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Old 4th July 2019, 08:54   #616
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
IAF lost 44 aircraft and choppers since 2014-15
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/70060457.cms

But before jumping to a conclusion that IAF is incompetent or IAF aircraft is badly maintained, we need to compare this data with military aircraft crashes all over the world. After all, India (Air Force + Army + Navy + coast guard put together) operates a large number of military aircraft - only USA, Russia and China has higher number of aircraft.
Here is the list of world's military aircraft lost to crashes since 2014
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...3present)#2014
Very very roughly this translates to a loss of 0.55% of aircraft in the active inventory per annum. I have assumed a rough 1600 aircraft and rotary wings in the active inventory including trainers & transports. I don't know what that may be in terms of flying hours but we could assume 350 hours per aircraft given that the fast combat do 300* a year and the transports and choppers some what more we get roughly one loss per 55,000 hours of flying. How does this compare with other established Air Forces - say UK, France, Japan. Data on Russia and China is suspect and USA is fighting wars of its own creation. Would any one have this data?

One reason the IAF have a challenge is Russian spares and reliability issues with their engines. One hears a lot less about the Mirage 2000s or the Jaguars crashing despite most being in the 20 to 35 years of age range. The crash rate I think has improved from the last decade when due to the older MiG-21s and lack of fast jet trainers the crash rate of young pilots was terrible. I hope somewhere in God's ledger the crime of the death of those rookie pilots is recorded against the anal bureaucrats who stalled the purchase for 20 years - two full decades!

* While a fast jet pilot mat do 250 to 275 hour a year the aircraft itself does more given that the crew to aircraft ratio is always a little over 1.0.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 4th July 2019 at 08:57.
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Old 4th July 2019, 09:07   #617
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Very very roughly this translates to a loss of 0.55% of aircraft in the active inventory per annum. I have assumed a rough 1600 aircraft and rotary wings in the active inventory including trainers & transports.
Flightglobal.com is the best website for such data. IAF alone has 2000+ aircraft. The breakup:

Combat aircraft: 804
Special missions: 77
Tankers: 7
Transport: 239
Combat Helicopters: 706
Training aircraft/helicopters: 352

Source: flightglobal.pdf
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Old 4th July 2019, 09:19   #618
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Flightglobal.com is the best website for such data. IAF alone has 2000+ aircraft. The breakup:

Combat aircraft: 804
Special missions: 77
Tankers: 7
Transport: 239
Combat Helicopters: 706
Training aircraft/helicopters: 352

Source: Attachment 1889886
Thanks for pointing me to this. 2000 sounds more realistic. So the ratio improves to 0.44% of inventory per year. Of course these are just very rough guestimates.
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Old 4th July 2019, 21:10   #619
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Accident rates are compared across the world on the basis of flying hours. What I recollect that we calculated rate per 10,000 hrs of flying, USAF calculated per 1,00,000 hrs of flying and am not sure of RAF. Then there is also an issue of fleet flying hours for eg some calculated for fighters, transports and choppers independently while others across the full spectrum of flying. So a direct comparison is always a tricky exercise.

Though my knowledge is dated but what I recollect in late 90's and early 2000's we had horrendous record of over 1/10,000 hrs of flying, at one time we started losing in excess two aircraft per month. While USAF and RAF were below 0.2, our western adversary was matching us. We are down to 0.3 now, that's something our RM has reiterated few days ago.

https://indianexpress.com/article/in...hanoa-5809214/

In the IAF, each accident or incident gets categorised into either Technical Defect, Bird Hit, Human Error aircrew or servicing and others. Technical defects are basically design failures and remedial measures require rework on that particular assembly or SOP amendments. Till some time back TDs were the biggest cause as at each life stage older generation aircraft displayed varying problems.

Reduction of accident rate in IAF has followed a kind of sinusoidal curve with each peak normally registering a lower value. Also when the environment starts to heat up the accident rate tends to climb before stabilising. It’s quite a complicated game as to how much pressure is built up by the Commander on the operator and the maintainer and their ability to bear it at that moment in time.

Last edited by PGA : 4th July 2019 at 21:14.
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Old 5th July 2019, 10:23   #620
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I've been burned like a moth in the flame by Quora content quite a few times by now. But this time I'm tempted beyond reason - I came across this personal blog post which was referred to by a popular Quora answer - https://elitepredators.wordpress.com.../goddamnitiaf/

Here's the pic and story that caught my eye. If it's true, I'm sure not many of us would've known about it-
Name:  img20190615wa0002.jpg
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This is a log book which supposedly belongs to the then IAF Air Commodore who oversaw 1971's air ops. Please note the last line entry in it; the USS Enterprise (US Navy's flagship of Task Force 74) was to be attacked by Kamikaze attacks by 40 IAF airmen who had volunteered for such a suicide mission.

