SEAD ops in the IAF

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 19 Nov 2002 19:05

Rajit.

Exactly.Any future conflict will be decided in the first few days itself.The pace will have to be bloody and speedy.No time for weeks together softening efforts.

All or nothing.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 19 Nov 2002 21:26

What about SEAD through use of land based BM's and land/air cruise missiles for notable C^(gah cant ever remember all the C's)I clusters and long range, non mobile SAM's, and then strafing of low profile SAM targets(shoulder fired, truck portable) through UCAV's, in future? Only using manned a/c with standoff capabilities in SEAD roles(ie w/ cruise missiles)?

Would need good realtime intelligence collection, especially for shoulder fired SAM's and highly mobile types, though.

Im just a little worried about the cost benefit analysis when it comes to an ALH/Jaguar up against a Stinger/Strela variant ..

Is there a BR meet in Nai Deli(love dem aloo ki tikki too bad no umm veggie pastrami :( ) soon?

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby daulat » 19 Nov 2002 21:42

surely its time to put a GPS based auto-nav/pilot into the old airframes in storage (esp, gnats/ajeets if any left) and stick an RWR in the nose and send them on one way auto flights towards known radar stations... and not forgetting the special homing into source of radar signal function on the autopilot

if no target found, have them slam into any gov't facility in the neighbourhood or jehadi camp (if you can tell the difference)

i betcha you could mock up a reasonable bit of kit with a standard PC, an I/O board and a cheap RWR, GPS and a few servo's to fly the aircraft

hell - even airlaunch them from Il 76's if they're too difficult to take off in auto

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby ramana » 19 Nov 2002 21:54

I want to remind people of a conclusion that Yogi came to. Any of these SEAD ops will cross the TSP redlines way before IA will ever cross the border.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Rudra » 19 Nov 2002 22:44

how are you supposed to fight and not cross redlines ?

Pak: you touch me, thats a redline!
Indu: oh yeah, *pow* take that.
Unkil: mere baccha ko mara kyu tune! badmash!
Indu: screw you old pop, I am adolescent now.
Pak: Wuuuu Wuuuuu (sobbing)
Unkil: lo beta ye chocolate lo, rona mat abhi...

:whine:

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 19 Nov 2002 23:30

Ramana,
Succintly said.Hence i believe IAF will not degrade *all* of the Paki n/w but create gaps and enforce the same(preventing mobile coverage from compensating).Thinking out loud here.
The reasons will be twofold ; let PAF retain some punch(and they will hoard to begin with like 71 enddays) and keep redlines away; yet use MKI and other assets to keep IAF formations unfettered and intact.

The other,this will allow IAF leeway to do what it wills with what objectives *are* decided in conjucntion with or without the IA and/or IN.
Limited objectives,ie the doctrine of a bloody nose in abrief sharp clash,will requirelimited effort.
Again,since this would be a quick rumble; the IAF would have to really throw in its best quickly.
Or at least keep them a ready.

Prasenjit,
Post Kargil the IAF has addressed the MANPADS issue,hard.And ways to tackle this have been found.
Even press reports may be found to the admission of the same.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 20 Nov 2002 01:48

Originally posted by ramana:
I want to remind people of a conclusion that Yogi came to. Any of these SEAD ops will cross the TSP redlines way before IA will ever cross the border.
That is a defeatist attitude which is not only unrealistic but indeed plays right into the hands of the jehadists.

Redlines... ha! What a crock. Truth is, Pakistan could go nuclear even if India engages in a highly limited conflict. Or just as likely Pakistan might resort to nukes only if major cities are overrun. Or maybe not even then. Maybe Pakistan would only use the bomb if India were taking over the entire country and all hope was lost. Heck maybe Pakistan will one day just nuke India for no good reason at all. In the event of war, we don't know how much US/Int'l pressure would restrain Pakistan, or how capable their nuke force is to begin with.

My point is, it's an uncertain business. There are no comfortable "Red Lines" chalked out in advance, not if it comes down to actual combat. What it really boils down is, does India call the bluff or resign itself to impotence? One thing is certain: by buying into this whole "Red Line" business, you've already lost the fight before it even began, because nobody wins a war with their hands tied.

Nitin's post above, where he describes air defense suppression designed not to cross "Red Lines" could have been taken straight from the Rules of Engagement that were imposed on USAF/USN pilots during the pathetic "Rolling Thunder" campaigns from 1965-1968 over N. Vietnam.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Johann » 20 Nov 2002 01:51

Mike, unless you are planning on fighting a war with nukes you would not want to deny the other side the ability to detect ballistic missile launches or a nuclear bombing run.

That still leaves the IAF with plenty of options - tactical SEAD or selective destruction of the ADGES over a desert theatre.

