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Old 21st May 2019, 17:39   #586
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
Unfortunately such has been our defence procurement since the Bofors saga. No wants to take buying decisions in fear of scams.The tejas just isn't coming fast enough and the version that the AF wants i.e mK1a still has no confirmed orders from the AF. Heck its still only a paper plane and not even a prototype has flown yet. Only the first 40 are confirmed in the current form. We have bought additional SU30s precisely for the same reason. The numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate. Anything will do in the present scenario. Mig29, old M2k even Su30s.
That's exactly my understanding of these "quick buys", based on my passive reading over the recent years.

Besides, I remember the following article circa 2017 - https://www.rbth.com/blogs/continent...illions-736491

Quote:
...Malaysia may have acted in haste by calling for their replacement. In comparison, India the first export customer of the MiG-29 has been flying the same aircraft a lot longer without permanently grounding any aircraft.

In fact, the Malaysian MiGs have a lot of life left in them. According to Defense News, the current airframe life of the MiG-29 is pegged at 4000 flight hours, although the highest number of hours logged by any Malaysian MiG is just 1800 hours in 20 years of service. This clearly shows the RMAF trains an extremely limited number of hours.
The crux of this article is that there's more than 50% of the Malaysian Mig 29s' useful life left before any major refitting is to be done. Indeed, it does seem that the Malaysians are jumping the gun, or throwing their babies out with the bathwater. They didn't really need to replace their Mig 29s, but they clearly want to. In this sense, it is clear to me that we aren't quite buying junk from them.
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Old 29th May 2019, 11:09   #587
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Here's a Point of View on why the Mig 21 is quite dangerous to fly:

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The Russian made MiG-21 has several deficiencies. This is a very tricky aircraft to fly. It has many names with some calling it the flying coffin which also applied to the F-104 Starfighter. Junior pilots tend to be the most accident prone on the MiG-21. Its not forgiving as other Russian fighters.

Some of the issues on the MiG-21 is

- It can't use the entire fuel in the jet due to the fuel system of the aircraft and the situation of the fuel tanks. Flying on internal fuel will last a mere 35 minutes. Some pilots sometimes do not realised this and most end up ejecting due to lack of fuel
- Fuel system issues as this requires continuous maintenance. Any disruption of the fuel system will end up the aircraft crashing
- Heavy stick during high performance could render the aircraft going out of control and there by proving difficulties for pilots to regain full control. This normally translate into a crash
- Engine reliability issues. The MiG-21 engines require maintenance based on the interval as per manufacture requirements but ground crew is required to keep review just by eyeball to see if the engine is good to fly when its up and firing. Sometimes engine malfunction occurs before the aircraft drive on the taxi towards take off. However it is unfortunate when a younger pilot takes control only to realise there is problems with the aircraft. At times the jet is ditched and the pilot ejects.
- The aircraft is getting old and expensive to maintain. Expensive is in terms of replacing worn out parts, modifying parts locally as Russia do not produce these parts anymore. Buying parts from unknown sources can help cause crashes as they do not meet specifications.
- We have to remember, the Fishbeds belong to an era where engineering concepts was still in its infancy and the study of hydraulics and materials is still new. In todays age, aircraft engineering is as complex as ever. The MiG-21 had is flaws but it was acceptable at the time. There were limits that pilots need to know. As you already know, rookies and even the seniors tend to make mistake with their Fishbed and unfortunately the aircraft is not forgiving. Modifying the Fishbed to today’s engineering solution is an expensive affair and complex. When something is changed in the Fishbed, it could affect flight performance or anything that could endanger the aircraft and the pilot. If a country can’t afford the MiG-21, some would have travelled to China to get their hands on the F-7 which is an identical product of the Fishbed with some improvements inside. However the Chinese F-7 do require a lot of maintenance but in many ways was much better than the Russian Fishbeds.
Source: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-...e03e&srid=dGZL
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Old 29th May 2019, 13:11   #588
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Here's a Point of View on why the Mig 21 is quite dangerous to fly:



