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Old 3rd March 2019, 07:17   #451
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Lockheed Martin can now stop plugging the F-16 and it's rebadged versions to the IAF.
The already low possibility of acceptance is now reduced to zilch.

Read an article that said that IAF was always enamoured of the Mirage 2000 but, since Dassault had stopped it's manufacture, it went in for the Rafale. It always wanted the Rafale and all this time has been wasted going through the process of evaluating already known quantities.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 14:53   #452
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
A quick check on the net tells that the F-16 with that serial is indeed a two-seater !!!

I personally feel that the wreckage is that of the Mig 21. Its not that of the F16. Please see the sequence of the images below and you will see a bracket which has the similar shape in the images. Most of the images available had the inside of the wreckage shots. However, the image shot from out side shows that it is of the tailpiece of the Mig 21. You can see the Indian flag on the tail.





The above video has a walk around of the particular wreckage and you can be sure that it is of the Mig.


I am sure that the F16 wreckage images will surface over a period of time.


Picture and Video source: Twitter and specific websites.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 17:28   #453
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I agree with you that these photos are of a MiG-21. I no where have said that the photos are of an F-16. Clearly some communication gap.
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Originally Posted by Maveryq View Post
I personally feel that the wreckage is that of the Mig 21. Its not that of the F16. Please see the sequence of the images below and you will see a bracket which has the similar shape in the images. Most of the images available had the inside of the wreckage shots. However, the image shot from out side shows that it is of the tailpiece of the Mig 21. You can see the Indian flag...
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Old 3rd March 2019, 18:00   #454
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Not singling you out Sir. Just pointing out that the numbers that people have used to state that the wreckage is that of an F16 is the one circled in orange. That wreckage cant be of an F16 because it is of the Mig. The Migs tail number is also stenciled beside it.


Lots of conjecture going on so felt that it would be prudent to share my opinion.

I agree that you havent stated that the wreckage is that of an F16.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 18:06   #455
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The fact that the DG ISPR initially talked of 3 Indian pilots captured, which was subsequently changed to just 1, when they realized that the other 2 were from their own F16 crew. We have to realize that TSP exists on lies fed to their awam by their armed forces who see them as supermen, a position that they have to maintain no matter what. So all this lies and deceit is something that is very well expected and is mostly for the consumption of local populace and western media. Such has been the conditioning of Pakistanis that they believe that they have never lost a single war against INDIA in all their battles so far.

Last edited by SPARKled : 3rd March 2019 at 18:20.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 18:21   #456
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
Such has been the conditioning of Pakistanis that they believe that they have never lost a single war against INDIA in all their battles so far.
Oh yeah. I think the brightest Pakistanis are hired to manage information (propaganda). Some interesting Pakistani newspaper headlines from 1971:

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Old 3rd March 2019, 18:48   #457
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Don't want to make this wonderful thread political or jingoistic but the sad thing for Pakistanis and Indians is that the Pakistan nation is a nation that belongs to an Army. And the Pakistani Army is owned by the ISI. And within the ISI the most shrill cry is that of the fundamentalist-extremist . After Musharaf took charge at the turn of the century they perfected the art of 'compliant' Prime Ministers who were given limited municipal powers and served as a face for the real power. No wonder Benazir was assassinated. Our Western problem isn't going away for another generation or two.

For aviation enthusiasts - we should not draw the conclusion that the F-16 is not up to scratch or that Pakistani pilots are not competent.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 3rd March 2019 at 18:51.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 19:50   #458
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

For aviation enthusiasts - we should not draw the conclusion that the F-16 is not up to scratch or that Pakistani pilots are not competent.
I disagree ( kindly excuse my layman assessment). IAF pilots have always been superior to PAF pilots inspite of using hand me down old technology. People easily forget that in all of IAF history it had always had to work with inferior products like Gnat, and ancient Vampire.

PAF always had advanced aircraft from Starfighter to mirage III thanks to generosity of West. Despite all those sophisticated aircraft they couldn't hold candle to IAF in both wars of 1965 and 1971.

Even now they could hardly take on IAF even with superiority in numbers. We could reach easily their major cities in both 1965 and 1971 but they couldn't reach any major towns in India. This proves something seriously is missing in PAF pilot training and is playing a second fiddle to army.

Last edited by FrozeninTime : 3rd March 2019 at 20:05.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 20:51   #459
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Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post
I disagree ( kindly excuse my layman assessment). IAF pilots have always been superior to PAF pilots inspite of using hand me down old technology. People easily forget that in all of IAF history it had always had to work with inferior products like Gnat, and ancient Vampire.

