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Old 6th December 2021, 16:58   #1456
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Sorry for the inactivity on my part, a couple of stories from our northern neighbour worth sharing that seem to have gone under the radar here:

Twin seat J-20 is real
A twin seat J-20 variant has been long rumoured. It finally broke cover in late October in the form of a prototype. Much the same way the IAF wanted a twin seat variant of the erstwhile PAK-FA project, in that IAF doctrine is to have a separate WSO, the PLAAF have gone the same way. We're all aware that sensor fusion is the big plus point of 5th gen aircraft, particularly their ability to collect a mass of data on the battle space. The concept then being that these 5th gen jets can quarterback the efforts of UAVs and their 4th gen compatriots. By having a dedicated WSO, you reduce the mental workload on the pilot, and potentially introduce a back seat driver for your teaming operations (see loyal wingmen drones and the twinned concept of operation), not to mention having a twin seat variant helps with training pilots. Seeing as everyone is getting hot on the loyal wingman UAV game, including the PLAAF, a twin seat J-20B could be quite the force multiplier for them.

PLAAF operationalises their new tanker
Looks like the PLAAF has wasted no time pressing their Y-20U strategic airlifter based tanker to use, already got it flying across the ADIZ in the Taiwan Strait. Considering aerial tanking capabilities within the PLAAF are thin (they only have 3 dedicated Il-78 tankers and a bunch of tanker variants of their H-6 bomber), this is another extremely useful addition to their fleet. The Y-20U is roughly comparable in fuel load (90 tons) and configuration to the Il-78 in terms of the hose and drogue set up. For now the immediate use is clearly apparent in letting in land based PLAAF assets daisy chain into operational theatres in the First Island Chain, and also enabling coastal assets to stay on station for longer when defending (or more worryingly attacking) within the First Island Chain. You could just as easily see these Y-20B's being used to help leapfrog PLAAF assets across the Tibetan plateau (mercifully for now though it seems to be geared towards the obvious theatre in the Pacific..).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
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?
I'm going to assume partly this is due to whoever has primary responsibility for anti-armour missions (eg: for use against mechanised formations on the western front)? I can't see the Apache's being used for COIN operations (in this context do you mean insurgents such as the Maoists or would this include operations in the North too?), I figure those are primarily there to counter punch against tracked armour units, especially with the weapons load out.

Nonetheless good to see a decent sized order for the LCH (less said about the pitiful LUH order the better).
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Old 7th December 2021, 12:01   #1457
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by DragonHawk View Post
Spotted this beauty in my Flightradar24 screen. Never knew IAF still uses it as a part of AWACS

Attachment 2238021

Attachment 2238020
Image Courtesy- Twitter
That's an absolutely wonderful catch! I had spotted her Twice at Bombay and frequently at Delhi. Being a Military aircraft, tracking on FlightRadar24 is also not consistent. The only giveaway is the roaring JT3Ds! Be it landing or takeoff!
A shootout to all the personel for maintaining and reviving such aircrafts!
Excuse me for the poor quality pic. This was captured on my point and shoot camera on a hazy afternoon at Delhi.
Attached Thumbnails
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-screenshot_20211207115947__01.jpg  

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Old 7th December 2021, 16:20   #1458
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

The 707 is probably one of the most versatile platforms of all times. Still being used for tankers (KC-135) and AWACs (E-3) around the world. Hard to believe that it first flew over 60 years ago. The time gap between the Wright Brothers Flyer and the 707 is less than that between its first flight and today.
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Old 7th December 2021, 17:13   #1459
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by AmGu View Post
The 707 is probably one of the most versatile platforms of all times. Still being used for tankers (KC-135) and AWACs (E-3) around the world. Hard to believe that it first flew over 60 years ago. The time gap between the Wright Brothers Flyer and the 707 is less than that between its first flight and today.
For sure the 707 will go down as a seminal air frame. That it's derivatives are still flying without replacement isn't for lack of trying though! The smoky old engines of the 707 derived USAF platforms are a major maintenance draw that they've long since wanted to do without. The fact the Air Force 2 replacement was put on the back burner killed steam for the move to make it and a bunch of other platforms (AWACs, AEW, etc) all move to a modern big twin jet platform.