Source: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-...e03e&srid=dGZL
This Quora answer is mixing up several unrelated items and trying to craft an answer. He is also mixing up generic points that apply to all aircraft at all times with points specific to the MiG-21. Allow me to answer in the evening with leisure. And he is missing out the single two biggest reasons the pre-Bison MiG-21s were crashing and killing young pilots.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 29th May 2019 at 13:13.
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Old 29th May 2019, 15:02   #589
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
This Quora answer is mixing up several unrelated items and trying to craft an answer. He is also mixing up generic points that apply to all aircraft at all times with points specific to the MiG-21. Allow me to answer in the evening with leisure. And he is missing out the single two biggest reasons the pre-Bison MiG-21s were crashing and killing young pilots.
To the best of my knowledge what Mr Narayan will bring up is the fact that the reason younger IAF pilots seems to inordinately wreck their Mig-21s is to do with the high speed with which it lands. So often these still wet behind the ear pilots were transitioning from more sedate trainer aircraft straight to a mercurial but rather rapid old platform like the Bisons. The way I see it they were going for a brisk walk to a full sprint with no jogging in between. Hence the impetus on the IAF to acquire modern jet trainers that can bridge that gap and better train the fast jet pilots.

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I am not an expert but let me share my point of view. The Apache wins over the Mi-35 on several counts ..
I know many tend to roll their eyes at American brags about their kit but there can't be any doubt about the AH-64 Apache. It truly is the finest attack helicopter there is. It's a veritable tank in the skies and any air force would do well to have it provided they can afford it. It's seen over a decade of near constant use in the dust bowl of the Middle East and many more settings nonetheless, and it's served with distinction. Originally conceived to lay waste to masses of mechanised Soviet mobile units flooding through the Fulda Gap during the Cold War, I think they might be the most consequential of the major systems introduced during the Reagan era alongside other luminaries like the Abrams for example. In it's Apache Longbow iteration I'd say the IAF and more importantly the public can rest assured we've bought the best. It would serve us extremely well in the Western frontier and as mentioned before would not only bring along mobility, survivability, the ability to lug a whole bunch of munitions but also operate at high altitudes where we'll probably find ourselves fielding them.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

Second factor applicable to the Air Force specifically is the dominance in all decision making and indeed perspective itself of pilots over all else and within pilots of the fighter stream over all others.
This isn't an isolated case for the IAF. Take the USAF. Following WW2, General Curtis LeMay and his "Bomber Mafia" controlled the show and as a result we saw schemes like Operation Chrome Dome (the 24/7 sorties of B-52s all over the globe in order to enable nuclear strike on the Soviets - something that inevitably led to a lot of nuclear close calls from accidents projects like the Valkyrie supersonic bomber to just name a few.
Soon you had the dominance of the Fighter Mafia and the inordinate support for manned fighter programmes. It's why you see so much anguished debate in the US at USAF attempts to nix the CAS angel A-10 warthogs even though they're the perfect platform for the sort of dirty close up wars they seem to be fighting now. Similarly the reticence both the USAF & USN-air arms show towards unmanned platforms. It seems perplexing that the supposed bleeding edge of airpower would be outwardly so hesitant about tech that is very much the future (though there's a school of thought that the only logical explanation must be the existence of mature UAVs in the black world - evidence being cases like the crashed RQ-170 sentinel that brought it to the public eye).

So yes, it would seem that fighter jocks dominate the leadership in air forces everywhere. Shame really as I imagine someone from the logistics division or maybe even more grunt like gritty low and slow platforms might bring in a more expansive outlook to the operations of an air force as they'll be close enough to know how they impact the poor mugs on the ground and able to look up and see how they can strike from up on high.

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
So are we buying the MiG-29 airframes? If the Malaysian airforce already retired them (for reasons whatsoever), I believe there may not be so much life left in them. What happened to the Russians offering us some 20 odd brand new airframes that were meant for some other country but never delievered.
Erm, I'd hesitate to call those Russian airframes brand new. They were mothballed unbuilt airframes that spent decades lying in the shed essentially. It's why I tend to add an addendum when people state INS Vikramaditya was brand new. Patently it isn't. It's like a project car where we took on a relatively fleshed out old frame and set about building it out to our spec. Even recently we had a fire on board so there's on denying that there's been constant issues - again just like most folks on here with project cars of their own can attest to. So let's not kid ourselves when it comes to these Mig-29 airframes. I recognise they make a prudent step to alleviate the pressing squadron numbers issue. Heck at the very least they might be worth it if its just for the spare parts alone, given how rubbish Russian spares support is in all but name.