BTW, Rudra

Dont forget to look up the EC-130H Compass Calls. Many of their capabilities are so far out that they almost never get to practice them before an actual war. The most they can legally do is target a signal and then pretend what happens next. The IDF/AF also maintain a couple of 707s with interesting toys aboard which were used to great effect in the Bekaa valley in 1982, that left many Syrian pilots more or less on their own.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 20 Nov 2002 02:06

Originally posted by Johann:
Mike, unless you are planning on fighting a war with nukes you would not want to deny the other side the ability to detect ballistic missile launches or a nuclear bombing run.

That still leaves the IAF with plenty of options - tactical SEAD or selective destruction of the ADGES over a desert theatre.
The same radars that can track ballistic missiles or an incoming bombing run are going to be used to track conventional IAF strike packages as well.

You can't protect your aircraft without knocking out the enemy's long-range radars. Thus, if the decision were made not to blind Pakistan's air defense system, this would compromise the entire Indian air effort.

Besides, Pakistan knows damn well that India will never use nukes first. Everybody knows this. Pakistan has no fear of an Indian nuclear first strike; if Pakistan launched nuclear missiles at India because their air defense grid was compromised, then obviously they were going to do it anyway.

Anyway, I find it increasingly unbelievable that Pakistan will go nuclear even if hard pressed. There was a lot more credibility to their nuclear sabre-rattling in past years, but the recent standoff has demonstrated that Pakistan cannot or will not use nukes except as a truly last resort. Note that even during the height of tension this summer, Pakistan was dissuaded from mating it nukes to delivery systems.

Amazing that the fearmongering is so effective that even a discussion on SEAD ops can turn into a nuclear holocaust scenario.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Johann » 20 Nov 2002 02:24

There's a difference in hunting SAM batteries or creating gaps in a national AD network and shutting it down altogether by destroying the central as well as all major sector main and alternative control centres. Its Bekaa valley vs. Desert Storm/Instant Thunder. The Israelis in 1982 were profoundly agressive in their Lebanese aims [including squashing the Syrian build up in the Bekaa] had strong backing from Washington, and yet they took a number of measures to prevent provoking a wider war with Syria.

Let me amend what I said earlier- the Pakistanis should be at least theoretically able to detect and report an incoming ballistic missiles or a nuclear package heading to one of their 3 major cities with a couple of minutes to spare. That doesnt mean you couldnt wipe out their situational awareness over 'Azad' Kashmir or the Northern Areas, or put down every SAM battery beteen the Indus and the Sutlej.

Completely knocking out PAF ADGES wont result in a nuke strike, but it could certainly make them much more willing to consider it when the IA hammer falls. If you are an Indian leader, and you take the responsibility of avoiding unnecessary nuclear exchange seriously, dont you think you'd rather let a few bunkers stand and accept the losses of a few more pilots?

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Rudra » 20 Nov 2002 02:24

without blinding their big long range radars, everything inside india for 500km will be visible and F7s will be all over our backsides.

GCI is very dependent on these for both parties.

so am sure both PAF / IAF make these target#1.
we saw a photo of a big set near amritsar. theres
also a painting of PAF raid on amritsar radar 1965.

Christ! from limited ground war we are now down to limited
punishment even in a air war. cant believe I am hearing
all this. what next? orders for IN to fire Urans with a
smaller warheads ? MKIs to fire dummy adders ?

tsk tsk. HOW are you going to humiliate and force concessions
for Pak generals if you dont hurt and blind them?
why go to war at all if concessions are minimal?

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Kakkaji » 20 Nov 2002 03:09

Originally posted by Daulat:
i vaguely recall an urban legend about a valiant sikh pilot flying his crippled hunter into a pakistani radar station in a kamikaze martyrdom operation... any truth to the story? or anywhere remotely close to it? perhaps it was in a movie - and we all know what movies do to the truth?!

Daulat:

I also remember this legend of 'an IAF pilot who flew his plane into the big radar (the one which was directing all of PAF) at Sargodha'. It was said in the same breath that the Indian Govt. never officially recognized this feat because this pilot had "defied orders" in doing so.

As the story was being spread just after the '65 war was over, before any movies on that war were made, I think there may be some truth to it. Anybody have any research on IAF pilots lost in raids on Sargodha? It was said that this incident happened on this pilot's second raid on Sargodha, and that he was determined to destroy the radar this time as he had failed to do so on the first raid.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby ramana » 20 Nov 2002 03:39

Mike Quote: "One thing is certain: by buying into this whole "Red Line" business, you've already lost the fight before it even began, because nobody wins a war with their hands tied."

Isnt that the beauty of it? We need to find a way. Am just pointing out the concerns along the way.
Also Johann "there moo may ghee shakkar"- May you have mouthfuls of ghee and sugar!

I also felt that is one way to square the circle. Lets see what else the discussion brings up. GD see big picture yaar. After Chagai everything is strategic. That is the lesson.

