Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

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brar_w
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 21 Aug 2020 04:27

The USAF had been using the Sniper ATP with both A2A and A2G modes since the early 2000s when it won the ATP competition. But despite that they are producing ahead with a dedicated LWIR IRST pod (Legion) with use specific processing and pod to pod links. They are also funding early research into a dual LWIR/VLWIR system for future use. Even one of the options Lockheed is giving to its customer for the EOTS-NG on the F-35 is an addition of LWIR capability ( or a SWIR capability if they so choose).

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 21 Aug 2020 09:31

Karan M wrote:MKIs carried Litening in Red Flag as they did A2G work too. They were not used merely in air to air.

This is most likely the case. Using a podded system for a2a work doesn't seem to be the most optimal solution, esp. when you have a powerful irst slaved to your hmd already.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby nachiket » 21 Aug 2020 10:09

As per Vijainder Thakur (retd. IAF Jaguar pilot), the missiles bought after Feb 27 last year were the RVV-SD (R-77-1) version. I haven't yet found another source which mentions this.

https://twitter.com/vkthakur/status/129 ... 01249?s=20

Russia didn't balk at supplying the reported 400 RVV-SD (longer range R-77) ordered post haste after the shortcoming of the Ukrainian supplied R-77s came to the fore during the PAF's botched Op Swift Retort, the riposte to the @IAF_MCC's punishing Balakot strike in February 2019

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Aditya_V » 21 Aug 2020 11:33

nachiket wrote:As per Vijainder Thakur (retd. IAF Jaguar pilot), the missiles bought after Feb 27 last year were the RVV-SD (R-77-1) version. I haven't yet found another source which mentions this.

https://twitter.com/vkthakur/status/129 ... 01249?s=20

Russia didn't balk at supplying the reported 400 RVV-SD (longer range R-77) ordered post haste after the shortcoming of the Ukrainian supplied R-77s came to the fore during the PAF's botched Op Swift Retort, the riposte to the @IAF_MCC's punishing Balakot strike in February 2019

Look at the posts in the previous page which mention that IAF tested R-77-1 missiles along with MICA IR on Su 30MKI's. So this is 1 more source that last years 400 R-77 were the R-77-1. Looks like in the Mid 2000's, 2005 timeframe we neither objected for AIM120-C sale to Pakistan , nor did we want our airforce to have longer range AAM that Pakistan. Thats an whole Eco system in India working for Paki victory.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 21 Aug 2020 13:31

Cain Marko wrote:
Karan M wrote:MKIs carried Litening in Red Flag as they did A2G work too. They were not used merely in air to air.

This is most likely the case. Using a podded system for a2a work doesn't seem to be the most optimal solution, esp. when you have a powerful irst slaved to your hmd already.


Yes, precisely. You can use them in specific cases for a multi-target function but that's not exactly its primary role for aircraft like the Su-30 which already have an IRST, but for Tejas, Mirage 2000s etc it will definitely be useful.

Plus in 2008, its unlikely they had a dedicated air to air function. Note this was added post 2015. I would assume this made the whole A2A function more automated.
https://www.flightglobal.com/rafaels-li ... 85.article

Prior to that it was basically being used in that fashion, ad-hoc. Our G4Is were contracted for in the 2013-15 time-frame, so unlikely they have this new mode but can be used for it, ad-hoc.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby tsarkar » 24 Aug 2020 11:02

Karan M wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:This is most likely the case. Using a podded system for a2a work doesn't seem to be the most optimal solution, esp. when you have a powerful irst slaved to your hmd already.


Yes, precisely. You can use them in specific cases for a multi-target function but that's not exactly its primary role for aircraft like the Su-30 which already have an IRST, but for Tejas, Mirage 2000s etc it will definitely be useful.

Plus in 2008, its unlikely they had a dedicated air to air function. Note this was added post 2015. I would assume this made the whole A2A function more automated.
https://www.flightglobal.com/rafaels-li ... 85.article

Prior to that it was basically being used in that fashion, ad-hoc. Our G4Is were contracted for in the 2013-15 time-frame, so unlikely they have this new mode but can be used for it, ad-hoc.


You're very wrong regarding your speculation of "ad-hoc fashion"

Litening for A2A tracking is a very well established capability for two decades.

Incase you missed reading it earlier, the Litening AT pod referred in the A-10 datasheet is a second generation pod fielded 2003. It clearly mentions the ability to cue Sidewinders.

From a purely Indian perspective,

Here is a video from Vayu Shakti 2010

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iga9DpjKIng

Check out the video footage at 0:05-0:09 and 0:22-0:26 of Su-30MKI in flight.

The video is imaging infra red footage of the heat signature of a Su-30MKI fighter. As everyone can see, the resolution is pretty high.

Also given that the fighter is moving fast, the tracking of the fighter by the imager is automatic. Also note the pipper on the fast moving aerial target.

The imaging infra red video footage is from a Reccelite Pod equipped Jaguar and a Heron drone.

The CCD, IIR & LRF seeker head of Litening is common across Litening Pod, Reccelite Pod, Heron and Searcher drones, Compass EO Ball Turret used on Seaking, Do-228, Dhurv Mk3, Dhruv Mk4 and LCH.

Reccelite Pods and Herons have the ability to transmit real time imagery and videos to Ground Stations.

Hence the real time live telecast of IIR video footage on Doordarshan. All credit due to the pod and not the DD Cameraman :)

https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/upl ... ochure.pdf
The images and the data annotation are recorded on board and transmitted to the GES (Ground Exploitation System) via RecceLite wide-band digital data link for real time interpretation.


RecceLite has been integrated onto a variety of aircrafts including F-16, F-18, Jaguar, AMX, Tornado, Typhoon, Gripen, Heron 1 and Reaper


The RecceLite system is in use by air forces worldwide, among them Netherlands, Israel, Italy, India, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Spain, Columbia and Mexico.


From the datasheet one can see Reccelite is visually very similar to Litening. Reccelite lacks laser designation capability of Litening but has the ability to transmit video imagery to the ground.

Litening obviously doesnt transmit video footage because no one wants the enemy to track a combat aircraft's transmission.

Before any Russian Rakshak jumps in speculating the footage is from OLS-30, they need to keep in mind that OLS-30 is an Infra Red Search & Track system and doesn't have any Imaging Infra Red Capabilities. Nor for that matter any real time transmission of images.

There are loads of footage from Vayu Shakti's of other air to air Imaging Infra Red videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4jRWxCuJbk from 0:09 to 0:14 and from 0:21 to 0:26. The pipper is on the target.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 24 Aug 2020 16:05

tsarkar wrote:You're very wrong regarding your speculation of "ad-hoc fashion"

Litening for A2A tracking is a very well established capability for two decades.

Incase you missed reading it earlier, the Litening AT pod referred in the A-10 datasheet is a second generation pod fielded 2003. It clearly mentions the ability to cue Sidewinders.


I'll take the company's own disclosure re: what a dedicated A2A mode provides. Ad-hoc refers to a certain system having a secondary capability which is useful and is used as such but not the primary one. Several AF have used Litening and Sniper pods for A2A but they are not dedicated IRSTs or regarded as such. These AF then go on to develop dedicated iRSTs as Boeing did for their F/A-18 E/Fs and the USAF did for their F-15s. Otherwise they could have just continued to push forward with just Litening pods.

IRSTs are designed to operate against other aircraft, while both are maneuvering hard - a pod OTOH is to maintain lock against a lower speed target (relative speed of ground based targets vs the aircraft) and whilst the aircraft flies a certain specific profile.

Note for instance, USAFs own description of Litening does not use it as a primary A2A sensor:
https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets ... targeting/

LITENING Advanced Targeting, or AT, is a precision targeting pod system operational with a wide variety of combat air forces aircraft (A-10A/C, B-52H, F-15E and F-16 Blocks 25-52) as well as aircraft operated by other services and allies (AV-8B, EA-6B, F-16 Block 15 and F/A-18). The system's advanced targeting and image processing techology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).


