Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Vikram Rathore
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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Vikram Rathore » 08 Sep 1999 23:59

Just finished reading a fascinating book- Jane's Air War- Fighter Combat in the Jet Age...lots of dope, incl about the Falklands.<P>It seems the Argentines were severly handicapped becoz they were flying at the extreme edge of their endurance by the time they got to the RN fleet, and really had no energy left for dogfighting. Most kills were v/s A-4 Skyhawks (25 were lost) undertaking daring and desparate missions v/s RN ships armed with iron bombs! In the only real dogfight when the Argentines challenged RN Sea Harriers, 3 were downed without loss. All other kills were by GCI vectoring Sea Harriers to firing positions against low flying attack planes.....The other tidbit is the revelation by RN pilots that VIFFing was never actually used in combat over the Falklands...<P>In an IN v/s PN scenario, most of the handicaps the Argentines faced would not exist, plus the Mirages would be in the hands of capable pilots. I would say the odds would be about even. Where the IN can get an edge is getting the Sea Harriers BVR capability. As for a Jaguar, it would be a fairly easy kill for an upgraded PAF Mirage.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Skanhai » 09 Sep 1999 00:07

Hmmm good one.<BR>The Harrier is more suitable for dogfights than a mirage, because the delta wing doesn't goes together with manouvrability. Adding the TV engines exhuast pipes with that, the Sea Harrier should have the edge over the mirageIII. The Mirage V which has no radar, will need to escorted as it is an attack aircraft. An other story is of course BVR. I don't know if the mirage has that capability or the Harrier, but in that case it will come to the one who shoots first.<BR>Just my thoughts.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Vikram Rathore » 09 Sep 1999 00:11

LNS,<P>agree- the key leverage areas for the RN were the fact that the Argentines were operating at the end of their endurance, and poor tactics by the Argentines- they usually sent 2-3 jets at a time to attack the RN fleet...as the Jane's book quotes an RN officer aas saying that the RN may well have lost a carrier if 30-40 Skyhawks with Mirage escorts had attacked at once...plus the Argentines had never really trained extensively in offensive counter air operations v/s the British pilots who had trained extensively with their US counterparts in Red Flag exercises and the Top Gun school.<P>As the chapter concludes:<P>`This conflict grapphically underscored that even good `stick and rudder men' do not automatically become combat-effective fighter pilots when up against world-class opposition'`

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Vikram Rathore » 09 Sep 1999 00:15

rsingh,<P>The Jaguar v/s Mirage scenario was a specific one of the jag being `bounced' by a Mirage. presumably on an attack mission. At an academic level, if one discounts fighter escorts (and in reality- they will not always be there), the 2xmagic armament of the Jag probably will not help much v/s a Sparrow/R-530 equipped Mirage III. The BVR edge aside, the Mirage would have a huge advantage in speed and climb rate and thus the ability to break away from close quarters engagements with a Jag if things got ugly...

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Amitabh » 09 Sep 1999 01:18

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>However explain how a matra armed jaguar/Mig-27 would be an easy kill for the upgraded PAF Mirage.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>As Vikram pointed out, the answer is <B>energy</B>. The Mirages will "bounce" the Jaguars from above, and will thus be in a better position to box the Jags in. Weighed down by their Sea Eagles and fuel tanks, the Jaguars will find it hard to manoevre against the Mirages soaring down to kill them, even assuming that they detect the PAF planes in time. Naturally, luck and pilot skill count for a lot, but the odds are stacked against the Jaguars in this particular scenario. Ceteris paribus, they're dead.<P>Of course, I'm no expert, and maybe someone with a better understanding of elementary physics could be more lucid!

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby shiv » 09 Sep 1999 07:07

In the first place what AAMs does the terrorist state of Pakistan operate?<P>All photos I have seen show only some version or other of the Sidewinder. What's all this about Magic and Super-530?<P>A Jaguar, flying at 200-400 feet on a strike mission for a single pass attack and a quick getaway at dusk or at night may not just get shot out of the sky. With escorts, things will be fairly tricky for the PAF as well.<P>sorry - I just realised the subject heading is different.<P><p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 08-09-1999).]

