Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

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vivek_ahuja
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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 05 Jan 2020 10:16

“The need for more AWACS was acutely felt post the Balakot air strike, with Pakistan being able to deploy its SAAB AWACS 24x7 in the north and south sectors and India being able to cover the two theatres only for 12 hours each day,” one of the officials cited above said.


A good example of how in the near future, we are going to get swamped by lower level Pak and Chinese tech while our "gold-plated" assets struggle to plug gaping holes because of their extremely limited numbers.

It used to be that fifty years ago Pak used to claim the technological advantage for air-force operations (backed by donated USAF equipment and personnel) while the IAF had sheer numbers (Soviet and other technologically limited equipment). Now the situation seems to be reversing as both sides have adopted the lessons of the other side.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 05 Jan 2020 10:30

Sheer brilliance by IAF - deny further orders for Netra and struggle even against PAF!!

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby saumitra_j » 05 Jan 2020 11:02

Vivek K wrote:Sheer brilliance by IAF - deny further orders for Netra and struggle even against PAF!!

Did IAF say no to Netra or was there no platform available due to scam with Embrace?? Do not blame the IAF sir, this is the price we are paying for UPA 2

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 05 Jan 2020 11:16

@Vivek K: I read your statement and was about to comment that you have opened the door for the IAF-vs-MOD blame-game to start on this thread. And even before I could post this, I see that the comments to this regard have started. And now the technical comments will soon be lost in the noise.

But I think you are fundamentally agreeing with me on this point! The AEW gap between us and our Pak and Chinese brethren is growing against us. Chola can probably summarize the Chinese numbers on this, but its really not necessary.

The same applies to the JF-17 as well. Hundreds of those airplanes capable of launching BVRAAMs is a huge issue. Expect the Paks to be able to hook up AMRAAMs to those airplanes in the near future.

My concern is that the IAF is now so focused on a handful of gold-plated systems that they are rapidly getting left behind in numbers on numerous fronts:
1. AEW/AWACS
2. Tankers.
3. ECM/ECCM pods for the legacy airplanes.
4. BVRAAM numbers (Astra going to make up numbers when?).
5. EW aircraft (see the numbers becoming available to China these days).
6. Low-observable (LO) and Counter-LO systems.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Santosh » 05 Jan 2020 11:23

VinodTK wrote:Air Force set to get two more warning systems
The DRDO has also decided to hand over a third Embraer-mounted Airborne Early Warning system to the IAF (Indian Air Force) to further enhance Indian capability in battlefield theatre. The IAF already has two Israeli PHALCON radars mounted on a Russian A-50 platform and two DRDO-developed radars mounted on Embraer platforms.

I thought we had 3 Phalcon AWACS. What happened to the third one? Also there were talks of procuring 2 additional Phalcon systems.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby habal » 05 Jan 2020 11:27

there is only one way out, IAF must be forced into a war and then we can see how they fumble and stumble with their handful of western goldplaters against a few dozens of chinese silver/bronze platers in any theatre. Reality will hit them hard very quick.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Zynda » 05 Jan 2020 11:29

I think we won't get the 2 additional Phalcon systems because Ruskees are charging an arm & leg for Il-76 platform.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Zynda » 05 Jan 2020 11:34

The most sensible way out of this is to induct more Netra systems ASAP until DRDO AWACS is ready (another 6+ years definitely at the earliest). Even if Embraer is black listed, make an exception...renegotiate the platform & integration deal in a more favorable way and get the damn systems in to service.

If the above is not viable, why can't we put Phalcon radar on top of A330? If we are gonna put our own chapathi radar on top of A330, why not put Phalcon radar on top and get 2-3 numbers to fill up the gap until our own AWACS product is ready for induction.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 05 Jan 2020 11:49

Develop the Netra on other platforms! Why isn’t the IAF chief going on the record for this as much as Dhanoa (former chief) is talking about Rafale every day! If Embraer is blacklisted, buy gulf streams/ challengers/ hawkers or whatever else. Mount these on tope of DO 228 or 737 or whatever else is available! Waiting for phalcons or A330contract is same as suicide!

Sadly they could have bought - 3-4 times LCA MK1s in place of Rafales. This would have been a game changer. The IAF’s lack of vision has endangered national security!