The usage of the Litening pod is *useful* from a target ID perspective especially if you want a NCTR type capability as you can image a few targets with manual intervention, but a dedicated A2A IRST is more than just that. It can automatically track multiple targets in its FOV and act quite similarly to how an automated radar does. The pod would then operate in A2A mode, automatically detecting, locking onto multiple targets, monitoring their location constantly sharing that with other weapons systems. That's how a full IRST setup works. This is not what an A2G pod was designed for, its A2A function came about as a secondary albeit useful capability.

The ideal thing would be to have both - upgrade an IRST to have an imaging capability.

In fact even the IAF does not agree with the thought process that the Litening can replace an IRST. Ergo, the replacement for the OLS-30 is to be another IRST. In short they will develop an IRST with the imaging capability in these pods and hence have the best of both worlds.

https://twitter.com/DefenceMinIndia/sta ... 1761667079

रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India
@DefenceMinIndia
The DAC also approved design and development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI.
These systems will operate in day & night conditions and significantly boost the operational capabilities of SU-30 MKI aircraft.


From a purely Indian perspective,

Here is a video from Vayu Shakti 2010

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iga9DpjKIng

Check out the video footage at 0:05-0:09 and 0:22-0:26 of Su-30MKI in flight.

The video is imaging infra red footage of the heat signature of a Su-30MKI fighter. As everyone can see, the resolution is pretty high.

Also given that the fighter is moving fast, the tracking of the fighter by the imager is automatic. Also note the pipper on the fast moving aerial target.


This could have been manually slewed on to the target and then kept in place by the pod which is easier for it versus the ground as the pod carrying aircraft is relatively stable and is not maneuvering hard.

Its an entirely different thing to have an automated A2A mode with dedicated capability like multitarget TWS in A2A like dedicated IRSTs have *which retains that lock even as the fighter maneuvers versus the other aircraft*, and then overlay that targeting information with the radar and others to cue each sensor via the other.

That resolution is pretty poor btw compared to today's Litenings which has 1k x 1k FLIRs.

The imaging infra red video footage is from a Reccelite Pod equipped Jaguar and a Heron drone.

The CCD, IIR & LRF seeker head of Litening is common across Litening Pod, Reccelite Pod, Heron and Searcher drones, Compass EO Ball Turret used on Seaking, Do-228, Dhurv Mk3, Dhruv Mk4 and LCH.

Reccelite Pods and Herons have the ability to transmit real time imagery and videos to Ground Stations.

Hence the real time live telecast of IIR video footage on Doordarshan. All credit due to the pod and not the DD Cameraman :)

https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/upl ... ochure.pdf
The images and the data annotation are recorded on board and transmitted to the GES (Ground Exploitation System) via RecceLite wide-band digital data link for real time interpretation.


RecceLite has been integrated onto a variety of aircrafts including F-16, F-18, Jaguar, AMX, Tornado, Typhoon, Gripen, Heron 1 and Reaper


The RecceLite system is in use by air forces worldwide, among them Netherlands, Israel, Italy, India, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Spain, Columbia and Mexico.


From the datasheet one can see Reccelite is visually very similar to Litening. Reccelite lacks laser designation capability of Litening but has the ability to transmit video imagery to the ground.

Litening obviously doesnt transmit video footage because no one wants the enemy to track a combat aircraft's transmission.


Reccelite is not the Litening but a development thereof. It was purchased separately for the IAFs fighters.

The Litening can *also transmit* video footage provided one has access to ROVER datalinks. The USAF has been using ROVER w/Litening and Sniper for ages now. There is no big deal in using fighters to transmit video footage.

Link

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets ... targeting/

The system incorporates a mult-spectral capability with a high resolution, mid-wave, third-generation FLIR and CCD-TV. The pod is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions and a laser rangefinder for precise target coordinates. For target coordination with ground and air forces, a laser spot tracker, a laser marker, and a fully operational remotely operated video enhanced receiver, or ROVER, compatible video down link improves rapid target detection/ identification.


Before any Russian Rakshak jumps in speculating the footage is from OLS-30, they need to keep in mind that OLS-30 is an Infra Red Search & Track system and doesn't have any Imaging Infra Red Capabilities. Nor for that matter any real time transmission of images.

There are loads of footage from Vayu Shakti's of other air to air Imaging Infra Red videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4jRWxCuJbk from 0:09 to 0:14 and from 0:21 to 0:26. The pipper is on the target.


The Imaging capability as mentioned above is useful. But its not exactly equal to all the capability than a dedicated IRST provides. For instance:
https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/products/pirate_irst

PIRATE (Passive InfraRed Airborne Track Equipment) is the FLIR/IRST for Eurofighter Typhoon. Developed by the Airborne and Space Systems Division-led consortium, Eurofirst, PIRATE is a complex system that operates radar-like modes in a wide field of regard. PIRATE is capable of operating against several heavily cluttered scenarios in each one of the following IRST modes: Multiple Target Tracking, Single Target Tracking and Slaved Acquisition.


The newer Russian IRSTs combine multi-channel TV and IRST input (similar to the Rafale) for VisID and IRST function both.
Note the amount of data provided by the IRST to the fire control system.
Image

OLS 30 has similar functions bar the dedicated TV channel.

While Litening can be carried as an adjunct for long range passive target ID, and even long range pick-up, the former function (YES/NO as versus identification) can be accomplished by IFF as well and the OLS-30 does have a decent passive range for A2A targets.

With 164 pods purchased for the entire fleet, its use-case is likely more in the A2G arena as versus a dedicated A2A system (unless the use case demands it, such as a LO RF target till new gen IRSTs arrive).

tsarkar
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby tsarkar » 24 Aug 2020 19:49

Karan M wrote:
tsarkar wrote:You're very wrong regarding your speculation of "ad-hoc fashion"

Litening for A2A tracking is a very well established capability for two decades.

Incase you missed reading it earlier, the Litening AT pod referred in the A-10 datasheet is a second generation pod fielded 2003. It clearly mentions the ability to cue Sidewinders.


I'll take the company's own disclosure re: what a dedicated A2A mode provides. Ad-hoc refers to a certain system having a secondary capability which is useful and is used as such but not the primary one. Several AF have used Litening and Sniper pods for A2A but they are not dedicated IRSTs or regarded as such. These AF then go on to develop dedicated iRSTs as Boeing did for their F/A-18 E/Fs and the USAF did for their F-15s. Otherwise they could have just continued to push forward with just Litening pods.

IRSTs are designed to operate against other aircraft, while both are maneuvering hard - a pod OTOH is to maintain lock against a lower speed target (relative speed of ground based targets vs the aircraft) and whilst the aircraft flies a certain specific profile.

Note for instance, USAFs own description of Litening does not use it as a primary A2A sensor:
https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets ... targeting/

LITENING Advanced Targeting, or AT, is a precision targeting pod system operational with a wide variety of combat air forces aircraft (A-10A/C, B-52H, F-15E and F-16 Blocks 25-52) as well as aircraft operated by other services and allies (AV-8B, EA-6B, F-16 Block 15 and F/A-18). The system's advanced targeting and image processing techology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).


The usage of the Litening pod is *useful* from a target ID perspective especially if you want a NCTR type capability as you can image a few targets with manual intervention, but a dedicated A2A IRST is more than just that. It can automatically track multiple targets in its FOV and act quite similarly to how an automated radar does. The pod would then operate in A2A mode, automatically detecting, locking onto multiple targets, monitoring their location constantly sharing that with other weapons systems. That's how a full IRST setup works. This is not what an A2G pod was designed for, its A2A function came about as a secondary albeit useful capability.

The ideal thing would be to have both - upgrade an IRST to have an imaging capability.

