MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 11:14

nachiket wrote:
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.

I'm trying to make sense of the situation. The NEZ of the R-77 is more than that of the R-73. Even before closing into those merge ranges or even before the range depicted on the map, R-77 could have been deployed by his wingman and him.

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 11:24

And also, wasn't the story floating around that the pir panjal range was inbetween them and their saab awacs couldn't see them as they took off from Srinagar? These guys were SOUTH of Jhangar and even south of the lead F-16. They DID NOT take from from Srinagar! Or they must have already been in CAP, or must have been scrambled from Jammu or Udampur.
and the MKIs were no where near the action.
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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby negi » 16 Apr 2019 11:25

It could be a simple case of 21s sneaking upon the 16s at a range which was closer to R-73s wheelhouse as against R-77s , at close ranges it's always better to engage using shorter range missile, besides R-73 is truly fire and forget .

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

Postby nachiket » 16 Apr 2019 11:28

Close combat missiles like the R-73 and Sidewinder are far superior to any radar homing missile at close ranges. Excellent maneuverability plus off-boresight targeting using the Sura-K HMS (for the R-73). I don't get what you don't understand here krish.pf. Maybe you should read up a bit about the missiles in question.

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 11:40

negi wrote:It could be a simple case of 21s sneaking upon the 16s at a range which was closer to R-73s wheelhouse as against R-77s , at close ranges it's always better to engage using shorter range missile, besides R-73 is truly fire and forget .

nachiket wrote:Close combat missiles like the R-73 and Sidewinder are far superior to any radar homing missile at close ranges. Excellent maneuverability plus off-boresight targeting using the Sura-K HMS (for the R-73). I don't get what you don't understand here krish.pf. Maybe you should read up a bit about the missiles in question.

15-20km isn't close combat. Sneaking up after crossing into hostile territory and engaging in dogfight in that hostile environment? With their AWACS and ground radar painting them, they are trying to sneak up? Instead of firing their R-77s at the earliest possible opportunity during an interception inside hostile airspace, they want to close in and engage in Dogfight knowing full well the enemy has BVRs?

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

Postby negi » 16 Apr 2019 11:52

^ I think the background here is Mig-21s were vectored by our AEW asset after F-16s and MKIs had already made contact, the Mig-21s flew low and most probably silent until the they were close to the probable area of intercept as communicated to them by the Netra , the terrain gave them necessary cover to evade Erieye for long enough and hence they were able to get up close to the F-16 , I think it is not that one made a conscious effort to avoid using the R-77 , I think it was a byproduct of the fact that 21s were flying very low so a long range shot was not possible owing to both adverse effect on R-77s NEZ when fired from low altitude as well as risk of being caught high in air by the 16s for one would have to fly higher to use the 77 and more importantly employ the radar.

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 12:04

Isn't that extremely risky? They were doing all that INSIDE ENEMY AIRSPACE, all the while assuming the enemy AWACS and ground radar would not pick them up and alert the F-16s, turning the predator into prey. The enemy had both quantitative and qualitative superiority in that time and location.

So the tactic was to sneak up stealthily and intercept the approaching enemy formation inside his own airspace.
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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby negi » 16 Apr 2019 12:08

In real world 5-10 km here or there in a Mach 2 AC is not much , on paper it might look a lot .

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

Postby Singha » 16 Apr 2019 12:08

you guys are creating your own long stories now.

it was mentioned in dispatches that Abhi and wingman were flying at 15000 feet and spotted 3 x f16 creeping around at 8000feet after intruding into india. he dived to attack, the f16 went to 26000feet in a climb and then dived down again....with abhi atleast able to follow him, get a solution and shoot. all this in around 90 secs.

even 8000 feet should be within a awacs coverage easily unless one were flying carefully in between the hills.....and those hills are just medium wooded ones not mountains of further inside india or northern areas.

also mentioned that his wingman narrowly escaped a amraam.

how his wingman got separated and why the other 2 f16s slunk away rather than help their buddy is not known.

some stories also claim abhis wingman was a su30(really doubtful as no su30 operate from srinagar or avantipur). and this line may the src of pak claiming a su30 was also downed on indian side.

