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Old 8th August 2019, 19:48   #661
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Kinda off topic but given such a large part of the thread became a sub thread on the infamous February air skirmish here's a handy little video that alludes to how important aggressor squadrons are:



Speaking of aggressor squadrons, I know we're backed up as it is trying to keep what we have up in the air but, Do we have any IAF aggressor squadrons? Imagine it's still rather pertinent given our neighbourhood, though it seems that we've been making up for it with plenty of multinational joint exercises.
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Old 8th August 2019, 21:09   #662
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Kinda off topic but given such a large part of the thread became a sub thread on the infamous February air skirmish here's a handy little video that alludes to how important aggressor squadrons are:


Speaking of aggressor squadrons, I know we're backed up as it is trying to keep what we have up in the air but, Do we have any IAF aggressor squadrons? Imagine it's still rather pertinent given our neighbourhood, though it seems that we've been making up for it with plenty of multinational joint exercises.
Yes we do. Its part of TACDE. cant say more on open forum, but I have first hand info on this.

Last edited by moralfibre : 20th August 2019 at 09:31. Reason: Removing embedded video from quoted post.
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Old 9th August 2019, 10:53   #663
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Do we have any IAF aggressor squadrons? Imagine it's still rather pertinent given our neighbourhood, though it seems that we've been making up for it with plenty of multinational joint exercises.
Unlike the USAF, USMC and USN which have dedicated Aggressor squadrons flying F-16s, F-18s, F-15s and T-38s, the IAF does not have aggressor squadrons in true sense of the word. But TACDE (Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment) comes close.

TACDE was established in early 1971 as Tactics and Combat Development and Training Squadron(TCDTS) to study, teach and evolve tactical procedures and doctrines for various IAF aircraft. They were equipped initially with the MiG-21FL & Su-7 fighters and flew in the 1971 war as a composite MiG-21FL/SU-7 squadron. In 1972, TCDTS was renamed as TACDE. As the years went by, they received newer aircraft including Su-30MKIs and started giving ACM, weapon delivery and intercept training to other IAF pilots

As with regular IAF squadrons in the 80s and early 90s, TACDE did have some spectacularly painted MiG-21s for ACM training
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-tacde_1.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-tacde_2.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-tacde_3.jpg
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Old 16th August 2019, 10:18   #664
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

current TACDE comprises of M2K and Su30MKIs on permanent station
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:13   #665
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

https://theprint.in/defence/iaf-set-...nstead/278687/

News article in Print. Some exerpts

Quote:
The Indian Air Force is set to shelve its plan for an engine upgrade of the Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft due to the high cost involved. Instead, it could go in for additional Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs to replace the aircraft that will be grounded, ThePrint has learnt.Top sources in the defence establishment said the Rolls-Royce Adour 811 engines of the 1980s vintage twin-engine aircraft have seen 15-30 per cent reduction in thrust. This means the Jaguar cannot carry its full load.The IAF had planned to go in for an engine upgrade and had selected US firm Honeywell’s F-125IN engines. But sources termed the Jaguar upgrade programme as being an awkward state of affairs.“The price quoted by Honeywell and the HAL for ‘re-engining’ is just too high. For the price of two such upgrades, we can get one basic Rafale,” a source said.
Rather a pity that for 15 years – yes you read that right – we prevaricated over this decision and now it is so late that the decision is becoming irrelevant. With the INR having moved in that time from 38 to 70 to the USD you can be very sure the price is a lot higher now! The IAF cried itself hoarse on this. Both the Honeywell F-125 IN and the upgraded Rolls Royce Adour were available. The RR was a natural fit being a higher mark of the same engine delivering 2.9kN of dry thrust but alas. I have often wondered why no bureaucrat is hauled up for destroying national value by not taking decisions and simply pushing it to the next year. I understand these are subjective & complex matters and not measurable like a sales target in a company but still. In some ways saying let’s have two more squadrons of Su-30MKIs does make sense today. If the re-engining had gone forward say in 2007 we would have had 5.5 Jaguar squadrons today all fully relevant well into the 2020s and some into the 2030s depending on airframe hours. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:29   #666
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
In some ways saying let’s have two more squadrons of Su-30MKIs does make sense today. If the re-engining had gone forward say in 2007 we would have had 5.5 Jaguar squadrons today all fully relevant well into the 2020s and some into the 2030s depending on airframe hours. Sorry for the rant.
Jaguar is a ground attack aircraft and it needs continuous support by air superiority fighters. In today’s scenario where we have all kinds of guided short range to medium missiles and rockets, Brahmos and Spice bombs at our disposal, how big a role does the Jaguar still play in our scheme of things? IAF used Mirage2000 for the Balakot strike, not Jaguar.

