The IAF History Thread

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jamwal
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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby jamwal » 20 Apr 2011 19:00

Awesome.

Image

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 20 Apr 2011 19:08

Lalmohan wrote:the Mig27 had an engine flameout due to ingesting gun gasses, unable to relight, nachiketa bailed out
ahuja's mig 21 circled the area slowly to find nachiketa and was hit by a SAM, possibly an ANZA. the tail of the Mig21 with its Cxxx numbering was shown on TV surrounded by pak soldiers. i believe that the Mig27 crashed in Indian territory whilst the Mig 21 crashed on the pakistani side. nachiketa was captured and imprisoned, he appears to have been roughed up whilst in captivity. Ahuja was shot in the head in cold blood on the ground after landing. possibly an overzealous soldier shot him before an officer could arrive on the scene and secure him for interrogation... but we will never know


Or he was introgated by the Officer cadre and then shot him dead in cold blood.

This is where Indians make the mistake of giving benefit of Doubt to Pakis, with Pakis the Officer cadre is also barbaric. WHy give them benefit of Doubt???

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby negi » 20 Apr 2011 19:25

About 7 inches of all the
tail rotor blades had been cleanly shorn off. I also discovered to my horror that the Russians had
made the tail rotor with ply wood. But at that time I was not too worried about the tail rotor. I
ran forward to find Kempy.

This is epic!

To Kempy sir's nose indeed. :D

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby wig » 20 Apr 2011 19:27

a tribute to the late wife of MIAF Arjan Singh in the Tribune: The wind beneath his wings by Roopinder Singh

She was, indeed, the wind beneath the Marshal of the Indian Air Force’s wings, his inspiration, his support. They worked together to achieve their goals. In 2004, MIAF Arjan Singh DFC sold off his farm near Delhi, and entrusted a corpus of Rs 2 crore to the “Marshal of the Air Force & Mrs Arjan Singh Trust” devoted to the welfare of retired Air Force personnel. When Teji asked him why he had put her name on it, he replied: “If you hadn’t agreed, how could I have done it?”

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110420/edit.htm#5

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby anand_sankar » 20 Apr 2011 19:29

Speechless... That's airmanship.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 20 Apr 2011 19:37

^^^fabulous is the only word!!!

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Gaur » 20 Apr 2011 20:35

^^
Thanks a lot for posting this.
That was a delightful read and the narration was incredible. :D

To Kempy's Nose! :mrgreen:

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Paul » 20 Apr 2011 22:50

There is a red colored Gnat parked in the March Air field Museaum in Souther Cal. The caption does talk of it's success in the Indo-pak wars (does not against which a/c - Sabres are parked a few rows down). Will upload the picture later or mail to Jagan.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Paul » 20 Apr 2011 22:50

Other thing is the B-29 superfortress's size. It does not appear as awesome as appears in the newsreels.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby svinayak » 20 Apr 2011 23:01

Paul wrote:There is a red colored Gnat parked in the March Air field Museaum in Souther Cal. The caption does talk of it's success in the Indo-pak wars (does not against which a/c - Sabres are parked a few rows down). Will upload the picture later or mail to Jagan.

Is it the San Diego Air Museum. I dont remember seeing it.
Is it in Miramar AFB

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Paul » 20 Apr 2011 23:04


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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 20 Apr 2011 23:11

A beautifully written and engaging article. Makes you feel that you were there! Thanks Shiv.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Rupesh » 21 Apr 2011 01:00

Thanks Shivji
...... we want more :mrgreen:

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 21 Apr 2011 02:00

Fantastic Story - I loved both the flying bits and the drinking bits ... :mrgreen:

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Paul » 21 Apr 2011 03:21

http://kaiser-aeronaut.blogspot.com/201 ... chive.html

During an attack on Chaklala on 4 December, two Hunters from Pathankot-based No 20 Squadron damaged a salvaged C-130, along with some damage to the ATC building.[12] Next morning, two Hunters, again from No 20 Squadron, destroyed a UN Twin Otter and a US embassy Beech Queen Air commuter aircraft parked on the tarmac.[13]


Is this Chuck Yeager's aircraft??
Last edited by Paul on 21 Apr 2011 03:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Paul » 21 Apr 2011 03:29

Looks like it is....how convenient of Mr Tufail to miss this little detail.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... akash.html


Thus when an Indian fighter pilot swept low over Islamabad airport in India's first retaliatory strike, he could see only two small planes on the ground. Dodging antiaircraft fire, he blasted both to smithereens with 20-millimeter (sic) canon fire. One was Yeager's Beechcraft. The other was a plane used by United Nations forces to supply the patrols that monitored the ceasefire in Kashmir."

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby chackojoseph » 21 Apr 2011 13:34

Paul wrote:http://kaiser-aeronaut.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

During an attack on Chaklala on 4 December, two Hunters from Pathankot-based No 20 Squadron damaged a salvaged C-130, along with some damage to the ATC building.[12] Next morning, two Hunters, again from No 20 Squadron, destroyed a UN Twin Otter and a US embassy Beech Queen Air commuter aircraft parked on the tarmac.[13]


Is this Chuck Yeager's aircraft??


Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Yes! :rotfl: The bugger couldn't go fishing after that.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 22 Apr 2011 21:25

Thunderbolts video
Image

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby ramana » 09 May 2011 22:28

We need to look at the institutional culture of the three services to understand where they are today. In particular I would like to look at the relations between British officers and the Indian officers before Independence in the three services to see how the insitituions developed.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 03 Jun 2011 10:21

rajanb wrote:Could admin help me out please?

I witnessed a dogfight at Kalaikunda AFB. Want to write a first person account of it and post it.

Which thread(s) would be appropriate?

Thanks in advance.

Wold love to hear it. I know 2 other people who saw that and only one mentioned it on BRF

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 03 Jun 2011 11:37

Paul wrote:http://kaiser-aeronaut.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html

During an attack on Chaklala on 4 December, two Hunters from Pathankot-based No 20 Squadron damaged a salvaged C-130, along with some damage to the ATC building.[12] Next morning, two Hunters, again from No 20 Squadron, destroyed a UN Twin Otter and a US embassy Beech Queen Air commuter aircraft parked on the tarmac.[13]


Is this Chuck Yeager's aircraft??


