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Old 7th November 2021, 18:41   #1441
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PGA View Post
https://forceindia.net/guest-column/...aining-terror/

Does anyone feel the same what I have been feeling for some time now. The paradigm of airborne combat is shifting and shifting fast. The tools, the methods and the art itself is changing. Prowess of drones was seen in Armenian- Azerbaijan conflict. Here comes another one, HGV, a good primer on the Chinese HGV can be read from above link. Things seem strange that only 20-22 years ago we were discussing will or won't of UCAVs and today their efficacy and essentiality is given. The principles of modern war fighting, developed mostly by Prussians, seems to be coming to an end, clash of machines if I may borrow the term from comics seem so near. Over to fighting machines....
Dear PGA, thank you for sharing the article. My views at quite different. Permit me to share them.

All,

The V-1 flying bomb, jet propulsion, guided SAM missiles, the ICBM, electronic warfare, net work jamming/ corruption, stealth aircraft, even the humble wire guided anti-tank missile etc. Each in their turn have been for a short while lauded as the wonder weapon to dominate others. Their novelty and lack of counter measures made them seem indomitable for a short while. It even led in 1957 to the infamous Duncan Sandy's paper declaring all manned aircraft obsolete, cancelling contracts worth a tonne of pound sterling and effectively underwriting the death knell of the then robust British aeronautical industry. It even led after the 1973 wars success {by the Egyptians against Israeli armour} with small crew-served anti-tank missiles for some to declare the end of main battle tanks. I could quote many instances from recent history of a similar vein.

The hyper glider is not as revolutionary today as the ICBM was in 1960. ICBMs too carry maneuverable warheads just that the glider is more so. One thing you can rely on with the Americans is for them to start working on the counter to a new weapon almost at the same time as they start work on the weapon itself. Whenever we read in the media about USA being left behind on a certain system be sure their own military-industrial complex is behind the leak.

Nuclear weapons are limited use weapons of deterrence. Within that the hyper glider is merely one new kind of delivery. The best defence against a nuclear attack is politics and economics and the chess game of geo-politics. Chances of China making a nuke attack against India is low. Th emad hatters in Pakistan are a bigger risk. Our main worry is China weakening us with death by a thousand cuts on the line of actual control by nibbling away and by using Pakistan as a proxy to keep the pot boiling on both borders.

Coming to air defence and air tactics. Certainly drones have added a new dimension in the last 10 years as guided weapons did in the 1960s onwards. It improves reach and accuracy and gives us and the other side new headaches to worry about. But I don't think it fundamentally alters the need to achieve air superiority over the battlefield and over assets {eg cities} you need to protect. Drones will not IMHO change the need for a manned aircraft. Though they are a useful asset like a low observable chopper with long endurance.
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Old 9th November 2021, 17:51   #1442
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Dear PGA, thank you for sharing the article. My views at quite different. Permit me to share them.

Drones will not IMHO change the need for a manned aircraft. Though they are a useful asset like a low observable chopper with long endurance.t
Interesting line of thought sir and something that often comes up whenever a new technology comes in. In the field of 'air', there are multiple examples but one of the most stark ones would be the Phantom and Mig21. Both stellar aircraft, which were built without the need for 'guns' and reliant purely on A2A missiles. It was only much later that they both first got a gun pod and then integral guns.

While drones, small or medium ones esp. will be easy for an enemy to deploy at low costs and attack some forward bases, it will not be more than nuisance value for a country like India, with adequate strategic depth.

Recently there was a video of a chinese company hacking into swarm drones of a competitor because they lost the contract, where the drones fell from the sky. Of course, MIL level drones will have better shielding, encryption etc, but still thats a vulnerability. Imagine a slow flying drone facing an upgraded L-70. One shell is all it takes to bring the pest down - you dont need missiles. The higher flying drones are sitting ducks for a well equipped air force. The ranges at which these drones operate need satellite communication (HALE/MALE) - which again works in a very narrow band, that is prone to jamming.