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

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 12:14

krish.pf wrote:
negi wrote:It could be a simple case of 21s sneaking upon the 16s at a range which was closer to R-73s wheelhouse as against R-77s , at close ranges it's always better to engage using shorter range missile, besides R-73 is truly fire and forget .

nachiket wrote:Close combat missiles like the R-73 and Sidewinder are far superior to any radar homing missile at close ranges. Excellent maneuverability plus off-boresight targeting using the Sura-K HMS (for the R-73). I don't get what you don't understand here krish.pf. Maybe you should read up a bit about the missiles in question.

15-20km isn't close combat. Sneaking up after crossing into hostile territory and engaging in dogfight in that hostile environment? With their AWACS and ground radar painting them, they are trying to sneak up? Instead of firing their R-77s at the earliest possible opportunity during an interception inside hostile airspace, they want to close in and engage in Dogfight knowing full well the enemy has BVRs?


You do realize at the ranges the combat took place, it's possible the MiG21s were being heavily jammed and their Kopyos couldnt sustain a lock for the R77s? Or that the F16s were maneuvering out of the scan angles of the Kopyo and a R73E was easier. Its not a large set. Point being Abhinandan knows more about BVR than any of us. He chose to go to the R73E, and we have to understand he is not anyone who needs guys like you and me to tell him how to fly and fight his aircraft.

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 12:40

Karan M wrote:
krish.pf wrote:
15-20km isn't close combat. Sneaking up after crossing into hostile territory and engaging in dogfight in that hostile environment? With their AWACS and ground radar painting them, they are trying to sneak up? Instead of firing their R-77s at the earliest possible opportunity during an interception inside hostile airspace, they want to close in and engage in Dogfight knowing full well the enemy has BVRs?


You do realize at the ranges the combat took place, it's possible the MiG21s were being heavily jammed and their Kopyos couldnt sustain a lock for the R77s? Or that the F16s were maneuvering out of the scan angles of the Kopyo and a R73E was easier. Its not a large set. Point being Abhinandan knows more about BVR than any of us. He chose to go to the R73E, and we have to understand he is not anyone who needs guys like you and me to tell him how to fly and fight his aircraft.

Yup, I know the ranges of that dogfight. I'm not questioning his decision to use R-73. I'm trying to understand the situation which went on up there, by the facts at hand.
Even with a low scan angle, the cone would have been sufficiently large enough for a track, lock and fire, given the distances during whih they were closing in. Jamming is highly likely. That makes more sense. Its a powerful enemy capability if true, given we have a lot of Bisons.

So R-73 maybe 'cause...
# Going in low and stealthy inside hostile territory to catch em by surprise. or
# They got Jammed.

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

Postby mmasand » 16 Apr 2019 13:33

krish.pf wrote:And also, wasn't the story floating around that the pir panjal range was inbetween them and their saab awacs couldn't see them as they took off from Srinagar? These guys were SOUTH of Jhangar and even south of the lead F-16. They DID NOT take from from Srinagar! Or they must have already been in CAP, or must have been scrambled from Jammu or Udampur.
and the MKIs were no where near the action.


Definitely not Jammu or Udhampur, more like Srinagar or Awantipora.

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

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Apr 2019 13:49

the only thing that is still unclear for me is if abhi was targeted by 2 of the 3 ship he was chasing or from one of the 4 ship CAP
original thinking was that the 3 ship was configured for ground attack so would likely not be the ones targeting him
but they could have been 2 escorts for the strike bird

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

Postby negi » 16 Apr 2019 14:15

As per Sameer joshis article the F-16s missed the Mig-21s initially that's what prompted me to assume 21s were flying low enough to escape radar detection , even otherwise 21 has a pretty small RCS .

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

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 14:35

krish.pf wrote:
Karan M wrote:
You do realize at the ranges the combat took place, it's possible the MiG21s were being heavily jammed and their Kopyos couldnt sustain a lock for the R77s? Or that the F16s were maneuvering out of the scan angles of the Kopyo and a R73E was easier. Its not a large set. Point being Abhinandan knows more about BVR than any of us. He chose to go to the R73E, and we have to understand he is not anyone who needs guys like you and me to tell him how to fly and fight his aircraft.

Yup, I know the ranges of that dogfight. I'm not questioning his decision to use R-73. I'm trying to understand the situation which went on up there, by the facts at hand.
Even with a low scan angle, the cone would have been sufficiently large enough for a track, lock and fire, given the distances during whih they were closing in. Jamming is highly likely. That makes more sense. Its a powerful enemy capability if true, given we have a lot of Bisons.

So R-73 maybe 'cause...
# Going in low and stealthy inside hostile territory to catch em by surprise. or
# They got Jammed.