Yup! And the Indian pilot who blasted it to jahannum was ex-CNS Adm. Arun Prakash. Yeager was rumored to have flown against the IAF during the war - that old sob richly deserved it.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 18 Jun 2011 06:39

What a pathetic story of Indic pride. The HF 24 had a better thrust to weight ratio that the Jaguar.

India's first indigenous jet was left to die young

This day, 50 years ago, was a red letter day for the Indian Air Force’s indigenisation programme when the country’s first fighter plane – Hindustan Fighter-24, aka, Marut – took to the air for the first time.

India’s first fighter plane Marut didn’t get the boost it deserved .Today, 50 years later, the IAF has no indigenously built aircraft of any worth. The enthusiam that was associated particularly with Marut died a natural death because of a combination of two factors: import pressures in general and under-powered engines for the aircraft.

Retired IAF officers told Deccan Herald that neither Air Headquarters nor the Ministry of Defence pursued the indegenisation programme beginning with Marut manufactured by the then Hindustan Aircraft Ltd, later christened as Hindustan Aeronatics Ltd (HAL), with gusto. According to Wg Cdr (retd) Praful Bakshi, Marut’s “Ac­hilles heel” was its engine.

“After the GNAT started flying, Kurt Tank (a German who had earlier designed the Focke-Wolf) designed the HF-24” which was a “remarkable aircraft but fell short because of the lack of a proper engine”.

After the aircraft was commissioned, three squadrons were formed and some of them saw action during the 1971 Indo-Pak war in which it took a lot of hits, as one retired IAF officer said.

At the manufact­uring stage, Rolls Royce agreed to make an engine for the Marut at a cost of Rs 7 lakh per engine. But after the company’s factory in Egypt was bombed by the Israelis in an air attack the IAF re-designed the aircraft, fitting two GNAT engines on it.

“This did not help because the frame was designed for Mach 2-3 speed and the engines were grossly under-powered,” another retired IAF officer said, adding that with no significant help from western countries in developing the Marut’s engine, the plan to manufacture more of the HF-24 was dropped.

According to Wg Cdr Baks­hi, “the Marut was the only aircraft which flew supersonic without an afterburner, an aspect which “our planners never gave importance to.
Besi­­d­es, the defence esta­­blishment “never thought that this was a great tactical advantage. Senior personnel did not want to fly this aircraft because the worksmanship of HAL was not up to the mark,” he notes.

The IAF was “happy because nobody wanted an indigenous programme” even though the Marut could do 640 knots, fly low level with four tanks” (comparable to the American F-22).


Most retired IAF officers Deccan Herald spoke to faulted the Marut’s engine whose under-performance was the main reason why production of the aircraft was grounded.

“Imagine what a Rs 4-cr­o­re investment could have do­ne to the aircraft”, Air Ma­rs­hal (retd) S K S Ramdas sa­id, adding: “Some of the aircraft had not even clocked 10-12 hours on the log and there was one which had logged only three hours. Only a very rich country like ours could afford such a colossal waste,” he said. :lol:

Another retired Air Marshal said that several test pilots lost their lives because of a combination of mehcanical faults, including a below par engine. The fighter plane’s reputation was marred by technical glitches, including fuel leakages and a problem with the canopy, which eventually took the life of Group Capt Suranjan Das.

After the Indo-Pak war, the government virtually stalled the IAF’s programme tilting to the seductive appeal of imports which included the procurement and operationalisation of the Russian MiG-21s which subsequently suffered because of the availability of spare parts.

Now, the aircraft lies all across India in various airfields and the authorities at Air Headquarters and HAL here look the other way because it was a source of embarrassment.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby SSridhar » 18 Jun 2011 08:59

Another article on HF-24
At a time when all eyes in the military world are on the country's big-ticket plan to buy 126 modern fighter planes costing easily over Rs 45,000 crore, the saga of the first jet fighter that it built should be worth remembering.

On June 17, it will be 60 years since the small fighter-bomber built against odds, with much gusto and called the Marut or the ‘spirit of tempest', first took to air.

On Friday, HAL, which in its own infancy in the 1960s built the Marut against many odds, fondly celebrated the spirited fighter's golden jubilee. (The same HAL will also be building some of the modern fighters for the IAF once the government chooses the aircraft.)

The home-built Marut, or HF-24, once the pride of the Air Force, was one of the many heroes of the 1971 war with Pakistan to liberate what is today Bangladesh and spawned some Vir Chakras. After a chequered life of agony and ecstasy it was taken off service in the 1990s mainly for want of a powerful engine. After driving squadrons with daring names such as Lions, Desert Tigers and Daggers, the fighter made its last sortie in October 1984 and was phased out in the 1990s.

Designed by ace German aircraft designer Dr Kurt Tank, the indigenous fighter project was taken up by HAL (then Hindustan Aircraft Ltd) in 1957. HAL had no infrastructure, manpower that were needed for such a project. Defence experts say taking up its development was itself an audacious move.

HAL's celebrated Chief Test Pilot, Group Captain Suranjan Das, flew the prototype for the first time on 17 June, 1961. Between 1964 and 1977, HAL built 129 single seaters and 18 trainers. Gp Capt Das perished during a flight; a road near one of the HAL facilities in Bangalore bears his name.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby tsarkar » 18 Jun 2011 09:04

shiv wrote:the worksmanship of HAL was not up to the mark
This has been the bane of our domestic industry. Often, good designs not live up to their potential because of this. Or field performance is many notches below design specs.

Many years ago, I asked a civilian shipwright employed with ND(MB) on why did work come last in his list of priorities? He'll start work after chai, bun-maska and gappa-goshti with friends. His response was its enough that he's come for work and put his hands to work. Doing a good job or being proud for doing a good job didnt matter to him.

Then I realized his indifference to performance was because his performance was never measured.