Every solution is 'best in class' as long as we don't develop countermeasures - which in India's case, we have been surprisingly quick both from the DRDO perspective and from the private industry perspective.
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Old 9th November 2021, 19:39   #1443
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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In the field of 'air', there are multiple examples but one of the most stark ones would be the Phantom and Mig21. Both stellar aircraft, which were built without the need for 'guns' and reliant purely on A2A missiles. It was only much later that they both first got a gun pod and then integral guns.
The lack of a gun on earlier versions of the Phantom is true but not for the Mig-21:

MiG-21F (1959; Izdeliye 72; NATO "Fishbed-B")

F = Forsirovannyy ("uprated")
Single-seat day fighter aircraft. It was the first production aircraft, with 93 machines being made (20 in 1959, 73 in 1960). The MiG-21F carried 2160 liters of fuel in six internal fuel tanks and was powered by an R11F-300 turbojet engine with 5740 kgf of thrust. The earliest units were fitted with one NR-30 and two NR-23 cannon, subsequent aircraft were armed with two 30-mm NR-30 cannons 60 shells each, it was also capable of carrying two bombs ranging from 50 to 500 kg each.
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Old 10th November 2021, 22:15   #1444
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Dear PGA, thank you for sharing the article. My views at quite different. Permit me to share them.

All,

The V-1 flying bomb, jet propulsion, guided SAM missiles, the ICBM, electronic warfare, net work jamming/ corruption, stealth aircraft, even the humble wire guided anti-tank missile etc.......
Sir, thanks for bringing some realty check for my day dreaming mind. Agree with you completely in so far deployment and success/ failure of technology is concerned.

The point I was trying to make was that art of war fighting as known to us for last century or so is changing not subtly but radically. Advanced nations have moved their soldiers considerably back from the harm's way. With coming of technologies visible to us today, a lot of guys are going to be fighting wars tapping keyboards, pressing buttons or manoeuvring over joysticks, and then coming back in the evenings to play with their kids. Few guys would still have to go out wearing bionic suits with drone covering the back or UCAVs as wingmen. Anyways countermeasures for the new age tech require autonomous response if the attacker too starts to seek autonomous target acquisition, we have got war of machines.


Impact of all this is going to be much greater lethality, brutality and asymmetry. Survivability is going to be subject to availability of technology and some nations may not be able to get their act together. Even among equals the conflict is likely to rage only till each has the war fighting capable machines because after that is annihilation. Nukes too seem redundant in this scenario coz new tech can accomplish the job in more efficient way and much less collateral to all aspects.
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Old 10th November 2021, 23:15   #1445
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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The lack of a gun on earlier versions of the Phantom is true but not for the Mig-21:

MiG-21F (1959; Izdeliye 72; NATO "Fishbed-B")

F = Forsirovannyy ("uprated")
Single-seat day fighter aircraft. It was the first production aircraft, with 93 machines being made (20 in 1959, 73 in 1960). The MiG-21F carried 2160 liters of fuel in six internal fuel tanks and was powered by an R11F-300 turbojet engine with 5740 kgf of thrust. The earliest units were fitted with one NR-30 and two NR-23 cannon, subsequent aircraft were armed with two 30-mm NR-30 cannons 60 shells each, it was also capable of carrying two bombs ranging from 50 to 500 kg each.
You are correct sir! However I was trying to refer to the aspect of reliance on missiles VS guns. The initial Mig21ís had enough for a 1.5 to 2 second burst! Compare it to the Mig15/19 and you will see what I tried to hint at.
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Old 11th November 2021, 19:18   #1446
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by PGA View Post
The point I was trying to make was that art of war fighting as known to us for last century or so is changing not subtly but radically.... Advanced nations have moved their soldiers considerably back from the harm's way.... With coming of technologies visible to us today, a lot of guys are going to be fighting wars tapping keyboards, pressing buttons or manoeuvring over joysticks, and then coming back in the evenings to play with their kids. Few guys would still have to go out wearing bionic suits with drone covering the back or UCAVs as wingmen. Anyways countermeasures for the new age tech require autonomous response if the attacker too starts to seek autonomous target acquisition, we have got war of machines.... Nukes too seem redundant in this scenario coz new tech can accomplish the job in more efficient way and much less collateral to all aspects.
PGA as you often have you raise some very pertinent points especially in the context of air warfare and air-to-ground delivery of munition payloads. I'll attempt some intellectual high jump here and might fall short. Long post follows. :-)

The principles of war as described by Sun Tzsu or Bismarck or the British Army's 10-points have not changed and will not change till humans are willing to kill each other en masse to gain territory, power, economic resources, dominance etc.