In fact even the IAF does not agree with the thought process that the Litening can replace an IRST. Ergo, the replacement for the OLS-30 is to be another IRST. In short they will develop an IRST with the imaging capability in these pods and hence have the best of both worlds.

https://twitter.com/DefenceMinIndia/sta ... 1761667079

रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India
@DefenceMinIndia
The DAC also approved design and development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI.
These systems will operate in day & night conditions and significantly boost the operational capabilities of SU-30 MKI aircraft.


This is digressing from original question that was whether Litening is used effectively in A2A mode. The answer is an emphatic yes when you claimed otherwise.

Company press releases may or may not reveal full information. And the US A-10C manual revealed the capability.

The pod vs in-built IRST is a different debate.

The Indian Air Force finds Israeli IIR much better quality than Russian IRST. Period.

From a perspective of resolution and hence targeting, the IAF will choose Litening over OLS-30 anytime.

Karan M wrote:That resolution is pretty poor btw compared to today's Litenings which has 1k x 1k FLIRs.


The real life video is there for all to see. Its a heat image. Heat images are usually blurry heat signatures.

In this case, The resolution is sharp enough to segregate two hot engines separately. It doesnt get any better than that.

Karan M wrote:This could have been manually slewed on to the target and then kept in place by the pod which is easier for it versus the ground as the pod carrying aircraft is relatively stable and is not maneuvering hard.

Its an entirely different thing to have an automated A2A mode with dedicated capability like multitarget TWS in A2A like dedicated IRSTs have *which retains that lock even as the fighter maneuvers versus the other aircraft*, and then overlay that targeting information with the radar and others to cue each sensor via the other.


That is not correct as pod equipped fighters can maneuver equally hard. Refer pod equipped F-15 & F-16 below.

Also sensor data fusion is a function of the aircraft's mission computer and not the pod. So pod data can also be overlaid with other data.

Karan M wrote:The Imaging capability as mentioned above is useful. But its not exactly equal to all the capability than a dedicated IRST provides.

The comparison is between "old" Litening and "old" OLS-30 in Indian service being used in A2A role. The Litening wins hands down.

In that context, discussing an Italian system or Su-35 system is meaningless because neither are in Indian Service.

That is again digressing from the original question was whether Litening is effectively used in A2A mode by IAF.

Now moving to the pod vs in-built debate, it is similar to podded jammers vs in-built jammers. Both are in vogue depending on circumstances.

Those fighters designed from onset with IRST capability will have them, like F-35, Rafale, Eurofighter, Su-30MKI & MiG-29.

Possibly MWF will have in-built EW & IRST.

Those fighters without IRST gain the capability with pods. Eg F-15 with Tiger Eyes, Legion Pod for F-15 & F-16

Image

Note that this F-15 is carrying an ACMI pod on the wing exactly like the IAF Sukhoi's at Red Flag that is typically used to measure maneuverability in A2A roles.

Image

Rest assured the maneuverability of F-15 or F-16 does not suffer because of the pod.

Coming to the Indian context, for fighters like Mirage 2000 without IRST capability, the Litening Pod adds the capability.

For fighters like Tejas Mk1 IOC/FOC/A, the Litening Pod offers the additional IRST capability in a simple manner.

Its like EW suites. Some have it inbuilt like MiG-29UPG. Some carry pods if they cant have it inbuilt.

Coming back to the Indian context of Su-30MKI, the IAF is anyways looking for replacement of OLS-30

https://www.makeinindiadefence.gov.in/a ... ersion.pdf

Russian EO is anyways inferior to US, European or Israeli systems that they buy French solutions that were rejected by IAF in favour of Litening.

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Th ... try-04994/
He adds the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Thales are now negotiating technology transfer agreements and full localization of Damocles surveillance and targeting pod production in Russia.


Damocles would also equip Russia’s modernized Su-27SM Flanker fighters, Su-24M2 Fencer swing-wing strike aircraft, and their Sukhoi-built successors the Su-35-1 Flanker and the Su-34 Fullback.


Why is Mother Russia buying French systems for every major fighter it operates if its own systems were so good? That includes the Su-35 whose IRST you posted above.

Hence the preference of Litening over OLS-30 to answer the original question.

Cain Marko wrote:
Karan M wrote:MKIs carried Litening in Red Flag as they did A2G work too. They were not used merely in air to air.
This is most likely the case. Using a podded system for a2a work doesn't seem to be the most optimal solution, esp. when you have a powerful irst slaved to your hmd already.


Its not a pod vs in-built system question. Its answering the question which system is better among the two. In the IAF, its Litening at present.

In future we will know Rafale OSF performance vis-a-vis Litening :) Maybe it will be better.

However point to note is that IAF is paying Dassault extra money for India Specific Enhancements that includes Litening pod integration on Rafale. IAF chose Litening for Rafale over pre-integrated TALIOS or Damocles pod.

That tells something.
Last edited by tsarkar on 24 Aug 2020 20:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 24 Aug 2020 20:01

I would suspect slight maneuverability degradation with the legion pod but that is entirely due to the USAFs requirements for the pod not only to carry the sensor but also a self contained computer and room for a pod to pod dedicated data link. The tiger eyes is much more compact though it has the older LWIR sensor which is heavier and larger than the IRST-21 system but it uses the organic mission computing resource and data links of the F-15.

Litening obviously doesnt transmit video footage because no one wants the enemy to track a combat aircraft's transmission.


The only time you need to transmit full motion video is when doing CAS. The enemy knows you are overhead unless one is dealing with a very small fraction of SOF support missions where you don't want to be known ( you aren't going to be doing that with a medium altitude, non LO manned fighter anyways). Generally, the enemy knows you are overhead and can hear you (sometimes this is the point). ROVER has saved countless coalition lives in the last couple of decades and JTACs swear by it. You don't have to transmit if you don't want to. As it is, 99% of the global fighters out there have non-directional non-LPD data links and happily use them when required because not doing so would mean a significant degradation of SA.
Last edited by brar_w on 25 Aug 2020 03:23, edited 3 times in total.

tsarkar
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby tsarkar » 24 Aug 2020 20:12

brar_w wrote:I would suspect slight maneuverability degradation with the legion pod but that is entirely due to the USAFs requirements for the pod not only to carry the sensor but also a self contained computer and room for a pod to pod dedicated data link. The tiger eyes is much more compact though it has the older LWIR sensor which is heavier and larger than the IRST-21 system but it uses the organic mission computing resource and data links of the F-15.


True, but as long as the drag doesnt affect combat maneuverability, any user would be fine.

Fighters carry pods like Remora or Elta 8222 jammers as well as other AAMs that add to drag as well.

However drag of Remora or Elta 8222 doesnt impact combat performance.

From an Indian context, Abhinandan was engaged in A2A combat with a full load of ventral EFT and four AAM's. Every hardpoint on his MiG-21 was fully loaded.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 28 Aug 2020 11:06

tsarkar wrote:
Karan M wrote:
I'll take the company's own disclosure re: what a dedicated A2A mode provides. Ad-hoc refers to a certain system having a secondary capability which is useful and is used as such but not the primary one. Several AF have used Litening and Sniper pods for A2A but they are not dedicated IRSTs or regarded as such. These AF then go on to develop dedicated iRSTs as Boeing did for their F/A-18 E/Fs and the USAF did for their F-15s. Otherwise they could have just continued to push forward with just Litening pods.

IRSTs are designed to operate against other aircraft, while both are maneuvering hard - a pod OTOH is to maintain lock against a lower speed target (relative speed of ground based targets vs the aircraft) and whilst the aircraft flies a certain specific profile.

Note for instance, USAFs own description of Litening does not use it as a primary A2A sensor:
https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets ... targeting/

The usage of the Litening pod is *useful* from a target ID perspective especially if you want a NCTR type capability as you can image a few targets with manual intervention, but a dedicated A2A IRST is more than just that. It can automatically track multiple targets in its FOV and act quite similarly to how an automated radar does. The pod would then operate in A2A mode, automatically detecting, locking onto multiple targets, monitoring their location constantly sharing that with other weapons systems. That's how a full IRST setup works. This is not what an A2G pod was designed for, its A2A function came about as a secondary albeit useful capability.

