Ministry of Finance. There are so many "low hanging fruit" like for instance the Phalcons, specific pieces of kit that would have helped us on the 27th, which could have been procured, but have been stuck in file pushing citing lack of funds. Funds MOD notes, will be provided "as necessary" and they will advance a case to the MOF, yet at the same time, for political exigencies, just because pappu claimed something, we find a far greater quantum of funds at short notice. That is IMHO really cavalier of the MOF (even though I support the current Govt). The MOD babus get all the flack, and perhaps they should at times, but there have been so many stinging rebukes of the tight fisted manner in which MOF disbursed fund. Now when I read Shri Jetlee making a remark that "for the next 6-7 years we need to spend more on defence", I cannot but agree more but also feel supremely irritated at his inaction in only giving the armed forces more leeway in spending more money, but not increasing the cap on an emergency basis.

I have to give credit to the current GOI for getting the IAF serviceability issue resolved, procurement of the S-4XX and the 2x Rafale squadrons and for Shri Parrikars yeoman work regarding Tejas and the Arty programs. But so much more could have been done and should have been done, only if the MOF gave it the right impetus.

If his boss wants to go around changing our hitherto passive policy, then the capabilities also have to be put in place for a policy of that magnitude. You can't keep saying "our policy is to hit back" (which keeps the enemy forewarned) and then say, excuses moi, just realized I have to purchase arms and munitions, see you in 2022 when X arrives because I ordered it yesterday. Agreed capabilities take time to build up, but from May 2014 to the Pathankot attacks, we seem to have had a huge gap of very little movement, and the person in charge wore two hats, MOF and MOD, and yet nothing happened.

I see this kind of behavior as very dangerous. It sets a belief in place that irrespective of what we do, the Pakistanis too will be "rational" and take the hit. And if the Pakistani & PRC establishment collaborate in secret to overturn our assumption/s, what then? Will the XXXX Crore "suddenly" found for some scheme, because Pappu the Great, announced something even more lunatic, protect us in case of conflict. Also, I still don't see rationality in procurement. At a time when we are crying out for adding combat assets, we still have the C-295 procurement going on, was replacing the Avros so important, or adding ATGMs for our choppers, PGMs/SDRs/Missiles for the AF, torpedoes and towed array sonars for the bulk of the Naval platforms etc the real need. Here again, a half-way house. We seem to be stuck on platform numbers while our existing warfighting equipment still has gaps driven by limited procurement.

In which case how will Pak or PRC take us seriously beyond a point. We are changing our policy but not our decision making which remains stilted and driven by bureaucratic exigencies of "pension first, risk and national concerns later" in the MOD/MOF, if I may be so blunt and also political leadership which is around "social justice first and foremost, defense will get its time in the sun" at the MOF. Question is whether your opponents will allow you the nice and comfortable timeline you have set to first fix A, then B, then C, then D, then E. In this case, at least prioritize! Even that seems missing. Which procurement gets through, and which doesn't still seems to be akin to a coin toss.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby negi » 15 Apr 2019 23:49

I have always said on this forum people tend to ascribe too much power and motive to babus when it comes to decisions being made on the ground when it comes to fighting a war . While everyone has different opinion there is one thing I agree with what Tsarkar says I.e. there is a lot of overhead even within the military services for decision making to work like the way it should .

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:21

No amount of military overhead can take away from the fact though that on Feb 27th, we had a MiG-21 Bison, a design from the 50s, with such a limited # of pylons to not even have a jammer on it, take on F-16s with AMRAAMs & that we did not have enough AWACS in service to have one available around the clock. We are all smiling now because we have Abhinandan back and he proved more skilled than a PAF aviator in a F-16. I have a simple question to ask, would everyone be so blase if he had been lost in combat to an equally skilled PAF aviator who also had the edge of a far superior platform and used it to the max? Just think that over for a second.