Secondly, its a myth that government jobs/services jobs are low paying vis-a-vis private sector, since I've served under both. Pension and other benefits result in a gross salary much higher than private sector for a 20 year term career. Also, only those performing above average receive annual increments in the private sector, as numerous BR members working in IT will readily attest. Similarly, public sector invests much more in training as well, just that it is not advertised.

One way to improve matters is to implement a performance management program at DPSU. At this point, mere staffing is seen as meeting goals. For example, HAL today is happy that X people are working on LCA doing task A, task B and task C. This should change to achieving 95% measurable performance criteria in task A, task B & task C.

Accumen and Performance based discrimination sounds unfair in an ideal society, where everyone is supposed to be equal. But this is what enables Infosys or Wipro do a better job than HAL, despite the average wage bill being the same. And to acheive the utopian equality, one has to lower performance benchmark to the lowest performer that defeats the very basic objective one set out to achieve.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 24 Jun 2011 18:45

Many of us here have read the story "Kempys Nose" posted by Shiv and enjoyed it immensely.

I ran into the blog link posted by the author (wg cdr unni kartha) himself - check out the stories at http://cyclicstories.blogspot.com

I was reading the story "Death in Spiti Valley" and the description of the flight in the Himachal mountains and valleys have put me in the pilot's seat to say the least. Amazing reading.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby ManuT » 25 Jun 2011 08:15

For the Wing nuts of BR, from the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare (Edited by: Chris Bishop amber 1997)

******************
Indo-Pakistan Wars
******************

Following the end of the British Raj in 1947, the Indian sub-continent was bloodily partitioned into independent states of Moslem Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. The British had held together a fragmented administration and a host of traditonal hereditary rulers, while reconciling divied religious interests and

suppressed tribal revolts. These problems now re-emerged, and on these were superimposed rival ambitions for certain disputed areas. The most of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, whose ruler was a Hindu Maharajah, but whose population was overwhelmingly Moslem. The Maharajah wanted independence and refused to accede to integrate with Pakistan which funded and armed the Azad Kashmiris to carry out an insurrection. At the same time, Pathans staged and invasion. The Maharajah asked India for help,
which sent troops after the state's accession. The Azad Kashmiris were supported by Pakistani artillery, across the border, and Pakistani AAA defended some Azad targets against the IAF. There was direct conflict between India and Pakistan further north, in the Karakorum mountains, and a PAF Dakota was damaged by IAF Tempests.

A UN ceasefire came into force on 31 January 1949.

Pakistan conducted its own war against insurrection on the North West Frontier, this tying down a figher squardon from 1947 until 1960. Initially the air forces of both India and Pakistan were equipped with rx-RAF and ex-RIAF aircraft. India used Spitfires, Tempests, Liberators and Dakotas. The fledgling Pakistani Air Force had similar equipment, but lack Liberators. The UK continued to supply aircraft to Pakistan (Furries, Attackers, Halifax bombers and Bristol 170 freighters) and to India (Vampires, Canberras and Hunters) although both nations also started looking for arms elsewhere. Pakistan acquired 100 F-86Fs, 12 F-104 and 23 B-57s as military aid from the USA from 1955, while India obtained Ouragan and Mystere IVA fighters from France and Il-14 and An12 transports, Mi-4 helicopters and MiG-21 fighers from the USSR.

In 1957 Kashmir was integrated into the Indian Union despite Pakistani protests, and UN sponsored talks broke down in 1963. In February 1965 Indian troops took over a Pakistani police post in the disputed Rann of Kutch, an uninhabitable area under water for of the year. The post was recaptured in April, but air activity was limited.

One IAF Ouregan was shot down when it strayed over the Pakistan border.

War in The Kashmir
------------------

In May 1965 Pakistan armed and trained fighers irregulars to infiltrate Kashmir, hoping to ferment a revolution which would then topple the state into Pakistan. The insurgents were backed by the Pakistani artillery, and the Pakistan army then launched a major offensive against Indian forces in the Chamb salient. The IAF lost four obsolete Vampires to PAF Sabres in battle, on 1 September. The led to immediate withdrawal of the Vampire and Ouregan from the front line use.

All out War erupted between India and Pakistan, and during the vicious 17 day conflict PAF flew defensive CAPs over its own bases, offensive counter air missions against Indian airfields, and close - support and interdiction sorties, to which the Indians responded in kind. India retained much of its air force in the East, against the possibility of Chinese intervention, and as a result the air forces were quite evenly balanced in the West. The PAF used skillful tactics to maintain an edge in the air, and were initially able to keep the IAF from excessive interference with Pakistan army operations, althought after 6 September little attempt was made by either side to stop fighter bomber raids by the enemy. From, this point on Indians flew more sortied while the PAF tried to conserve its strength. Unfortunately, the IAF never mounted missions in strength against its key targets, sending out its aircraft in what waere little better than penny packets.

Indian groung forces launched a counter offensive which drove the Pakistanis back to their own border in places, but generally the war became a bloody stalemate and 2,762 Indian dead and 6,917 Pakistani dead (and with 375 and 350 tanks destroyed, respectively) a ceasefire was declared. The pre-war borders of Kashmir were confirmed by the subsquent talks.

The PAF lost some 25 aircraft (11 in air combat), while the Indians lost 60 (25 in air combat). This was an impressive result, but it was simply not good enough.

Pakistan ended the war having depleted 17 percent of its front line strength, while India's losses amounted to less than 10 percent. Moreover, the loss rate had begun to even out, and it has been estimated that another three week's fighting would have seen the Pakistani losses rising to 33 percent and India's losses totalling 15 percent. Air superiority was not achieved, and were unable to prevent IAF fighter bombers and rece Canberras from flying daylight missions over Pakistan. Thus 1965 was an expensive victory for the PAF, and one which was tainted by ridiculouly exaggerated propaganda, which claimeId a 4:1 or 5:1 kill:loss ratio.