Of course, the Russian Navy sent a nuclear attack sub to confront USN's Task Force 74 and history took a different course happily.

Could this be authentic? Can anyone throw some light here?

Disclaimer: I don't know if this is true or not. Hence the question.

And again - I've been burned by Quora articles before...but what if this turns out to be true?

Last edited by locusjag : 5th July 2019 at 10:34.
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Old 5th July 2019, 10:33   #621
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
This is a log book which supposedly belongs to the then IAF Air Commodore who oversaw 1971's air ops. Please note the last line entry in it; the USS Enterprise (US Navy's flagship of Task Force 71) was to be attacked by Kamikaze attacks by 40 IAF airmen who had volunteered for such a suicide mission

Could this be authentic? Can anyone throw some light here?

Disclaimer: I don't know if this is true or not. Hence the question.

And again - I've been burned by Quora articles before...but what if this turns out to be true?
You are wise to be cautious. This is not what a flight log book looks like. And even if a senior commander maintains a list it is strange it starts in 1965 and ends in 1971 'cos no one stays in a commanders role for that long. Also there was no Kamikaze plan in 1971 to deal with the Enterprise and even then it was recognised that the carrier had been sent as a show of force and to evacuate Americans stuck in Dhaka rather than to attack India. There was common sense on both sides. Some Americans and Europeans did escape in a C-130 flying South East to Myanmar. The IAF and IN tracked it but let it fly on.

Like you I too believe this page is a fake. Very sure of it.
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Old 5th July 2019, 10:38   #622
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
You are wise to be cautious. This is not what a flight log book looks like. And even if a senior commander maintains a list it is strange it starts in 1965 and ends in 1971 'cos no one stays in a commanders role for that long. Also there was no Kamikaze plan in 1971 to deal with the Enterprise and even then it was recognised that the carrier had been sent as a show of force and to evacuate Americans stuck in Dhaka rather than to attack India. There was common sense on both sides. Some Americans and Europeans did escape in a C-130 flying South East to Myanmar. The IAF and IN tracked it but let it fly on.

Like you I too believe this page is a fake. Very sure of it.
There are 2500 upvotes and counting in Quora for an answer that cites this Wordpress blog and that supposed log-book. Quora, oh Quora, little do you know what's really going on...

And thank you sir. I found it odd too that 1965's logs would carry on to 1971's logs, with the same ink and handwriting. But the logbook seemed - believable I guess, to a total outsider like me. And who would take this much pain of printing and preparing a hoax like this? Is joblessness at its heights in our country?

Edit: Turns out that the wordpress blog has merely rehashed what a Twitter user had put out. So there's yet more people talking about it on Twitter
Aviator Anil Chopra (@Chopsyturvey) Tweeted:
Met the legendary Canberra pilot of @IAF_MCC Air Cmde KK Bhadwar Vir Chakra. Went through his log book. Here is the picture of the summary of the attacks he made in Pakistan during 1965 and 1971 wars. See the last entry of attack on USS Enterprise that was aborted enroute. https://t.co/FTlQS8Vien https://twitter.com/Chopsyturvey/sta...774339072?s=17

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-capture_20190705104441.png

Last edited by locusjag : 5th July 2019 at 10:45. Reason: Added the primary Twitter source
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Old 5th July 2019, 13:45   #623
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Possible location of the downed PAF F-16 after the events on Feb 27 has been shown in this article. Clearly, PoK civilians have been barred from going to the site and the Pakis did every they could to hide their F-16 loss.

http://idrw.org/pok-based-vlogger-sh...rash-location/
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Old 6th July 2019, 09:00   #624
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
And thank you sir. I found it odd too that 1965's logs would carry on to 1971's logs, with the same ink and handwriting. But the logbook seemed - believable I guess, to a total outsider like me.

Edit: Turns out that the wordpress blog has merely rehashed what a Twitter user had put out. So there's yet more people talking about it on Twitter
Aviator Anil Chopra (@Chopsyturvey) Tweeted:
Met the legendary Canberra pilot of @IAF_MCC Air Cmde KK Bhadwar Vir Chakra. Went through his log book. Here is the picture of the summary of the attacks he made in Pakistan during 1965 and 1971 wars. See the last entry of attack on USS Enterprise that was aborted enroute.
Attachment 1890294
Thank you for sharing. Allow me to mutter. It is entirely possible that the list is correct in terms of combat missions he flew (save the last one - more on it below) - though the list has been specially hand written for this photo opportunity. Not sure where the kamikaze piece came in but that is baloney. Professional Armed Forces know better than to throw away precious highly trained pilots in Kamikaze attacks - only the desperate or fundamentalists do that.