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby VivekT » 09 Sep 1999 16:42

The INs Sea Harriers don't have BVR capability. They are the FRS.Mk 51 variant which can only fire IR homing Magic II AAMs. Only the Royal navy's FRS.Mk 2 and the USMCs AV-8B Harrier II Plus (also used by Italy) have a BVR AAM capability (firing AIM-120A AMRAAMs)

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Vikram Rathore » 09 Sep 1999 17:15

Shiv,<P>They don't have the SUper 530, but they do have the R-530, far less capable, but BVR nevertheless.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Div » 10 Sep 1999 02:43

Apart from the USMC, IN and RN; the two other countries operating Harriers are Spain and Italy.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Rupak » 10 Sep 1999 03:10

Rafay<P>Before you bore us with your crap go and read up on the Falkland War.<P>(Hint: Harrier 6, Mirage III 0)<p>[This message has been edited by rupak (edited 09-09-1999).]

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Vikram Rathore » 10 Sep 1999 09:30

Another question- can our Harriers carry the R-73? And if not, why don't we enable them to- since our Mirage 2000s can now launch them....the R-73 would give an edge over a MIrage/AIM-9P combo.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby rama » 10 Sep 1999 13:10

To contribute my 2 pie towards the demolishment of the horse manure put forth by Rafay, he writes:<P>"On the other hand, the Mirage III/V after the MiG-21 and the F-16 is the world's best selling and successful fighter aicraft. "<P><BR>Bull****. Even if you are talking only of fighter aircraft currently in service, the Mig-23, the Su-7/17 Fitter, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the Northrup F-5 tiger, the McDonell F-4 Phantom and the Hawker Hunter (very barely in service), have all outsold the Mirage III, in addition to the Mig-21 and the F-16 that you mentioned. This is six fighters that you missed, and is based on my recollection that I just verified. Your opinions seem to be very poorly researched.<P>OTOH, the Harrier/Sea Harrier is a specialized VSTOL air combat aircraft with no peer in it's class, period. In that category it has pretty much complete 100% acceptance, except for the relatively brief deployment of the Yak-38's there's nothing else! Besides the RN/IN/USMC - Spain, Italy and Thailand also operate this family.<P>

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Pennathur » 10 Sep 1999 14:05

Dear Rafay,<P>The PN Mirage is meant to defend Karachi from sea-borne IN threats or probably take out IN ships returning after blasting up the city. In the meanwhile while probably your PAF Southern Command will defend Sind landwards from the IAF. The idea is basically a hangover from 1971, when Karachi was left undefended and the IN blasted the port etc. to high heaven.<P>The IN Harrier is a fleet-defence aircraft and meant to take out slow airborne recee aircraft, shoot down bogies even at the closing stages of the attack run. It is an excellent low-level aircraft and that too over the sea (don't ask me why). The Argentinian Air Force was initially unsuccessful against the RN fleet around Falklands. It is their Naval AF which took out the HMS Sheffield with a Super Entendard, which managed to sneak in.<P>Even assuming the IN is foolish enough to sail at Karachi in full view of you folks, you can be sure that the freshly catapulted Harrier will be facing the PN Mirages which will be on Bingo. Because remember you will first have to locate the threat. And how are u going to do it, w/o your PN recee aircraft? I am sure the Atlantique or Orion will be deadmeat in wartime anywhere near the IN Fleet.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby vverma » 10 Sep 1999 21:41

They use land based tankers. RN Harriers refuel only when operating in close vicinity of land. For instance in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Italy, Albania, etc. <P>And an upgrade contract has just been signed for the upgrade of 26 IN GRS. 51 Harriers worth $26 million dollars. Presumably it'll include addition of a refuelling probe. <p>[This message has been edited by vverma (edited 10-09-1999).]