I do however agree with the point being raised about the apples and oranges comparison of getting much larger heavier platforms like the Su-30 or Mig-29 to replace dwindling Mig-21s. For what we use the latter for we need a nimble lightweight fighter we can field in numbers. Evidently it seems the Tejas will be consigned to being the proverbial light at the end of a tunnel marked "Make in India - HAL's pipe dream"..
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Old 29th May 2019, 22:36   #590
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

As @ads11 correctly points out it was lack of a proper training syllabus for fast jets that led to several young pilots being killed flying the MiG-21. The MiG-21 along with the English Electric Lightning has the highest landing speed of any main line production fighter before or since - around 320 to 340 kmph. This along with its acceleration and fast response to controls made it a high risk in the hands of a novice. Our worthy bureaucrats took 20 years to allow the IAF to procure the superb BAe Hawk fast jet trainer - the blood of those dozens of young pilots in my opinion is on the hands of those worthies. In fact when finally the purchase (and assembly by HAL) was finally getting approved one sick bureaucrat had the gumption to put a file noting that if the IAF had lived without a fast jet trainer for 2 decades did they really need one. Sharing this to give you an idea how at least some (though not all) pen pushers behave.

The second reason for MiG-21 malfunctions were our purchase of spares from Bulgaria and Romania which were of questionable quality. This was in the 1990s in order to save money versus Russian stocks which were being overpriced. On the face of it this was a reasonable decision except that we didn't know at the time about the pooer quality of those spares.

Quotes from the Quora answer on the MiG-21 in boxes with my notes below them

Quote:
- It can't use the entire fuel in the jet due to the fuel system of the aircraft and the situation of the fuel tanks. Flying on internal fuel will last a mere 35 minutes. Some pilots sometimes do not realized (sic) this and most end up ejecting due to lack of fuel
- Fuel system issues as this requires continuous maintenance. Any disruption of the fuel system will end up the aircraft crashing
The entire fuel not being usable due to centre of gravity reasons was an issue with the MF/M which we built in the ~1974 to 1980 period and those were retired relatively early. This was not an issue with the earlier FL or later -bis. How long your internal fuel will last is a function of throttle setting. There is no one number of minutes. The -bis carried just under 3000 litres of fuel internally which would last it about 25 minutes at full dry (or military) thrust at which she consumed fuel at ~90 kgs/hour.* The sentence I've put in italics is worse than daft. What the author probably doesn't realize is that most tactical fighter missions are of a short duration.
Quote:
- Engine reliability issues. The MiG-21 engines require maintenance based on the interval as per manufacture requirements but ground crew is required to keep review just by eyeball to see if the engine is good to fly when its up and firing.
??!!! I thought all engines required to be maintained at intervals as per the OEMs schedule.
Quote:
Sometimes engine malfunction occurs before the aircraft drive on the taxi towards take off. However it is unfortunate when a younger pilot takes control only to realise there is problems with the aircraft. At times the jet is ditched and the pilot ejects. - We have to remember, the Fishbeds belong to an era where engineering concepts was still in its infancy and the study of hydraulics and materials is still new. In todays age, aircraft engineering is as complex as ever.
Typical of the irrelevant nonsense we find on Quora by internet experts posing behind a pseudonym.

*PS: I am writing from memory. The real figures would vary a bit; but these are directionally correct.
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Old 30th May 2019, 10:41   #591
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I want to extend many thanks to Mr.Narayan for setting the record straight firstly.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Typical of the irrelevant nonsense we find on Quora by internet experts posing behind a pseudonym.
I've had it with all these experts on Quora. I'm unfollowing them on Quora and I won't share something here from there unless it's from a trusted source (the ones where Quora marks profiles with a verified blue tick mark).

Quote:
*PS: I am writing from memory. The real figures would vary a bit; but these are directionally correct.
This is the kind of tacitly built-in knowledge that matters; those who have to look up other sources before talking about a subject just don't know enough!
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Old 30th May 2019, 10:45   #592
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I want to extend many thanks to Mr.Narayan for setting the record straight firstly.


I've had it with all these experts on Quora. I'm unfollowing them on Quora and I won't share something here from there unless it's from a trusted source (the ones where Quora marks profiles with a verified blue tick mark).


This is the kind of tacitly built-in knowledge that matters; those who have to look up other sources before talking about a subject just don't know enough!
Please feel free to put your questions, doubts, thoughts, disagreements, counter points etc on the thread - we all love to answer & argue:-). My passion is aircrafts and warships. It is strange to be writing on a car forum - one day the Mods might wake up and toss me out!! Happy that @ads11 and I could add some value.
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Old 30th May 2019, 11:14   #593
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
Do read up on the story when our Mig29s buzzed the Pakistani F16s with its BVR locks diring Kargil, which ensured that PAF had no role to play in that war.
Much has changed between then and now. PAF has better equipped AIM 120 whose engaging range exceeds that R77. This was experienced during the pak retaliation of the balakot strikes when the PAK F16 locked on and fired BVR missiles at IAF Su30 . Buy the time the Su30's out maneuvered the incoming missile the F16 were beyond the range of R77. Hence IAF is looking at Israels I-Derby ER missiles as an alternative for R77.