IAF should have helped with focusing priorities - helped with Astra’s quick induction and the NG version with higher range development.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby habal » 05 Jan 2020 12:19

my guess is IAFs priorities lie in obtaining western platforms for maximum baksheesh and safe sorties. I mean a pilot has to log x flying hours any given year, and their reasoning may be rather than using russian or Indian systems the best, most risk averse and safest possible option is to use western platforms like m2k & rafale for logging these flying hours. Also there is the added advantage of not being included in f16 threat library western platforms are also nato platforms and voila this is the best for us. They have now become comfortable and used to the thinking under UPA that these politicians will never authorise a war on pakistan, so it is meaningless to think about quantity of aircraft because it will never be used in battle anyways so let us just live our everyday lives better and safer.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 05 Jan 2020 13:10

Okay, so every once in a while I get some time to sit and do one of these posts involving some analysis. Here's one I have been wanting to do since the Balakot action.

I think its fair to say that from the snippets of information post Balakot that the IAF was struggling to keep the skies covered with special-mission AEW/AWACS airplanes on account of shortage of aircraft and limited endurance. The big issue is that both the IAF AEW/AWACS aircraft types are jet-engined and with low-bypass ratio engines (relatively). The IL-76 airframe is not designed for station keeping (even with the new higher-bypass engines). The Embraer ERJ-135/145 airplane is designed to take business customers at the highest possible speed and is also not designed for slow-speed station keeping. It gets from point A to point B at maximum range at Mach 0.78/0.8.

By comparison, the PAF has both its AEW aircraft based on turboprops that are designed for slow speed and higher endurance.

So, consider the following rough known estimates for (non-refueling) endurance of these aircraft:

Code: Select all

Aircraft   Endurance (hrs)
Phalcon   6
ERJ-145   3-4
ZDK-03   ~9
Erieye    9.5
A-330     9+


So you can see the issue: the IAF airplanes have an endurance problem. Therefore they are equipped for in-flight refueling. But how many refueling airplanes do we have? Four? And who will refuel fighters if they are refueling these large support airplanes?

Secondly, numbers:

Code: Select all

Aircraft   Numbers
Phalcon   3
ERJ-145   2-3
ZDK-03    4
Erieye    6-7
A-330     0

The PAF has us completely outnumbered on just the airframe numbers.

Then there is the issue of coverage. The Indian aircraft are known to have higher capabilities in this regard than the PAF aircraft. I am referring here to just the detection range and nothing else. And even this is assumed to be at the 10-20km altitude range. As an example for the Erieye:
Erieye detection ranges

Code: Select all

Aircraft   Search range (km)
Phalcon   450+
ERJ-145   400+ (limited azimuth)
ZDK-03    <300
Erieye    ~350
A-330     500+


Consider the shared border length between the two countries and couple it to the above data (plus a myriad of smaller assumptions like time taken to get to altitude and to/fro from launch bases, etc.) and you get a plot that I have animated below:
Image

What I refer to as the "Coverage ratio" is an equation that gives you a normalized number for the segment of the border that the special mission aircraft in each air force (Pak and India) can maintain 24X7 coverage for. You plot this as a function of years to see what the coverage gap is between the two air forces over the years.

Of significant note:
1. The PAF minhas strike by the TTP terrorists was a godsend (no pun intended) in delaying the PAF numbers advantage in 2012. That year was the only one in which the IAF matched the PAF in AEW/AWACS aircraft numbers.
1(b). But as you can see, not only has the PAF recovered, but have surpassed their original requirement for Erieye numbers by quite a margin. I will post more on this in the Pakistan arms thread.
2. The DRDO AWACS(I) has powerful combination of detection range as well as endurance and completely outclasses anything else in the subcontinent. Hence the spike in increased coverage ratio for the IAF after 2025.
2(b). The DRDO AWACS(I) cannot come soon enough.
3. PAF plans for AEW/AWACS expansion in 2020-2030 timeframe is unknown. Again, perhaps a conversation on this in the Pak arms thread.

I will probably do a similar plot like this for the China-India comparison, but I think the picture is pretty clear and it only gets worse from here.

Numbers matter.
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 05 Jan 2020 13:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby srai » 05 Jan 2020 13:19

^^^

According to a recent news article, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria is pushing for 5 more Netra AEW&Cs.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby sombhat » 05 Jan 2020 14:27

Is there no way the MoD can get hold of Jet Airways' grounded A330s, they had 8-10 of them (various sub-types).