We don't know *anything* about the cone angles, the specific ECM being used or whether Abhi had sworn on a picture of a R73E that he would use it before the R77.. I mean the number of possibilities are so vast, that to second guess the decision of a warfighter who is an expert user of classified equipment, without having any details on our side.. is beyond unwise..
I merely gave two possibilities. There could be many many more. His actual decision may have been driven by something as simple as "he felt" it was better. It could be driven by an IAF SOP for the Bisons when engaging in close in fights. Point is we dont have enough information on this aspect to make an educated guess.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 16 Apr 2019 18:03

Karan M wrote: Point being Abhinandan knows more about BVR than any of us. He chose to go to the R73E.

Karanji & Singhaji: A point needed for our Truth Creation Department. :mrgreen:
How far behind the F-16 was the MiG when he fired? How high up was he? (around 3km meters max AGL, not above sea level?) How fast does the R73 fly? I am trying to figure out what was seen in the initial videos posted by Pakis.

As far as I can figure out from Google map contours, the inhabited places near the Yellow Sea in those parts are in the valleys, between 600 and 1000 m MSL. So the Paki videographers were standing (unless the whole video was BS) around there. The altitudes cited in the air engagement were around 20,000 feet (~6500m) down to 8000 feet (2700m). The 2700 m was extremely low to the ground given the mountain ridges all round. The lock-on was in clear sky, straight flight, full speed(?), so may have been quite low AGL.

Sounds like the horizon to horizon sky at that height, as seen from the ground, is not a lot bigger than the usual horizon, which is some 6 or so km*IIRC. At Mach 1.6 (~ 500m/s), the F-16 would have taken only 12 seconds to cover that: the MiG at Mach 2+ (600 m/s) around 10 seconds. So the sky as seen in the video was only 12 seconds long!!! Would have to be extremely lucky to capture *THE* 12 seconds of sky when BOTH planes got hit. Unlikely unless someone raced around to get a video camera looking at the sky from the exact zone. In a place where it takes an hour to go to school.

So think about that: The initial videos per this, and from those posted in these threads right at the start of the tamasha, showed white trails with TWO white puffs of smoke, but I don't think the contrails ended abruptly showing engine-out or airplane not moving fast/ generating lift. Puffs COULD be sudden high AOA maneuver (I mean angle of attack not the other kind) but then the contrail(s) continued, so what was happening?

Contrails were already some seconds old when the video started, or else u would have seen them get longer across the clear sky. Here they were already quite broad. None of us IIRC focused on why the contrails didn't seem to end abruptly.

Point I am trying to decide is how many seconds elapsed between final R-73 lock-on and fire, and F-16 getting hit. I think it may have happened over the horizon, not seen in the video. The video-takers naturally focused on the TWO parachutes once they saw those opening: both Paki. The two white puffs could be the two braves (pbuh) ejecting, leaving their plane still flying fast and level.

This would explain why there was no black smoke as from an airplane burning after a missile hit: the missile hit **AFTER** the Pakis jumped.

IOW, Proof is possible.

*(OK, 6.1978654309 km to impress 6th-graders..)
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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Singha » 16 Apr 2019 18:28

the pic of 4 missiles shown side by side if genuine, also shows the R77 is missing its warhead same way as the R73E.

the other 2 missiles landed attached to the Mig21 and are relatively intact.

maybe he also fired the r77 just to be sure of getting a solid Pk. ripple fire. at close range to f16 like 2km , no amt of jamming would throw off the kopyo radar from getting a lock.

just saying :mrgreen:

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

Postby mmasand » 16 Apr 2019 18:31

A real noob question, Ghafoora and his propaganda factory have in the past used every tool in the shed available to spin the story to hoodwink their populace. Is it strange they haven't released footage of the events of 27th morning? Or am I being naive to consider that the F solah did not have a camera mounted/or wasn't recording. Seems to get murkier, the IAF till date has not admitted the fishbed was shot down. Or are they still hiring behind the story that we didn't use a F Solah, in which case you should have footage from the Chynis maal.

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

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Apr 2019 18:41

do you guys not actually read this thread? or just randomly drop in from time to time?