Also, sir please explain why you feel additional squadrons of Su30MKI may not be the greatest idea.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 20th August 2019 at 09:31.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:30   #667
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I read somewhere it is Rs 100 crores a piece cheaper to buy the Su 30 MKI directly from Russia, instead of buying from HAL to develop "internal" capabilities. They have been developing those capabilities forever and in the most inefficient PSU way. Kick them out of the equation for any future aircraft and buy directly. Even the Tejas should be farmed out to the private sector for faster and more efficient manufacture.

Will the present chest thumping CG do anything to fast track the measures to plug the shortfall in squadron strength?
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:40   #668
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I have often wondered why no bureaucrat is hauled up for destroying national value by not taking decisions and simply pushing it to the next year. I understand these are subjective & complex matters and not measurable like a sales target in a company but still. In some ways saying let’s have two more squadrons of Su-30MKIs does make sense today. If the re-engining had gone forward say in 2007 we would have had 5.5 Jaguar squadrons today all fully relevant well into the 2020s and some into the 2030s depending on airframe hours. Sorry for the rant.
This is not in public domain - but just analyzing the purchases made in the past decade, it looks like we have temporarily changed our strategy from acquiring fighter jets to acquiring air defense systems.

1) Notice how many surface-to-air missile systems we have acquired recently - S400, LR-SAM/MR-SAM (Barak 8) and Akash missile defence system.

2) In 1965 and 1971, sure, PAF did some pre-emptive strikes. But after that, PAF aircraft never bothered to crossover the border. Going by the combat range of F16/JF17, it is clear that PAF is primarily a defensive force. If China attacks, IAF will primarily be a defensive force!

IAF chief seems to be pretty satisfied with what we have right now. And he is confident that by 2032, we will have 42 squadrons.
https://www.business-standard.com/ar...0501022_1.html

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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
In today’s scenario where we have all kinds of guided short range to medium missiles and rockets, Brahmos and Spice bombs at our disposal, how big a role does the Jaguar still play in our scheme of things?
Glide bombs and Pinaka rockets are fine, but cruise and ballistic missiles are super-expensive. Each missile costs anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million. There is not much bang for the buck (literally ) since each missile can deliver only 300 to 500 kg of explosives. Fighter jets in IAF can deliver 4 to 6 tons of dumb or laser guided bombs in just one sortie!

Last edited by SmartCat : 20th August 2019 at 09:55.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:02   #669
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Jaguar is a ground attack aircraft and it needs continuous support by air superiority fighters. In today’s scenario where we have all kinds of guided short range to medium missiles and rockets, Brahmos and Spice bombs at our disposal, how big a role does the Jaguar still play in our scheme of things? IAF used Mirage 2000 for the Balakot strike, not Jaguar.
I am talking of a decision that should have been taken 15 years ago but was allowed to drag till it is no longer relevant and that is symptomatic of how MoD is run by the IAS despite efforts of the current Govt. Maybe I do not understand your line of thinking. Are you saying just because Mirage 2000 was used in one high profile mission 100+ Jaguars in which thousands of crores are invested should be allowed to wither away. Maybe that's not what you mean but it comes across that way.

The Jaguar still has meaning because of its range. And 5.5 squadrons ie about one sixth of the strength not getting upgraded to their fullest potential is a sad state. Why would you let 5.5 squadrons wither away when we are already 10+ squadrons short of the minimum set in 1972. Most air to ground munitions need an aircraft to carry them to the right point for an accurate strike. Just because the Mirage 2000 was used in Balakot how can we assume that every possible operational need in times of partial or full scale war, over land or sea, over short or long ranges, over specific or crowded targets, over targets that are defended or not are all going to be like Balakot. Please dwell on that.
Quote:
Also, sir please explain why you feel additional squadrons of Su30MKI may not be the greatest idea.
Please read my note carefully. Thanks.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 20th August 2019 at 10:05.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:31   #670
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