As its a Saturday morning let me share a story about the USS Enterprise's entry into the Bay of Bengal. The only weapon we had that had even a very very slim chance, in a hostile situation, of getting within 50 nautical miles (~90 kms) of the USS Enterprise were the Foxtrot class submarines and that too only if they by chance the Foxtrot happened to be stationed directly in the path of the sailing US task force. And we knew it. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked Admiral Nanda what he planned to do. He replied he'd asked INS Brahmaputra to sail up to the task force and ask the USS Enterprise's Captain over for tea - after all we are not at war with them he added. And that is exactly what he had actually ordered!!! Nanda understood that confrontation had to be disarmed with humour and tact.

Maybe there was talk in the IAF about going on alert - 100% that must have happened - and the Canberra's were the only aircraft with the range to fly the distance from the Indian mainland. This is very different from actually planning and preparing for mission impossible. The IAF knew that a 500 knot Canberra with no AAM missiles or radar or intertial navigation and only iron bombs for weapons cannot fly 1000 kms and come within sighting distance of a US task force (assuming you even know where it is in the vastness of the Bay of Bengal) without getting shot down long before. <muttering over:-)>
Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Possible location of the downed PAF F-16 after the events on Feb 27 has been shown in this article. Clearly, PoK civilians have been barred from going to the site and the Pakis did every they could to hide their F-16 loss.
They have to work very hard to maintain their image in the eyes of their own people of being impregnable super men. That image is needed to justify ruling the country and usurping business opportunities there.
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Old 9th July 2019, 16:02   #625
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Chinese Jugaad at work - they have transformed their ageing relic Tu-16 bomber into a cruise missile carrier. Each long range Xian H6-K bomber can carry six cruise missiles (1500 km range) giving them an amazing stand-off capability. We need our own Brahmos cruise missile carrier

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-chinese-plan-h6k-cruise-missiles-4.jpg

Old engines have been replaced with newer ones giving the aircraft longer range. And it now has a glass cockpit too

Name:  h6k_cockpit.jpg
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Size:  125.5 KB

Couple of interesting articles on H6-K bomber:

The H-6K Bomber Is China's Very Own Tough (And Old) 'B-52' Bomber
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...2-bomber-51042

China's H-6K: The 'Old' Bomber That Could 'Sink' the U.S. Navy
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...-us-navy-25913

Last edited by SmartCat : 9th July 2019 at 16:14.
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Old 9th July 2019, 21:14   #626
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Chinese Jugaad at work - they have transformed their ageing relic Tu-16 bomber into a cruise missile carrier. Each long range Xian H6-K bomber can carry six cruise missiles (1500 km range) giving them an amazing stand-off capability. We need our own Brahmos cruise missile carrier
Eurgh - I'm always rather put off by National Interest articles - they're the trash mags of the defence reporting world what with their clickbaity headlines and tabloid esque writing.

Anyway, the Chinese are simply picking up on the thinking that's basically kept the B-52 and the Tu-95 relevant. In an era of A2/AD, increasing cruise missile improvements & relevance; and a data centric battlespace managed by fighters like the F-35 offering an incredibly detailed look at the big picture - why should you retire your bomb trucks?? Instead utilise their payload; park them at stand off ranges; have your F-35 (or in China's case the J-20)
sneak in at the pointy end of enemy air defences to relay back a picture of the battlespace; vector in those coordinates to those cruise missiles and basically start lobbing them from afar. Heck someone even suggested turning the 747 Jumbo Jet into a missile truck in this manner!!

In fact one of the best changes the USAF made to the venerable BUFF's is the addition of an old school revolver-esque rotary missile launcher!

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-162470.jpg

Given that India's primary adversaries are right on our doorstep, I don't think there's much priority of developing stand off range strike platforms at the moment. I think having Brahmos equipped Su-30s should be reasonably sufficient for our needs. I've wondered if India has a need for a strategic platform like a bomber but again - we don't have issues with the tyranny of distance when it comes to the primary forces we'll be relayed against.