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

Postby UlanBatori » 16 Apr 2019 18:49

OK, R-73 per WikiNawab is Mach 2.5, which is 750m/s. AFAIK, that is limited by air drag, so a missile launched from an aircraft going Mach 2 still flies only Mach 2.5, not 4.5, hain? (flunked 3rd grade pissicks, maaphee onlee). So, if separation was 1km, and F-16 was going Mach 1.6, the closing speed was Mach 0.9 max, or 270m/s; under 4 seconds to live. Enough for both to jump out, with significant separation between the parachutes seen. Parachutes may have been separated by 0.5 seconds to avoid hitting each other, unless front pilot exited first, burning the rear pilot who then got delayed by another 0.5 seconds.

If that video is still up (which I doubt.. ) we can make out the separation between parachute events from the sky arc between the two white puffs.

I assume the separation was, maybe, 3km? So 11 seconds? That is nearly the whole sky!!!! If the F-16 was flying faster than Mach 1.6, it took even longer. BTW, can u eject from an F-16 at Mach 1.6 and live? :eek:

The key is that the contrails are all white, no black smoke. The ejection rockets may have left a bit of black. OR, maybe the first event is the canopy flying off, followed within 0.5 second or so by the first pilot ejection. (Some F-16 ejection seat deployments can be seen on the Web, the canopy has to go well up and back under its own momentum b4 u blast the Paki out under rocket power! So you can see the canopy disappeared up and out b4 the pilot accelerates out.
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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 20:33

mmasand wrote:
krish.pf wrote:And also, wasn't the story floating around that the pir panjal range was inbetween them and their saab awacs couldn't see them as they took off from Srinagar? These guys were SOUTH of Jhangar and even south of the lead F-16. They DID NOT take from from Srinagar! Or they must have already been in CAP, or must have been scrambled from Jammu or Udampur.
and the MKIs were no where near the action.


Definitely not Jammu or Udhampur, more like Srinagar or Awantipora.

He was south east of the target approaching it head on. Srinagar is on the NE.

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

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Apr 2019 20:48

the yak droppings in the chaff bundle disorientated the pilots and caused spoofing signals in the radar tracks. what appears to be SE was actually NW and what appears to be NE was actually ENE
thats when the F16 pilots bailed out

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

Postby krish.pf » 16 Apr 2019 20:56

Karan M wrote:
krish.pf wrote:Yup, I know the ranges of that dogfight. I'm not questioning his decision to use R-73. I'm trying to understand the situation which went on up there, by the facts at hand.
Even with a low scan angle, the cone would have been sufficiently large enough for a track, lock and fire, given the distances during whih they were closing in. Jamming is highly likely. That makes more sense. Its a powerful enemy capability if true, given we have a lot of Bisons.

So R-73 maybe 'cause...
# Going in low and stealthy inside hostile territory to catch em by surprise. or
# They got Jammed.


We don't know *anything* about the cone angles, the specific ECM being used or whether Abhi had sworn on a picture of a R73E that he would use it before the R77.. I mean the number of possibilities are so vast, that to second guess the decision of a warfighter who is an expert user of classified equipment, without having any details on our side.. is beyond unwise..
I merely gave two possibilities. There could be many many more. His actual decision may have been driven by something as simple as "he felt" it was better. It could be driven by an IAF SOP for the Bisons when engaging in close in fights. Point is we dont have enough information on this aspect to make an educated guess.

Kopyo has relativy decent scan angles. And at a distance, I doubt f-16 can manuever out of the cone quicker than a bison turning the nose a few degrees to compensate. Jamming is a very real possibility.
And no need to get worked up. I'm not questioning his war fighting capabilities.
SOP of not firing R-77s in an interception during the close in? And I doubt he 'felt' that decision.

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

Postby sudeepj » 16 Apr 2019 21:28

Jamming is a possibility. Another is you are ignoring 'friction' in the combat scenario. If the 4-F16s radars are pointed due south trying to ambush the Su30s, relying on the AWACS to alert them to any other threats.. And the Mig21s jump up from behind the Pir Panjal ranges where they are invisible to the AWACS, its easily possible that they surprised the F16s.

Even if there is an AWACs in the air, the AWACs hardware will take several seconds to establish a track, the operator will take several seconds to pass an audible to the pilot.. meanwhile the distance from Srinagar airport to Jhangar is about 100-120 kms, half of it in the shadow of the Pir Panjal.. A Mig21 at Mach1+ will take perhaps 250-300 seconds to reach the combat box, out of which it will be invisible to the AWACs for half the time or more.

At some point in time, the Sukhois/our Awacs would have noticed the AMRAAM launches and this information would have been disseminated to the Migs and they would have gone weapons free. The situation would have evolved second-by-second.. Unless you know this second by second detail, its pointless to second guess exactly what happened.