Also PAK has more number of AWACS than us, meaning more eyes in the sky when needed

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 30th May 2019 at 11:17.
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Old 30th May 2019, 13:31   #594
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
To the best of my knowledge what Mr Narayan will bring up is the fact that the reason younger IAF pilots seems to inordinately wreck their Mig-21s is to do with the high speed with which it lands.
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
As @ads11 correctly points out it was lack of a proper training syllabus for fast jets that led to several young pilots being killed flying the MiG-21. The MiG-21 along with the English Electric Lightning has the highest landing speed of any main line production fighter before or since - around 320 to 340 kmph. This along with its acceleration and fast response to controls made it a high risk in the hands of a novice.
Pilots moving from one type of the plane to the next typically require additional training. How relevant speed differences are for pilot training has often been misunderstood.

Flying safely has a lot to do with how a pilots stays ahead of the curve as they say. So as a pilot you constantly need to be able to think ahead and start acting at the proper time. Pilots rely a lot of on routines and part of that is baked into your memory. (Faster) speed means you need to think ahead even more/further. During all flight regimes.

I learned to fly in a little Cessna 150. Typical routine was 10-15 minutes before landing, to run through the landing brief, start getting configured etc. When I found myself flying much more advanced (and faster) aircraft 10 minutes of flying could see me cover 30-40 nm easily!. Apart from the fact that the landing brief would take longer on a complicated aircraft I also had to start doing it much earlier. You start too late, you might get stressed, make mistakes, overlook stuff, makes for sloppy, if not dangerous landings if you continue.

Such high landing speeds are quite extraordinary and leave very little margin for error or correction. You need to get it spot on. You get behind the curve on these jets you will find yourself in deep problems very quickly.

Love the BAe Hawk. Red Arrows are still flying them today. My brother in law spend quite some time in India with BAe as part of the Hawk program.

Jeroen
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Old 31st May 2019, 05:33   #595
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Much has changed between then and now. PAF has better equipped AIM 120 whose engaging range exceeds that R77. This was experienced during the pak retaliation of the balakot strikes when the PAK F16 locked on and fired BVR missiles at IAF Su30 . Buy the time the Su30's out maneuvered the incoming missile the F16 were beyond the range of R77. Hence IAF is looking at Israels I-Derby ER missiles as an alternative for R77.

Also PAK has more number of AWACS than us, meaning more eyes in the sky when needed
I think you are believing a bit too much in the recent report that talks about how ineffective the R77s are how great these aamrams are and so we need these derbys for the Su30s urgently or we are finished. The real reason we did not engage is due to the roe in place. The paf had to scoot and run and fired all their Aamrams from near R max ranges so were easily rendered ineffective by the SU30s. I hope you know that atleast 5 of these were fired and all of these were ineffective.

Firing a BVR against a rapidly retreating target is nothing but a waste of a perfectly good missile and the IAF pilots did not show a false bravado and wasted their missiles just for the heck of it unlike their adverseries.

Getting a better missile is always welcome but the R77 ie being maligned for no reason.

As for Awacs, only the tried and tested Erieyes were seen operating while the newer Chinese awacs that makes up their numbers were nowhere seen in the picture and so one really questions their effectiveness

We have another Netra in the making and the proposal for additional Phalcons acquisition is already with the CCS and should be cleared soon.

Though i agree that we are a very reactive airforce rather than a proactive one. These things shoud have happened yesterday and not after our showdown with the paf.

Last edited by SPARKled : 31st May 2019 at 05:43.
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Old 31st May 2019, 09:46   #596
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
I think you are believing a bit too much in the recent report that talks about how ineffective the R77s are how great these aamrams are and so we need these derbys for the Su30s urgently or we are finished. The real reason we did not engage is due to the roe in place. The paf had to scoot and run and fired all their Aamrams from near R max ranges so were easily rendered ineffective by the SU30s. I hope you know that atleast 5 of these were fired and all of these were ineffective.

Firing a BVR against a rapidly retreating target is nothing but a waste of a perfectly good missile and the IAF pilots did not show a false bravado and wasted their missiles just for the heck of it unlike their adverseries.

Getting a better missile is always welcome but the R77 ie being maligned for no reason.