The ideal thing would be to have both - upgrade an IRST to have an imaging capability.

In fact even the IAF does not agree with the thought process that the Litening can replace an IRST. Ergo, the replacement for the OLS-30 is to be another IRST. In short they will develop an IRST with the imaging capability in these pods and hence have the best of both worlds.

https://twitter.com/DefenceMinIndia/sta ... 1761667079



This is digressing from original question that was whether Litening is used effectively in A2A mode. The answer is an emphatic yes when you claimed otherwise.

Company press releases may or may not reveal full information. And the US A-10C manual revealed the capability.


This is *not digressing* - this is core to the point that the Litening may not be a dedicated IRST and this capability (comprehensive A2A) may be added post 2015. In fact I wont be surprised if our advanced G4I's come with this now (I sure hope so!)

No, I did not claim that the Litening is not used in an air to air mode.

I said quite clearly that it is used in an *ad-hoc* fashion by most AF as the pod was not originally meant for the function but proved useful in it. Yet fighter manufacturers like SAAB and Dassault and EADS have persisted w/IRST while having access to Litenings and other pods.

The Litening is a *Forward Looking Infrared* i.e. FLIR targeting pod. It is *not* an IRST per se. They are two different things until and unless dedicated software modes and hardware optimization is done to ensure one can work as the other. Which is why the company is stating it will seek to make them the same. Even post that, there may be some differences (an under fuselage pod will by necessity have masking).

I am reasonably sure that the Litening has had an A2A mode from a while now - the key question is what all did it include, and whether it included all the capabilities a standard IRST did (automated search, track - as versus manual search and single/region track - this is basically referred to as the IFF function).

The pod vs in-built IRST is a different debate.

The Indian Air Force finds Israeli IIR much better quality than Russian IRST. Period.


Well if you are comparing imaging to a non imaging sensor, of course it would. The Russian IRST is not imaging, but nor would the IAF compare apples to oranges either, assuming that an IRST is the same as a FLIR targeting pod. It can use the latter in a limited set of scenarios for specific reasons but one is not necessarily the other.

From a perspective of resolution and hence targeting, the IAF will choose Litening over OLS-30 anytime.


I will have to reserve judgement here till I see more data on this given most AF are yet to rely only on Litening as versus developing stand alone IRSTs. In A2G - most definitely. In A2A - can our earlier Litenings act exactly the same as an IRST, yet to see that. I do think though we likely manually use them vs single targets or individual targets at range as an assist to the onboard systems. But I doubt these are integrated with the WCS the same manner as the radar and IRST are.

Karan M wrote:That resolution is pretty poor btw compared to today's Litenings which has 1k x 1k FLIRs.


The real life video is there for all to see. Its a heat image. Heat images are usually blurry heat signatures.

In this case, The resolution is sharp enough to segregate two hot engines separately. It doesnt get any better than that.


It does get much better than that, with the newer FLIRs. Much better clarity.



Karan M wrote:This could have been manually slewed on to the target and then kept in place by the pod which is easier for it versus the ground as the pod carrying aircraft is relatively stable and is not maneuvering hard.

Its an entirely different thing to have an automated A2A mode with dedicated capability like multitarget TWS in A2A like dedicated IRSTs have *which retains that lock even as the fighter maneuvers versus the other aircraft*, and then overlay that targeting information with the radar and others to cue each sensor via the other.


That is not correct as pod equipped fighters can maneuver equally hard. Refer pod equipped F-15 & F-16 below.


The point being made was that the aircraft carrying a pod does not usually maneuver like crazy while trying to designate a target. The aircraft being able to maneuver while carrying a pod is not the issue here, the issue is whether a pod can continue to function in A2A mode (or even A2G) at heavy G. The average IRST OTOH is designed to work under heavy maneuvering and also provides an automated software driven target search and classification mechanism!

That's likely what the company press release is alluding to. Plus we need the actual information on the pod maneuvering limits while maneuvering as pics alone don't provide the whole picture, pun unintended. Everyone uses flowery language "heavy maneuvering" turns out later the actual limits were +5G etc.

Second there is the issue of masking! Carrying a pod under a fuselage hardpoint also obscures the forward and side-views especially in elevation. For instance in the Tejas, Litening is on a fuselage hardpoint. Even the Su-30.

Image


At 28 km, I pulsed the laser to designate the target for the first time. The Litening Pod instantly ranged the distance to target. We had by then accelerated to a ground speed of 550 kn (~1000 kmph) and the distance to the release point rapidly reduced. I repeatedly re-designated the target as it became more discernible when we closed in. At the release range, I pressed the trigger and we felt the aircraft jerk upwards as it suddenly shed 600 kg of load. I immediately commenced a hard turn to the left at 4g and started flaring. Monish took over pod steering and pointed the laser directly at the target while I concentrated on the turn and monitored the video image. The Laser was steadily flashing and we waited anxiously for the target to explode thus signalling a successful delivery. The time of flight of an LGB under the delivery conditions that we had dropped it in was under 30 sec, but to us in the cockpit it appeared as an eternity. Our joy knew no bound as the entire video image of the target burst out into a soundless explosion.

https://www.ndtv.com/blog/how-i-bombed- ... 00-2075280

In short, manual steering and a 4G turn. In contrast, air combat 8G/9G maneuvering noway any pilot or copilot can keep a pipper on an opponent aircraft! This is the point of having automated air only modes as versus using a Litening pod for A2A target recognition which many AF do.

Also sensor data fusion is a function of the aircraft's mission computer and not the pod. So pod data can also be overlaid with other data.


Precisely - so how can we compare a pod which has to be integrated into the system as an add-on as versus a dedicated IRST which provides all this information to the MC which autolays it and cues it with the radar and vice versa? You are now making the point that even the Litening does not have this ability. In the Russian set-up the IRST is an entire block - it does a lot of the processing and provides the information to the WCS.

Have we even managed this with our fighters w/Litening? In the Sukhoi the IRST and radar are tightly integrated. Is the Litening data integrated likewise or merely displayed on a separate screen? The latter is what I suspect.

Does the Litening automatically run an A2A mode, sort targets by auto-target, manually lock on to them and then track them all the while providing information to the MC, and interfacing with the radar? That's what true air to air function means. Not manually slewing onto a single target, placing a pipper on it and then manually keeping track. Hopefully even the Gen 1 does that, but we don't know for sure. Also, there is the question of G limits, pod placement, then finally the fact whether it is automatically run by the radar, or vice versa or manually slewed on individual targets.

quote="Karan M"]The Imaging capability as mentioned above is useful. But its not exactly equal to all the capability than a dedicated IRST provides.
The comparison is between "old" Litening and "old" OLS-30 in Indian service being used in A2A role. The Litening wins hands down.


The Old OLS-30 can do all that I mentioned above bar Imaging. The Litening can only win hands down if it runs all the modes the OLS-30 can.

In that context, discussing an Italian system or Su-35 system is meaningless because neither are in Indian Service.


No, they are not meaningless as we don't have as of yet, any details on what the A2A performance of the Litening includes beyond the fact it can be slewed at targets and identify them. Which is good, to be fair, and exactly what many AF used them for, but none of them dropped their plans for an IRST either, which shows the difference between a dedicated IRST and a targeting pod designed for A2G work being used in A2A as an adjunct.

That is again digressing from the original question was whether Litening is effectively used in A2A mode by IAF.


Please see above.

Now moving to the pod vs in-built debate, it is similar to podded jammers vs in-built jammers. Both are in vogue depending on circumstances.

Those fighters designed from onset with IRST capability will have them, like F-35, Rafale, Eurofighter, Su-30MKI & MiG-29.