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 14:53

Numbers matter.


Although I agree to this thought process, however it is important to consider the context. Specially with assets like AWACS.

PAF does have more AWACS and is said to be able to monitor 24/7. If that was the case, what happen on Feb 26? when our Mirages had a free run! How could a coverage of 24/7 not detect bogies coming in!

Compare that to our monitoring on Feb 27. Did any PAF jets managed to get in?

Imagine we had lot more AWACS on station and we were able to detect all PAF bogies. Then what? What we lack is ways to counter the long range targets.

We also need to consider the fact that propeller based AWACS is a good assets AS LONG AS no one targets it. Our drawback on Feb27 more than jets or AWACS or BVR was the lack of long range SAM.

PAF Erieye with 300KM would be flying 150KM from LC to have meaningful coverage on our side. No one would be singing praises of PAF if a S400/XRSAM was fired up it's mushraff. Given it being a propeller craft, it chances to survival would be slim.
Last edited by nam on 05 Jan 2020 15:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Prem Kumar » 05 Jan 2020 15:00

Great post, Vivek Ahuja!!

The couple of days after the Balakot strike, we weren't doing any fighter aircraft refueling. There's no reason we shouldn't have maintained a 9 hour endurance of Netra with refueling.

Airbus AWACS is 6+ years away. Even given the limited endurance of Netra vis-a-vis Erieye, it makes sense to induct 6 - 12 of these puppies. What they lack in endurance can be made up by sortie rates & sheer numbers.

The "blacklisting of Embraer" is a bugaboo that exists only in our heads. If IAF insists and Modi does a G2G contract for 12 more Netras (like the Rafale), it will happen, Sonia's howls notwithstanding. Sorry to say this, but the IAF seems more interested in gold-plated airframes & gripe-fests about depleting squadrons. Balakot happened nearly a year ago and our AWACS/AEW numbers remain the same, in spite of Netra's spectacular performance & the glaring lack of numbers! They ought to take their share of the blame for the pathetic state we are in.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 15:01

With the advent of long range SAM and BVR, propeller driven AWACS have a very low chances of survival. A jet platform would be able to escape given it's higher velocity.

To escape such VLR-SAM you need speed, ability to climb heights and most important extremely powerful radar to monitor at long standoff range. With a hard defence line like LC, we need platforms with extreme long range to prevent our AWACS from a need to get close to the LC.

Would you prefer to be on a A330 with 600KM radar or Eyiere with 300KM when a S400/HQ9 is coming at you?

In this scenario IAF is making the right choice of A330: long time on station, tremendous radar range and jet turbines. The drawback is it is an expensive asset. We have to provide a combination of ground and air based monitoring.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby saumitra_j » 05 Jan 2020 15:26

Thank you for your detailed analysis Vivek_Ahuja sir, always look forward to it. One question in my mind: Do you think IAF would not know about its gaps? I am pretty sure they are well aware and have plans to fight with what they have and work around the gaps. What gets my goat is the general tendency to put the blame on IAF as if IAF decides everything. Let us understands some facts on the ground:
- We do not have more Netras not because IAF is not interested and wants some gold plated stuff but because when more Netras could have materialised, a scam (supposed or real) with Embarer meant that DRDO/HAL/IAF could not procure more airframes of the type on which Netra was tested.
- IAF's procurement is driven by the budget - with Su30MKI modernisation not yet started, Mirage 2000 modernisation not completed, Mig29 modernisation still to finish, steady drop in squadron numbers, the IAF feels that it absolutely needs the 36 Rafales - who are we to question that professional judgement?
- IAF wants more Netras on Embraer - will MoD Babus allow it? Will the government have the budget for it? Remember, this procurement process should have happened around 2011/2012 - we all know by now that we were in deep trouble economically by the time NDA 2 happend!
- I would argue that for events like Balakot, IAF had enough assets on the ground which gave it the full picture - not adequate in a full fledged war but for one off event like Balakot, a combination of what was available (Netra, Phalcon), aerostats and ground based AD radars combined with AFNET would have given the IAF a fairly good picture.
- Specifically for Balakot, it seems that the biggest problem was inadequate missiles and within the aircraft- the fact that Abhinandan had to resort to WVR using the Archer as opposed to R77 seems to indicate that R77 will have tactical disadvantage in front of Amraam C5. Despite this, we completely stopped the Pakis from having a go at our targets - the fact that all their PGMs missed is one of the biggest signs that the IAF met its mission objectives.
- Procurement is a complex and broken process in MoD - no amount of technical correctness of a need for a weapon system is going to fix what is basically a problem with the bureaucracy and politicians - why blame the IAF for it?
- IAF has been rightly accused of not supporting Indian programs earlier, caught as they were with what they need today v/s what was being offered in the future with no end date in sight...thankfully that situation has changed for the better given the kind of support we see from the IAF for Tejas and other programs
- Many people are calling for higher number of order for Tejas - the question I have is how? Do we have the funds for it? Do we have the industrial capacity to produce it? Is it economically viable? I do not have the answer but given our general situation due to bureaucratic decision making process, lack of budget and lack of experience in mass producing aircrafts at a scale required, I do not think it is possible.