"There's a difference in hunting SAM batteries or creating gaps in a national AD network and shutting it down altogether by destroying the central as well as all major sector main and alternative control centres. Its Bekaa valley vs. Desert Storm/Instant Thunder. The Israelis in 1982 were profoundly agressive in their Lebanese aims [including squashing the Syrian build up in the Bekaa] had strong backing from Washington, and yet they took a number of measures to prevent provoking a wider with Syria."

Arun_S are you reading this?

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 20 Nov 2002 06:52

Let's be realistic: the Isrealis were able to get away with limiting their SEAD ops to the Bekka Valley because they had such overwhelming superiority in air power that they could selectively dominiate any sector they wanted, at any time they wished.

The IAF does not have this luxury, and will have to start the war with a concerted effort against Pakistan's entire air defense network. If they want to ensure success, that is.

There are too many PAF MOB's and FOB's in too small an area. Pakistan is not a big country. It is easy for them to defend if they can see the Indians coming. As long as there are long-range radar sites tracking Indian aircraft from safe havens excluded because of fear of "Red Lines", they will be able to vector fighters from bases all over Pakistan to intercept IAF strikes. Achieving local air dominance, over one small sector at a time, will not cut it in an Indo-Pak war. Unless the PAF is completely blinded, IAF strike packages would be swarmed with enemy fighters coming from air bases all over Pakistan, and forced to operate outnumbered over enemy territory. And thanks to having advance warning from their own long-range radars operating from safe havens, Pakistani AAA and IR SAM's would also be more effective. The IAF would have forfeited the advantge of surprise.

Losses would be much heavier than neccesary. Sound like a strategy for defeat to me. Should it come to war, one can only hope that Indian planners will do their best not to heed the Pakistani bravado about "Red Lines". I can certainly understand the desire to avoid nuclear war, but really you have to draw the line somewhere. When it gets to the point where you're going out of your way to avoid scaring the enemy and to help him "save face", then you've fallen into the Vietnam syndrome where "We wanted to fight but we didn't want to win."

I wonder if the Indian military leadership is as petrified and intimidated as many of us here on BR. It would be interesting to see the proposed ATO (Air Tasking Order) that Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy no doubt looked over when the tension was at its peak this summer.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 20 Nov 2002 09:51

Ramana,Johann.
Exactly.What prevents the IAF from creating black holes in their AD structure for strike a/c to ingress/egress as well as maintain localised Air Superiority?

I'll also address the sortie generation and PAF counterattack bit,pls give mea few days time.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 20 Nov 2002 09:57

Pakistans long range radar n/w is very much overstated.
Dont underestimate the IAF ability to "surge" force levels and keep the unwashed at bay.
During Safed Sagar,despite pak claims no paki plane apart from a couple of incidents,came within even 15-20 km of the Yellow Sea.Our Air Superiority was total and absolute.This was not because they didnt want to,but beacuse we didnt allow them to.In fact Safed Sagar proved that despie the fog of war,we could maintain and enforce zonal Air Superiority.The IAF wont brag about it,but it was done and it worked.The capability has been displayed.There were attempts in the beginning,by the PAF,to get a foot in,suffice to say they stopped.

The PAkis wont be foolish enough to keep sending a/c into any such spot where we hold the reins.Aircraft attrition is harmful to us,death to them by the size factor alone.In fact,they will concentrate trying to harm our ability to keep the situation going by trying to strike at our rear echelon,bases,logistics.Not by constantly sending a/c into a trap set by us.

The enhancement of AA refuelling capability also means IAF can base its strike assets deep in India and proceed.The PAF will then have to penetrate many more layers of ADGES/BADGE and reaction time available to Indian AD cover will be more.

The PAF Radar coverage is highly optimised for low level attackers and has choke points too.
The point is to create localized Air Superiority and maintain constant vigilance to ensure that PAF cannot get any mobile assets attached to its N/W up and running.

Our Elint is also good and a degree of interservices co-op is definitely there.Please know that the IAF has been training and preparing for SEAD for donkey's years now!PGM stocks have been built and zealously hoarded for the same.
Which doenst mean we dont chuck them around for training.We do.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 20 Nov 2002 09:59

Rudra,
To summarise any action is dependent partly on political exigency,partly on timeframe considerations and lastly on what the intention is-slap or KO.
Depending on any of these,you wargame and move forth.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Rajit » 20 Nov 2002 10:47

tingudu will be tearing his hair out that rather than factual info on tactics we've all become arm -chair SEAD warriors:-)...but i think Mike and Nitin raise an interesting point of total vs local air dominance and here I tend to go with Mike and total air dominance.

"Long range" radar coverage in the Pak ADGES we must remember is totally different from the Indian Scenario. Their narrow geographical width is a god send for their F-7 / f-16 dogfighting jocks (also Mirages?). They can mantain saturation CAPs aided by GCI over key areas with great ease even if 20-30% of their radar capability is taken out in a "sectoral" battle.

