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Old 23rd March 2021, 09:42   #1351
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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Something similar was done by our own TACDE MiG-21s in the 1971 war, which made the Pakistanis & Americans believe that the IAF was flying a Tu-126 AWACS during the war!!!!
Seems like an interesting story in itself which I am totally unaware of. Tried to unsuccessfully search the topic in Google.
What would it take to entertain some of us poor soul on this?
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Old 23rd March 2021, 09:58   #1352
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Seems like an interesting story in itself which I am totally unaware of. Tried to unsuccessfully search the topic in Google.
What would it take to entertain some of us poor soul on this?
I've read a retired IAF warrior's account of this in Bharat-Rakshak within the IAF section. I remember how a Mig 21 of ours was mistaken for an AWACS.

I also remember these funny stories from the 1971 war-
* All lights were routinely put out in air bases and villages near them for safety; a PAF B-52 (the USAF version of our Canberra) once spotted a villager walking in an open field at 4 AM with a lamp and decided to bomb him. The poor guy survived a walk to answer nature's call
* One of our air warriors bombed Chuck Yeager's personal Cessna or a Learjet (can't remember) that was parked at a PAF airbase. Yeager was there as a "coach" for the PAF's pilots during the 1971 war. He was so incensed that he lodged a complain via diplomatic channels; unconfirmed reports also state that he personally flew sorties against India after that since he took it personally
* A retired IAF pilot recounted routine bombing sorties behind enemy lines when he spotted an odd-looking structure. Whenever he had a bomb to spare, he would try to destroy it, not knowing whether it's a new-fangled American radar or if it's just a rich man's luxurious tower or something. The structure was red and looked like a gigantic kid's spinning top. He cannot for the love of his life figure out what it was, for he could never destroy it!

Bharat-rakshak is a mother lode of such war stories. I even recommend going through similar war stories in the Army and Navy sections. There's a superb recounting of an officer's Gurkha formation's assault on a hill in the Kargil War. They began climbing uphill and lost 80% of their men. By the time they reached the aggressors at the top, the enraged 5 feet tall Gurkhas threw away their machine guns and lopped off the heads of 6 feet Pathans with their Khukris and caused an instant surrender of the enemy. The captured Pathans later wanted to meet the diminutive warriors who caused so much terror and sent heads rolling downhill!
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Old 23rd March 2021, 11:59   #1353
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Originally Posted by PetrolRider View Post
Seems like an interesting story in itself which I am totally unaware of. Tried to unsuccessfully search the topic in Google.
What would it take to entertain some of us poor soul on this?
The "legend" of the Tu-126 Moss was born in the minds of the Pakistanis and their American advisors (specifically) the legendary Brig. Gen Chuck Yeager because they could not believe and dumbfounded how the IAF MiG-21FLs and Su-7s were able to accurately navigate to their targets at night, bomb them successfully and reach their home bases without any trouble or losing their way. They believed the IAF aircraft were guided by a Tu-126 Moss AWACS, that was directing communications, guiding them into & out of their targets.

But the truth was that just before the 1971 war, TACDE's(TCDTS - Tactics & Combat Development Training Squadron, as it was known then) MiG-21 and Su-7 pilots, trained and were tasked specifically with night Offensive Counter Air Operations against PAF airfields. Neither the MiG-21FL nor the Su-7 had the equipment to carry our low level strikes at night nor did the pilots have any exposure to any such operations at that point in time. The objective of such strikes was to ensure that the PAF and its Air Defence get overextended and hence be less efficient . It was expected that even if these low level night strikes were less successful, the harassment factor would have a considerable impact on the PAF. The pilots trained at night for low level navigation accurately using stopwatches by dead reckoning. Remember at night, no terrain features are visible for visual navigations. So the pilots had to concentrate extremely hard not only their instruments, watches, but also an eye on their turn, climb and descent rates. Even a minor error could have easily thrown them off course.

Navigation was mainly be dead reckoning. Zero on the Altimeter meant a height of 150 to 200m and it was accurate flying through checkpoints. John Fricker, a British journalist who was hopelessly biased towards the Pakistanis and helped creating many fake legends about the PAF, attributed the success if IAF night strikes to the use of "Moss" AWACS, which he claimed that Soviets were operating in IAF's support during the war.