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

Postby manjgu » 16 Apr 2019 21:55

Karan is right...we are just armchair warriors...none of us are remotely competent to question Abhis decisions. I think Indians also ripple fire both infra and radar homing missiles ( soviet doctrine) . i also felt R77 looked to have been fired...all this discussion is quite pointless IMHO...

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

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 21:58

krish.pf wrote:
Karan M wrote:
We don't know *anything* about the cone angles, the specific ECM being used or whether Abhi had sworn on a picture of a R73E that he would use it before the R77.. I mean the number of possibilities are so vast, that to second guess the decision of a warfighter who is an expert user of classified equipment, without having any details on our side.. is beyond unwise..
I merely gave two possibilities. There could be many many more. His actual decision may have been driven by something as simple as "he felt" it was better. It could be driven by an IAF SOP for the Bisons when engaging in close in fights. Point is we dont have enough information on this aspect to make an educated guess.

Kopyo has relativy decent scan angles. And at a distance, I doubt f-16 can manuever out of the cone quicker than a bison turning the nose a few degrees to compensate. Jamming is a very real possibility.
And no need to get worked up. I'm not questioning his war fighting capabilities.
SOP of not firing R-77s in an interception during the close in? And I doubt he 'felt' that decision.


Kopyo has scan angles of +/-40. Limited by it's small sized cone. A range of 50 odd km for a 5 sq mtr target. Think that through. The pilot has to work the radar, lock on, maneuver without losing the radar plot.

I am not getting worked up, merely pointing out how absurd it is to figure out why an experienced pilot who knows his weapons systems in and out chose a particular system when the data is so sparse about his choice.

Forget jamming, he may have wanted to conduct an entirely stealthy attack having visually located his target. Then what?

A million possibilities exist and you are jumping around fixated on the R77 when Its quite likely the pilot chose the R73E because he felt it had a greater chance of success based on his own skills/prior exercise experience/tech specs of the system or a myriad other possibilities!

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

Postby rohitvats » 16 Apr 2019 22:33

I don't know whether this data-point had already been factored in about the surprise factor behind Mi-21 Bisons but here goes:

- The AF Base in Badgam, Srinagar is at an altitude of ~5,000 feet and some change.

- Pir Panjal Range, which run from North-West to South-East direction, lies due west of the airfield

- Average ridge-line elevation there is 13,000+ feet

- Distance, as the crow flies from Badgam Air Base and Pir Panjal range is ~40 kilometer

- Mig-21 Bison, taking off from ORP at Badgam/Srinagar AFB and Awantipora AFB (SE of Srinagar), will need to rapidly rise to about 15,000+ feet to not only comfortably clear the Pir Panjal Range but also to be in position to take-on any PAF fighters.

- Considering take-off and rise on full afterburner, some margin for turning and banking and average velocity of 700 km/hour, it would take Mig-21 only ~5 minutes [after take-off] to cover the distance to Pir-Panjal.

- Flash-point was another ~30 kilometer due west of Pir-Panjal. This requires another 2-3 minutes

- One more important point - news reports spoke about PAF AEW&C system managing the air-battle from over/close to Islamabad air-space. Flying at about 25,000 feet, and at distance of more than 100 km from Pir-Panjal range, its radar would not have been able to see the rapidly rising Mig-21s from the Srinagar Valley.

- Therefore, it is no surprise that Mig-21 Bison, vectored by Ground Controller, surprised the lower flying (~7,000 feet) batch of F-16. They would've literally pounded from top on the lower flying F-16s.

- Also, it is my considered opinion (contrary to Sameer Joshi's assertion), that the lower flying 4 x F-16 formation wasn't there to fix the Su-30 MKIs.

- This formation most likely consisted of 2 x F-16 for AD cover while 2 x F-16 were for LGB based ground attack.

- The ground attack F-16 formation was surprised and jumped by Mig-21 Bison formation.

- IMO, this is what likely happened:

The Mig-21 Bison would've become visible to PAF AEW&C the moment they popped above the Pir-Panjal range. While the 4 x F-16 flying at higher altitude were busy fixing the Su-30 MKI and keeping them off-guard, the sudden appearance of Bisons became the wild-card entry. PAF AEW&C would've known that there was hardly a time of <2 minutes between their detection at Pir Panjal and contact between Mig-21 Bison & F-16s on ground attack run on/along LOC.