And the "red-line" doctrine, if there is one is based on a nuke first strike if "land forces" cross a certain lakshman rekha...it does not apply for the IAF hitting out at full strength at Pak GCI in days 1- 7(We are talking 40-50 aircraft in a single mission - AEW, AEW escort, refueller,refueller escort, SEAD package, SEAD top cover package, decoy package, stand off jammers,CSAR.)

Therefore if a dedicated SEAD (actually DEAD) campaign can take out 70-80% Pak GCI in days 1- 7, the PAF then becomes relatively much easier meat for the IAF's BVR shooters (I hope 2 god the Adder doesnt perform like the Alamo did in Eriteria/ Ethiopia).

The obvious catch in this of course is that I dont think our SEAD platform numbers are anywhere up in the region needed to prosecute an intensive campaign (Prithvi etc can only take out fixed sites plus the moment you fire a tactical SSM you've brought the red line right at your doorstep so best avoided)- so ironically it might default to what Nitin said - punching selective holes in selected sectors.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Johann » 20 Nov 2002 10:48

Originally posted by ramana:
May you have mouthfuls of ghee and sugar!
Ramana thanks thats very kind but I cant imagine what that would that do my girlish figure. :p

**************************************************
Mike, read this recent interview with David Ivri, IDF/AF chief in 1982 and architect of the operation. They ‘got away with it’ because they understood the Syrians well enough, and were watching them closely enough to understand what the Syrian ‘red lines’ were. The reference to the cabinet deliberation right up to H-hour is a reminder of how politically serious unwanted escalation was - and this was at a time when Sharon dominated. The Israelis were engaging in a limited war, they had no intention of presenting the Syrians with a war for national survival. That would simply have interfered with Israeli goals.

Israeli airpower was not quite as overwhelming as you might imagine – there were no more than 4 IDF/AF aircraft on CAP at any given time in the narrow area of operations (30x70 km), and yet they brought down 78 Syrian MiGs and 2 helicopters over 48 hours of operations. What counted was the integrated use of force multipliers.

Again the question is would India want to confront the Pakistanis with what appeared to be a war of national survival, or instead take advantage of their instinct of self preservation and administer a painful and traumatic lesson? By denying the other party the opportunity to escalate (not necessarily nuclear) you maintain the initiative and fight the war on your own terms.

I don’t think we can discuss this more intelligently without information that’s beyond the public domain regarding radar locations, coverages and approaches but yes of course some surveillance radars would have to be shut down. But is there any reason to blind Karachi in a war that’s mostly about say the Pir Panjals or leveling infrastructure in the Neelam valley? I don’t believe so.

**************************************************

Nitin, we may be converging again to a certain extent onc more- I had some comments on the After demobilisation thread on the other forum. I dont beleive the PAF will attempt to challenge IAF air superiority anywhere near the border, or reinforce failure in general. They're brighter than the Syrians. I too beleive they will throw their 2-3 sqns of upgraded Mirages at IAF sensor networks and airbases for the first 48 hours. The Phalcons would more or less end that game by defeating ultra low level penetration, and as you say relocating bases and introducing tankers would more or less end the viability of that strategy, but they have a few more years before all of that happens. What will be interesting to see is if their overwhelming 'fighter mafia' will be able to overcome its own biasses and invest in medium altitude air defences. As with other things the Pakistani supression of diversity hurts more than it helps by reinforcing self destructive prejudices.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby merlin » 20 Nov 2002 11:17

<I>>>Again the question is would India want to confront the Pakistanis with what appeared to be a war of national survival, or instead take advantage of their instinct of self preservation and administer a painful and traumatic lesson?</I>

I have come to the conclusion that administring a painful and traumatic lesson to Pakistan isn't going to cut it anymore (as if cutting off half their country in 1971 wasn't painful or traumatic enough, they are still itching for a fight). War for national survival is the only option that <I>might</I> make the Pakistanis see sense. Even that is doubtful, therefore a complete destruction of their nation is the only way forward.

Chickening out thinking of imaginary red lines is plainly counter productive and will cost the lives of Indian pilots, sailors and soldiers. If the Pakistanis are crazy enough to value their nation's and military's H&D over their nation's and military's very existence then so be it!

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby kgoan » 20 Nov 2002 12:27

Don't want to interrupt the experts here, but I go with Mike/Merlin et al.

The Pak "redlines" stuff is hogwash. I've spent darn year a whole year looking this stuff up and down from every angle I (and others) could think of. And I've yet to see so much as a single credible piece of evidence that says that the Paks would go nuclear in any war scenario.

The key to this statement is not to concentrate on what we know about the Paks, it's to understand what the Paks KNOW about us. And what they know about us is that there are no conditions currently present, and will not be for at least a generation, under which India would be willing to "take-over" Pakistan. (Defining "take-over" as occupying and removing from power the Pak establishment a la West/East Germany. Anything else, the Pak establishment will survive.).