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby fanne » 11 Sep 1999 02:20

Oye Rafay,<P>Did u go to the same terrorist camp as that of sham-all-fuddu.<P>Here is logic no 1 of rat-aya-lam : B-2 bomber is used by just one country USA (USAF). Even the aviation arm of US Army and Navy is not using it. If you visist faas.org, a group of noble prize winning scientists are apposing it. It must be a very bumb aircraft. What else, not more than few dozens have been made. Now look at the paki made super mushaks, there are 100's of them around, its flown by many countries (napakis and their brothers in the middle east, I wonder why they always call them brother). <BR>Conclusion super musa(chuha) is better than b-2.<P>Login no 2. -- The more you wtite the better a plane becomes. Trick, go to paids, do a copy of the specs(if you can get the photograph, better still), paste it here. For the rival plane, just add few lines. Then hope every one here is as dumb as napakis and would accept that a plane description that is so big compared to its rival must be very capable.<P>Go get a life!!<P>Anyway thanks for the humour.<P>rgds,<BR>fanne

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Johann » 11 Sep 1999 05:05

Irfan, the refuelling probes are bolt-ons, installed when required. <P> The RN Blue Vixen/AMRAAM combo gives the F.A.2 Harrier the best of both worlds; long range BVR engagement as well as short range dogfighting. The USMC uses it's AV 8B II Plus a/c for fleet CAP and of the deck interceptions as well. <P> This usually upsets my airforce friends, but from what I've seen naval aviators operating from carriers are usually trained to a higher level and are the product of a far more intensive selection process than the average equivalent land based naval or air force aviator. It's simply that the demands of their jobs are inherently more demanding. <P> I'd bet my quid on the IN Harrier pilots; in addition to their skills, they're probably going to be operating close to their fleet, giving them numerous tactical advantages in terms of ATC from the Viraat, friendly SAM cover close at hand as well as the flexibility of longer loiter times, and quicker sortie generation.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Johann » 11 Sep 1999 06:47

Actually this might be a good time for that F.A.2 vs MiG 29 comparison I proposed so long ago.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby shiv » 11 Sep 1999 07:36

Folks, it's not just the equipment - but how its used - and this statemant has been made on this forum repeatedly without much effect.<P>You cannot compare two hardware items without a whole host of other factors.<P>Just to remind you:<P>34 years ago India was in the middle of a war with Pakistan (September 1965)<P>Their top line fighter - so successful in Korea - the F-86 Sabre was being brought down in numbers by that UK reject the Folland Gnat.<P>In 1971 Sabres and F-104s were brought down by Gnats, Hunters and even by an HF 24 Marut.<P>Ignore Paki rants, and get on with what we are good at- and we are definitely more comeptent at many of these things than Pakistan will ever admit.

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Sukumar » 11 Sep 1999 07:55

Questions like this are far from rational. F-16 vs MiG-29, F-15 vs Su-27, FA2 vs MiG-29, do not really make sense.<P>A well trained pilot with better tactics in a seemingly inferior plane can shoot down a lesser trained opponent in a more hi-tech craft. <P>The IAF's Folland Gnats performed very well against F-86s and F-104s of the PAF. Luftwaffe Bf 109s did a stupendous job against technically superior allied aircraft in WWII. <P>So let's not ask these questions even though the MiG-29 is a more capable aircraft than the FA2 Image

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Johann » 11 Sep 1999 08:01

You're preaching to the converted; any comparison we made would not be in terms of 'which would shoot down which' but in terms of comparing capabilities and costs from the standpoint of acquisition and operations for the Indian Fleet Air Arm. <P>Yes, go on Sukumar, egg me on with those kinds of comments why don't you Image <p>[This message has been edited by Johann (edited 10-09-1999).]