PAF always had advanced aircraft from Starfighter to mirage III thanks to generosity of West. Despite all those sophisticated aircraft they couldn't hold candle to IAF in both wars of 1965 and 1971.

Even now they could hardly take on IAF even with superiority in numbers. We could reach easily their major cities in both 1965 and 1971 but they couldn't reach any major towns in India. This proves something seriously is missing in PAF pilot training and is playing a second fiddle to army.
Such blanket statements make no sense. It is a fact that India lost more aircraft than Pakistan in 65 mainly due to their bombing of our bases. The downing of their F16 is a defining moment for us as this breaks the huge bubble of PAF superiority over the IAF in the minds of the Pakistani junta and they have started to realize that IAF is not to be taken lightly and they are more than capable of hitting us anywhere anytime. I know emotions are running high but just as the IAF, we must also not have a similar mindset as the Pakis and should respect our opposition and have to remember that PAF is also a professional and a trained organization.

Last edited by SPARKled : 3rd March 2019 at 20:54.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 21:07   #460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrozeninTime View Post
I disagree ( kindly excuse my layman assessment). IAF pilots have always been superior to PAF pilots inspite of using hand me down old technology. People easily forget that in all of IAF history it had always had to work with inferior products like Gnat, and ancient Vampire.

PAF always had advanced aircraft from Starfighter to mirage III thanks to generosity of West. Despite all those sophisticated aircraft they couldn't hold candle to IAF in both wars of 1965 and 1971.

Even now they could hardly take on IAF even with superiority in numbers. We could reach easily their major cities in both 1965 and 1971 but they couldn't reach any major towns in India. This proves something seriously is missing in PAF pilot training and is playing a second fiddle to army.
Keeping patriotism aside, it is also important to learn history, know the truth and accept the facts. Superiority in the air and Reach is not as simple as one thinks.

War is never so clinical that one can apply formula's to assess one's superiority or the damage done to the enemy. Truth is always the first casualty of the war. To boost a nation's morale, deliberate lies are fed into the public, with an aim to keep both the public as well as the military in high spirits. Admissions of severe setbacks or of inaction against an enemy would invite public anger and downfall of the respective governments. The events of last week bear testimony to this. Everything is being done to hide failures by both sides and those lies and propaganda are further backed & spiced up by the media, who apart from making senseless claims and whipping up hysteria & sentiments of war, are failing to ask the tough questions, in the fear of being labelled anti-national.

Both India as well as Pakistan abide by this style of propaganda. Thus the Indian public never heard of the retreat to Jaurian, or of the retreat to Khem Karan in 1965, while the Pakistani public never heard of its retreat from Wagah, or the battering its armoured units received at Assal Uttar in 1965 and Longewala in 1971. The Pakistanis overdo the propaganda by adding exaggerated claims to the achievements of their military. There is a hint of exaggeration on the Indian side too.

In the 1965 and 1971 wars, PAF was numerically inferior to the much larger IAF, yet they were able to hold their own against the IAF.

At the start of the 1965 war, PAF pilots had better training compared to their IAF counterparts. You had IAF Hunters and Gnats equivalent to PAF Sabres and IAF MiG-21F-13 and PFs equivalent to PAF F-104As.

In 1965, Pakistani pilots were more experienced in flying and battle tactics with more hours behind them. As they were (still are) a much smaller Air Arm and operated as close knit units for quite some time, the PAF squadrons were highly optimized. India on the other hand had diluted its pilot strengths after the post 1962 expansion. Many squadrons were bled of expert pilots and commanders to help raise new units.

To call a Gnat obsolete in the wars it fought would be quite wrong. At the start of the 1965 war, the only IAF fighters one could label obsolete were the Vampires and Ouragans and to some extent the Mystere IVA. The IAF committed the blunder of sending Vampires for CAS to under fire Indian Army troops on the opening day of the 1965 war and got badly mauled by unopposed Sabres. The Gnats could turn circles around the Sabre but for various reasons could not shoot down as many F-86s as they could have. The Hunters, while not as maneuverable as the Sabre, could outclimb the Sabre and in dogfight maneuvers in the vertical plane, could easily beat the Sabre. IAF Hunters repeatedly made the mistake of getting into turning fights with PAF Sabres, which cost them heavily.