Sqdn Ldr D S Jafa, a TCDTS Su-7 pilot who was shot down over Pakistan and taken POW, was interrogated not only by PAF officers but by Chuck Yeager as well. Yeager was specifically interested in knowing the mechanism IAF Su-7 pilots were using , which enabled them to hit targets deep inside Pakistan time and again, even at night, flying singly or in formation, with unerring accuracy. The IAF pilot said there was a magnetic compass and a watch and nothing more, which was the truth. Not satisfied, the questioning went on and on. S/L Jafa stuck to is guns and both parties were losing patience. Ultimately, Jafa retorted - " The only other aid our pilots have, in addition to the magnetic compass and a clock, is Eyeballs Mark II installed in an Indian skull!!!". The interrogation regarding it stopped thereafter.

The story of the TCDTS pilots, their training and the missions they flew have been described in great detail in this book by Air Marshal T J Master released not so long ago (A/M Master was a TCDTS MiG-21FL pilot and one of the founding members of TCDTS)
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-107959999_10221761801688603_8726308179768912378_o.jpg

TCDTS MiGs & Sukhois were expected to go deep into Pakistan at night and PAF air defences were expected to be alert in picking up VHF comms. The use of homing beacons was out of questions because it would have have given way the position of IAF aircraft to the Pakistanis. Air Marshal M M Engineer thought of ingenious innovation - to use the MiG-21 as a relay station. The callsign of such relay aircraft was Sparrow and the aircraft wouls pass on necessary information from the signals units to other aircraft flying in the region to specially help those strike aircraft returning to their home bases at night after strikes in Pakistan. RT procedures were abbreviated & coded for the purpose.

All of this led to the legend of the Tu-126 Moss in the IAF -an a aircraft which was never in service with the IAF and which was figment of the enemy's imagination
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-moss9.jpg

An artwork of the night strike missions flown by TCDTS MiG-21s- Teshter Master in the 1971 war strikes PAF base Shorkot Road by night- 1971 Indo-Pak War, by Deb Gohain
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-195.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
* All lights were routinely put out in air bases and villages near them for safety; a PAF B-52 (the USAF version of our Canberra) once spotted a villager walking in an open field at 4 AM with a lamp and decided to bomb him. The poor guy survived a walk to answer nature's call
It was the Martin B-57 Canberra, an American license built and slightly different version of the English Electric Canberra- variants of which the IAF was operating at that time.

The PAF operated B-56s also....PAF designation for the Harbin H-5 bomber( Chinese version of the IL-28 Beagle) . These B-56s served alongside B-57s. but were not popular with Pakistani pilots and they were eventually traded back to China in exchange for more Shenyang F-6s..

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
* One of our air warriors bombed Chuck Yeager's personal Cessna or a Learjet (can't remember) that was parked at a PAF airbase. Yeager was there as a "coach" for the PAF's pilots during the 1971 war. He was so incensed that he lodged a complain via diplomatic channels; unconfirmed reports also state that he personally flew sorties against India after that since he took it personally
The IAF pilot who destroyed Yeager's Beechcraft was Lt. Arun Prakash(who was a Naval Sea hawk pilot on deputation to IAF's No. 20 Sqdn. He later went on to fly home the Navy's first Sea Harriers and rose to become the Naval Chief) flying Hunters. He was pretty upset that his own personal aircraft was destroyed and he believed that PM Mrs Indira Gandhi had personally ordered destruction of his aircraft, which was not true, and life long he held a bias against the IAF and its pilots ,so much so that one of his delusions was that Pakistan had "won" the 1971 war. Truth is Mr "Right Stuff" was at the wrong place at the wrong time and he could not digest the fact that Indian pilots got better of the American trained PAF time and again.

Last edited by Sheel : 23rd March 2021 at 12:39. Reason: As requested.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 12:03   #1354
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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
The Air war part of it is covered in this wonderful but huge book by Tom Cooper & Farzad Bishop. IF you wish to know about the War, this would be the book to read.
Attachment 2135601
Though the book has a lot more information on the IRIAF than the Iraqi AF, it probably is the only book that has more or less detailed every day missions of the air war from both sides.
I think that book will give you a view of the air war from an IRANIAN perspective.

Tom Cooper is strongly biased towards Western weapons platforms, there users or allies. I have read many of his articles and comments on forums and thats always the underlying theme. I have seen him arguing with Iraqi pilots on forums claiming to know more about combat missions then the pilots themselves.