This is not military overhead in short, this is civilian chalta hain attitude towards war when both MMRCA acquisition and Phalcon purchase have been hanging fire for over a decade now. I just posted a report on the Phalcon purchase, it was first proposed in 2009 and MOF was now examining it in "January 2019". If the military guys were asleep at the wheel, then what was the point of having a MOD where civilians are supposed to provide oversight?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 00:31

Hari Nair wrote:I'm afraid, I need to agree with Sarkar saab's conclusions. His last three sentences sum it up so very accurately. If we strike the hornet's nest a night before, expect a reaction from them - did our higher command anticipate the possible reactions? If not, then why?

Hari Nair sir, considering the geography of the region and the location of our air bases, I do not see how the IAF could have defended better than they did. I've said it before here, that the pakis had the same advantages when initiating a strike that the IAF did when they bombed Balakot. But the PAF was not able to engage our fighters while we did engage theirs even with less aircraft in the air. IAF was clearly expecting a response, since they had aircraft doing CAP plus some on QRA in Srinagar (WingCo Abhinandan and his wingman). But they had no way to predict when the pakis would strike, in how many numbers and what their targets would be. They could only react to it as and when the info became available.

As for a response to that strike, that would be a political decision right? I do not believe that if the govt. had given a go ahead to strike at a PA Brigade HQ in return that the IAF would not have jumped at the chance. Would be easier than attacking Balakot in my opinion. The reason it wasn't done is that it was (correctly) surmised that such an act would definitely lead to war and the country wasn't ready for it, especially so close to an election. This last part is my speculation though.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 00:31

One possibility, had IAF ordered 15 netra instead of 3; with induction of 3 in a block and each block adding a bit more capability than previous, a lot of such gap would not have existed in the first place.

Same goes with early and more number of mk1 (though given our number of mig21, it would still be there but may be they could have pushed back to a rear theater of operation)

well water under the bridge

Hope desi weapons are taken more favorably in future because they and only they will save our bacon when the balloon goes up.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Aditya G » 16 Apr 2019 00:36

How did Wingco Abhinandan's capture affect plans for counter attack by IAF?;

- at the moment when the fighters were still in the air
- in the immediate aftermath when 1 fighter jet did not return to base
- the next day onward
or
- did not have any effect at all

Whatever the IAF may have thought, they would have gone back to PM for approval once the fighters came back to base. As PM i would have decided to control the situ rather than press ahead with more attacks. Ofcourse I am guessing here.

Hari Nair wrote:
tsarkar wrote:This is very different from what I know. Unless war is formally declared - and in this case it wasnt - it requires Controller approval.....

Anyways, this incident has too many versions and is too sparse on details.

From an Indian perspective, we could have better prepared for it given the time-demonstrated logic-defying tribal-thinking of the Pakistanis.

The issue is not pilots or radar operator bravery, competency or equipment but a command failure at higher military levels to prepare for all possible contingencies.

We had a very supportive and understanding Government Leadership that the IAF Leadership could have leveraged far more aggressively than it did.


I'm afraid, I need to agree with Sarkar saab's conclusions. His last three sentences sum it up so very accurately. If we strike the hornet's nest a night before, expect a reaction from them - did our higher command anticipate the possible reactions? If not, then why?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 00:36

Picklu wrote:One possibility, had IAF ordered 15 netra instead of 3; with induction of 3 in a block and each block adding a bit more capability than previous, a lot of such gap would not have existed in the first place.

Lack of AWACS is clearly an issue and IAF, MoD and DRDO need to sit together and figure out a realistic solution. But when has that ever happened? Perhaps only in the case of LCA when Parrikar saheb was in control. Otherwise all three seem to be working independently with no coherent plan.

In any case, Embraer was blacklisted due to corruption allegations. So even if the IAF had ordered 15 they wouldn't have got them.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:37

How could the IAF have ordered 15 Netra when it only had the financial resources to order 3 Phalcon, 3 Netra (equal numbers despite there being no working example) and the Embraer firm got blacklisted thereafter? Is this a military decision to not care about a black list or a political decision?