I just skimmed through an exhausting (and exhaustive) analysis of Wing Cmdr.Abhinandan's takedown of the PAF's F 16 in the aftermath of Balakot strikes. It's written by an ex IAF officer and the analyses are mind-boggling. You have to read it over a few hours to understand the depths to which the author has gone with his different sources of information and his extrapolations.
https://theprint.in/defence/8-pieces...i-f-16/278752/
One only wonders why this author had to go and write for the ever dubious 'The Print'?
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Old 20th August 2019, 16:34   #671
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

The Indian Air force is still flying 44-year-old MiG-21 fighter jets when no one even drives cars that old, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said today. Questions have been raised about the four-decade-old fighter planes that remain the core of India's defence fleet since a recent dogfight at the Line of Control, in which Pakistan used superior F-16 jets.

What a Pity !!

The MiG-21 has seen several crashes over the years. Over the past 40 years, India has lost more than half of its MiG combat fleet of 872 aircraft, parliament was told recently.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-m...om=home-livetv
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Old 20th August 2019, 17:55   #672
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Originally Posted by RM Motorsports View Post
The Indian Air force is still flying 44-year-old MiG-21 fighter jets when no one even drives cars that old, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said today. Questions have been raised about the four-decade-old fighter planes that remain the core of India's defence fleet since a recent dogfight at the Line of Control, in which Pakistan used superior F-16 jets.

What a Pity !!

The MiG-21 has seen several crashes over the years. Over the past 40 years, India has lost more than half of its MiG combat fleet of 872 aircraft, parliament was told recently.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-m...om=home-livetv
Thank you for sharing this. That the MiG-21's are all over 31 years old is not in doubt. But as often is the case NDTV's report is full of flaws that even a cursory check on the internet could have helped them straighten out. But then this is NDTV!!

The average age of the MiG-21 Bison fleet would be around 33 to 34 years old. There maybe a few MiG-21s from the M series - Type 88 - still around in secondary roles (skanchan95 will know - his knowledge base is simply amazing). 50% of the 872 MiG-21s procured did not crash. 872 were the total number bought from the USSR or made by HAL between 1965 and 1988. While it is a sad truth that several crashed especially from the mid-1990s onwards till mid-2000s, due to bad spares availability and inadequately trained pilots, it is a gross mis-statement that half ie 436 crashed.

If only DRDO and HAL had put the Tejas out on time this disappointing state of affairs would not have come to pass.
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Old 20th August 2019, 19:24   #673
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I am talking of a decision that should have been taken 15 years ago but was allowed to drag till it is no longer relevant and that is symptomatic of how MoD is run by the IAS despite efforts of the current Govt. Maybe I do not understand your line of thinking. Are you saying just because Mirage 2000 was used in one high profile mission 100+ Jaguars in which thousands of crores are invested should be allowed to wither away. Maybe that's not what you mean but it comes across that way.

The Jaguar still has meaning because of its range. And 5.5 squadrons ie about one sixth of the strength not getting upgraded to their fullest potential is a sad state. Why would you let 5.5 squadrons wither away when we are already 10+ squadrons short of the minimum set in 1972. Most air to ground munitions need an aircraft to carry them to the right point for an accurate strike. Just because the Mirage 2000 was used in Balakot how can we assume that every possible operational need in times of partial or full scale war, over land or sea, over short or long ranges, over specific or crowded targets, over targets that are defended or not are all going to be like Balakot. Please dwell on that.
Please read my note carefully. Thanks.
I have to second V Narayan here. Personally using the Balakot strike isn't the best example. Let's be honest, on the balance of all the information we've had, much of it dubious, coloured by national pride amongst other factors, that strike isn't a cut and dry slam dunk to use as a sword on which the Jaguar fleets relevance is to fall.

Let's go back to the very dawn of the ICBM age and the arguments that have persisted since. Why do you think air forces still put so much value on strategic bombers to deliver your payload when the stand off capability in the form of missiles (cruise, ballistic, take your pick) have been refined for years? Because for many there's still the intrinsic value of the man in the loop. I know it sounds a bit silly that in today's age of remote sensing that we still need to rely on the word of a human crew but look back to the Balakot strike and the back and forth that's happened since - all based on human testimony. Anyway, I diverged a bit there and I dunno if my point came across but I can't help but pull my hair in the same vein as V Narayan. The number of own goals our defence structure create for themselves is maddening. Given how damn long it takes us to dither and eventually stump for a new system/platform, why on earth did we allow an existing one to just atrophy?! Especially when the squadron shortfall's been staring them in the face this whole time!! Argh

Sigh.. rant over.
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Old 20th August 2019, 20:00   #674
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
...and inadequately trained pilots, ...