As for other author, Farzad Bishop is a well-known Iranian-born aviation analyst and writer. He has spent many years researching the airpower used in recent Middle Eastern conflicts, concentrating on the Iran-Iraq war in particular. No guessing where his loyalties would lie.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 14:01   #1355
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Dear locusjag and skanchan95,

Thank you very much for taking time and telling these wonderful stories on 71 war.

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post

* A retired IAF pilot recounted routine bombing sorties behind enemy lines when he spotted an odd-looking structure. Whenever he had a bomb to spare, he would try to destroy it, not knowing whether it's a new-fangled American radar or if it's just a rich man's luxurious tower or something. The structure was red and looked like a gigantic kid's spinning top. He cannot for the love of his life figure out what it was, for he could never destroy it!
What was it after all?


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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
There's a superb recounting of an officer's Gurkha formation's assault on a hill in the Kargil War. They began climbing uphill and lost 80% of their men. By the time they reached the aggressors at the top, the enraged 5 feet tall Gurkhas threw away their machine guns and lopped off the heads of 6 feet Pathans with their Khukris and caused an instant surrender of the enemy. The captured Pathans later wanted to meet the diminutive warriors who caused so much terror and sent heads rolling downhill!
This is a wonderful story of valor and determination of IA. Here is a YouTube talk on this very story by Col. Lalit Rai VrC, who led that mission that night (copyright to their respective owners).


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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Sqdn Ldr D S Jafa,
...
Ultimately, Jafa retorted - " The only other aid our pilots have, in addition to the magnetic compass and a clock, is Eyeballs Mark II installed in an Indian skull!!!". The interrogation regarding it stopped thereafter.

.........

All of this led to the legend of the Tu-126 Moss in the IAF -an a aircraft which was never in service with the IAF and which was figment of the enemy's imagination
Similar to the post Balakot Mig21 vs F16 scenario, better strategies and seer skills win the war after all.

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
The PAF operated B-56s also....PAF designation for the Harbin H-5 bomber( Chinese version of the IL-28 Beagle) . These B-56s served alongside B-57s. but were not popular with Pakistani pilots and they were eventually traded back to China in exchange for more Shenyang F-6s..
Quite interesting to find Pakistani pilots prefer Chinese equipment over to American's.

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Truth is Mr "Right Stuff" was at the wrong place at the wrong time and he could not digest the fact that Indian pilots got better of the American trained PAF time and again.
While not at all discounting all that Mr Yeager had achieved in his lifetime, but also giving full credit to western propaganda machine, he was after all a mere mortal, as proven by the IAF.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 15:42   #1356
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Dear locusjag and skanchan95,

Thank you very much for taking time and telling these wonderful stories on 71 war.


What was it after all?
I've spent probably upwards of 50 hours reading and re-reading many of those fascinating stories in my younger days in the past decade on Bharat-Rakshak. As far as I remember, the writer never found out what that red structure was.

And it's just a reminder of how they fought those wars - by pure sight and gut feel. If something looked fishy (like that red structure, or even Yeager's aircraft), they had to have a go at it.

And speaking of navigating by sight, behold my favorite YouTube videos below; you'll see a moustached gentleman who fired the first shots from his Hunter in the Battle of Longewala. I get goosebumps whenever he mentions having to peer through the pre-dawn darkness, to spot the road that goes towards Longewala, in order to save our BSF and Army personnel from the Pakistani attack. And not to mention his consternation after firing the first shots - did he just commit fratricide, or was that destroyed tank a Pakistani one? I imagine things are way more predictable and easy for today's warriors with electronics.

Part 1 -


Part 2 -
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Old 24th March 2021, 11:46   #1357
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I think that book will give you a view of the air war from an IRANIAN perspective.

.
To an extent yes, but there are notable mentions of successful Iraqi missions as well, but yes activites of the Iraninan forces have been described in far greater detail.
Here is the Table of Contents from the book.
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-20210324_111824.jpg

Considering that it is 300+ page hardbound book, it covers many different angles of the war. Iraqi acquisitions are described in great detail. Both Iran and Iraq fired indiscriminately on merchant ships including the use of anti-ship missiles and mines.