On Feb27th, how would the LCA Mk1 be better than the MiG-21 Bison, when it too lacks a SPJ? Military can be blamed in part for the entire development hassle, but fact is the development of a 4Gen+ platform is hard, and IAF needed an aircraft superior/at least equivalent to the F-16 across the entire envelope on Feb 27th, which was the entire point of the MMRCA. The MMRCA disaster is almost entirely a civilian creation, end to end.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 00:37

Hari Nair sir, considering the geography of the region and the location of our air bases, I do not see how the IAF could have defended better than they did. I've said it before here, that the pakis had the same advantages when initiating a strike that the IAF did when they bombed Balakot. But the PAF was not able to engage our fighters while we did engage theirs even with less aircraft in the air. IAF was clearly expecting a response, since they had aircraft doing CAP plus some on QRA in Srinagar (WingCo Abhinandan and his wingman). But they had no way to predict when the pakis would strike, in how many numbers and what their targets would be. They could only react to it as and when the info became available.

As for a response to that strike, that would be a political decision right? I do not believe that if the govt. had given a go ahead to strike at a PA Brigade HQ in return that the IAF would not have jumped at the chance. Would be easier than attacking Balakot in my opinion. The reason it wasn't done is that it was (correctly) surmised that such an act would definitely lead to war and the country wasn't ready for it, especially so close to an election. This last part is my speculation though.



A solution for protection is not more aircraft on CAP but more sensors on air and more aircraft at readiness with an attitude to escalate disproportionately in return of any transgression.

Same principal works for Law and Order as well.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:41

Where are these more aircraft and where are these more sensors? Does IAF put 2 engined Su-30s on ORP/QRA despite knowing they will never be available in time? Only 6 Bison squadrons exist today.

Or fly them around the clock, so that the PAF then attacks another sector where the IAF is understrength? The advantage always lies with the aggressor in choosing his time and place of attack. Is that a political decision (to go to all out war) or a military one.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 00:43

Karan M wrote: On Feb27th, how would the LCA Mk1 be better than the MiG-21 Bison, when it too lacks a SPJ? Military can be blamed in part for the entire development hassle, but fact is the development of a 4Gen+ platform is hard, and IAF needed an aircraft superior/at least equivalent to the F-16 across the entire envelope on Feb 27th, which was the entire point of the MMRCA. The MMRCA disaster is almost entirely a civilian creation, end to end.


Don't know about SPJ but from a few telecom engineers I know, SDR and StingRay are not that heard to get or that costly either. Some of our startups in telecom domain routinely use them.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:43

nachiket wrote:
Picklu wrote:One possibility, had IAF ordered 15 netra instead of 3; with induction of 3 in a block and each block adding a bit more capability than previous, a lot of such gap would not have existed in the first place.

Lack of AWACS is clearly an issue and IAF, MoD and DRDO need to sit together and figure out a realistic solution. But when has that ever happened? Perhaps only in the case of LCA when Parrikar saheb was in control. Otherwise all three seem to be working independently with no coherent plan.


That project is called AWACS (India), which *drumroll* is yet to be properly funded or accelerated.

In any case, Embraer was blacklisted due to corruption allegations. So even if the IAF had ordered 15 they wouldn't have got them.


Yes, exactly. Where did MOD btw sit and tell IAF/DRDO - guys, just go talk to Bombardier?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 00:46

Picklu wrote:A solution for protection is not more aircraft on CAP but more sensors on air and more aircraft at readiness with an attitude to escalate disproportionately in return of any transgression.

Same principal works for Law and Order as well.

Well there was a Phalcon monitoring and directing the engagement as the radar images released by the IAF show. Ground radars have severe limitations in the region due to the mountains. There were more aircraft being vectored towards the intruders, but the whole engagement lasted only a few minutes after which the pakis made a hasty retreat. Most paki aircraft did not even cross the LoC. So I ask again, what specifically should the IAF have done that they did not?