The Netra program has given the way for the AWACS India program which will address some of the concerns raised here but if we want large numbers, we will have to have fix the procurement process to make it more efficient. Until then, IAF will have to fight with what they have and evolve tactics around it. Blaming the IAF for what is actually a systemic issue within MoD is extremely unfair!
Last edited by saumitra_j on 05 Jan 2020 15:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby saumitra_j » 05 Jan 2020 15:28

Prem Kumar wrote:The "blacklisting of Embraer" is a bugaboo that exists only in our heads. If IAF insists and Modi does a G2G contract for 12 more Netras (like the Rafale), it will happen, Sonia's howls notwithstanding. Sorry to say this, but the IAF seems more interested in gold-plated airframes & gripe-fests about depleting squadrons. Balakot happened nearly a year ago and our AWACS/AEW numbers remain the same, in spite of Netra's spectacular performance & the glaring lack of numbers! They ought to take their share of the blame for the pathetic state we are in.

Sir, with all due respect, this is not how GOI works. Firstly, you need budget and secondly, you need willing decision makers who are ready to risk court cases and vigilance enquiries et al. Ain't happening anytime soon. IAF has been insisting on a trainer for last so many years...why did it take so long to get the Hawk?? IAF wanted a Mig21 replacement, additional M2K,....what did they get??

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby VKumar » 05 Jan 2020 15:52

One AWACS and one Refueller per squadron of fighters, is essential.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 16:48

VKumar wrote:One AWACS and one Refueller per squadron of fighters, is essential.


32 AWACS and 32 refuellers at our current squadron numbers? Cannot come close to happening with the A330. Unlikely to happen even with NETRA and the Embraer. The entire defense budget would go kaput if its the A330. lol

The AEW gap between us and our Pak and Chinese brethren is growing against us. Chola can probably summarize the Chinese numbers on this, but its really not necessary.


As you said, Vivek ji, it is not necessary at this point. We knew at one point that Cheen is estimated to have some 5 KJ-2000, 10 KJ-200 and around 20 KJ-500. Some 35 AEWs to our handful which is bad enough.

But the truth is we've lost track of how many they have now because the KJ-500 has entered mass production (common theme with chini mil programs) with other force multipliers like ASW. They could have another 10, 20 or 30 by now who knows.

Image
Image
Image
Image

If we want an AWACS for every squadron then pick an affordable platform and put the damn thing into mass production as the chinis are doing.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 17:39

How many of these Chinese propeller AWACS would survive a S400 chasing it?
Last edited by nam on 05 Jan 2020 17:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 17:44

nam wrote:How of these Chinese propeller AWACS would survive a S400 chasing it?


How would any AWACS even a jet engined one?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 17:48

chola wrote:
nam wrote:How of these Chinese propeller AWACS would survive a S400 chasing it?


How would any AWACS even a jet engined one?


Much better. Ability to turn back and fly faster. Plus given the longer range radar on a jet engine AWACS, staying at longer distance and higher.

On LAC, these propellers will be flying 150KM from the border to peek in to our side. Our A330 will be flying 300KM from the LAC.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 05 Jan 2020 18:05

nam wrote:How many of these Chinese propeller AWACS would survive a S400 chasing it?

Most aircraft are much faster than trucks no?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby srai » 05 Jan 2020 18:10

VKumar wrote:One AWACS and one Refueller per squadron of fighters, is essential.