Remember, our own Ground Controller had also vectored Mig-21 Bison towards this group?

Next, the sudden appearance of Mig-21 Bison led to PAF F-16s dropping their bombs astray. I think 1 x F-16 persisted with the LGB attack and even came close to hitting some vital Indian Army targets. In doing so, it spend few extra seconds in the area, was visually acquired and then hit by Wing Commander Abhinandan's Mig-21 Bison.

I won't be surprised if Wing Co Abhi had visually acquired the target from our side of LOC and then pressed home the attack on other side.

And while IAF Mig-21 Bison were being vectored towards 4 x F-16s, PAF AEW&C would've also become aware of the threat and put 2 x F-16s on AD role in the 4-ship formation on alert. Therefore, while we got the lead F-16 on ground attack run, our own Mig-21 Bison was immediately targeted by other F-16 in the formation.

One more reason that I believe the 4 x F-16 formation at lower level was for ground attack run is that we shot an F-16D model, a two seater. The back seat guy was most probably doing the lasing and targeting part.

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And here's to put something cat-amongst-pigeon: I think the first missile fired in the aerial battle over Kashmir was R-73!

Because otherwise, the sequence of missile firing does not make sense. For example:

(1) Of 4 x F-16 at 40,000 feet had fired 4-5 AMRAAM at our own Su-30 MKI, why didn't they fire on Mig-21 Bison? They had the height advantage.

(2) If the 4 x F-16 at lower level were there to fix Su-30 MKI being shepherded at them by another set of 4 x F-16 flying at 40,000 feet, how come these were jumped by own Mig-21 Bison? Sure, Mig-21 Bison appeared out-of-blue due to geography, but once they were visible, F-16s should've been able to fire AMRAAM at them from stand-off range. After all, they were waiting for Su-30 MKIs when Mig-21 Bisons appeared. Could've shot-off a volley of AMRAAM like they did on Su-30 MKI or got into a merge.

The above did not happen. Why?

Because lead aircraft in lower formation was on ground attack run and had just about turned away/turning away from ground attack from THEIR side of LOC when Mig-21 Bison crossed over and shot him down.

And here's one more interesting point:

Why did not PAF F-16 fire from across LOC at incoming Mig-21 Bisons? Why did he wait for Mig-21 Bison to fire first? Was it that F-16 being on their side of LOC, PAF did not expect Mig-21 Bison to cross and attack their jet?

We've told that same PAF fired 4-5 AMRAAM at our Su-30 MKI from their side!

My guess is this - once Wing Co fired his R-73 at F-16, all hell broke loose. F-16 on AD cover for the attack formation maneuvered to launch AMRAAM at our Mig-21 Bison while second batch of F-16 at 40,000 feet let go of few more AMRAAMS to ensure clear exist into depth of Pakistan Air Space of entire PAF package w/o them being chased like how Wing Co Abhi did.

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

Postby Singha » 16 Apr 2019 22:53

Plausible theory sire

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

Postby Karan M » 16 Apr 2019 23:01

Rohitvats wrote:>>(1) Of 4 x F-16 at 40,000 feet had fired 4-5 AMRAAM at our own Su-30 MKI, why didn't they fire on Mig-21 Bison? They had the height advantage.


This is explained by radar mechanics. The AN/APG-68 V(9) is a mechanically scanned array radar. It needs to constantly track a target to guide AMRAAMs on to it. If the Bisons are out of the Su-30 MKIs area and located even towards the outward edge of the AN/APG-68 V(9s) antenna scan angle, it will find it very hard to track the targets and also guide missiles to them. The radar antenna rotates towards the target, then back to where the other target is, then to the next target and so forth. This gives targets the opportunity to maneuver out of the radars scan angles and in turn the missiles being guided by the radar go haywire. AESAs/PESAs are much better in terms of instantaneous track and guidance of missiles, but they lose the scan angle advantage of MSAs (i.e. surveillance offered by MSAs is usually better, larger volume to scan). Bars is a hybrid, so is Irbis (mech gimbal + ESA to retain some scan angle advantage of MSA) and some newer AESAs combine gimbals with AESA antenna as well.

>>>(2) If the 4 x F-16 at lower level were there to fix Su-30 MKI being shepherded at them by another set of 4 x F-16 flying at 40,000 feet, how come these were jumped by own Mig-21 Bison? Sure, Mig-21 Bison appeared out-of-blue due to geography, but once they were visible, F-16s should've been able to fire AMRAAM at them from stand-off range. After all, they were waiting for Su-30 MKIs when Mig-21 Bisons appeared. Could've shot-off a volley of AMRAAM like they did on Su-30 MKI or got into a merge.