The only valid criticism I can see is the RoE's which should have been junked knowing the mentality of the pakis.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 00:49

Yes, exactly. Where did MOD btw sit and tell IAF/DRDO - guys, just go talk to Bombardier?


There are 2 politicians and if they have to get into every detail, god save us.

The bureaucrats are same the world over. In our case, they are not specialized either.

Left are a bunch of career warriors and another bunch of career technocrats from DRDO and DPSU. The earlier they learn to work together for mutual benefit without anyone else have to play the school master/class monitor role, the better it is for all of us.
Last edited by Picklu on 16 Apr 2019 00:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:51

Picklu wrote:Don't know about SPJ but from a few telecom engineers I know, SDR and StingRay are not that heard to get or that costly either. Some of our startups in telecom domain routinely use them.


Mil Qualified proven SDR for high speed fighter aircraft are a rare beast, a handful of manufacturers make them and have done all the testing, verification etc. Let me introduce to the disaster that is Indian MOD. First bid from Israel got delayed because one of the vendors offered a free hardware supply, anticipating that they would make money off the LCC. No, we wouldnt compare LCC and insisted on a "no single vendor situation", so went and restarted the process per reports. Second, after a lot of waffling around both BEL and Alpha electronics proved unable to the task. Note, no process in place to promote TD while acquiring interim capability. Need btw for SDRs is now around several thousand radios across air, ground etc. Third, we finally procured some 400 odd radios in1st phase over which ODL will be developed, leaving only a couple of hundred for airborne units while rest will be procured "later" for which RFI went out last year. This is what I mean by complete messed up MOD procurement for something which has been hanging fire for a decade.
C-295s are being procured for "communications" purposes. Cleared but no money allocated, yet. The amount to be spent there could literally turn around the IAFs entire fighting potential in the short term. Now why isnt the MOD sitting down with the IAF and prioritizing such stuff like SDRs? No, RFI, RFP and another dozen years for acquisition. We are chasing fools gold.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:53

Picklu wrote:
Yes, exactly. Where did MOD btw sit and tell IAF/DRDO - guys, just go talk to Bombardier?


There are 2 politicians and if they have to get into every detail, god save us.

The bureaucrats are same the world over. In our case, they are not specialized either.

Left are a bunch of career warriors and another bunch of career technocrats. The earlier they learn to work together for mutual benefit without anyone else have to play the school master/class monitor role, the better it is for all of us.


Didn;t these career politicians promise us they would knock sense into the establishment once they took over and things would be different? Otherwise, we are left with the same moth eaten establishment with a new sticker on top. Besides which, its simply not correct to state these guys dont get into details. Swacch Bharat, Clean Ganga and many other politically sensitive programs were micromanaged by PMO, Niti this, that and delivered.
But MOD and defence modernization was left to fester till Pathankot. This is after Modi promised a tough line on Pak in his elections and defence modernization IIRC was mentioned. So he should have monitored it.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 00:54

Karan M wrote:
Picklu wrote:Don't know about SPJ but from a few telecom engineers I know, SDR and StingRay are not that heard to get or that costly either. Some of our startups in telecom domain routinely use them.


Mil Qualified proven SDR for high speed fighter aircraft are a rare beast, a handful of manufacturers make them and have done all the testing, verification etc. Let me introduce to the disaster that is Indian MOD. First bid from Israel got delayed because one of the vendors offered a free hardware supply, anticipating that they would make money off the LCC. No, we wouldnt compare LCC and insisted on a "no single vendor situation", so went and restarted the process per reports. Second, after a lot of waffling around both BEL and Alpha electronics proved unable to the task. Note, no process in place to promote TD while acquiring interim capability. Need btw for SDRs is now around several thousand radios across air, ground etc. Third, we finally procured some 400 odd radios in1st phase over which ODL will be developed, leaving only a couple of hundred for airborne units while rest will be procured "later". This is what I mean by complete messed up MOD procurement. C-295s are being procured for "communications" purposes. Cleared but no money allocated, yet. The amount to be spent there could literally turn around the IAFs entire fighting potential in the short term. Now why isnt the MOD sitting down with the IAF and prioritizing such stuff like SDRs? No, RFI, RFP and another dozen years for acquisition. We are chasing fools gold.