Learning the lessons
--------------------

India realised that air force had been something of a glorified flying club for its pilots before 1965, and that serious effort needed to be made to improve opreational readiness, and to provide even the basic essentials, like camouflage netting (and even camouflage paint for some of its front line types!). By contrast, the PAF began to believe their own propaganda, that the kill:loss ratio had been about 4:1, rather than the actual 2:1, still an impressive achievement, but simply not good enough in a war against India. They were completely unable to perceive that whatever had happened in the air, the war had ended in a draw. They also failed to realise that despite a slightly higher kill tally, the smaller size of their air force meant that they could not win a war of attrition with India. Had the war lasted a little longer, the weight of the Indian numbers alone, might have defeated the PAF, even though India had retained more than half of its forces in the East, against the threat of Chinese intervention. Had India committed its entire strength the war might have been very different. Alternatively, had India been prepared to allow the war to continue for longer, then its superior numbers would inevitably have proved telling. Finally Pakistanis failed to take account of the extent to which they had relied on two factors which the IAF could not take for granted - complete ground based defensive radar coverage and an adequate supply of air-to-air missiles. Much effort was expended in India to remedy these deficiencies before 1971.

With Soviet aid, India established a modern early warning radar system, including the recently intorduced 'Fansong-E' low-level radar, linked with SA-2 'Guideline' surface-to-air missiles and a large number of AA guns. By December 1971 the IAF comprised a total of 36 squadrons (of which 10 were deployed in the Bengal sector) with some 650 combat aircraft.

Moreover, the 1965 war resulted in the USA imposing a 10 year arms embargo on both sides. This had no effect, on India, which had always looked to Britain, France and even Russia for arms, but was disastrous for Pakistan, which was forced to acquire 90 obsolete second hand Sabre via Iran, a mere 28 Mirage IIIs from France and 74 maintenance intensive Shenyang F-6s. It was unable to replace losses among its (already weak) force of B-57s, or to acquire a modern interceptor in realistic numbers.

Moverover, re-equipment and strengthening was not accorded a high priority, and PAF was ill-prepared for war in 1971.

The 1971 war was rooted in the growing resentment in the East Pakistan to rule from Islamabad and the subsequent Civil war, in which the popular Mukti Bahini independence movement received much aid from India. Pakistani forces were airlifted in when Bangladesh declared its independence and when these started massacring the educated classes, India felt it had to intervene, and limited operations began in late-October. In late November two PAF Sabres strafing Indian troops were downed by Ajeets, marking the first air combat between the two sides since 1965. On 3 December Pakistan launched what was intended to be a decisive pre-emptive strike against Indian airfields, but managed only 28 sorties, spread thinly and with insufficient accuracy to cause serious damage. The IAF hit back with retaliatory strikes which proved more successful, and at sea, the Indian Navy sank a Pakistani submarine (actually leased from the US Navy, and the only Pakistani vessel with enough range to threathen India's fleet), leaving Bay of Bengal clear for operations by the carrier Vikrant. From then on Pakistan was forced on the defensive by numerically superior
Indian forces.

The PAF's handful of Sabres at Tezgaon near Dacca in East Pakistan put up a useful resistance against all out attacks by Indian fighers from 4 December. Between 4 and 11 of the attackers were claimed shot down in air combat, with 17 more lost to ground fire. Five Sabres were shot down in air combat. On 6 December, an IAF attack cratered the runways at both Tezgaon and Kurmitola, effectively putting them out of action for the rest of the campaign. Apart from the IAF squadrons deployed in the East Bengal, India's sole aircraft-carrier INS Vikrant (with its Sea Hawk fighter bombers and Breguet Alize ASW aircraft) mounted attacks against the civil airport at Cox's bazaar and Chittagong harhour. The embryo Bangladesh air force, with three DHC Otters (fitted with machine guns) of Mukti Bahini Air Wing made an appearance on 7 December. Indian airborne troops, in battalion strength, made an assault on Dacca on 11 December usnig An-12s, and Fairchild C-119Gs. This was preceded on 7 December by a heliborne infantry assault by two companies, in some nine Mil Mi-4s and Mi-8s, escroted by 'gunship' Alouttes.

Attacks on Pakistan
-------------------
While India's grip on what had been East Pakistan tightened, the IAF continued to press home attacks against Pakistan itself. The campaign settled down to series of daylight anti-airfield, anti-radar and close-support attacks by fighters, with night attacks against airfields and strategic targets by B-57s and C-130 (Pakistan), and Canberras and An-12s (India). The PAF's F-6s were employed mainly on defensive combat air patrols over their own bases, but without air superiority the PAF was unable to conduct effective offensive operations, and its attacks were largely ineffective. During the IAF's airfield attacks one US and one UN aircraft were damaged in Dacca, while a Canadian Air Force Caribou was destroyed at Islamabad, along with US military liasion chief Brigadier Genersl Chuck Yeager's USAF Beech U-8 light twin.

Sporadic raids by the the IAF continued against Pakistan's forward air bases in the West until the end of the war, and large scale interdiction and close-support operations, and were maintained. The PAF palyed a more limited part in the operations, and were reinforced by F-104s from Jordan, Mirages fro an unidentified Middle Eastern ally (probably Libya) and by F-86s from Saudi Arabia. Their arrival helped camouflage the extent of Pakistan's losses. Libyan F-5s were reportedly deployed to Sargodha, perhaps as a potential training unit to prepare Pakistani pilots for an influx of more F-5s from Saudi Arabia.