What has changed are two things. First till 1945 war meant winning a territory, occupying it and subjugating the civilian population. It meant one organized identifiable military-industrial complex wearing distinguishable uniforms fighting another. After 1945 many wars - Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan I and II, Bosnia, Yemen have become political wars where the population itself is both the one you wish to befriend and win over and simultaneously is the enemy at night. At the risk of earning the ire of some members our erstwhile quasi civil war in Mizoram and Manipur and current unrest in Kashmir are in that category. The individual soldier {or terrorist or freedom fighter} has weapons enhanced by technology that enable him to remain dispersed and hidden and yet strike, significantly, at the visible organized military that he considers his foe at a time and place of his choosing. Also known as guerilla warfare.

But what we saw in Afghanistan over the last 20 years and Vietnam was guerilla warfare on a mass scale in every village and road. Wars in the future will more and more be like this rather than a clash of titans across long borders. Traditional armies are neither organized nor trained to deal with this as the Americans, the Soviets, the British have discovered in the last half century. Traditional armies are needed especially along hot borders {Indo-Pak, Indo-china, 38th parallel, etc} but the wars we will witness will be more akin to what we saw in Afghanistan or harassing engagements like Galwan & Doklum. This fundamental shift is only partly recognized by world armies and less so by politicians.

On the air warfare side drones in all their forms are bringing about a change in the human interface with the aircraft just like 50 years ago guided missiles brought a sea change in air-to-air and air-to-ground attack & defence or the way 80 years ago radar brought change in detection & ranging of incoming aircraft. Some of this technology will mature and become staple use. Some of it is hype that feeds on itself. I remind many that a stealth aircraft is partly invisible only to radar and that too only at certain angles. It is all the time 100% non-stealth versus Eyeball Mk I. In fact a stealth aircraft is a lot less stealth today, despite the media hype, than a diesel-electric submarine was even 50 years ago. Drones will become truly as lethal as a manned aircraft the day a drone can be programmed to execute the entire mission with zero radio communication in or out. My guess {and I could be wholly wrong} is that counter measures against drones will develop and prove to be more effective than those against manned aircraft. Where things will be 50 years from now I cannot say.

New technology publicized by reams of articles and media blitz has a tendency to blind the holder {of the technology} that he has the magic weapon. It blinds you to how your enemy, who doesn't read your media, can attack you going around all that technology by simply thinking differently. Many examples - the infamous 9/11 attacks using civil airliners as 100-tonne manned missiles; MiG-17s shooting down missile armed F-4 Phantoms in Vietnam; the Indian Navy using harbour defence Osa missile boats to bombard Karachi by towing them 300 nautical miles through open ocean; the IAF using Antonov An-12s & Caribou transports as bombers; the use of drones in Azerbaijan/Armenia etc. But yes in 50 years the pilot flying into war may become less common than it is now. But who knows a manned aircraft might be seen as the ultimate non-jammable weapon!
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Old 17th November 2021, 14:21   #1447
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Sir, thanks for bringing some realty check for my day dreaming mind. ....
Also, do not forget the impact, the ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons have on such "inter-linked" air based assests. They could if not cripple atleast slow down the opponent for a considerable amount of time. In such scenarios, a man drive/flown machine is more robust than ever. This I guess, you know it already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The principles of war as described by Sun Tzsu or Bismarck or the British Army's 10-points have not changed and will not change till humans are willing to kill each other en masse to gain territory, power, economic resources, dominance etc.
...
But what we saw in Afghanistan over the last 20 years and Vietnam was guerilla warfare on a mass scale in every village and road. ..
Sir, I was about to write the same! Btw, if you see what is happening close to Ukraine now and with provocating ASAT test from the Russians, looks like conventional war is the final deal even if it all starts with unconventional or proxy at first. Ultimate aim is still to neutralize the resources of the enemy until they do not pose a threat. Isn't it?
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Old 20th November 2021, 04:00   #1448
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

The first HAL LCH attack helicopter has been formally handed over to the Indian Air force (though limited series production versions have already been sold to the Army and Air Force, so not sure what today's ceremony was about).

This is the first indigenous dedicated attack helicopter developed by HAL and is primarily designed for high altitude warfare given both our contentious frontiers are high up in the Himalayas. Overall, 179 units are planned - split between 114 for the Army and 65 for the Air Force. India's dedicated attack helicopter fleet has come a long way and the Air Force currently operates the Apaches, the remaining Mi-24s that aren't part of the Taliban air force and the limited series production LCHs while the Army will get their own Apaches and LCHs which will probably make India, the only country other than the US to have two different services with dedicated attack helicopters (Army and Marine Corps for the US) since countries prefer to consolidate them into a single service.