Having superior aircraft doesn't mean you will always win. In 1965, the much vaunted F-104A of the PAF was shot down by the relatively inferior IAF Mystere IVA. In 1971, an IAF Gnat managed to get behind a PAF Mirage III and managed to damage it severely before it was able to accelerate its way out of the gun range of the Gnat. An IAF MiG-21 was shot down by a comparatively inferior F-86.

I can keep writing and keep giving more examples but the point I want to make is to avoid this superiority over each other talk and bashing air forces/pilots of both air forces must be avoided. Both air arms have been professional and have had and will keep having good pilots. Propaganda and lies will always be peddled by both sides. As enthusiasts who have keen interest in military aviation, it is important to think objectively, not get seduced by propaganda and lies.

This kind of talk is best left for the politicians who in their best judgement won't be able to differentiate between a Gorilla and Guerrilla!!! The saner minds in Armed forces of both sides do not believe in the concept of superiority over the other. At times there have been instances of some boasting and how they taught the enemy a lesson, but they know in their hearts that underestimating the enemy is the greatest blunder any fighter pilot can do.

This is where some books written on the Indo-Pak Air War give a detailed and balanced view of the Air War. PVS Jagan Mohan's books on Indo-Pak Air Wars are fantastic. I advice everyone to get a copy and read the accounts of air combat and the analysis of the aircraft kills and losses. A book on the PAF titled Fiza'ya written by Indian authors too has good analysis about the PAF. The book "Flight of the Falcon" written by decorated PAF pilot, Air Commodore Sajjad Haider, gives a no holes barred account of the PAF's side of the air war, where he candidly admits the things that went wrong with the PAF and Pakistan in general in the 1965 & 1971 wars. He even wrote in his book and I quote :

Quote:
Every year the 1965 war is celebrated remorselessly to keep under wraps the failures of our leadership at the time. I feel cheated and enraged at the loss of the many gallant men who were martyred believing they were fighting for a sacred cause. The 1971 war was a corollary to the 1965 war and the Kargil conflict followed in the same vein. Shallow personal interests were projected as national interests by dictators. All these wars and conflicts proved to be catastrophic for the economy and security of Pakistan. Were these conflicts avoidable? If not, why were they not planned and directed with professional dexterity? Why were no lessons learnt from each disaster? Such questions have hardly been addressed candidly from fear of retribution by the powers that be.
I feel it should be my legacy to leave behind a detailed account of not just the battles in which I fought, but the circumstances which led to these senseless conflicts and the leaders responsible for perpetrating them. In the end, the truth shall prevail.
The deeper meaning of the quote basically sums up the entire meaning of my post. For any patriot, It is important to be proud of the Armed Forces but it also equally important to know the truth about their successes and failures.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th March 2019 at 07:22. Reason: As requested
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Old 3rd March 2019, 22:26   #461
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Keeping patriotism aside, it is also important to learn history, know the truth and accept the facts. Superiority in the air and Reach is not as simple as one thinks.
Thank you for this post. Undoubtedly a most sensible and balanced post which is a must read by all lovers of aviation. Our pride for our nation and our Air Force is not to be doubted and the best respect we can show our men in light blue uniform is to avoid jingoism and chest thumping - leave that to the arm chair warriors in chat rooms and politicians. You'll never find the men & pilots on the front line indulging in it.

Staying just with the air to air engagement (and not getting into the pre-emptive strike) what it has established is that Abhinandan is a first class pilot - best of breed and that the Bison upgrade is worth every paisa and vindicated itself of all the B.S. doled out by pathetically uninformed journalists. It does not mean that the Bison is better than an F-16 anymore than the earlier negative articles, in our press, on the MiG-21 made the F-16 superior to it. Air combat is infinitely more complex than the paper specs of rival aircraft. The writer with the latest or most expensive pen does not necessarily write the best books.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th March 2019 at 07:24. Reason: Quoted text edited
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Old 4th March 2019, 10:20   #462
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I have read somewhere that many Pak pilots are on lien to some Arab air forces where they get to operate varied and advanced jets. That way I think their experience and professional knowledge can't be questioned.
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Old 4th March 2019, 10:36   #463
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Though the thread is about combat aircraft the discussion merits that we consider the concept of air power and not aircraft alone. It's the coordinated application of the components of air power that will enable us a win.
A good read for all interested in a little deeper understanding of our air power.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2012/0...-war-pub-49421
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Old 4th March 2019, 11:25   #464
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How does one 'confirm' a kill in a dogfight? Now it's my understanding that there is still no confirmation that the Mig-21 did down an F-16. Understandably, the country that operates the F-16 will deny it ever happened. So how do all those WW-2 aces and fliers from other wars claim the 'ace' status unless they were able to confirm a certain number of kills?
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Old 4th March 2019, 11:42   #465
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I have read somewhere that many Pak pilots are on lien to some Arab air forces where they get to operate varied and advanced jets. That way I think their experience and professional knowledge can't be questioned.
Many Pakistani pilots get deputed to Arab Air Forces, some even got deputed during Arab-Israeli Wars. Some Pakistani pilots even went on to shoot down Israeli jets in air to air combat. Such officially known PAF pilots who immediately come to mind are Saiful Azam and Sattar Alvi.