Hostilities officially ended at 14:30 GMT on 17 December, after the fall of Dacca on 15 December. India claimed large gains of territory in West Pakistan (althoough pre-war boundaries were recognised after the war), though the independence of Pakistan's East wing as Bangladesh was confirmed. India flew 1,978 sorties in the East and about 4,000 in the West, while PAF flew about 30 and 2,840. More than 80 percent of the IAF's sorties were close-support and interdiction, and about 65 IAF aircraft were lost (54 losses were admitted), perhaps as many as 27 of them in air combat. Pakistan lost 72 aircraft (51 of them combat types, but admitting only 25 to enemy action). At least 16 of the Pakistani losses, and 24 fell in air combat (although only 10 air combat losses were admitted, not including any F-6s, Mirage IIIs, or the six Jordanian F-104s which failed to return to their donors). But the imbalance in air losses was explained by the IAF's considerably higher sortie rate, and its emphasis on ground-attack missions. On the ground Pakistan suffered most, with 8,000 killed and 25,000 wounded while India lost 3,000 dead and 12,000 wounded. The losses of armoured vehicles were similarly imbalanced. This represented a major defeat for Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have not gone to war again, but the two nation retain their enimity. and have conducted small-scale military operations high in the Karakoram Mountains.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby shiv » 27 Jun 2011 13:59

From my own archives

An OCRed excerpt from IAF Journal 1996:

THE PRICE OF ARROGANCE

Gp. Capt. Ranbir Singh (retd)


President Yahya Khan had become rather aggressive and blatant about his intentions to
resolve differences with India through war. "I shall declare war, let the world note and we
would not be alone In this war," Yahya khan told the Financial Times London on 19th July, 1971.
He had followed it ~up with an interview given to Pierre Bois, Special Correspondent of Le
Figaro, Paris on 1st September 1971 when he had held out another undiguised threat of war.
In the "Air" the PAF had been blatantly violating our air space In the eastern sector despite
the exchange of messages between the PAF and IAF Chief. It was about time to draw the line
and tell the PAF that, "Enough Is Enough."

The PAF fighters used to follow a set pattern. They used to come low from Tejgaon
(Dacca), rendezvous over Jessore, form into a stream and then pull up in a north-westerly di-
rection towards the border. Their objective was Boyra on the Indian territory - a little salient
jutting from India into East Pakistan - the width of this salient was only about three kms, where
Mukti Bahini forays were frequent.

The Sabres used to come to the border, then take a 180 degrees turn to a southerly course,
strafe or do a diving front gun attack and get away low to Jessore. This pattern was repeated
eight to ten times on each sortie. The route was in the shape of a heart lying sideways, the apex
point being over Jessore and the base being along the border.

Having established the PAF pattern of violation, it was a matter of details and patience to get
them before they could sneak across the border. On 22nd November, 1971 our radar had picked
up four Sabres over Jessore at 1448 hours. As per their routine, they had pulled up in the
north-westerly direction to 2000 feet (600m). They were on our radar for just a minute or two
and had disappeared as they had dived for the attack.

Our Sramble was ordered at 1449 hrs and four Gnats of 22 Squadron were airborne from Dum Dum at
1451 hours and climbed to 4000 feet (1 200m).The Sector Director, Flying Officer KB Bagchi had
informed the Formation leader, Flight Lieutenant R Massey "Bandits at One O'Clock."

"In Contact, See them pulling up but within our territory. Turning South for the pass."
Massey had called back.The Sabres were descending from 600 metres to 150 metres for another Pass.
The Gnats had to catch their Bandits within the 3kms width of the Indian bulge.

That was the rule of the game.

"Right Wing over attack; Half twelve; thousand-yards," Bagchi had transmitted.

"Contact," Massey had replied cryptically.

"Request Type," Bagchi had queried.

"Sabres."

"Shoot."

The stage was set. The battle lines had been drawn. The time was 1459 hrs-eleven minutes after
the PAF sabres were picked up by our radar. Flight Lieutenant Ganapathy and Flying Officer Lazarus
were Numbers 3 and 4 of the Gnat Formation.

"Murder; Murder; Murder," Ganapathy coolly transmitted on the R/T.

The time was 1500 hrs. The Sabres had unwisely pulled up loomed large in front of Ganapathy and Lazarus.
There was no reason for them to let this opportunity slip by. They didn't need to repeat their burst They
saw the pilots bail out and the wreckage fall in Bongaon.

Massey's target had flown back towards East Pakistan emitting a lot of smoke and finally Fell
into a pond in Chaugacha.

The two pilots who had ejected in our Terriory were taken POWs: Flight Lieutenant Parvez Mehdi
Qureshi and Flying Officer Khalil Ahmed The third pilot was Wing Commander Choudhari. The fourth one
had got away.

It was a heavy price to pay for the arrogance "Ten days hence I might not be here I will
be off fighting a war," this is the famous statement made by General Yahya Khan on 23rd
November, 1971 ~hen he had declared a state of emergency in Pakistan as a prelude to the
preemptive air strike against India and the subsequent Fourteen Days War which led to the
liberation of Bangladesh. When the war came on 3 December, 1971 we were ready to smother
Yahya's arrogance.The rest is a golden chapter in our history.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby chetak » 27 Jun 2011 14:16

SSridhar wrote:HAL's celebrated Chief Test Pilot, Group Captain Suranjan Das, flew the prototype for the first time on 17 June, 1961. Between 1964 and 1977, HAL built 129 single seaters and 18 trainers. Gp Capt Das perished during a flight; a road near one of the HAL facilities in Bangalore bears his name.



This is the road that connects the Old Madras Road to the HAL Airport road

and the Aeronautical Society of India, Bangalore branch is on this road.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby vivek_ahuja » 18 Jul 2011 03:24

Some pics from 1962...

Indian Troops board a USAF C-130 in New Delhi to head for Assam during the war with China:
Image

Image

-Vivek

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby ManuT » 20 Jul 2011 06:57

^ Kind of curious about the source of these 2 pictures. I would hazard a guess here and say these are reinforcements after the debacle but of course you can tell me hopefully. Thanks.

(OT: In the past I have (unsucessfully) looked for a story about the airlift, where the details about US role was largely kept to a minimum in public domain so not to ruffle leftists)

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Shrinivasan » 20 Jul 2011 07:09

ManuT wrote:(OT: In the past I have (unsucessfully) looked for a story about the airlift, where the details about US role was largely kept to a minimum in public domain so not to ruffle leftists)

Not to Ruffle the Leftist who were loudly cheering the Cheenes at the top of their voice!!! good governance we had/have!!