Anyway, coming back to the aging H6-K, don't for one second think that regardless of the purported Chinese B-2 equivalent, the shadowy H-20, that the old warhorse is done and dusted. In the confines of their infamous 9 Dash Line, it'll be the old H6-K that'll end up being tasked with the most work, likely pushing forward the ASM cruise missile envelope so that they can engage with a US carrier strike group before it even makes it near the Second Island Chain. Similarly expect US B-52s to pummel Chinese outposts like Fiery Cross Reef etc from afar. (For any Tom Clancy aficionados, I picture this like the Blackjacks coming full pelt through the Icelandic gap lobbing cruise missiles at the NATO forces in Red Storm Rising - many have said he should do a modern day equivalent just with a South China Sea setting and featuring the PLA vs the US forces..)

Makes you wonder how the designers, if still alive must feel about their slide rule designed old Cold Warriors like the B-52, Tu-16 clone, Tu-95 still soldiering on, probably piloted now by the 3rd or 4th generations of pilots. Incredible stuff.

Last edited by ads11 : 9th July 2019 at 21:40. Reason: Fixed image
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Old 10th July 2019, 01:20   #627
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Flightglobal.com is the best website for such data. IAF alone has 2000+ aircraft. The breakup:

Combat aircraft: 804
Special missions: 77
Tankers: 7
Transport: 239
Combat Helicopters: 706
Training aircraft/helicopters: 352

Source: Attachment 1889886
The Indian Air Force (IAF) presently operates approximately 1616 Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing assets (+/- 5%).

The number may increase if UAVs are included but I do not think they would exceed 50 units.

A rough break up of the fleet (info from Flight Global and Elsewhere)

Peacetime fleet wide availability rates for aircraft to meet their operational and training requirements will likely be around 60% of the numbers below (at-least for fighter aircraft). So for every 10 aircraft, on an average over the course of the year, 6 of them would be available to complete their designated tasks.

Fighter Aircraft
Sukhoi SU-30 MKI - 240 (more than 200 built under license by HAL in Nashik)
Dassault Mirage 2000 - 46 (Fully Imported)
MiG-29 - 62 (Fully Imported)
Sepecat Jaguar - 100 (bulk built under license by HAL in BLR)
MiG-21 - 115-120 (bulk if not all built under license by HAL in Nashik)
MiG-27 - 40 (all built under license by HAL in Nashik)
HAL Tejas - 10 (made by HAL in BLR)

Approximately 617 Fighter Aircraft

Trainer Aircraft
BAE Systems Hawk Mk-132 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) - 100 (bulk built under license by HAL in BLR)
HAL Kiran Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) - 80 (made by HAL in BLR)
Pilatus PC-7 MKII Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) - 75 (Fully Imported)

Approximately 255 Trainer Aircraft

Transport Aircraft
Boeing C-17 - 10 (Fully Imported)
Lockheed Martin C-130J - 11 (Fully Imported)
Ilyushin IL 76 - 14 (Fully Imported)
A-50I (AWACS)- 3 (IL-76 platform) (Fully Imported)
Ilyushin IL 78 (Mid Air Refueller) - 7 (Fully Imported)
AN-32 - 103 (Fully Imported)
Dornier Do-228 - 40 (all built under license by HAL in Kanpur)
HS-748 AVRO - 50+ (all built under license by HAL in Kanpur)

Approximately 245 Transport/AWACS/Refueller Aircraft (including 2 additional Embraer AEW&C aircraft)

Hepters
Boeing CH-47F - 6 (Fully Imported)
HAL Dhruv - 90 (all variants) (made by HAL in BLR)
Mil Mi-17 - approx 300 (Mi-17, Mi-171V & Mi-17V5) (Fully Imported)
Mi-25/35 - 15 (Fully Imported)
HAL Cheetah/Chetak - 90 (built under license by HAL in BLR)

Approximately 501 Helicopters

The following will be retired between now and 2022-2025.
MiG-21 - 115-120
MiG-27 - 40
HAL Kiran IJT - 80
Mil Mi-17 - approx 50 (acquired in the early-mid eighties)
Mi-25/35 - 15
HAL Cheetah/Chetak - 90

So a total of 405 aircraft will be retired between now and 2022-2025.

The MiG-21s and MiG-27s will be replaced by the Tejas (20 IOC, 20 FOC & 83 Tejas MK1A) - this will be complete by 2030.

This is not a 1:1 replacement, the Tejas is far superior to the MiG-21 'Bison' - in car terms think Honda City Gen 1 vs Honda City Gen 4

At present there is no replacement in sight for the Kiran as the HAL Hindustan Jet Trainer 36 (HJT-36) 'Sitara' is still in trouble. It will then likely be a foreign aircraft like the Yakovlev Yak-130 or some such.