During the 1967 Six Day War, Saiful Azam was on deputation to the the Royal Jordanian Air force and the Iraqi Air Force, ironically flying Jordanian/Iraqi Hawker Hunters. He became the first Pakistani pilot to score against the Israeli Air Force. He shot down a Vatour II, a Super Mystere, and a Mirage IIIC. He is the only fighter pilot to fly in four different air forces - Pakistani, Jordanian, Iraqi and later Bangladeshi. He downed an Indian AF Gnat during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, making him the only pilot in the world to shoot down different kinds of military jets flying in two different air forces. After the 1971 war, being an ethnic Bengali of East Pakistan origin, he joined the Bangladeshi Air Force and served it till his retirement.

Sattar Alvi was on deputation to the Syrian Air Force during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Some years earlier on deputation to the Egyptian Air Force, he qualified on the MiG-21, which at that time was becoming the mainstay of Arab Air Forces. In one of the missions, while flying a Syrian MiG-21F-13, he shot down an Israeli Air Force Mirage IIICJ.

While Indian AF pilots did get deputed to the Iraqi Air Force in the 1980s to train Iraqi MiG pilots, they did not participate in the Iran-Iraq war. An Indian pilot was witness to the 1967 Six Day war as he was on deputation to Egypt for the development of Egypt's indigenous HA-300 fighter, whose afterburning E-300 engine was rumoured to be being jointly developed by India and Egypt. India hoped the engine would be developed to power the HF-24 and it was apparently used on the prototype HF-24 Mk.1R.

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
How does one 'confirm' a kill in a dogfight? Now it's my understanding that there is still no confirmation that the Mig-21 did down an F-16. Understandably, the country that operates the F-16 will deny it ever happened. So how do all those WW-2 aces and fliers from other wars claim the 'ace' status unless they were able to confirm a certain number of kills?
Fighter pilots, even the great aces, counted the planes they shot down as kills. Confirming a “kill” involves evidence that he shot it, hit it, and it crashed as a result. If that can’t be documented, it’s probable, not a confirmed kill(like how the Pakistanis claim that the they shot down a second "probable" MiG last week). The evidences used to award or deny a kill to a pilot could be wreckage of downed aircraft, gun camera videos or Radar/AWACS flight track of downed fighters. As things stand at the moment and as per openly available resources, there is no way to confirm if the IAF shot down a PAF F-16 last week. There could be eye witnesses who saw the F-16 burning and going down. But even that has to be proved with evidence to award a kill.

But that being said, always remember fighter pilots are trained to think that hunt airplanes, not men flying them. I have read personal accounts by fighter pilots who expressed deep regret over their vanquished opponent not being able to get out of his doomed and burning plane. Some even followed it all the way to the ground to confirm the kill and prayed all the way that they would see a "Good Chute" (parachute deployment of the pilot who ejected/jumped out of his aircraft) and others who took great delight in finding out that they had just defeated a talented and lucky enemy pilot of renown (e.g., Richthofen, the Red Baron of WW I fame)—not because they had killed the man, but because they had proved more skillful in air to air combat. If you just count numbers, an unarmed cargo plane or helicopter is just the same as a kill on a fighter flown by an enemy’s top fighter pilot. Thinking too much about the people in the cockpit can drive a victorious pilot to be full of remorse. For e.g the PAF pilot who shot down the then Gujarat Chief Minister B R Mehta's Beechcraft in the 1965 war killing all onboard. He expressed great regret that he shot down civilians, but in the end, he was just doing his job and thought he was gunning down a reconnaissance aircraft.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th March 2019 at 07:39. Reason: typos
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