Don't you think the prioritization should be done by IAF?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 00:55

Which IAS babu would know what an SDR is? There are no domain experts in MoD nor any plan to hire them. Even if IAF or DRDO wants to explain something to the MoD how would they do that considering the person they are talking to is about the intellectual caliber of Shekhar Gupta, when it comes to defence matters?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 00:59

Picklu wrote:Don't you think the prioritization should be done by IAF?


They did and what happens is there is no guarantee any procurement gets through, so they have adapted to their political masters. Ask for everything, whatever gets through, your luck. You have Scorpenes but no torpedos. You had ships but no towed array sonar. You have choppers but no ATGMs. Some 2 of these have got resolved, not the 3rd. And no MOD process in place to import for the interim while a domestic equivalent which aims to match some fancy pants 4th generation system from abroad gets ready. Best part is its even been done with success in radar/ELINT by AF, but why would MOD ever make any policy or process out of it?

Heres another example. Right now a procurement for Special Forces weaponry is stuck at MOD. Because the babus want it to be done in multiple sections using VCASs special powers. This means another delay of 6-8 more months in placing the order. Let alone receiving the items. VCAS/IA are also cut up that their budget gets used up faster but the MOFs promise to release more funds hasn't yet come through. Is this any way an establishment, which might have to go to war anytime behaves?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 01:03

Karan M wrote:
Picklu wrote:
There are 2 politicians and if they have to get into every detail, god save us.

The bureaucrats are same the world over. In our case, they are not specialized either.

Left are a bunch of career warriors and another bunch of career technocrats. The earlier they learn to work together for mutual benefit without anyone else have to play the school master/class monitor role, the better it is for all of us.


Didn;t these career politicians promise us they would knock sense into the establishment once they took over and things would be different? Otherwise, we are left with the same moth eaten establishment with a new sticker on top. Besides which, its simply not correct to state these guys dont get into details. Swacch Bharat, Clean Ganga and many other politically sensitive programs were micromanaged by PMO, Niti this, that and delivered.
But MOD and defence modernization was left to fester till Pathankot. This is after Modi promised a tough line on Pak in his elections and defence modernization IIRC was mentioned. So he should have monitored it.


Like it or not, politicians will change, every 5 years. The govt and its priority will also change. At certain point the solution has to come from respective departments. Again, we in the forum can discuss till the cows come home but for all honesty, the problem has to be solved by IAF, DRDO and DPSU as best as they can. Blaming MOD, MOF and Politicians is the easy way out. They won't change beyond a point. Our structure is such.

And given the current situation, there is still quite much ground to cover by all of these 3 entities. There is good indication though, at least in DRDO and DPSU side of things.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 01:07

IAF and DRDO do not have decision making powers. Only the MoD does, and it itself is dependent on MoF releasing funds. So how are IAF and DRDO supposed to solve anything by themselves? Why even have an MoD then?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 01:12

Why I keep IAF/IA/IN in the primacy of all such accountability related discussion?

Because despite Banditji and Durgamata, it is IA (Thapar and Sam Bahadur) gets brickbats and credits for 1962 and 1971.

The same would be the case whenever the balloon goes up in future too. At some point of time, the top brass have to get into the same mode what IA DGMO artillery recently or IN for quite some time did. In fact all 3 branches of military have to do more. There is no escaping from that.
Last edited by Picklu on 16 Apr 2019 02:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 01:14

nachiket wrote:IAF and DRDO do not have decision making powers. Only the MoD does, and it itself is dependent on MoF releasing funds. So how are IAF and DRDO supposed to solve anything by themselves? Why even have an MoD then?