Heck, at this stage I reckon we could GUBO the Crore Commanders, do their begums, kill their dogs and sell their children into slavery and that would still not constitute a "redline"!!

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 20 Nov 2002 13:01

Kgoan says: The Pak "redlines" stuff is hogwash. I've spent darn year a whole year looking this stuff up and down from every angle I (and others) could think of. And I've yet to see so much as a single credible piece of evidence that says that the Paks would go nuclear in any war scenario
How about this scenario Kgoan? Pak is ruled by an axis of Islamist Army officers and clergy. The situation in J&K destabilizes all together, a Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi can not control its state level party units who condone communal violence by lumpen elements to punish Godhra like incidents by Islamists in India.

Pakistan launches a surprise first strike to punish the 'Hindus', knowing full well that we are at a state of recessed deterence, and not quite caring about the potential and inevitability of some form of Indian nuclear response. Given the events of 9/11, I do not believe we can ever say never ..

Also, in war, I personally would hold to the pov that both India and Pakistan will be hard pressed to control the chain of escalation and things will deteriorate rapidly(well within weeks) to a stage where both countries will have their fingers firmly poised above their respective nuclear triggers. I think that both countries realize this and as a result, I believe the potential for all out conflict has been reduced, unless Pak starts one...

What does this have to do with SEAD ops in the IAF? Uh, umm, nm.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Rajit » 20 Nov 2002 13:46

Johann...great article on Bekaa but a couple of points

1. Drawing parallels of Syrian vs Israeli engagements with the Indo- Pak scenario has its limitations because of the huge gap in quality of aircrew that existed (exists) in the Middle East .We could probably do the same with the Bangladeshi air force (having said that the BSF couldnt with their counterparts in the BDR!)

2. The article mentions the pioneering work done by the RPVs which literally fingerprinted every known Syrian firecontrol frequency ( especially nullifying the SA - 6 which had done so much damage in 1973)...it was a first in the annals of modern combat and since then countermeasures have been devised for such tactics..the Pakistani ADGES uses Westinghouse and Siemens radars for LLAD (also Thomson?) which at their point of induction were what NATO was using.If the IAF has equalled the Israelis known mastery in EW I would be the first one to go rah rah...but my gut feel tells me we are still on a learning curve in using UAV / UCAV for EW optimally.

But just shows that if the SEAD battle is won the Air superiority battle becomes so much easier.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 20 Nov 2002 14:20

Johann,
Will get back to you.Even open source will do,i'd wager. :)

Rajit,
Dont buy the aircrew myth.The Syrians were decently trained.SDo were the Egyptians in the previous 'war of attrition' that the two duked out.Tom C has done some refreshing and pioneering work in this regard at Acig.org.The ground forces are another matter altogether,but the Egyptians broke the myth of them being totally incompetent during the Yom Kippur War.
Suffice to say,the Syrians were ok,but were totally outmaneuvered by the Israelis who had planned thsi to the last,minute detail.

Second Elint is an ever changing field and we can today,best the PAF at it.There is a plethora of stuff with the IAF for the same.Its not alwayas necessary to send RPV's and do it,when you have more powerful dedicated ELINT assets.We may not be the USAF,IDF with their array ,but we have decent kit.During the recent "mobilization",we did fingerprint paki radars in numbers.The usage of the IW sq. of the IN during Safed Sagar time is also an eyeopener.

The PAF has a modern ADGES granted.But its not invulnerable.In turn the IAF ADGES has been modernised in parts too,and is still being touched up in many places.As regards NATO radars,even the basic Thomson CF biggie we use the Th553 was orignially NATO.Still going strong with upgrade.The Paki n/w is good but again optimised for lowlevel.Even SILLAC; the TPS43's were till recently inoperable due to spares shortages.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Jagan » 20 Nov 2002 14:34

Originally posted by RajeevT:
I also remember this legend of 'an IAF pilot who flew his plane into the big radar (the one which was directing all of PAF) at Sargodha'. It was said in the same breath that the Indian Govt. never officially recognized this feat because this pilot had "defied orders" in doing so.

As the story was being spread just after the '65 war was over, before any movies on that war were made, I think there may be some truth to it. Anybody have any research on IAF pilots lost in raids on Sargodha? It was said that this incident happened on this pilot's second raid on Sargodha, and that he was determined to destroy the radar this time as he had failed to do so on the first raid.
Triinngggg - That was a call for me.

I read the news report from that time. released by a press agency. The report mentioned a pilot by the name Sqn ldr Jasbir Singh who led this attack on a Radar. he destroyed it by a Kamikaze style attack.

Sqn Ldr Jasbir Singh was a much liked pilot from 3 Squadron at Pathankot. He led a Mystere formation to attack an airfield . They found the airfield abandoned but saw this radar unit and promptly destroyed it with rockets. On the return leg, they were flying quite low. too low in fact. While trying to keep his tail clear, his port wing struck the ground and he crashed.