You are missing the point - this is not a question of podded vs non podded. This is a question of why when Litening was available as was Sniper, the USAF and SAAB and EF and Dassault, and USN all chose to develop dedicated IRSTs not merely use Litening.

As you note, the USAF and USN IRST solutions for F-15 and F-18 are also podded.

Possibly MWF will have in-built EW & IRST.

Those fighters without IRST gain the capability with pods. Eg F-15 with Tiger Eyes, Legion Pod for F-15 & F-16


So the question arises - why did they develop these pods then, if Litening and Sniper alone were sufficient? If you look at that, you have answered your own question. Clearly, the A2G pods were not sufficient as IRSTs. Cant be cost per pod alone - because they carry both.

Image

Note that this F-15 is carrying an ACMI pod on the wing exactly like the IAF Sukhoi's at Red Flag that is typically used to measure maneuverability in A2A roles.


Now why is ACMI in the picture? We are using Israeli ACMI but cool pic apart not sure what its meant to show.

Image

Rest assured the maneuverability of F-15 or F-16 does not suffer because of the pod.


It all depends on the pod and the maneuver limits of both the airfcraft and the payload carried and on which pylon. Its not as black and white as if you carry the pod, the maneuver limits dont suffer. The fact is both the aircraft has to maneuver, and the pod has to work. If the aircraft can rapidly move at 6-7G and the pod can still work in A2A mode and do all the automated stuff an IRST can do, then we need to look at the pod maneuver limits.

And then we have to figure out why the world over AF are not relying on a Litening and going to the trouble and expense to develop dedicated podded IRSTs.

coming to the Indian context, for fighters like Mirage 2000 without IRST capability, the Litening Pod adds the capability.


Yes, to a degree, the same as the Rafale used Mica, its not perfect but definitely very useful.

For fighters like Tejas Mk1 IOC/FOC/A, the Litening Pod offers the additional IRST capability in a simple manner.

Its like EW suites. Some have it inbuilt like MiG-29UPG. Some carry pods if they cant have it inbuilt.

Coming back to the Indian context of Su-30MKI, the IAF is anyways looking for replacement of OLS-30

https://www.makeinindiadefence.gov.in/a ... ersion.pdf


I already posted the data above. That the IAF is looking for a replacement and the DAC authorized a replacement with imaging capability. Why would they do that, if the Litening was sufficient. There we have our answer. FLIR TP =/= IRST.

Russian EO is anyways inferior to US, European or Israeli systems that they buy French solutions that were rejected by IAF in favour of Litening.
https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Th ... try-04994/


We standardized on Litening but there are extant issues with Litening & third party aircraft integration which mean we may yet go back and take French pods.

He adds the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Thales are now negotiating technology transfer agreements and full localization of Damocles surveillance and targeting pod production in Russia.


Damocles would also equip Russia’s modernized Su-27SM Flanker fighters, Su-24M2 Fencer swing-wing strike aircraft, and their Sukhoi-built successors the Su-35-1 Flanker and the Su-34 Fullback.


Why is Mother Russia buying French systems for every major fighter it operates if its own systems were so good? That includes the Su-35 whose IRST you posted above.


The Damocles is an Air to Ground Targeting pod. It is not an A2A one. The IRST is located on the nose. If the Su-35 has to target a target on the ground, it has to go into a dive, approaching the opponent AD. In contrast, with a podded system located under the fuselage, it can stay far away and target it. The A2A functions are taken care of by OLS-35 and the A2G functions by DAMOCLES, which like Litening can provide an imaging function for select A2A targets too.

Plus, you have misinterpreted what I said. What I said was:

PIRATE (Passive InfraRed Airborne Track Equipment) is the FLIR/IRST for Eurofighter Typhoon. Developed by the Airborne and Space Systems Division-led consortium, Eurofirst, PIRATE is a complex system that operates radar-like modes in a wide field of regard. PIRATE is capable of operating against several heavily cluttered scenarios in each one of the following IRST modes: Multiple Target Tracking, Single Target Tracking and Slaved Acquisition.


Why did I post this. Because it tells us the kind of automated modes an IRST has. Not something a Litening type pod would usually have unless it was programmed for it, tested for it. We need to verify that along with maneuvering limits.

Then I posted on the Russian approach:

The newer Russian IRSTs combine multi-channel TV and IRST input (similar to the Rafale) for VisID and IRST function both.
Note the amount of data provided by the IRST to the fire control system.

Image



Why did I post this. Because it again shows the automated IRST functions and how it matches the PIRATE's data, plus a twist. The Russians have also added a LRF and also a CCD (TV) channel. So they too sought imaging but did something else.

In short - there are three approaches to IRSTs.

1. Classic - heat detection and all the automated modes (OLS-30)
2. Imaging IR - and all the automated modes (PIRATE)
3. Combining Classic and TV Channel - heat detection and Visual ID (OLS-35, original Rafale)

IAF is seeking to develop a variant of the 2nd with its DC IRST program which I had posted and you also discovered (the makeindia website).
The existing Russian and French approach was to combine a CCD channel with the standard heat detector matrix and come up with an IRST. This was approach 3. It would be interesting to see if the new Rafales have an imaging IR sensor which would make it a mix of 2 and 3.

Hence the preference of Litening over OLS-30 to answer the original question.

Cain Marko wrote:This is most likely the case. Using a podded system for a2a work doesn't seem to be the most optimal solution, esp. when you have a powerful irst slaved to your hmd already.


Its not a pod vs in-built system question. Its answering the question which system is better among the two. In the IAF, its Litening at present.

In future we will know Rafale OSF performance vis-a-vis Litening :) Maybe it will be better.

However point to note is that IAF is paying Dassault extra money for India Specific Enhancements that includes Litening pod integration on Rafale. IAF chose Litening for Rafale over pre-integrated TALIOS or Damocles pod.

That tells something.


We have chosen Litening as we standardized on it and hope to integrate it fleet wide. Maintaining multiple lines of kits is bothersome, but there are concerns whether we can actually manage the integration and don't have to go back for the French pods, hence they remain an option. The IAF is (sensibly IMHO) hedging its bets.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Shekhar Singh » 29 Aug 2020 15:58

I have a question for experts
Can we reduce some weight of Su30 mki using composites and restructuring of wires?
If yes then we can increase TWR without changing it's engine and only AESA radar will be major upgrade required. It is a very complicated task though.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 29 Aug 2020 19:29

Not many years ago, Northrop Grumman, which is a "follower" to Lockheed ("leader") in the USAF ATP contract award, proposed, and even tested their "Open Pod" concept which essentially mated a Pirate IRST to the Litening pod and its electronics. The purpose of that exercise was simple - The USAF, much like many other air-forces wanted a LWIR sensor as a long range IRST. Both the Sniper and the Litening being 2ng gen MWIR sensors so while they perform as well balanced FLIR's across a myriad of targets and altitudes they will always struggle to get the range, and particularly, range against higher altitude targets that LWIR sensors would.

The Sniper has had the A2A modes (which are quite capable based on pilot input that is available in the public domain) for a long time, and even the Litening was later upgraded with similar modes. But the fundamental limitations of using a MWIR sensor still remained given one of the most important roles of a USAF IRST would be to detect and target large Russian bombers from long range in an ECM rich environment. Now what comes next? Well, THIS was an important turning point in military infra-red sensor technologies in quite a while, because the basic research and technology breakthrough that led to the system absolutely destroying the competition with the very compact and low draw better than 2k x 2k (MWIR) staring superlattice imaging FPA is also being applied to 512 x 512 or better LWIR staring systems which are no doubt going to be part of the 3rd/4th gen LWIR IRST systems. Even LWIR/VLWIR staring systems are being worked on which both promises greater than a generational leap in performance over 2nd gen TDIA's. I wouldn't be surprised if 3rd gen starting MWIR units begin approaching performance levels of 2nd gen LWIR systems for certain applications. These are exciting times as volume, weight and cost is shrinking and performance is seeing giant leaps. Space systems are driving this push and the fighter community will also benefit immensely. The performance of these 3rd/4th gen MWIR staring IRST's may just be good enough to allow for full convergence of Air to Air and Air to Ground missions and do away with the need to have a seperate A2A sensor or aperture thus saving cost and weight and giving power margins back for other systems.