I don't think the first set of F-16s were there to "shepherd" the 2nd set of F-16s. They were air superiority fighters intended to clear the way for the strike F-16s, which too likely had air defence fighters embedded in the package or given the F-16s swing role capability, 2 were acting as force protection and 2 as strike and would reverse the roles if more targets of opportunity presented themselves. The F-16s can carry AMRAAMS, Sidewinders, Fuel tanks, a LANTIRN and a couple of LGBs as well. So the first set of F-16s went in and went for the Su-30s because the Erieye guy immediately looked and saw the opportunity (of having only 2x Su-30 MKIs) of getting a Su-30 down. He then cleared the 2nd strike package to attack.

I think Sameer Joshi's account tends to overplay the role of the 2nd set of F-16s as being pre-planned etc.
My take is that the 2nd package of F-16s finished their LGB run and then were being positioned for a strike onto the Su-30s by the Erieye but the Bisons bounced them. This is one of the reasons IMHO, the GCI lady officer is getting an award. She literally ambushed the wannabe "ambushers" by positioning the Bisons right where they needed to be.

This was an opportunistic move by the Erieye controller, not a pre-planned ambush. Again, he would have done this seeing the first set of F-16s launched a bunch of AMRAAMs from range and they missed. So try again, but this time with the Su-30s at a height hopefully taken by surprise. Of course, moment Su-30s detected this 2nd strike, they would have engaged countermeasures and taken advantage of their speed, height to evade the AMRAAMs. So it was not a sure shot by any chance.

For instance, why this was opportunistic, was because there was no way for the Erieye guy to know or predict that the 2x Su-30s would remain on station after the BVR battle and not pursue the F-16s or even exit the engagement area.. it was just a tactical call by the Erieye guy.

IAF would have guessed this repositioning of the F-16s by the vectors of the F-16s. If the F-16 vectors on radar show they are heading towards the Su-30s *post* the LGB strike, then it indicates that they were planning to ambush the Su-30s. Again, this was a "possibility" but we wouldn't know for sure till they too launched on the Su-30s. But the possibility would have been enough to vector Bisons into the immediate area.

In the meantime, its entirely possible the strike F-16s get bounced by the Bisons who appear over the Pir Panjal range and race into the conflict. The force protection, F-16s in the 2nd F-16 strike package, would then have launched on the Bisons, with the AMRAAM only once the Bison was in a clear target and not too closely located with the F-16 it was chasing. Also explains why they didn't launch first, the Bison was just too close in all likelihood having taken the entire formation by surprise.

My guess is this - once Wing Co fired his R-73 at F-16, all hell broke loose. F-16 on AD cover for the attack formation maneuvered to launch AMRAAM at our Mig-21 Bison while second batch of F-16 at 40,000 feet let go of few more AMRAAMS to ensure clear exist into depth of Pakistan Air Space of entire PAF package w/o them being chased like how Wing Co Abhi did.


I dont think the PAF did this because of a simple point the IAF keeps making of the PAF actively seeking a Su-30 kill. Also, if you wish to clear a threat, you do so before you launch the strike. They would have done it to prevent the Su-30s from getting to the strike F-16s, before the strike F-16s launched their attack run.
IAF fighters are not going to get deterred merely by being painted by a F-16 radar (even if it can launch AMRAAMs at them from track while scan mode) if they see a high value threat to our formations etc. They would have raced to engaged the strike F-16s with afterburners on.
Hence it was essential to fix the Su-30s in place with the Air Superiority F-16s and launch on them, so they would disengage and clear the path for a F-16 strike.
Problem is our guys didn't disengage, they remained a threat by turning back into the fight because they were well trained, didn't panic and knew exactly how to defeat the AMRAAM threat by changes in position/countermeasures and didn't exit the battle zone completely.

This would have done 2 things. One, it complicates the 2nd strike by compressing the timeline for a successful LGB launch. Second, the Su-30s remain a threat, both for the exiting F-16s but also the 2nd set of F-16s just completing their strike.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Apr 2019 01:30

Gee! Other than the Lal Mullah's usual, the :idea: generated by UBCN to PROVE the sequence, seems to have got no response. If anyone can still find that initial video with the contrails and puffs of white smoke, pls to post again onlee.