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Abhibhushan » 14 Aug 2011 15:53


ramana
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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby ramana » 17 Aug 2011 20:55

I had a talk with late ACM SK Mehra on same subject. He said everyone of those puzzlements. He was a young Hunter pilot in those days flying from Ambala.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 18 Aug 2011 06:43

shiv wrote:From my own archives

An OCRed excerpt from IAF Journal 1996:

THE PRICE OF ARROGANCE

Gp. Capt. Ranbir Singh (retd)

golden chapter in our history.



Apparently - the whole combat as described here - was all some "PRO fiction" as per Sunith Soares the fourth man of the formation. The actual event is given in drawings - made by Don Lazarus as it happened - appears in "Sabre Slayers" by Pushpindar Singh.. I dont remember if Sabre Slayers had the text, but the Gnat Golden Jubilee Film by Kunal has the description of the actual combat - which is vastly different from this one.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 18 Aug 2011 06:47

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/natio ... y/831413/0

National Interest: Fighting shy
Shekhar Gupta
Posted: Sat Aug 13 2011, 01:48 hrs


The standout news story of this week was this newspaper’s defence correspondent Manu Pubby’s on the note of regret that a former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter pilot sent out to the daughter of a distinguished Indian pilot whose defenceless civilian transport aircraft he shot down on the last day of the 22-day war of 1965. The Pakistani pilot’s note was unusual, as such sentiments are not usually expressed in this perennially hostile relationship, even if the hint of regret, if any, was entirely qualified. In brief, on the last day of that pointless war of attrition, or rather a war of competitive military incompetence, a Beechcraft owned by the Gujarat government was shot down by a Pakistani Sabre jet in Gujarat, inside Indian territory. Its eight unfortunate occupants, besides the crew and a Gujarat Samachar reporter, included the then Gujarat chief minister Balwantrai Mehta and his wife. Mehta, a Congress stalwart, thus became the first, and only, politician ever to be killed in wartime action in the subcontinent.


The note of the Pakistani pilot, Qais Hussain, has given us the chance of revisiting a question that has never been debated freely in India. That question is, just how well, or poorly, did the Indian Air Force (IAF) do in the war of 1965? For nearly half a century now, India has nurtured a mythology consciously constructed during and in the aftermath of that war: the mythology of the Indian superiority in air, of the little Gnat’s invincibility, and so on. A part of that myth-making was also, and one has to be very careful saying that given how much respect three generations of Indians, including this writer, have held him in, the lionising, subsequently, of the then air chief, Air Marshal Arjan Singh. (A wonderful pilot and leader, he remains the only IAF officer to be elevated to the rank of Marshal of the Air Force).

This latest revelation now attacks that carefully cultivated mythology. Military history is serious business. It is also brutal. Because not only is the early history mostly written by the winner (which none was in 1965, overall), it also rarely resembles the purple prose of the gallantry citations. The simple question is, what kind of control over our own airspace did we have that a PAF Sabre was loitering inside and shot down a civilian VIP aircraft?

Of course, no air force can guarantee that not even a single enemy aircraft would be able to enter its airspace unchallenged. But, nearly a half-century after that inconclusive war there is no harm taking a more robust and questioning view of what exactly happened then, in the air, and of how we were able to create such a fictional history afterwards. It is one thing for the Pakistanis to build such mythologies, and then perpetuate these through chapters in school textbooks. But in India, we should have exhibited better sense of inquiry, and self-questioning. If we fought that war in the air as well as we believe, how come we lost 75 aircraft to Pakistan’s 28? As many as 37 of our losses were on the ground, compared with eight of the PAF (claimed to have been) destroyed by us. This only underlines that the PAF did a much better job of attacking rival airbases than us.

On the very first day of that war, the IAF opened the campaign losing all four of the Vampires (then possibly the slowest moving jet fighter in the world) sent out to help our beleaguered army units in Chhamb. Why these totally vulnerable (and by then not combat-worthy) aircraft were sent out when better options were available, is not a question that has often been asked by Indian military historians.

This was followed by three other disasters that set the IAF back rudely in that war. Three days into the war, on September 6, eight PAF Sabres attacked the Pathankot airbase, bristling with combat activity. The base commanders somehow ignored even warnings from Amritsar radar (conveyed over the phone) and neither scrambled fighters, nor dispersed aircraft on the ground. The Sabres fired unchallenged, and India lost 10 aircraft on the ground, including two of our most vaunted MiG-21s — out of the nine that had so far arrived as our first half-strength supersonic squadron. This loss of 10 was then followed by another 10 in WW II-style, brave, but chaotic, raids over Sargodha. The Pakistanis, of course, made highly exaggerated claims and celebrate that day, September 6, as Defence of Pakistan Day and hold triumphal military parades. But the fact is that on this day the IAF suffered severe losses, followed by more self-inflicted (through command indecision) losses on the ground as the PAF attacked our eastern airfields. It is now a well-documented fact by non-official historians that the IAF had planned pulverising raids on Pakistani air assets in the east and had even launched fully loaded aircraft, which were called back when they had the targets in their bomb-sites and Delhi got nervous about irritating the Chinese. The PAF Sabres came more or less on the tail of the returning IAF formations, hitting almost all the major IAF bases in the east, particularly West Bengal. Surely, the IAF did much in subsequent days to restore the balance. Its gallant defence of Halwara and Adampur in Punjab resulted in the PAF stopping daylight raids on its air bases, for example. Some of its Gnat and Hunter squadrons demonstrated they had the measure of the Pakistanis, in tactics as well as skill. There was no dearth of courage, ever. One story you can reconstruct with pride is of an audacious plan to lure out the Sabres into combat after the very first loss of the four Vampires. Because it was presumed that the PAF was greedy over the prospect of shooting slow-moving Vampires, a formation of slow and large Mysteres was led by Wing Commander W.M. Goodman to lure the Sabres, with Squadron Leader Johnny Greene’s formation of six Gnats lurking behind them. Sure enough, the Sabres took the “bait” and gave the IAF its first two successes of that war even as the Mysteres exited safely. But, overall, the PAF had greater sway over the skies in daytime. And at night, they pretty much had a free run as the IAF fighters were not night-capable.