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-photo_20211115_193546.jpg
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Old 25th November 2021, 21:43   #1449
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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IAF considering purchase of 24 second hand Mirage 2000 aircraft

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india...836620386.html

Apparently 13 will be used as fleet additions and 11 for spares. Adding to our Mirage 2000 fleet is not a bad thing by itself. It has proved repeatedly to being our most available and reliable fighter aircraft. Given that the present administration has shown sense and decision taking ability in matters of defence I hope we select a common aircraft for the IAF and IN and achieve economies of scale.
Looks like more 2nd hand Mirages are coming, this time to be used for flying for sure

IAF gets two Mirage 2000 fighters from France to strengthen combat aircraft fleet
ANI / Nov 25, 2021, 14:23 IST

NEW DELHI: Amid tensions on the border, the Indian Air Force has received a boost to its fighter jet fleet as two-second hand Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft have arrived from France at its Gwalior airbase.

"The Indian Air Force has received two Mirage 2000 trainer version aircraft from France. The two aircraft were flying with their Air Force and arrived at the Gwalior airbase recently," government sources said.
The aircraft would now be upgraded to the latest standards as part of the Mirage upgrade programme going on in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the sources said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/87907839.cms
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Old 26th November 2021, 14:31   #1450
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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The first HAL LCH attack helicopter has been formally handed over to the Indian Air force (though limited series production versions have already been sold to the Army and Air Force, so not sure what today's ceremony was about).
Beautiful machine! The design too has come a long way from the first prototype to here. Hats off to ADA and HAL engineers and scientists, who worked day and night to achieve this. I have seen this bird personally, literally dancing in the skies and this is a serious killer machine. I waiting for the arsenal to be revealed. The first set is Nag, helina and rocket pods, rights? Are there any version of the famous gatlling gun or the chin mounted (helmet controlled) sight and gun device? I have seen some prototypes fly with that set up but this delivered version seems to be different.

My question is why do IAF and Army need seperate attack choppers? Nowadays they are both doing COIN operations, so why this seggregation? Are they going to be equipped differently?
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Old 27th November 2021, 09:36   #1451
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Spotted this beauty in my Flightradar24 screen. Never knew IAF still uses it as a part of AWACS

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-fd89f6ce68164458bb3ced9c8dcdeb86.jpeg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-358dc805c8ec463bb53d2a022aa79a7a.jpeg
Image Courtesy- Twitter

Last edited by DragonHawk : 27th November 2021 at 09:38.
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Old 27th November 2021, 13:14   #1452
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Spotted this beauty in my Flightradar24 screen. Never knew IAF still uses it as a part of AWACS
Great catch! Created quite a flutter in 2020:
https://theprint.in/defence/indias-o...kistan/421757/
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Old 27th November 2021, 15:32   #1453
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Are there any version of the famous gatlling gun or the chin mounted (helmet controlled) sight and gun device? I have seen some prototypes fly with that set up but this delivered version seems to be different.
The gun is controlled by the helmet I think. It's pretty much a given in modern attack helicopters if I'm not mistaken.

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Spotted this beauty in my Flightradar24 screen. Never knew IAF still uses it as a part of AWACS
I believe its an ELINT aircraft (not AWACS) used by the ARC (an arm of RAW). If I'm not mistaken, it's an ex-Air India 707 that was converted for this purpose.

Last edited by dragracer567 : 27th November 2021 at 15:35.
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Old 29th November 2021, 17:23   #1454
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Beautiful machine! The design too has come a long way from the first prototype to here. Hats off to ADA and HAL engineers and scientists, who worked day and night to achieve this. I have seen this bird personally, literally dancing in the skies and this is a serious killer machine. I waiting for the arsenal to be revealed. The first set is Nag, helina and rocket pods, rights? Are there any version of the famous gatlling gun or the chin mounted (helmet controlled) sight and gun device? I have seen some prototypes fly with that set up but this delivered version seems to be different.

My question is why do IAF and Army need seperate attack choppers? Nowadays they are both doing COIN operations, so why this seggregation? Are they going to be equipped differently?
The 'gun' is a 20mm cannon IIRC from Nexter (France). It can be slaved to the helmet (not sure the pilots or WSO's)

Additionally it has Rockets and air to air missiles. The HeliNa has still not been qualified for the platform.
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