Last edited by brar_w on 30 Aug 2020 02:15, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby MeshaVishwas » 29 Aug 2020 19:36

Shekhar Singh wrote:I have a question for expertsWannabe experts
Can we reduce some weight of Su30 mki using composites and restructuring of wires?
If yes then we can increase TWR without changing it's engine and only AESA radar will be major upgrade required. It is a very complicated task though.

Addressed to me :D
Well unfortunately we like paperwork too much and sticking to the rules.
We already have 23 years invested into the program with only a fraction of RoI gained(Compared to Tejas). What AM "Tiger 1" said is probably the guiding principle: "Look west".
Keep it up to date at a relatively economical cost and invest heavily in the domestic programs.
AMCA will replace the Rambha and no more foreigner double games.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Rakesh » 01 Sep 2020 01:32

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13004 ... 46050?s=20 ---> So, the IR/IIR missile's seeker has to look through those flares to get a kill.

Image

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby mody » 02 Sep 2020 15:08

One hell of a photo!!

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 02 Sep 2020 21:39

I second that. Incredible pic.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Rakesh » 02 Sep 2020 22:09

Another one....

Image

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby dinesh_kimar » 02 Sep 2020 22:32

^ OSINT - Su-30 MKI fitted on wing of another aircraft , giving rise to IAF's Wingman concept.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Shameek » 03 Sep 2020 03:36

Great pic! Must be a Flogger of some kind that took the pic.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby ks_sachin » 03 Sep 2020 04:47

Shameek wrote:Great pic! Must be a Flogger of some kind that took the pic.


Its another MKI. The photos is taken over the canard.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby ks_sachin » 03 Sep 2020 07:25

Shameek wrote:Great pic! Must be a Flogger of some kind that took the pic.

What is a flogger of some kind sir?

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Sep 2020 09:38

So much discussion here on the Su-30 getting new radars, avionics and other optics. Is that really the pain point for the Su-30 as a weapon-system? Isn't it's legendary powerful radars enough to see the enemy? Or has the Rambha been blinded by the new gen of jammers carried by Pak F-16s? :-?

The bigger concern is the weakness of it's weapon systems, relying entirely on 1980s and 1990s era of untested soviet weaponry. If the missile it fires is worthless, what is the point of the latest radar and optics tech, eh?

The Astra should have been churning out en-mass to re-equip the Su-30s with a new long-range AAM that would compete against AMRAAMs. The Astra at least is a clean sheet missile designed in this century and can be upgraded at will in-house without dramatic "emergency purchases" after each warlike encounter with our enemies.

Or have I missed some major acquisition of new missiles for the Rambha (I don't mean the new batch of same model soviet missiles)...?

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 10:47

The IAF is waiting on the fleet Su-30 proposal for optics and radar/avionics upgrades before deciding. The RVV-BD will be sought as well.

The missiles and comms were a priority.

So the Su-30s are getting new encrypted radios to field new gen desi datalinks and communicate w/ground stations/AWACS. In terms of missiles - Astra has been integrated and cleared for order (batch by batch orders as production stabilizes), Russian AAMs have been ordered (R-77-1 per some reports but awaiting confirmation), Mica has been tested as well (and will likely be integrated fleet wide), i-Derby ER is also planned. A new RWR is in tests too but will likely arrive along w/new SPJ.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Prasad » 03 Sep 2020 10:55

"dc"maws too.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Vips » 03 Sep 2020 19:24

Karan M wrote:The IAF is waiting on the fleet Su-30 proposal for optics and radar/avionics upgrades before deciding. The RVV-BD will be sought as well.

The missiles and comms were a priority.

So the Su-30s are getting new encrypted radios to field new gen desi datalinks and communicate w/ground stations/AWACS. In terms of missiles - Astra has been integrated and cleared for order (batch by batch orders as production stabilizes), Russian AAMs have been ordered (R-77-1 per some reports but awaiting confirmation), Mica has been tested as well (and will likely be integrated fleet wide), i-Derby ER is also planned. A new RWR is in tests too but will likely arrive along w/new SPJ.


Karanji considering that the "-1" appendage is to the old R-77 which is a proven dud how effective will be the R-77-1 in reality? I hope there is no Feb 27/28 2019 redux for the IAF to find it the hard way.

Thank God for the Rafale/Meteor. Wish the MICA-ER, Derby-ER, Astra-IR, ASTRA 2 and SFDR comes soon enough.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 03 Sep 2020 19:39

Vips wrote:Karanji considering that the "-1" appendage is to the old R-77 which is a proven dud how effective will be the R-77-1 in reality? I hope there is no Feb 27/28 2019 redux for the IAF to find it the hard way.


Can you specify how the R-77 is a "proven dud"? Were the early model AMRAAMs dud's too? Because they were behind the later model AMRAAMs or at best had parity with the R-77?

Or even the late model AMRAAMs must be "proven duds" as they are inferior range wise to the Meteor or behind in some way? Or the Meteor must be an unproven dud, as it has never been used in conflict at all.

Thank God for the Rafale/Meteor. Wish the MICA-ER, Derby-ER, Astra-IR, ASTRA 2 and SFDR comes soon enough.


You can wish for all that, but the IAF will likely operate a mix of weapons including the R77-1 for which the Russians have themselves ordered a mere $860Mn worth. They after all, would do that as they are completely clueless, and so is the IAF which too buys stuff without any sense.
https://www.scramble.nl/military-news/m ... r-missiles

Lets be serious for a change. Some batches of the original R77 had reliability issues. The R77 itself is a missile developed in the 1990s-2000s and gradually fell behind range wise against newer western AAMs like the C5 version with the PAF. The Russians themselves didn't mass produce the missile for their own use but sold it to India and China both of which use it extensively, carefully husbanding their stocks of AAMs for actual operational use. Despite claims it had been dropped by the IAF, when the need arose the IAF deployed it. Unlike reports which ignored the PAFs ROE violation and height/speed advantage the IAF took a more nuanced view and has chosen per open source reports to broadbase its AAM strategy around four components, Russian/Indian/Israeli/French. These add sensor diversity to the mix (a huge + against ECM) but also simplify logistics as if Mirages and Su-30s are deployed together, both can use similar AAMs, ditto for LCA and MiG-29/Su-30 and so on and so forth. Some capabilities are "unique" - eg Micas lack raw range but have the superb IR "passive only" version. The new R77-1 will be easy to integrate and can complement Astra/Mica armed Su-30s.

The IAF is no longer being actively sabotaged in its procurement programs by an incompetent, malafide governance structure and has a setup now in place at the center which takes national security seriously, so they are going full speed ahead with new procurement.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 00:56

Karan M wrote:Can you specify how the R-77 is a "proven dud"? Were the early model AMRAAMs dud's too? Because they were behind the later model AMRAAMs or at best had parity with the R-77?


The concern is that the AMRAAM is built on the experience gained from the combat experience of the early generation of AMRAAMs, Phoenix and Sparrows etc.. By comparison, Russian AAMs have typically had a dismal performance in the field and their truly powerful Soviet versions were never tested in combat conditions to suggest how well they might do. When it comes to IR missiles, the Russians are very good. With BVR missiles, however, all of their R-77 series remain untested and unproven.

I was trying to think of any combat operation in the last 30-40 years where soviet BVR AAMs have fared well. I couldn't remember any.