If only DRDO and HAL had put the Tejas out on time this disappointing state of affairs would not have come to pass.
I guess you meant like this:

"They were strapped onto these supersonic fighters right after their prop-training due to lack of intermediate/advanced jet trainers with the IAF". Using a frontline high speed interceptor as intermediate/advanced jet "Trainer" is a cruelity on the young rookie pilot. Add the lack of quality spares and other mothballed aircrafts used as donors had caused a lot accidents, too much to accept.

The numbers what NDTV brought out might be wrong but the sentiments are quite high when it comes even a single fighter crash with life lost. I am not supporting NDTV in any fashion or sense.

IMHO, a lot could have been done (all said and done), it is actually time for the government and the agencies to pull up their socks and start working atleast from now to secure the 2030 deadline.
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Old 21st August 2019, 08:32   #675
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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
IAF used Mirage2000 for the Balakot strike, not Jaguar.
That's because the Jaguar was never designed to do those kind of roles. Originally, the Jaguar was designed and was meant to be a low altitude combat and trainer jet for the RAF and AdA. Its assigned roles were low level conventional & nuclear strike, Close Air Support, Battlefield Air Interdiction & Reconnaissance. For these roles, the Jaguar with all its upgrades is good enough. In the IAF, the Jaguars equipped former Hunter & Canberra squadrons. Just like the MiG-27, the Jaguar was never meant to be multi-role/swing role like modern day jets. The DARIN III upgrades would have given the Jaguar some swing role capability but now those upgrades might be junked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

The average age of the MiG-21 Bison fleet would be around 33 to 34 years old. There maybe a few MiG-21s from the M series - Type 88 - still around in secondary roles (skanchan95 will know - his knowledge base is simply amazing). 50% of the 872 MiG-21s procured did not crash. 872 were the total number bought from the USSR or made by HAL between 1965 and 1988. While it is a sad truth that several crashed especially from the mid-1990s onwards till mid-2000s, due to bad spares availability and inadequately trained pilots, it is a gross mis-statement that half ie 436 crashed.
.
Yes, the first Type 75 MiG-21bis deliveries by HAL started in the early 80s and production ended in 1986. Former IAF pilots swear by the MiG-21. Yes, it is old and should not be flying now but it does not deserve its much maligned tag.

The interesting thing about IAF MiG-21Ms, license produced by HAL, were powered by the Type 77 MiG-21FL's R-11F2S-300 engine(which were also being license manufactured by HAL). The Type 96 MiG-21MFs directly delivered(as CKD kits) by the Soviet Union were powered by the higher rated R-13-300 engine. Why the Ms did not get the R-13? Well, HAL had already manufacturing R-11 engines for the MiG-21FLs, so it was easier for them to do it rather than manufacturing a new engine(the R-13 was a slight upgrade to the R-11).

Externally, the M & the MF were identical and there was no way to distinguish them, except from the serial numbers. From my notes:

IAF MiG-21MFs(CKDs) : C1474 to C1509

IAF MiG-21Ms(HAL built) : C1531 to C1691

No. 7 "Battle Axes" squadron were the first to equip with the MF in 1973 and after some time had to trade their MFs with Ms of the No. 108 "Hawk Eyes" Squadron. The MiG-21MFs delivered to the IAF were capable of firing the Kh-66 beam riding air to surface missile and it was the first IAF aircraft to have the ability to fire guided missiles. The MiG-21Ms did not have this capability.
At some point of time, the MiG-21MFs were retired and some or many of the Ms were upgraded with the R-13 engine. When No.7 Sqn was announced as one of the two IAF units to equip with the digital delta - the Mirage 2000, the squadron was number plated for a short time and ex-7 sqdn MiG-21Ms were used to form a new IAF Squadron - No. 51 "Sword Arms", who later became famous as the "Guardians of Srinagar" and for Wg Cdr Abhinandan's exploits recently.

No. 108 Sqdn still flies the MiG-21M, so do No. 35 "Rapiers" & No. 37 "Black Panthers".

Last edited by khan_sultan : 21st August 2019 at 09:39. Reason: As Requested
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