The IAF and the defence establishment have avoided facing that truth. This, in spite of the fact that 1971 marked the IAF’s finest hour. It attacked relentlessly, never suffered a setback, and never yielded the PAF any space. In India, we only have to be grateful to two young writer-researchers, P.V.S. Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra (The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, Manohar, 2006, Rs 895) who have put together a remarkably accurate and honest history of the 1965 war we have tried hard to forget. But which this part confession by a Pakistani pilot has now brought back to us.

Postscript: Wing Commander M.S.D. (Mally) Wollen was commanding the still forming MiG-21 squadron in that war. He had the mortification of seeing his MiG blown up on the ground at Pathankot, even as he jumped into a water tank, in full flying livery, to duck the strafing Sabres. Earlier he had fired both his missiles at a Pakistani Sabre from an impossible angle and rued the fact that the first MiGs did not have any cannons on them. I was privileged to have a conversation with him in Shillong in 1982 when, now an Air Marshal, he commanded the Eastern Air Command. A couple of new books had just been published on the air war of 1965 (notably John Fricker’s very loaded, pro-Pakistani account) and I asked him what went wrong in 1965. Wollen spoke with honesty not common to the Indian military establishment. He said, of course, things had gone wrong and we had analysed why. Why, he asked, did some squadrons with the same aircraft do very well and some poorly? That’s because a fighting squadron is just about 16 pilots. In any group of 16 people, he said, you would find a few that would be totally fearless and competent, a few who would become fearless again in the company of these, and the rest who would then be simply positively overwhelmed by this peer pressure. The IAF realised, he said, that in the rush of the post-1962 expansion, its fighter squadrons were not properly balanced. Some had too many of his first category, and did brilliantly, and some had too few and did poorly. On that cold Shillong evening, I learnt a lesson in leadership and team management as relevant to our humdrum civilian lives as to the military. The key to success lies in distributing the best people evenly amongst all your teams. This was addressed, and the history of 1971 was entirely different.

sg@expressindia.com

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Abhibhushan » 26 Aug 2011 19:39


Aditya_V
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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 26 Aug 2011 19:50

Jagan wrote:http://www.indianexpress.com/news/national-interest-fighting-shy/831413/0

National Interest: Fighting shy
Shekhar Gupta
Posted: Sat Aug 13 2011, 01:48 hrs


The standout news story of this week was this newspaper’s defence correspondent Manu Pubby’s on the note of regret that a former Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter pilot sent out to the daughter of a distinguished Indian pilot whose defenceless civilian transport aircraft he shot down on the last day of the 22-day war of 1965. The Pakistani pilot’s note was unusual, as such sentiments are not usually expressed in this perennially hostile relationship, even if the hint of regret, if any, was entirely qualified. In brief, on the last day of that pointless war of attrition, or rather a war of competitive military incompetence, a Beechcraft owned by the Gujarat government was shot down by a Pakistani Sabre jet in Gujarat, inside Indian territory. Its eight unfortunate occupants, besides the crew and a Gujarat Samachar reporter, included the then Gujarat chief minister Balwantrai Mehta and his wife. Mehta, a Congress stalwart, thus became the first, and only, politician ever to be killed in wartime action in the subcontinent.


The note of the Pakistani pilot, Qais Hussain, has given us the chance of revisiting a question that has never been debated freely in India. That question is, just how well, or poorly, did the Indian Air Force (IAF) do in the war of 1965? For nearly half a century now, India has nurtured a mythology consciously constructed during and in the aftermath of that war: the mythology of the Indian superiority in air, of the little Gnat’s invincibility, and so on. A part of that myth-making was also, and one has to be very careful saying that given how much respect three generations of Indians, including this writer, have held him in, the lionising, subsequently, of the then air chief, Air Marshal Arjan Singh. (A wonderful pilot and leader, he remains the only IAF officer to be elevated to the rank of Marshal of the Air Force).

This latest revelation now attacks that carefully cultivated mythology. Military history is serious business. It is also brutal. Because not only is the early history mostly written by the winner (which none was in 1965, overall), it also rarely resembles the purple prose of the gallantry citations. The simple question is, what kind of control over our own airspace did we have that a PAF Sabre was loitering inside and shot down a civilian VIP aircraft?

Of course, no air force can guarantee that not even a single enemy aircraft would be able to enter its airspace unchallenged. But, nearly a half-century after that inconclusive war there is no harm taking a more robust and questioning view of what exactly happened then, in the air, and of how we were able to create such a fictional history afterwards. It is one thing for the Pakistanis to build such mythologies, and then perpetuate these through chapters in school textbooks. But in India, we should have exhibited better sense of inquiry, and self-questioning. If we fought that war in the air as well as we believe, how come we lost 75 aircraft to Pakistan’s 28? As many as 37 of our losses were on the ground, compared with eight of the PAF (claimed to have been) destroyed by us. This only underlines that the PAF did a much better job of attacking rival airbases than us.

On the very first day of that war, the IAF opened the campaign losing all four of the Vampires (then possibly the slowest moving jet fighter in the world) sent out to help our beleaguered army units in Chhamb. Why these totally vulnerable (and by then not combat-worthy) aircraft were sent out when better options were available, is not a question that has often been asked by Indian military historians.