As for Awacs, only the tried and tested Erieyes were seen operating while the newer Chinese awacs that makes up their numbers were nowhere seen in the picture and so one really questions their effectiveness

We have another Netra in the making and the proposal for additional Phalcons acquisition is already with the CCS and should be cleared soon.

Though i agree that we are a very reactive airforce rather than a proactive one. These things shoud have happened yesterday and not after our showdown with the paf.
I am not telling that the R77 is inferior. What i meant was that their range is lesser compared to the AIM120. That was the statement made by the IAF as to why they want to get the better BVR.

You are right that firing a BVR missile against a retreating target is a waste of resource.

I did not about the efficacy of the Chinese AWACS. Thanks for pointing out.
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Old 31st May 2019, 10:55   #597
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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I am not telling that the R77 is inferior. What i meant was that their range is lesser compared to the AIM120. That was the statement made by the IAF as to why they want to get the better BVR.

You are right that firing a BVR missile against a retreating target is a waste of resource.

I did not about the efficacy of the Chinese AWACS. Thanks for pointing out.
I think you are giving too much weight to max ranges of BVR. The best of them including not the very best ones are good only upto 25 30 kms. Anything over this is effective only against slow moving targets like tankers or transport aircraft. Some ram jet powered ones like meteor have a bigger NEZ. But to actually hit anything near the max ranges of BVRs only happens in Hollywood movies, which seems to be the inspiration of PAF pilots.

Read this interesting bit of amraam reality

http://idrw.org/game-changer-aim-120...m/#more-201960
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Old 31st May 2019, 11:08   #598
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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The best of them including not the very best ones are good only upto 25 30 kms. Anything over this is effective only against slow moving targets like tankers or transport aircraft. Some ram jet powered ones like meteor have a bigger NEZ. But to actually hit anything near the max ranges of BVRs only happens in Hollywood movies, which seems to be the inspiration of PAF pilots.
I'm pretty sure PAF is aware of this too. Actually shooting down 3 or 4 Indian jets is serious escalation and that is something they did not want. That's why they shot off 5 AMRAAMs and 4 H-4 glide bombs with the intention of not hitting targets. They were just making a point. Mig 21/Abhinandan was just an unexpected bonus for them.

PAF is fully aware of Su 27 family aircraft capabilities because they regularly conduct exercises with the Chinese (who operate close to 400 such aircraft)
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Old 31st May 2019, 12:26   #599
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I'm pretty sure PAF is aware of this too. Actually shooting down 3 or 4 Indian jets is serious escalation and that is something they did not want. That's why they shot off 5 AMRAAMs and 4 H-4 glide bombs with the intention of not hitting targets. They were just making a point. Mig 21/Abhinandan was just an unexpected bonus for them.

PAF is fully aware of Su 27 family aircraft capabilities because they regularly conduct exercises with the Chinese (who operate close to 400 such aircraft)
Well I m not sure if making a point by firing amraams at R max distances or standoff weapons was really what PAF wanted to do, considering that PAF is a bankrupt airforce of a bankrupt nation. Their sole aim was appeasement of their Aam Abduls by bagging a SU30, which is considered the pride and joy of the IAF, and prove to them, that they can strike India's armed forces at will and thus maintain their false superiority over the IAF in their nation's eyes.

However the F16s, which are still their best aircraft who were leading this strike package, were jumped by Mig21s, who brought down the 2 seater lead F16 and meanwhile the entire JF17 and Mirage fleet was held at bay by IAF M2000s. So once their leader went down, they bolted and fired everything they had without any effective firing solutions and prayed for a kill. One standoff weapon did manage to strike some trees in the Brigade HQ compound.

Now importantly, they fired weapons at our brigade HQ. The fact that these weapons caused no damage and casualties does not matter. Pakistan, as far as India was concerned had already escalated by attacking its armed forces. So there is no question of them avoiding escalation and just showing off their capabilites. Had Abhi not been captured, the retaliation would have definitely been there. The world powers again intervened to have him returned in promise of non escalation by India.
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Old 31st May 2019, 12:46   #600
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SPARKled View Post
However the F16s, which are still their best aircraft who were leading this strike package, were jumped by Mig21s, who brought down the 2 seater lead F16 and meanwhile the entire JF17 and Mirage fleet was held at bay by IAF M2000s.
I've read too that their strike formation was startled and their battle plans went awry when our Mig 21s came out of nowhere out of the radar-shadows of the Pir Panjal range. They panicked and prematurely (note to self: ahem, keep it civil man) let go of their missiles before turning tail.
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