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

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Apr 2019 04:35

Guptaji, there was another video with clear contrails, which are not seen here at all: makes you wonder which was fake because this one looks like at least three disconnected objects falling, none leaving a contrail. So where are the contrails? Why are they not visible? Are they off to the left and above the video frame? Are all THREE objects hurtling along way past the ending point of all contrails?

IF both this and the earlier-posted video are **NOT** fakes, then we have the potential to get a clear picture of the sequence. The 3 falling objects cannot leave contrails because they do not produce lift, nor jet exhaust. They may be the canopy/ ejection seat/ parachutists falling before full parachute deployment (the 3rd and largest may be an open parachute, though no orange shows).

I trust the earlier one better because it was less likely to be faked: the postors at the time were bragging that they showed shoot-down of west-going (intruding into Pakistan, hence Indian) aircraft. Pls look for that one: if that video has disappeared, that proves my point too that it is more likely to be genuine. I searched and could not find it (can't find the BRF threads at the start of the tamasha either: when YIP opened the new thread after the Balakot strike became evident, several of the initial posts are missing, or I have not found them yet.

This also brings back the question about the altitude at which the shootdown occurred. If the Pakistanis ejected above, say, 10,000 feet, and they were going at Mach 1.6 etc., then they would have free-fallen a long way before opening the chutes, because of the hypoxia problem. So might Abhinandan.

Remember that there were EIGHT visible objects apart from any airplane debris, to be seen: 3 humans w/parachutes; 3 loose ejection seats, 2 canopies. Canopies would have reflected light, and are about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide? Initially they would have been at the velocity of the aircraft, but rapidly decelerated in forward speed while accelerating at 1G downwards. So the airplanes, if still in one piece, would have passed them, probably showing some vapor trail if lifting, but huge black smoke if hit and on fire.

From the condition of the MiG debris, it may be that it did not catch fire until it hit the ground.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Apr 2019 07:45

There was a YouTube video posted by a Sameer S that has gone missing.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Apr 2019 07:57

If we can find the post on BRF that linked that, and it comes up 404 we will know. The "Stratcepts Analysis" I linked, claims that the sequence was like this: The Pakis saw 3 chutes opening from 2 planes that both fell west of LOC. They concluded that all were invading Indian planes, and set off after the pilots. Two were confirmed "caught" very soon (deeper west), and the Authorities said OK, catch the third, and rushed there.

The Paki villagers had visions of Rewards for catching Indian pilots alive. THEN they found out that these were PAF pilots shot down while running away from battle. They beat the crap out of them, and both died b4 the security forces who were scrambling to find the 3rd, got back there. They tried hospitalizing them but both were too far gone. This explains the sequence of reports and twitter videos that first came out.

Then they actually caught WCdr Abhinandan. There was no call to beat him to death - a reward was expected for keeping him alive.
None of the videos we saw, captured the actual missile explosion, or the MiG going down. But the contrails if we find them, will let us figure out a lot of things. I had not thought about the implications of the high MSL in those parts, and how little time it takes to traverse the "visible sky" at Mach 1+, at fairly low altitudes. It hit me when I looked at contrails of airliners going at 20,000+ feet: they look really thin and rice-eating, not fat and horse-fed like the ones in the videos we saw.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Apr 2019 08:03

I think it is this one - no longer available.
https://youtu.be/1mJH2mhLnCw

Linked on page 45 of this thread.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Apr 2019 08:09

(I went and looked). No, Guptaji, not that one, but one MUCH earlier. The one on p. 45 was dissed as it was from a day/time earlier than the dogfight.

The one I remember, had a dead straight, but quite fat (meaning it was minutes old) contrail(s) going from about 2/3 up the left side of the screen, towards the right, disappearing off the video frame. Then the camera panned/zoomed to parachutes actually open and descending.
Last edited by UlanBatori on 17 Apr 2019 08:19, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Apr 2019 08:18

I think this has a still from that video:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7699&p=2334662&hilit=video#p2334662
Image

That image is also in this article:
https://theprint.in/defence/in-paf-lies ... th/218125/

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

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Apr 2019 08:35

That's just them going in circles one trying to get on the other's tail. Or just 2 patrolling aircraft practising right turns.

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

Postby manjgu » 17 Apr 2019 08:51

what is really needed is 'kafi with abhi" !!

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

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Apr 2019 09:53



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