Not many would be aware that two Indian merchant ships got caught and were damaged in the crossfire between Iran and Iraq during the later stages of the War(called the Tanker War). One of them, a tanker named MV Jag Pari, was hit by Iranian Phantoms and a fire broke out. My younger brother served on the ship in the mid-2000s and said it was relegated to a coastal vessel( the vessel sailes very near the coastline and was used for local sailing only) and the damage repair on the ship was still apparently evident, nearly 20 years after the attack.

It was an Iranian mine that damaged a US Navy warship, which led to the launch of Operation Praying Mantis, which subsequently led to destruction of Iranian Navy ships and oil platforms by the US Navy. It also led to the tragic shootdown of an Iran Air Airbus A300 by the USS Vincennes.

I suppose it is only natural to have a perspective if authors are writing from one side's PoV or have more access to information from one side.

For e.g. PVS Jagan Mohan's books on the 1965 and 1971 wars are seen from an Indian PoV. Similarly, Air Cmde Sajjad Haider's book - Flight of the Falcon, sees the war from PAF's PoV.

Santiago Rivas's book - Wings of the Malvinas, gives Argentine Navy and AF's story from the Falklands War. Same would be the case with books written on American or Vietnamese perspectives of the Vietnam War.
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Old 9th April 2021, 19:38   #1358
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Koreans reveal their new "5th gen" fighter - christen it the KF-21 Boramae (Falcon/Young Falcon)

Interesting little piece of news I came across on Twitter today. Looks like the Koreans have unveiled their new domestic future fighter. Looks quite fleshed out for a prototype.

Source tweet: https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/s...986353669?s=20
Source video:https://t.co/IUxWK9LafT?amp=1

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-kf21_boramae.png

First impressions it's really clear to see the influence of the F-22, although being a first prototype can explain the more petite dimensions than say fully operational jets. The presence of the Indonesian flag too was interesting to me - I'd forgotten they'd partnered with Korean Aerospace Industries on this project. Given the intriguing Western and Soviet mix of aircraft in the Indonesian inventory, I find it interesting to see them branching out to the South Koreans on this programme. It's also neat to see that the prototype quite clearly has a gun enclosure above its portside air intake. Speaking of air intakes, notice how it's cannily been covered with the KAI logo - guess we'll be left waiting to see if any fan blades are visible or more about how exactly they plan to deal with the boundary layer flow issues. The chunky shoulders, cockpit shroud and nose do have more than a passing resemblance to the F-35 but I suppose that's convergent design, easy for most jets to resemble the JSF.

Interesting stuff all round. I haven't heard a wink from the Japanese with their own project other than some chatter about joint involvement with the Brits on their Tempest programme. I think though it's clear that with China's more bolshy posturing, the ever unpredictability of DPRK, and worsening ties between Japan and South Korea, that region is heating up. If it weren't for the hammer blow of COVID I'd expect to see more movement on defence programmes either side of the Sea of Japan.

I'm sure also it'll be interesting for Indian aviation watchers to see how this Korean programme fares given our own efforts.
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Old 9th April 2021, 22:13   #1359
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Koreans reveal their new "5th gen" fighter - christen it the KF-21 Boramae (Falcon/Young Falcon)
I think it's designated as a 4.5 gen fighter according to CNN since it lacks the internal weapons bay required for stealth. Offcourse, these numbers probably don't actually mean anything in the real world.
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Old 10th April 2021, 06:26   #1360
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I think it's designated as a 4.5 gen fighter according to CNN since it lacks the internal weapons bay required for stealth. Offcourse, these numbers probably don't actually mean anything in the real world.
Aye, I've heard it referred to as a 4.5 gen too. But as most of us know it all gets really nebulous with all this generation jargon, especially currently. Without getting drawn into all that, I wonder if by the time it makes it to serial production, that spec will have some form of internal weapons bay. From memory, all technology demonstrators tend to be say 80 to 90% scale of the full fat production spec if we go by the differences between the YF-22 and F-22 or the X-35 and F-35.

Meanwhile some more images with this tweet, gives you a better look from other angles:
https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/s...005217792?s=20
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Old 12th April 2021, 10:48   #1361
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Latest Acquisition of the IAF, a 5th hand Canadair F-86 Sabre Mk6 . Previous owners are Canada, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India in that order. It was used by the Bangladesh Air Force after the 1971 war after being captured from the PAF.