The Indian Government did give Sqn Ldr Jasbir Singh - the only Posthumous award of the 1965 War at that time. He was given a Vir Chakra.

There are other urban legends from that time (1965) . Of a wounded pilot who landed his aircraft safely back at base and died of wounds later and of another pilot who 'bombed' an enemy aircraft while still in air. As it turned out there wasn't much truth in those stories.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby daulat » 20 Nov 2002 16:50

[jagan to the rescue]

nice one mr J - I am quite pleased to hear that the urban legend wasn't entirely fictitous! btw - what happened to Sikand, the gnat pilot who surrendered? (tringg tringg!!)

[redlines]

i don't think that the pak redlines will be crossed unless there is a serious land assault in punjab or across the desert to cut off hyderabad - quite intense fighting - particularly aerial, can take place in POK without any general escalation

[shut off all pak adges]

a very clear and necessary objective for the first 24 hours in any indo-pak situation - and one that does not require any serious land engagement. buys options for limited conflict scenarios. can guarantee that US will be desperate to intervene and stop things getting 'out of control'

[scenario with islamist gov in pak]

do we believe that the US will allow this situation to arise politically? do we believe that US/israel will be sitting comfortably with pak gov't in this overt state and nukes?

regime change in pakistan is not for india to do, but for the US to bring about sooner or later...

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Skanhai » 20 Nov 2002 18:10

What does the present situation tells us? That Pak can do whatever they want, as long as they remain US' lapdog. It has been like that for 50 years now, why won't we realise that. Pak policies shouldn't be US dependend. Do what is nessesary, make sure the world knows, you can't be pushed around. When ever there was trouble because of pak's adventures, they were bailed out by pressure on the GOI. There is one difference however. India is increasingly becoming important worldwide. Nobody can stop that. So eventually US will be forced to sacrifice lapdog Pak.
BTW, the current situation allows PAK to do some catching up with India in the military area. So SAED ops will be more and more dangerous for the IAF I think (getting back to the topic).

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Samir » 20 Nov 2002 20:14

And one true legend from that war, that of a Mystere pilot shooting down a Starfighter, didn't make it out till 1988!

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Vick » 20 Nov 2002 21:43

Also, remember that TSP is supposed to recieve aerostat radars as well. These will invariably help them in picking up Indian planes well before they get close enough to hit the radars or their processing center on the ground.

The key to IAF success in the air over TSP in the future is not SEAD per se but EW and plenty of it. If blinding their radars permanently is considered too risky then the IAF will blind them just long enough to do the needful. Meaning the IAF has to stock up on plenty of standoff offensive jamming capability. And as nitin has mentioned, in EW the IAF is clearly ahead of the game in the entire region not just against TSP.

With the MKIs' having a potent EW suite and pods from IAF's Yehudi friends fitted onto Mig-23/27 and Jags, the IAF should be able to create a EW bubble around a SEAD or any other strike package.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby daulat » 20 Nov 2002 22:01

How hard is it to configure a Brahmos type vehicle to attack Aerostat type targets? At 300km, suspect that Aerostats will be at extremes of their effective range - and certainly not be able to monitor much of what is going on within Indian airspace

then there is the option of retaining Mig25's for high speed balloon bursting missions too - can take out the aerostats without being intercepted - although yes, it does mean arming the 25's

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby JCage » 20 Nov 2002 22:02

Hi problem with that bubble thing is that we dont have the assets and time for 24/7 round the clock ops like the USAF.Far too many needs.
Hence the hard kill remains a necessity,ie knocking off the detector,rather than masking oneself.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 20 Nov 2002 23:04

Aerostat balloons are just about impossible to detect with radar aren't they? No heat signature either. Probably the only way you can track it is by homing in on its radar emissions. But they'll shut off the Aerostat radar if any IAF plane gets too close for comfort.

I would think about the only way to bag an Aerostat would be to acquire it visually, which means you'd have to knock it out during the day. And since they'll know you're coming, they can probably reel in the balloon (bring it back down to the ground control station) and relocate before your fighters get there.

Johann - thanks for the link re: Bekaa Valley. A good read, but not a good comparison. Too much technical disparity between IDFAF & SAF. A better historical comparison might be Vietnam. Contrast the effectivness of the US Rolling Thunder campaigns with the LineBacker-II campaign. During the Rolling Thunder period (1965-68), the US went for a limited air dominance strategy ("sector dominance", "bubble", whatever term you like) like what has been proposed here. The result was that Vietnamese Migs and air defenses were much more effective. Contrast that to the LineBacker-II campaign where the enemy Migs were unable to shoot down a single plane, and their SAM's reduced to a very low success rate. In LineBacker-II the US acheived in 11 days what it had failed to do in three years of limited air ops.

India would be very foolish to repeat the US Rolling-Thunder strategy in a war with an adversary like Pakistan. Keep in mind also that any radar coverage Pakistan retains, even away from the battle area, will allow them to organize their own strike packages against targets in India.