My thought is that if you are going to use an unproven missile, why not use one that is home-made (Astra)? Why purchase additional R-77s instead of ramping up production of Astras. The latter can be upgraded at will and you can start a mini-economy around them in variants and support systems.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Rakesh » 04 Sep 2020 01:57

vivek_ahuja wrote:The concern is that the AMRAAM is built on the experience gained from the combat experience of the early generation of AMRAAMs, Phoenix and Sparrows etc.. By comparison, Russian AAMs have typically had a dismal performance in the field and their truly powerful Soviet versions were never tested in combat conditions to suggest how well they might do. When it comes to IR missiles, the Russians are very good. With BVR missiles, however, all of their R-77 series remain untested and unproven.

I was trying to think of any combat operation in the last 30-40 years where soviet BVR AAMs have fared well. I couldn't remember any.

My thought is that if you are going to use an unproven missile, why not use one that is home-made (Astra)? Why purchase additional R-77s instead of ramping up production of Astras. The latter can be upgraded at will and you can start a mini-economy around them in variants and support systems.

That is the question indeed!

Why spend MEAGRE CAPEX on R-77s versus Astra? Is R-77 *REALLY* a dud?

Not trying to be hard-headed, but your answer lies in your question onlee :)

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 09 Sep 2020 11:44

vivek_ahuja wrote:The concern is that the AMRAAM is built on the experience gained from the combat experience of the early generation of AMRAAMs, Phoenix and Sparrows etc.. By comparison, Russian AAMs have typically had a dismal performance in the field and their truly powerful Soviet versions were never tested in combat conditions to suggest how well they might do. When it comes to IR missiles, the Russians are very good. With BVR missiles, however, all of their R-77 series remain untested and unproven.


Missile technology gains on experience gained by the developers in adjacent programs, will the Russian BVR AAMs always be "duds" when their SAMs are world-class? Was AMRAAM tested in operational usage, before ODS - all that existed was the "hit and miss" Sparrow, which was so-so. The Russians did extensive tests on their R-77, R-73, R-33 that we know of. Then the SU collapsed and they optimized their AAM inventory around what they had, and then the S-300/400 +R-33/37 combination. AAMs alone were not their priority for homeland defense when they had so many options.

I was trying to think of any combat operation in the last 30-40 years where soviet BVR AAMs have fared well. I couldn't remember any.


Because the Soviet Union fell and their client states which did go to war, went against far more powerful opponents and that too, without any preparedness. If they had not, the west might have got some nasty surprises. After all, what was the experience of the US and the Israelis when they first went up against Soviet fighters and then Soviet SAMs and ATGMs? But then lets see what happened by Bekaa valley. Point is its a constant cat and mouse game. And midway, the Soviets stopped "playing" as they lost a decade in economic turmoil and the west firmly pulled ahead. The Russians focused on stabilizing their MIC and then nukes and homeland defense, plus exports of extant Soviet gear w/some upgrades. Now, they are getting back, but again funding has been an issue - even so, their base engineering capabilities remain substantial and revamped due to the billions poured into them, so you'll see more AAMs and other tactical systems emerge.

My thought is that if you are going to use an unproven missile, why not use one that is home-made (Astra)? Why purchase additional R-77s instead of ramping up production of Astras. The latter can be upgraded at will and you can start a mini-economy around them in variants and support systems.


Because before ramping up, we need to stabilize production. The Russians have placed two production orders for over a Billion$ of R-77-1. They have a ready production line which is mature. Astra cleared trials in late 2019 before which it had a 50 unit LSP. The IAF expanded the production order per reports to a larger LSP. With a funds crunch, they cleared a follow on order of 200 units for them + 50 for the Navy which is to be placed in the next fiscal (BDL will provide a quote). The Astra will be inducted in Marks and TBH more will be ordered for sure, as our needs are substantial. The primary issue is funding at this point. We have huge "wants/needs" - and the mix of the two is limiting local purchases. The Rafale purchase soaked up $9-10 Bn (exact numbers should be on the forum), the S-400 another huge chunk. So other kit like Tejas, Akash, follow on Phalcon have all been delayed.
Emergency purchases to replace life hour run down AAMs (as they head into refurbish) were done during 2019. That does not come from a seperate budget head but will be adjusted against future budgets. So again, the fiscal space for huge "first orders" is limited.

Now I have pointed out the issues, let me point out the positives. The biggest is integration on the Su-30. Its the IAF's predominant fighter type. An integration on the entire fleet, with even a mere 4 AAMs per fighter would give us a 1000 round run. The MiG-29s will follow. That's another several hundred units. Ditto for the Tejas.
I also suspect the Astra will be fielded on the Mirage 2000's - the Mica is range limited, and it will place them at a disadvantage vs the newer PRC missiles coming into play. The Taiwanese discovered the same thing and are hence standardizing on their F-16V fleet.

The only reason a lower production run of the Astra (say a 1000 unit run vs several thousands) could occur is if we mess up production (fingers crossed and unlikely) or if IAF decides a mix of imports + Astra is the answer (R-77-1, i-Derby ER, Astra Mk1). With each Su-30 (say) carrying a mix of the 3.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby MeshaVishwas » 09 Sep 2020 22:02

Very very timely video of the Rambha.
Noteworthy items for me:
*the part about the VayuSena's help being acknowledged( for us a "known known" factor).
*Even the Ruski pilot at the frontline base mentioned the employment of the R-73 at <10Km, tells us how well the VayuSena employed the missile and helped the dusra banda with the 72s.
*The range for the textbook(?) employment of the R-27 (IR maybe) is shocking. No surprise that we have the MICA on the bird to keep her at stand off distances from the enemy.
*I also posted the video of AdA flying Katrina interception of a small civilian single engined Cessna type bird(absolutely beautiful video) and thought, wah!
Turns out Rambha is equally adept at such tasks.
*She is too big for even Ruski HAS :mrgreen:
*Ruski TPs are just boss.
Yenjaay.

Edit: I just revisited the AdA video and the difference in approach to interception made me chuckle.

Above is how the "civilized" Europeans perform an interception.
Compare that with how the RuFAF did it in the "Combat Approved" video, the Su-27 nearly knocked off the small bird and gave a "Adult diaper full" warning to the occupants.
:rotfl:
Reminds me of the good old days of Pirate hunting off the coast off Somalia and how a RuFN VBSS team dealt with the pirates by taking off the engines and letting the pirate dinghy
drift at deep sea basically leaving them for dead even as westerners kept on with thier "kid glove" approach.
:D

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2020 23:25

MeshaVishwas wrote:*The range for the textbook(?) employment of the R-27 (IR maybe) is shocking. No surprise that we have the MICA on the bird to keep her at stand off distances from the enemy.
it is precisely for this reason that we know why the rambhas during balakot were restricted by roe. Otherwise they had a very good, probly better, long range answer to the 16s amraam shots
Great video btw.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2020 23:30

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Karan M wrote:Can you specify how the R-77 is a "proven dud"? Were the early model AMRAAMs dud's too? Because they were behind the later model AMRAAMs or at best had parity with the R-77?


The concern is that the AMRAAM is built on the experience gained from the combat experience of the early generation of AMRAAMs, Phoenix and Sparrows etc.. By comparison, Russian AAMs have typically had a dismal performance in the field and their truly powerful Soviet versions were never tested in combat conditions to suggest how well they might do. When it comes to IR missiles, the Russians are very good. With BVR missiles, however, all of their R-77 series remain untested and unproven.
.

Vivek sir. If combat experience is what really matters, then both the m2ks and Rafale would be dead in the water/air. After all, what combat experience has the mica or meteor seen?
But the case for the astra is a given. And the goi is now ordering them in numbers.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby MeshaVishwas » 09 Sep 2020 23:40

Cain Marko wrote:
MeshaVishwas wrote:*The range for the textbook(?) employment of the R-27 (IR maybe) is shocking. No surprise that we have the MICA on the bird to keep her at stand off distances from the enemy.
it is precisely for this reason that we know why the rambhas during balakot were restricted by roe. Otherwise they had a very good, probly better, long range answer to the 16s amraam shots

CMji, I think you meant the opposite?
WVR is basically game over for the Fizzleya, and per AM Harikumar, we had no real BVR first shot capability given the circumstances (IIRC he said we could have countered them with numbers later)
Thanks to successive status quoist govts we let the edge be surpassed in BVR combat.
The Ruski Pilot gave the range for the R-27 as 20Km!
For a $60M bird the size of a farm house near Bengaluru, getting so close to the enemy is risky.