The older Mi-17s will be replaced by newer Mi-17V5s between now and 2022-2025.

The venerable Mi-25/35s will be replaced by the Boeing AH-64D 'Apache' attack helicopters.

The Kamov Ka-226 T will replace the 1960's vintage Cheetah/Chetaks and will be built by HAL at a new factory in Tumkur near BLR and atleast 40-45 should join the IAF by 2025.

So, why is the IAF looking to acquire 110 new fighters in addition to 36 Rafales that it will receive between 2019-2022?

The process of selecting a new fighter will take atleast 5 years - as per media reports.

So even if a new fighter is selected by 2024, then deliveries will start only by 2027-28. Even if more Rafales are ordered by 2022, they will be delivered from 2025.

The older Jaguars (approx 40), followed by upgraded Jaguars, MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s (approx 160 aircraft) will need to be retired by 2035 and a replacement is needed for these medium fighters before they start getting phased out of service (ideally).

If HAL and DRDO stick to their promised timelines for the heavier Tejas Mk2, then there will be no need to import/build under license 110 fighter aircraft from the USA, Russia or Europe

Last edited by Redline6800 : 10th July 2019 at 01:25. Reason: corrected info
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Old 14th July 2019, 18:47   #628
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
At this point Germany was evaluating the F-104, Mirage III and the Lightning as its primary frontline fighter. They picked the F-104 under pressure from the Americans.
The Germans bought further F104s under pressure from the US to fulfil a low level strike role - something the F104 was clearly unsuited for. A number of pilots lost their lives in accidents as a result.

The knock-on political outcome was Germany investing in the programmes which developed the Tornado & Typhoon, effectively funding/leveraging British designs - the Typhoon was based on the BAe EAP prototype & Rolls-Royce XG-40 technical demonstrator. Germany will partner with France on Typhoon replacement, which probably means a Dassault design with a European sticker on it, whilst the UK will build the Tempest stealth fighter with Sweden, and possibly India.

The aircraft Germany were offered and should probably have acquired for low level strike had politics not intervened was the Blackburn Buccaneer.

Buccaneers were entirely designed for subsonic ultra-low level flying. The RAF didn't really want the Buccaneers they were assigned from the Navy, until they started using them & tore up Red Flag with a Buccaneer squadron. No kills were scored on the Bucc at Red Flag, it flew in under all the defences whipping up dust from the ground & became a legend in NATO.

This may seem barely believable until you actually watch the Bucc in action, the cockpit footage at 2:20 on is properly cool:



Quite possibly the best military jet ever entirely designed & built in the UK, except perhaps for the Harrier.
Attached Thumbnails
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-20190714_133559.jpg  

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Old 14th July 2019, 22:15   #629
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The aircraft Germany were offered and should probably have acquired for low level strike had politics not intervened was the Blackburn Buccaneer.
Agree with your assessment. I wish we had bought Buccaneers but in the 1960s and early 1970s we were too short of foreign exchange to afford them.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-buccaneer-1.jpg
My Buccaneer scale model. Corgi 1:72.

Quote:
Buccaneers were entirely designed for subsonic ultra-low level flying.
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-buccaneer-3.jpg

Quote:
The RAF didn't really want the Buccaneers they were assigned from the Navy, until they started using them & tore up Red Flag with a Buccaneer squadron. No kills were scored on the Bucc at Red Flag, it flew in under all the defences whipping up dust from the ground & became a legend in NATO.
The best replacement for a Buccaneer would have been one with more modern avionics and a military version of the RR Tay with 25% to 30% more thrust than the RR Spey.
Quote:
This may seem barely believable until you actually watch the Bucc in action, the cockpit footage at 2:20 on is properly cool:
Thank you for sharing. You cant get lower than that!! Some flying skill

Quote:
Quite possibly the best military jet ever entirely designed & built in the UK, except perhaps for the Harrier.
For their time I'd add the Canberra and Hunter to the list. :-)
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Old 15th July 2019, 14:44   #630
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Thanks!

That landing gear retraction immediately after nose up is crazy! Shows how much stable lift the wings generate. As said before, crazy low level flying especially over the humid sea. Those pilots got lots of "courage", decently said.

I still remember my first flight on a Diamond katana 42 over a humid lake (in summer), it was no less than a roller coaster. I salute these guys flying so low and so fast. But all in all, these flights were relatively clean (not much of a weapons load on external pylons). I am curious to see how this might have performed under full load flying so low.

Those boundary layer vents were an invention/discovery during its time. The DB9 or DB10 (Aston Martin) rear air curtain was inspired by this, as said by one of its developers.
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