Thus, total air dominance is a neccesary defensive measure, too. Especially given India's lack of AWACS.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 20 Nov 2002 23:12

Ok, getting back to the specifics of IAF SEAD capability, what about Indian anti-radar missiles? I've visited this site since 1998 and all that time, the Kh-31P2 has been "on order from Russia". Indeed the "Missile Armoury" page on this site lists also lists the Kh-59 but the status on this one is also unclear.

While there are pictures that seem to confirm MATRA ARMAT and KH-25MP in IAF service, there is apparently no confirmation that either the Kh-31P2 or Kh-59 have actually been bought or delivered to India. None have ever been seen on an IAF plane, no reports of any test firings, no mention in SIPRI of any being transferred to India. What gives? If these are non-existant in the IAF inventory, why are they on the Missile Armory page?

The only news I've seen that mentions the Kh-31P2 and Kh-59 are reports about the induction of the SU-30MKI in the IAF, but even then, it is only said that the jet can employ these weapons, not that India has actually gotten any. If anybody has any light to shed on the matter please go ahead.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Badar » 21 Nov 2002 05:07

Hi,

ramana, Who or what is Yogi? Where can I find Yogi's views on this subject?

Johann, I fail to understand why you, ramana and Yogi consider long range survelliance radars and regional air defense sector control stations as a no-no 'red-line' target? Does Pakistan really believe India has a decapitating first strike capability - what forces it to adopt a launch on warning or launch through attack posture? Of what value is the two or three minutes of heads-up time avaliable through such long range systems? In the Indo-Pak context the warning times are so low that news of a nuclear detonation would reach the nuclear command authorities about the same time the missile track data was analysed and passed up the chain of command.

How does one distinguish between a conventional bombing run and a nuclear bombing run? I mean early enough so as to be meaningful?

reg Bekaa Valley, I believe the very first SAM batteries were destroyed using artillery and surface to surface missiles. The IsAF used the flank so created to systematically roll up the whole SAM belt. Interesting that the Air Marshal makes no mention of the participation of the allied services.

reg balloons; does shooting down a balloon still count as a 'kill'? I wonder if the Belgische Luchtmacht would train a few IAF pilots. Looks like we'll be needing a few Willy Coppens. :)

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby ramana » 21 Nov 2002 05:21

Badar dont know about others but this is my take. The long range radar assures the TSP that their number is not up yet. So prevents chances of a mistake. The fear they have is India can take their crown jewels conventionally. So what ever is planned has to take all these into consideration.

Kgoan might disagree but their latest super duper articulation of the redlines is the Landau Network report by the two Italian scientists. One of the redlines is if the PAF is degraded significantly.
I know you know the puranas. The TSP redlines are like the Hiranyakashyapu's requirements- if the RATs are degraded, if the PAF is degraded, if there is threat to significant territory of historical importance etc. etc. So one has to find the situation where the redlines are not crossed but the RATS are defanged. One has to study the problem in depth and we dont have the resources for that. Only national agencies can do that.

Yogi is Yogi Patel who contributes profusely in the two forums- Strategic and Mil history.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Peeyoosh » 21 Nov 2002 05:49

Nuke tipped ballistic missiles could be launched way outside the Pakistan long range radar umbrella. Detecting missiles on launch is hardly an effective forewarning of nuclear strike. If and when sagarika is real, impact will be the best means of validation.

The Pakis have actually proposed a 15 / 30 min delay after strike to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

Taking out Paki radar will be critical and hypothetical red lines can be drawn all over the place if thta serves as effective conventional deterrent. If the PAF is so sritical to H&D, keep it on the ground.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Badar » 21 Nov 2002 06:09

Hi,

One of the redlines is if the PAF is degraded significantly

ramana, hmmm. A nation is forced to consider crossing the nuclear threshold if its nuclear capabilities - either offensive or defensive are seriously being compromised. PAF's nuclear redlines cannot be based upon its defensive potential - already IAF has the moxie to force through and strike any reasonable target it chooses from day one of the war. PAF redlines, if any, will have to be based on its offensive capabilities. I guess as long as it feels it has sufficient strength to credibly threaten one or two value targets in India I guess we are all fine, but if strength drops below that minimum acceptable capability PAF faces the use it or lose it dilemma. If this surmise is true then what value does long range radars and sector control stations have for a offensive strike mission? Very limited. So I guess they should be fair game. On the other hand; considering that the weakest point in the PAF (center of gravity as Warden would call it) is airframes (rather than personnel, bases, logistics or command-control), would we now be rationing kills to IAF fighter pilots? I dont like were this is going...