FF to 6:35 saar.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 10 Sep 2020 10:12

MeshaVishwas wrote:CMji, I think you meant the opposite?WVR is basically game over for the Fizzleya, and per AM Harikumar, we had no real BVR first shot capability given the circumstances (IIRC he said we could have countered them with numbers later)
Thanks to successive status quoist govts we let the edge be surpassed in BVR combat.
The Ruski Pilot gave the range for the R-27 as 20Km!
For a $60M bird the size of a farm house near Bengaluru, getting so close to the enemy is risky.
.

No sir. I'll stick to what I said. I didn't catch what the russki pilot said because it was bleeped out in the video. I'm not sure how you caught the 20km bit but that was probly wrt the r73. The r27s have longer legs, much longer depending on the model.
As far as the good air Marshals comment is concerned, I don't see why he should say otherwise. Let people believe what they will. IAF can always use more rafale with meteor.
But anyone who thinks the paf has a bvr advantage over the IAF because of 500 amraams carried by f16s, well they can dream on. The bars/mki combo will almost always look first and shoot first. The only thing that will restrict them will be roe. This was shown in bvr dact, and that's when the bars was in restricted mode.

But wvr combat in such confined spaces is a given hence the IAF's emphasis on the same.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby MeshaVishwas » 10 Sep 2020 10:50

Cain Marko wrote:
MeshaVishwas wrote:CMji, I think you meant the opposite?WVR is basically game over for the Fizzleya, and per AM Harikumar, we had no real BVR first shot capability given the circumstances (IIRC he said we could have countered them with numbers later)
Thanks to successive status quoist govts we let the edge be surpassed in BVR combat.
The Ruski Pilot gave the range for the R-27 as 20Km!
For a $60M bird the size of a farm house near Bengaluru, getting so close to the enemy is risky.
.

No sir. I'll stick to what I said. I didn't catch what the russki pilot said because it was bleeped out in the video. I'm not sure how you caught the 20km bit but that was probly wrt the r73. The r27s have longer legs, much longer depending on the model.
As far as the good air Marshals comment is concerned, I don't see why he should say otherwise. Let people believe what they will. IAF can always use more rafale with meteor.
But anyone who thinks the paf has a bvr advantage over the IAF because of 500 amraams carried by f16s, well they can dream on. The bars/mki combo will almost always look first and shoot first. The only thing that will restrict them will be roe. This was shown in bvr dact, and that's when the bars was in restricted mode.

But wvr combat in such confined spaces is a given hence the IAF's emphasis on the same.

10:30 in the Rambha video, first the R-73 and then the R-27.
roe did not restrict Alpha 1 from exploiting the situation to his advantage, in fact he was decorated for the act.
Maybe not Apples to Apples but under that specific circumstance we definitely had disadvantages.
The Bandars fared poorly against the Vajra too,so as the AM said the CCS tactics was to somehow down a Su-30 and their entire gameplan revolved around that prized asset(so naturally screwed up everywhere else)

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Aditya_V » 10 Sep 2020 11:16

I think lets not get carried away- what the AM has said is that if the F16 and Su 30MKI /MIg 29/Mig 21 Bison are flying at the same altitude and speed the AIM-120-C will have a longer range than R-77 AE.

It was ROE which allowed the use of First shot by PAF. For 5 minutes with aircraft in the air at Altitude, speed ,location timing of their choosing PAF had the advantage where when their expensive H-4 from the Mirage and the dumb 83 REK bombs from the JF-17(notice JF-17 did not use smart bombs or had a radar lock even forget firing a BVR missile) missed, the F-16's could get up close to LOC and target our army installation, it was providence that a tree saved BHQ Nowshera- that is where the Mig 21 Bisons got in and got 1 F16 but had to cross the LOC.

2 Tejas with Derby (which has Lock on after launch capability) could have fired 4 Derby's and then done their Radar scan to give missiles their target could have taken the F-16s but stayed on our side of LOC, unfortunately for the Mig 21Bisons the R-77 does not have Lock on after launch capability, so they could not wait till the batch of 4 F-16's escape, so using afterburners they did the best thing get the passive R-73 shot.

Remember, as far as the IAF is concerned 4-H-4 smart Bombs, 6 83 REK and 1 LGB from an F-16 have been launched at Indian Army positions- they did not know they will all will miss, so Wing Commander Abhinandan and Squadron leader Vyas wanted the PAF to pay for attacking Indian Army Installations. Imagine the headlines if PAF got away with killing Indian Army soldiers but no Aircraft lost? what would the scenario be.

It was only after the F-16 kill and Wing Commander Abhinandan was shot down and going down- did squadron leader Vyas get the order to come back to our side of the LOC as probably the IAF got news that all PAF strikes had failed that day. Please the Paki video from Mirpur.

After 5 minutes after Abhinandan shoot down - the entire PAF retreated well within their territory once the IAF 6 Bison 4 More Mig 29 from Udhampur and 4 More Su-30 MKI arrived- the Pakistan Army thinking the PAF strikes were successful panicked when this happened- their T-80 tanks started leaving Barracks onto civilian roads to save thier ass near the Sialkot area.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 10 Sep 2020 15:16

MeshaVishwas wrote:10:30 in the Rambha video, first the R-73 and then the R-27.
roe did not restrict Alpha 1 from exploiting the situation to his advantage, in fact he was decorated for the act.
Maybe not Apples to Apples but under that specific circumstance we definitely had disadvantages.
The Bandars fared poorly against the Vajra too,so as the AM said the CCS tactics was to somehow down a Su-30 and their entire gameplan revolved around that prized asset(so naturally screwed up everywhere else)

I see now what missile you were referring to. That's the IR r27 so range would be limited. But the one under the belly... That's the big boy although a sarh.

My point about roe was that the iaf did not have the green light on initiating missile release. The paf therefore managed to fire first. Not because of any subpar equipment of the iaf. Again, the bars mki combo is quite capable in bvr and can out distance/shoot the amraam/f16/apg68.

The 16 got off its shots not caring to really achieve a kill aka Hawa mein teer. Explains how the mki dodged them all. But it would have put the mki in a defensive position disallowing the use of illumination/mcu needed for the r27 or even r77. That's the reason we see amraams being fired with no return nvr from iaf. Meteor might change this considering it's larger nez. Although I'm not sure it would have mattered too much on that day.
At least that's my take.

As for wanting to down am mki, they'll have to get close enough and live to be able to take a meaningful shot. In the meantime they can continue to do HMT and propogandu to awaam.

It'll be very interesting to see if the new mki and baaz come with a longer stick (r37) that truly exploits the massive bars

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby tsarkar » 11 Sep 2020 13:53

Aditya_V wrote:It was ROE which allowed the use of First shot by PAF.


Cain Marko wrote:My point about roe was that the iaf did not have the green light on initiating missile release. The paf therefore managed to fire first. Not because of any subpar equipment of the iaf. Again, the bars mki combo is quite capable in bvr and can out distance/shoot the amraam/f16/apg68.


Very true, gentlemen.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby kvraghav » 11 Sep 2020 14:16

OT but does this mean that a R77 on Mig-21 is actually usefull only within 20Km range which is the range of the internal seeker and Mig 21 cannot use the full range of R77 because of no lock on after launch? This might explain the use of R73 since at the ranges of 20KM, the IIR missile is more effective due to better counter measure resistance than an radar seeker based AAM like R77.


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