This was followed by three other disasters that set the IAF back rudely in that war. Three days into the war, on September 6, eight PAF Sabres attacked the Pathankot airbase, bristling with combat activity. The base commanders somehow ignored even warnings from Amritsar radar (conveyed over the phone) and neither scrambled fighters, nor dispersed aircraft on the ground. The Sabres fired unchallenged, and India lost 10 aircraft on the ground, including two of our most vaunted MiG-21s — out of the nine that had so far arrived as our first half-strength supersonic squadron. This loss of 10 was then followed by another 10 in WW II-style, brave, but chaotic, raids over Sargodha. The Pakistanis, of course, made highly exaggerated claims and celebrate that day, September 6, as Defence of Pakistan Day and hold triumphal military parades. But the fact is that on this day the IAF suffered severe losses, followed by more self-inflicted (through command indecision) losses on the ground as the PAF attacked our eastern airfields. It is now a well-documented fact by non-official historians that the IAF had planned pulverising raids on Pakistani air assets in the east and had even launched fully loaded aircraft, which were called back when they had the targets in their bomb-sites and Delhi got nervous about irritating the Chinese. The PAF Sabres came more or less on the tail of the returning IAF formations, hitting almost all the major IAF bases in the east, particularly West Bengal. Surely, the IAF did much in subsequent days to restore the balance. Its gallant defence of Halwara and Adampur in Punjab resulted in the PAF stopping daylight raids on its air bases, for example. Some of its Gnat and Hunter squadrons demonstrated they had the measure of the Pakistanis, in tactics as well as skill. There was no dearth of courage, ever. One story you can reconstruct with pride is of an audacious plan to lure out the Sabres into combat after the very first loss of the four Vampires. Because it was presumed that the PAF was greedy over the prospect of shooting slow-moving Vampires, a formation of slow and large Mysteres was led by Wing Commander W.M. Goodman to lure the Sabres, with Squadron Leader Johnny Greene’s formation of six Gnats lurking behind them. Sure enough, the Sabres took the “bait” and gave the IAF its first two successes of that war even as the Mysteres exited safely. But, overall, the PAF had greater sway over the skies in daytime. And at night, they pretty much had a free run as the IAF fighters were not night-capable.

The IAF and the defence establishment have avoided facing that truth. This, in spite of the fact that 1971 marked the IAF’s finest hour. It attacked relentlessly, never suffered a setback, and never yielded the PAF any space. In India, we only have to be grateful to two young writer-researchers, P.V.S. Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra (The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, Manohar, 2006, Rs 895) who have put together a remarkably accurate and honest history of the 1965 war we have tried hard to forget. But which this part confession by a Pakistani pilot has now brought back to us.

Postscript: Wing Commander M.S.D. (Mally) Wollen was commanding the still forming MiG-21 squadron in that war. He had the mortification of seeing his MiG blown up on the ground at Pathankot, even as he jumped into a water tank, in full flying livery, to duck the strafing Sabres. Earlier he had fired both his missiles at a Pakistani Sabre from an impossible angle and rued the fact that the first MiGs did not have any cannons on them. I was privileged to have a conversation with him in Shillong in 1982 when, now an Air Marshal, he commanded the Eastern Air Command. A couple of new books had just been published on the air war of 1965 (notably John Fricker’s very loaded, pro-Pakistani account) and I asked him what went wrong in 1965. Wollen spoke with honesty not common to the Indian military establishment. He said, of course, things had gone wrong and we had analysed why. Why, he asked, did some squadrons with the same aircraft do very well and some poorly? That’s because a fighting squadron is just about 16 pilots. In any group of 16 people, he said, you would find a few that would be totally fearless and competent, a few who would become fearless again in the company of these, and the rest who would then be simply positively overwhelmed by this peer pressure. The IAF realised, he said, that in the rush of the post-1962 expansion, its fighter squadrons were not properly balanced. Some had too many of his first category, and did brilliantly, and some had too few and did poorly. On that cold Shillong evening, I learnt a lesson in leadership and team management as relevant to our humdrum civilian lives as to the military. The key to success lies in distributing the best people evenly amongst all your teams. This was addressed, and the history of 1971 was entirely different.

sg@expressindia.com



The Condesending tone and some truths being stated in article make me feel the article is not painting a correct picture of the IAF Vs PAF performance in 1965 although many points are valid.

From what I have read in in 1965 war - IAF acquired 9 Mig-21's, 1 was lost in the training accident. Paki claimed to have destroyed 2 on the Ground. This was proved wrong by the IAF in 1966 republic day by flying 8 Mig-21's in formation.

Similarly, 28 VS 75 was like A.Alam claimed of shooting 4 hunters in 30 seconds.

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 30 Aug 2011 21:15

Aditya_V wrote:From what I have read in in 1965 war - IAF acquired 9 Mig-21's, 1 was lost in the training accident. Paki claimed to have destroyed 2 on the Ground. This was proved wrong by the IAF in 1966 republic day by flying 8 Mig-21's in formation.


which is dated information..

Shekar gupta is right on this occasion as far as the numbers are concerned.

-The IAF lost three MiGs. Two on ground at Pathankot. Another on ground at Adampur.
-Total losses (including 3-4 civilian, accidental losses etc ) are about 75 on the Indian side.

Note all the above is from our Official history - and cannot be disputed

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 30 Aug 2011 21:43

Jagan wrote:
Aditya_V wrote:From what I have read in in 1965 war - IAF acquired 9 Mig-21's, 1 was lost in the training accident. Paki claimed to have destroyed 2 on the Ground. This was proved wrong by the IAF in 1966 republic day by flying 8 Mig-21's in formation.


which is dated information..

Shekar gupta is right on this occasion as far as the numbers are concerned.

-The IAF lost three MiGs. Two on ground at Pathankot. Another on ground at Adampur.
-Total losses (including 3-4 civilian, accidental losses etc ) are about 75 on the Indian side.

Note all the above is from our Official history - and cannot be disputed


Ok, I had picked my info from BR archives adecade ago. What about the 28 losses, could that be understated?

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Re: The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 30 Aug 2011 22:38

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... osses.html is the section you want for IAF losses in combat.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... pter10.pdf for the Official history

Reg the 28 PAF losses - that is the conservative estimate that we came up with after studying the claims and counterclaims . The Official History IIRC

The Pakistanis claim just 19 losses in 65. though they still maintain that it has not changed, But there have been some discrepancies that can prove that the figure of 19 is wrong.

Our Official History itself claims 43 PAF aircraft as destroyed - splitting them into 18 (Air Action) and 25 (Ground Fire). The Ground Fire claims can get pretty dubious - with several 'damages' being mistaken for 'destroyed' (this is not uncommon - was there on both sides).


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