A Better way to think about it would be along operational coverage areas (i.e. theater/command). Each of these areas would need a set (3-5 units) of AWACS/AEW&C to provide a 24/7 coverage during wartime.

Similarly for AAR assets, the question to ask would be how many aircraft (of xyz types) need to be sustained over an operational area. Then work out an appropriate AAR numbers.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 18:18

abhik wrote:
nam wrote:How many of these Chinese propeller AWACS would survive a S400 chasing it?

Most aircraft are much faster than trucks no?


I didn't mean, literally a S400 TEL chasing an AWACS :rotfl:

It does have the option to fire it's missile!

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 18:35

nam wrote:
chola wrote:
How would any AWACS even a jet engined one?


Much better. Ability to turn back and fly faster. Plus given the longer range radar on a jet engine AWACS, staying at longer distance and higher.

On LAC, these propellers will be flying 150KM from the border to peek in to our side. Our A330 will be flying 300KM from the LAC.



Eh, how many gold-plated S400 units are needed to be positioned along the border to create a viable threat to AWACS that are designed to operate at long ranges anyways? Modi was looking at 5 onlee.

Remember the Phalcon was funded by Cheen and developed for it by Israel. It was by the grace of Unkil that it ended up here instead of there.

So Cheen started with jet powered AWACS which they have in the KJ-2000 and more will undoubtedly come in the near future in the form of Y-20 and later in the C919.

But they are not forgoing the mass produced turboprop chapati option in favor of the gold-plated turbofan one which you are suggesting and which unfortunately looks like we what are doing with two A330s onlee at the CCS's desk (still no decision yet) and no plans for the NETRA.

They'll have their KJ-2000s where jets are needed and turboprops everywhere else. We'll have to wait years for two A330s if the CCS signs off yesterday. Until then all we have are the two Netras and the Phalcons.

Those KJ-500s are in a production line. They will be pumped out year after year after year. Five or ten a year and you do the math. We'll go bankrupt as a nation buying enough S400 units to make a dent in their operations.

But all this conjecture is irrelevant, SAMs are defensive and gold-plated units like the five S400 will be reserved for high value regions and installations like Delhi, most if not all potential sites will be far from the border.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 05 Jan 2020 19:03

While the 100-150 mph cruise speed difference is useful to a lesser extent, it is really the much longer distance (from the border and SAM sites) enabled by the more powerful Radar which determines which AWACS is more survivable.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 19:11

Air pieces are far more mobile than ground pieces. And AWACS operate behind the rest of the air force. Unless the enemy gains air superiority and their air force is running roughshod over the border, the air defense units will not be given a chance to hit AWACS. In order to encounter AWACS, the enemy SEAD will have washed over you first.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 19:12

I am not saying propellers are useless, they are useful. But in peace time. In a war they are sitting ducks.

S400 is just an example. It may be gold platted, but XRSAM will not be. S400 could be in Delhi... but XRSAM will be chasing Pak & Chini propellers..

In a way IAF is making the right decision to induct A330. Just that they are expensive, but there is no choice. We should go for really powerful long range radar to give the maximum coverage, when they are on station. May be the Opex of A330 might be cheaper than multiple EMB? given A330 is a civilian jet.

For peace time, IAF might induct C295.
Last edited by nam on 05 Jan 2020 20:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 19:16

chola wrote:Air pieces are far more mobile than ground pieces. And AWACS operate behind the rest of the air force. Unless the enemy gains air superiority and their air force is running roughshod over the border, the air defense units will not be given a chance to hit AWACS. In order to encounter AWACS, the enemy SEAD will have washed over you first.


Not necessary. On Feb 27, if we had S400(or XRSAM) and deployed on LC, would we not fired one at the PAF Eireye?

We are considering USAF as the reference for every scenario. PAF is no USAF.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 19:33

^^^ Nam ji, it is not one or the other. Unless you are the USAF, you cannot afford an all jet AWACS force if you want extended coverage over time and space. The USN still use a turboprop one.

Lack of coverage was the problem encountered at Balakot's aftermath. Two A330s would be great but that can't be all.

Cheen certainly isn't settled on just one form, there'll be turbofan-powered Y-20 AWACS at some point in the near future.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Jan 2020 20:04

chola wrote:Lack of coverage was the problem encountered at Balakot's aftermath. Two A330s would be great but that can't be all.