For the same reasons why every company have a CFO and other CXO roles. Doesn't absolve the actual cost or revenue centers. Yes, the top bosses will take the decision but they can do it better when the underlying departments are not at each others throat. In any such org, both of the department heads would be fired.

And in our set up, with 2 politicians and bunch of generalist bureaucrats, that has very little chance of happening.

Now, the blame game can continue, laying it thick on everyone other than themselves. Nothing will change, ever then.

Or, our departments realize this ugly truth by themselves and start collaboration without a top driven approach. Everywhere that happened in our setup, be it recent artillery or most of the IN programs, it has given much better result.

Now compare the same with HJT vs Tucano that's going on right now and you will see why I am saying there is still a lot of ground to cover. Or Arjun vs Tincans. or LUH vs Kamovs.

I don't know why we can't get into a fibre hull scale model of mine hunter on our own. We are waiting for a ready made design for kingdom come. At some point our mil folks have to simply put blind faith in our scientists and engineers and accept that some of the equipment, being a first attempt in desh, would be lousy and border line dangerous for users themselves. They have to be ready for block inductions with different versions of the same equipment.

All nations worth its name and where we aspire to be, have gone through that phase and going through even now for their next generation of equipment. How many prototypes of Gripen crashed? How many F22 pilots having that special cough? If our mil folks think they can escape that fate, it is not going to happen. And for the record, all such nations have equally lousy bureaucrats and politicians. Anyone thinks the politicians or mandarins are better in P5 or NATO or Israel, I have a grand building of white marble in Agra to sell to you.
Last edited by Picklu on 16 Apr 2019 02:35, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Picklu » 16 Apr 2019 02:00

Now, all i have given is the problem statement. Let me tell you my idea of solution as well.

I don't see a solution in MOD, MOF and politicians' end. Chasing them will be a fools errand. The primary solution has to come from Ind Mil and DRDO, DPSU plus private orgs.

Again, the clamour of making IA/IAF/IN as head of DRDO, DPSU etc will be met with lot of resistance and Ind Mil will not win.

Then what is the solution?

Ind Mil has to figure out some way to provide carrot and stick for getting proper collaboration from DRDO and DPSU. Ind Mil has to own it and not the other way around. Now, all of those carrot and stick will NOT be via official channel but Ind Mil folks have to still figure them out. In real world, not everything happens via official channel per rule book. Everyone in mid level mgmt position in private orgs figures this out instinctively. It might be as simple as taking the support stuffs for launches/dinners periodically. However a large number of our mil folks haven't figured this out for their civilian counterparts, however good they be in their military duties. Some have, in isolation. But that haven't percolated to the institutional memory of Ind Mil. It may be as simple as a share of club privilege. Or a share of liquor ration. Or some such.

Let me give you an anecdote and I am sure many will know of similar incidents.

I stay in an apartment building next to an army ground. Some tenant in one of the apartments were throwing garbage to the army area. One fine Sunday morning, 1 major and 20 of the eggheads (before you start throwing brickbats at me, I use this term most affectionately) turned up and very politely asked to meet with the association office bearers. In that meeting, they very politely threatened to collect all the garbage from their compound and bring it back and dump in in front of our main gate. No raised voice, forget any violence. Never again the same were repeated. Now I am sure many of you would know about similar anecdotes. Was what done official? Was it even legal? Was it effective?

After all, Unkil simply gets its way with our folks by simply offering higher education for early retirees or brats. Is that strictly official? They simply use their influence in any which way they can.

Ind Mil has to figure out similar unofficial inducement channels for DRDO and DPSUs, both good and bad. It may appear extremely daunting but in real life, only the top and bottom 5% have to be induced. Doing that couple of years will create a virtuous cycle and once it starts, a large part of the problem would be resolved on its own.