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Johann » 11 Sep 1999 08:30

Thank you for the welcome Salman, though I won't be able to spend nearly as much time as I'd like. <P>Yes, another thread would be a splendid idea. Here are some suggested criteria for comparison, feel free to add more before we start the thread:<P> cost, combat radius fully loaded refuelled and unrefuelled, stores(weight and type), survivability, potential for growth, reliability, impact upon carrier design and cost, impact upon sortie generation, overall effectiveness.<P>Missions; Fleet air defence, ASuW, maritime air superiority. <BR>

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Skanhai » 11 Sep 1999 10:30

>>Put a PAF Mirage III against an IN Harrier, and the PAF Mirage will tear apart the IN Harrier in a very short span of time.<BR>The Mirage III/V were the mainstay of the French Air Force and also of many air forces around the world and it is the same aircraft from which the Mirage 2000 inherits its design features from. <BR>The fact that only 2 navies (UK and India) and 1 marine force (USM) purchased the Harrier aircraft (US and India in small quantities) does not vouch for the confidence of many pilots in this aircraft. On the other hand, the Mirage III/V after the MiG-21 and the F-16 is the world's best selling and successful fighter aicraft. Had the Harrier been superior to the Mirage III in air-to-air combat capability, then it would have been the Harrier which would have been as successfully sold to so many air forces and not the Mirage III.<BR>The fact that the Mirage has delta wings will not help the Harrier a lot since the Harrier is useless in air combat against any decent combat aircraft with decent pilots.>><P>In respons to Rafay:<P>You can't declare an aircraft to be good because it's so well sold. The mirageIII is sold so well because the Israellie airforce used it in the best way it could be used. <BR>Howcome the Harrier is useless? You didn't gave me any reasons other than it has been less sold than the mirageIII. The delta winged mirageIII has more resistance than a Harrier becaused of the wingsize. A mirage2000 has the same thing only the mirage2000 has FBW controls. Futhermore the controleble exhaustpipes of the Harrier give it even more agility. I don't see how a mirageIII can tear apart a Harrier in a short span of time.<BR>Jsut my thoughts.<P>

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Re: Harrier vs Mirage V/III

Postby Pennathur » 11 Sep 1999 11:01

Dear Johann,<P>Naval aviators vs. Air Force Pilots. That's right. You are an aviator in the Navy - only a pilot in the Air Force!!<P>That's a raw subject. <B>Air Force wings are made of lead, Navy wings are made of gold!</B> And where else is this rivalry at the highest pitch. US of course! I am sure much has changed since Vietnam, when the USN, USMC and USAF fought their own parallel air wars!!<P>Yes it is more difficult for the naval aviator. Carrier training starts after shore-based training. And flying over water is much more difficult than flying over land. For one thing it's vaster than land besides it is featureless, completely unpredictable. A friend of mine flys with the Indian Navy ou t of Andamans. Everyday begins and ends with a prayer. It takes much more just to survive.<P>The Air Force guys(and girls) would tell you that their job is strategic not tactical. And that they are the <B>real<B/> flyers etc. etc.<P>The debate can go endlessly. In the US there is a lot of cross-training, USAF pilots do get to fly with the USN off carriers and vice-versa. In India too we have a serving Vice-Admiral who flew with the IAF in 1971. He was on training deputation with the IAF who refused to let him back during the war. And currently there is Helo-pilot with the Indian Navy. This gent is ex-IAF. He lost his left foot in an flying accident. Transferred to the Navy. And had done more than 150 landings at sea some years back.<P>On PN vs.IN aviators. I am sure that the PN does train its people very well. But definitely not at anything beyond coastal interception or close-to-land attack on surface threats. Whereas the IN aviators, helo and Harrier guys train out on high-seas. They are much more experienced in fleet-air-defence, interception, and even helo directed seek. Simply because of this the guys are better used to the sea.<P>There is of course plenty of rivalry here in India between the IAF and IN flyers. The IAF's Air Force Academy provides basic training for all services including the Coast Guard as does the IAF Flight Instructors School. I don't know if IN instructors have served at AF Academy. None have at our FITS. My friends at the IAF Flight Ins. School take "special" care of the guys from Navy. Quite a battle of wits all the time. The IN provides advanced training to its aviators on its own. It has well developed tactics and methods. At least one of our Naval Chiefs has come from aviation, Adm.Tahiliani. And so has one of our Army Chiefs, Gen.Rodrigues, from the Arty. AOP.


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