I agree IAF needs more AWACS, but more than us, it was PAF which was faced with lack of coverage.

If their 24/7 coverage means positioning PAF 150KM away from intruding Mirages on Feb 26... I think PAF should continue their coverage.

Compare that to our side.. did anyone managed to get through?
Last edited by nam on 06 Jan 2020 16:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Prasad » 05 Jan 2020 20:09

C295 based AWACS can be that snow speed option. If we actually sign the deal.

manjgu
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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby manjgu » 05 Jan 2020 20:51

1) nam : on feb 26th we had element of surprise...PAF awacs cant be in air all the time. folks are talking about a war time situation or semi war like situation as happened on 27th. 2) i think IAF is depending on its radars, integrated air defence system to meet the shortfall in airborne coverage, though in netra they have a v good product. thats what the previous ACM has been talking about. S400 type system will ofc be protecting big cities but its footprint will well extend into paki airspace.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby fanne » 05 Jan 2020 21:14

Boy what a way to start your day - with higher BP

Thye GOI/IAF bought some 3-6 billion worth of equipment in the last 1 year under 'emergency' purchase - what if the war started, what equipment you need (r-77S, R-73, sdr; for IA Spike missiles...so on and so forth). I gather we must be well stocked for a hot war and bought whatever can be bought that can be made within a year. That also included the third Netra that IAF was not buying and DRDO was contemplating giving away to Myanmar or some African nation (read Mauritius?).

If you want to sum IAF obsession in one word, it wants Rafale (more of it, more than 36). It has limited budget (with that either it can buy LCA, su30mki, more mig 29s, s400, AEW or Rafale). In their professional judgement, they think the best use of that money is more Rafale (and not anything else). Let's see why? (And me being a arm chair warrior who has not even flown a plane on a computer game).

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby mahadevbhu » 05 Jan 2020 21:20

because the best use of that money, given the limited war scenario that is present on both the fronts - let's face it, neither are the Pakis irrationally prone to jehadying themselves, nor are the Chinese - is limited war like conditions like Balakot and Doklam.

And given that scenarios, the best use of the IAFs moneys are in Silver Bullets which can maintain localized superiority, bomb jehadis, and get in long range Meteoric shots. Added to that is nuke delivery via scalp. Given these conditions, it means Rafale.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Zynda » 05 Jan 2020 21:33

The 3rd Netra will be retained by DRDO to work on product improvement. Surprising to hear mention of only 2 Phalcons. What happened to the 3rd one?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 05 Jan 2020 21:55

nam wrote:
abhik wrote:Most aircraft are much faster than trucks no?


I didn't mean, literally a S400 TEL chasing an AWACS :rotfl:

It does have the option to fire it's missile!


I remember a decade or so back somebody had taken a compass and drawn 3 circles of 500 km on the Indo-Pak border, to naively show its coverage and how awesome it would be. When its time comes I'm sure S400 will turn out to be as equally disappointing as against it gold plated expectations as the Phalcons were.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby ldev » 05 Jan 2020 21:58

I think given the limited funds available, the IAF seems to be on the right track. Lack of numbers in AWACs means that it will never have 24x7 coverage of the western border,let alone along both borders at the same time. So the priority seems to be detect incoming aircraft via ground based radar and then deploy the S400 against them. The plan calls for 3 S400 divisions on the western border and 2 facing China. With the S400 engagement range of 380 kms for the longest range missile 40N6, 3 divisions should provide coverage along the entire western border. The Rafale will be for localized air superiority. The interesting question is whether the Rafale will be able to penetrate Pakistani airspace against a combination of HQ-9 SAMs, (Chinese copy of the S-300) and Erieye and Y-8 AWACSs. I am fairly certain that China will supply Pakistan the HQ-9 when India gets the S400. Also the PLAAF and the PAF have had joint exercises where the recently delivered S400 to China was used so the PAF will be familiar with the S400 system already.

So what happens when the next terrorist strike happens? India has the Rafale and the S400 but Pakistan has the HQ-9 and and say 10 PAF Erieye & Y-8 AWACs providing 24x7 coverage? What are India's retaliation options? Is the Rafale enough of a silver bullet to go up against this combination?


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