And this, while organically being prepared for a percentage of lousy equipment out of a total orbat. With it's attendant risks, such as flying coffins. But this time, they will be Indians.

Or Ind Mil can continue to be isolationist from their civilian brethren and continue berate the developed equipment as "three legged cheetah" and "khadi gramodyog" or "latest confusion in aeronautics" or "dekho raja der lagegi".

The choice, the accountability and the outcome, all are really with Ind Mil.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby LakshmanPST » 16 Apr 2019 08:37

In the aftermath of Pak response, the main drawback from our side was bad communication...
Just to give an example, they announce at 11 AM that all service chiefs will hold a press conference at 5 PM (most likely a warning of escalation)... IK announces at 3 PM that he'll release Abhinandan as a gesture of peace... Boom, he won the narrative...
-
The media Ppl are waiting right outside the building for some official news or the other... What was the need to wait for so long...???
Pak releasing Abhinandan on their own as a 'gesture of peace' vs Pak releasing him due to an official threat of escalation from Indian side are vastly different...

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 09:14

In the radar images released by the IAF, where the hell is abinandhan's wingman?

Edit: He did say "radar image". So the question is where is his wingman?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby yensoy » 16 Apr 2019 09:47

krish.pf wrote:In the radar images released by the IAF, where the hell is abinandhan's wingman?

Edit: He did say "radar image". So the question is where is his wingman?


The 2 triangles south of Jhangar are probably Wingco and his wingman which would mean that both of them had already crossed the LoC in hot pursuit.

Image

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 10:53

yensoy wrote:
krish.pf wrote:In the radar images released by the IAF, where the hell is abinandhan's wingman?

Edit: He did say "radar image". So the question is where is his wingman?


The 2 triangles south of Jhangar are probably Wingco and his wingman which would mean that both of them had already crossed the LoC in hot pursuit.

Image


Didn't notice that in that map. The distance between Naushera and Bimbar is 25kms. So these guys were approximately 5km and 10km inside LOC. And the distance between the lead aircraft(abinandhan), and the lead F-16 is less than 15km. That is well within the NEZ of R-77. In the press conference, wasn't it mentioned that R-73 was the only missile fired? Why didn't abinandhan and his wingman fire their R-77s when they were well on the other side of the LOC? Was it a ROE? What kind of an ROE tells the pilot to cross the LOC but doesn't give permission to fire before Visual Identification?


Also in the other map with symbols and vectors, the wingmn is probably the yellow symbol-ed aircraft at the bottom. Why didn't abinandhan and his wingman fire their R-77s?

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 10:56

krish.pf wrote:Didn't notice that in that map. The distance between Naushera and Bimbar is 25kms. So these guys were approximately 5km and 10km inside LOC. And the distance between the lead aircraft(abinandhan), and the lead F-16 is less than 15km. That is well within the NEZ of R-77. In the press conference, wasn't it mentioned that R-73 was the only missile fired? Why didn't abinandhan and his wingman fire their R-77s when they were well on the other side of the LOC? Was it a ROE? What kind of an ROE tells the pilot to cross the LOC but doesn't give permission to fire before Visual Identification?


Also in the other map with symbols and vectors, the wingmn is probably the yellow symbol-ed aircraft at the bottom. Why didn't abinandhan and his wingman fire their R-77s?

What's the point in second guessing him? R-73 would be far more deadly in a tail chase at that range. Plus the off-boresight capability of it would be extremely helpful. His wingman can't fire an R-77 because it might have very well homed in on Abhinandan himself while he was in a turning dogfight with the F-16.

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rishi » 16 Apr 2019 11:11

Wait which F16 did he shoot? The ones at 40k or the one at 15k? There is a 4 ship and a 2 ship F16 formation. Which one became the 3 ship formation we see in the radar grab?


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