You are right, we are simply unequipped to make any reasonable predictions regarding the nuclear threshold - but it sure is fun to guess :)

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Michael » 21 Nov 2002 07:49

Actually, given that Pakistan's nukes are missile-based and road-mobile, even the complete and total loss of their air defense would have no impact on their detterent. Those Nodongs and Dingdongs certainly don't need radar to do their job, they can be fired from anywhere, and its impossible to take them all out preemptively, even if you total air superiority. So you could shut down every radar, every airbase, and Pakistan would have no reason to worry about its nukes.

Anyway, this has become rediculous. What's to stop Pakistan from lowering the threshold of its stated "red lines"? It seems they have everything to gain by becoming increasingly liberal with these "red line" statements.

Please. It's all BS. Or more accurately, let's call the "red lines" doctrine for what it is: psychological warfare.

In reality, there is no automatic response guaranteed by India crossing any of these stated "red lines". In the real deal, we all know it would simply come down to this simple equation: Pakistan's leadership will not use nukes unless all hope of their retaining power has been lost, or if India actually tries to take out the nukes (by going after the nuclear storage sites or the missiles themselves).

We all know that Pakistani govts can lose wars and still remain in power. Keep in mind, Pakistani leaders' survival instincts are just as strong, if not stronger than their "Honor and Dignity". Remember that Pakistani govts are adept spinners - short of Indian conquest they can spin just about any outcome into a victory and the desperate population will believe it (historically, they always have). Obviously, it's impossible to cover up significant losses of territory, but material losses can be hidden or downplayed, while enemy losses can be exaggerated to great effect.

Another factor restraining Paki nuke use is that it's possible any attempt to deploy nukes from storage sites to delivery systems (missiles, planes) will result in their being preemptively taken out. Recall that during the recent standoff Washington claimed to be monitoring both Indian and Pakistani nuke storage sites to ensure that no one deployed the weapons. That alone is a big detterent. Better to save those nukes for a time when all hope is truly lost.

So let's talk about SEAD ops on the assumption that Indian planners are not complete fools. Let's assume the IAF is determined not to repeat the US experience over N. Vietnam, and that they will use airpower competently.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Badar » 21 Nov 2002 11:23

Hi,

Mike, Pakistan cant afford to put all its nuclear eggs in a single delivery basket. It looks like IAF intends to develop a strong regional BMD eventually - compromising atleast partially the effectiveness of SRBMs and IRBMs. Pakistan needs more than one alternative for its deterrance to remain credible - and the PAF will continue to remain that important alternative for the forseeable future.

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Re: SEAD ops in the IAF

Postby Johann » 21 Nov 2002 13:02

Badar, what Ramana has outlined is part of my concerns. I think its important to remember that any indo-pak war has 3 parties - india, pakistan and the US/West. A serious nuclear threat from Pakistan *will* have consequences on India's ability to acheive its objectives. I'm taking that as a political reality, and any military planner must in the end act within the constraints of political realities.

The other part is that my understanding of Pakistani military thinking suggests is that collapsing air surveillance C3 will push the Pakistanis in to escalating, and that escalation *will* in my opinion interfere with Indian aims in a limited war for military as well as political reasons. The key to making limited war cost effective for India and useful int erms of grand strategy is making sure they are always fought on Indian terms. Thats a tricky matter.

The military balance of power in an acknowleged conflict in my opinion favours India in a prolonged conflict over a front of any size, or in a short conflict of carefully controlled width and depth where Indian advantages can be concentrated and brought to bear. I say this because politically losing territory temporarily is far more acceptable to the Pakistanis than it is to the Indians.

If this were an all out fight to the finish, that would be different but that isnt what we are talking about.

Again, I'm not talking about leaving their surveillance network untouched - just being carefully selective. In the end it wont make as much difference as some here seem to imagine. The Coalition with all of its resources was never able to completely eliminate Iraqi long range surveillance medium altitude through the war. It was sufficiently degraded not to inhibit operations. The same I'm confident is possible for Pakistan

p.s. The IDF is a unified service. Cheyl Ha'vir like the navy has the status of a branch - same uniforms and ranks. Unlike the ground forces they do not rely largely on conscripts and reservists. The exact sequence of the operation is still technically classified. Ivri isnt really playing down their contribution, its just not the focus of the authors questions - shes writing for the US Air Force Association's magazine. The basic sequence involved launching decoys that caused the battery radars to light up, while SSMs with chaff warheads add to the confusion. The Weasels popped up and fired AGM-78s, augmented by IDF/AF truck launched batteries of the same. Later artillery supresses AAA and SHORADS and aircraft bomb the actual batteries before the emitters could be repaired. Meanwhile, RPVs provided constant surveillance of the batteries locations as well as bomb damage assessment. Next day almost the same thing happens.

Rajit, the Israeli use of RPVs ro build a comprehensive electronic order of battle wasnt a first. The Americans used the technique extensively against the North Vietnamese with disposable and highly secret datalinked Ryan drones which were also used against the Chinese. The Chinese shot down so many of them that they built clones. Certainly helped them build those Silkworms.


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