It was donated by the Bangladesh Air Force recently and is recently being restored for static display at the Palam Air Force Museum in Delhi.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-sabre1606_04.jpeg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-sabre1606_01.jpeg


It is expected that the Sabre will be painted in PAF colours on one side and BAF colours on the other - acknowledging its service in two different air forces.

More information here: http://www.warbirds.in/delhi/iafm/441-sabre1606.html
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Old 14th April 2021, 12:43   #1362
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It is expected that the Sabre will be painted in PAF colours on one side and BAF colours on the other - acknowledging its service in two different air forces.

The ex-Luftwaffe Canadair-built PAF Sabre F.Mk.6's were easily recognizable from older PAF North American F-86F by their 'NATO-standard' camouflage of the late 1960s (the F-86Fs were left in bare metal finish paint scheme). This is what Sabre Mk.6 S/N 1606 would have looked like in PAF colours when it last flew with the PAF and before being captured on the ground at a PAF base in the then East Pakistan in 1971.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-img00351.jpg

The two tone paint scheme on captured PAF Sabres can easily be made out in this pic from Bharat Rakshak (titled -Sabre s/n '1735' , shows the line up of three aircraft at Kurmitola. The two army officers and the IAF Pilot are unidentified. Photo Courtesy :Brig SS Kanbargimath)
Name:  DaccaSabre02.jpg
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Interestingly , the Bangladeshis re-painted the captured Sabre Mk.6s in Plain white/Bare metal livery with a red nose surround paint before putting them into short-lived service with the nascent Bangladesh Air Force.
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-old_photo_archive_of_bangladesh_air_force_32.jpg

Last edited by skanchan95 : 14th April 2021 at 12:55.
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Old 16th April 2021, 23:31   #1363
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As per Mr. Sameer joshi's tweet (veteran fighter pilot of IAF), The USAF just dropped a massive clue on its Next Gen fighter - concept art of a fighter jet being built under the #NGAD programme.

Next Generation Fighter Aircraft is basically envisaged as penetrating counter air platforms with multi domain Situational awareness & other host of capabilities.

Although, it is too early to say anything, but design wise, it looks straight out of Northrop design book.
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Old 19th April 2021, 23:46   #1364
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As per Mr. Sameer joshi's tweet (veteran fighter pilot of IAF), The USAF just dropped a massive clue on its Next Gen fighter - concept art of a fighter jet being built under the #NGAD programme.
NGAD's been kicking about a while with no real momentum on that project. Everyone has pretty much known that the underlying reason was that the Pentagon and the USAF were too busy with the F-35. What intrigues me though is that in recent weeks, we've had high profile snubs from high ranking USAF leadership with such talk as excluding the F-35 from future Pacific wargames (see here). More so, the chief of the USAF, Gen Charles Brown has gone as far as wanting a 4.5 Gen fighter of their own so to speak (see here). This latter proposal really interests me because fiscal realities are finally hitting the Pentagon and top brass feel comfortable enough to speak openly against the golden goose of the US military industrial complex, the JSF programme. Essentially he's after a clean sheet design to replace the F-16 fleet that offers a lot, but not all of the benefits of what we call 5th gen aircraft at much lower procurement costs. There's quite a lot to unpack in that second article for those wanting to delve deeper.

In light of what I feel is a pragmatic position regarding this lighter clean sheet replacement, I'm extremely curious how NGAD plays out moving forward. And the elephant in the room is that the US has both said and revealed shockingly little in the unmanned space beyond some USN UAV refuellers and a lone USAF loyal wingman effort. Most thus feel that there must be a concerted US effort in this space in the classified domain. The increasing activity at major facilities like Groom Lake (more popularly known as Area-51) and the fact that previously shuttered jets like the F-117 Nighthawk are now openly flying again all support the idea that perhaps these newer programmes are much further along than we suspected.

Given the increased tensions and pivot back to great power competition with the likes of China and Russia, I'm fully expecting to see a greater tempo of movement on the USAF front (Gen Brown essentially laments in the article about the average fleet age across the USAF being way too high for his liking and for any hypothetical current and future conflicts with peer states).
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Old 20th April 2021, 02:56   #1365
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

That design looks nice but I remember reading somewhere that perpendicular tail fins are vastly detrimental to stealth. They help with maneuverability though.
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