The dumpster fire of a programme that is the KC-46 has meant the USAF has had to soldier on with their KC-135s and KC-10s, alarmingly some are even putting forward the fact that it would be cheaper to use contractors for the tanker role at least for non combat and training missions.

Incredibly versatile aircraft like the RC-135 Rivet Joint recon platforms are few and far between and now incredibly expensive to operate due to the age of the parent platform. But with the US being stretched further operationally these old jets are being pushed further and further with availability numbers taking a predictable nose dive as parts fail.

Someone might bring up the example though of the good ol' B-52. That though crucially is finally getting the long awaited new engines to increase efficiency and reliability.

Still, an amazing testament to the era of slide rule design that all these jets are still standing!
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Old 8th December 2021, 16:19   #1460
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

One airline of the USAF which has gotten my eye recently is the A-10 Warhog. It was a aircraft called a Gun which could fly.

Just curious why this was never sold to any nation or why exactly is no one developing something of the same?

Maddy
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Old 8th December 2021, 17:28   #1461
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
One airline of the USAF which has gotten my eye recently is the A-10 Warhog. It was a aircraft called a Gun which could fly.

Just curious why this was never sold to any nation or why exactly is no one developing something of the same?

Maddy
Good question. I'll try and summarise. The A-10 Warthog is unique in that quite literally the plane was designed around it's centrepiece chin mounted GAU-8 rotary cannon. Basically they slapped a titanium shell for the pilot around the gun, stuck some simple wings and engines on and called it a day.

It's beautiful in its simplicity in that the A-10 was solely built for the CAS (close air support) mission. Specifically it was designed to take out Warsaw Pact tanks streaming in from the east in a European conflict. And funnily enough it's pretty much built like a tank itself, with that armoured passenger shell designed to take brutal amounts of punishment (some of the stories are remarkable, go have a look).

As you can imagine it served with distinction in multiple Gulf conflicts over the past 3 decades yet the USAF has been waging a concerted war to kill off the ugly little jet that in their eyes takes away critical dollars that could go towards their pet JSF programme. In fact Congress has at multiple times had to put a halt to efforts to get rid of what is quite clearly a singularly effective tool for the conflicts the US finds itself in (the USAF had the cheek to make a case for how the magnitudes more expensive in every metric F-35A could pick up the CAS mission from the A-10 in the Middle East for strikes against ISIS and the like!! Imagine a $90m jet used to blow up technicals, Hiluxes with 50-cals mounted!!). So determined are the efforts of the fighter mafia leadership within the USAF to kill off this beloved platform, that they've conceded to another of their pet hates and sanctioned a new light aircraft programme (think prop planes like the Super Tucano) instead of just doing the sensible thing and keeping the Warthogs.

To an extent the Warsaw Pact had their own variant in the form of the Su-25 Frogfoot, which was similarly envisioned purely for the CAS mission. It's more notable these days as fodder for shoot downs of air forces belonging to MENA countries undergoing a civil war (Syria, Lybia, etc).

The simple reason off the top of my head you don't see any fixed wing CAS assets is because that mission is closely guarded by the rotary wing cohort. So in an American context, think Apache gunships. One of their primary roles is to also provide quick reaction support to ground units in the CAS role and target mechanised armour. Though slower than a fixed wing jet like the A-10, a rotary wing platform will also be cheaper too which makes a difference.

Otherwise the A-10 is certainly a fascinating aircraft from an aviation perspective, a bit of a cult hero amongst enthusiasts and certainly those who fly it or have received support from it (going by the extensive glowing testimony).
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Old 8th December 2021, 17:46   #1462
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
One airline of the USAF which has gotten my eye recently is the A-10 Warhog.
It was nicknamed the 'Warthog'. The official name of this aircraft is the Thunderbolt II.

Quote:
It was a aircraft called a Gun which could fly.
More or less!
The entire aircraft was designed around one thing only - the GAU-8 Avenger Rotary cannon.
And that is a massive gun! The aircraft is basically a means to fly this gun to bring to an enemy. The gun is so powerful that its recoil would cause the aircraft to lose control if mounted to the side. Thus the gun is mounted in line with the aircraft's centerline and slightly angled down to prevent any kind of yaw or pitch moment when fired. In fact the landing gear has been moved to the side to accommodate the gun.

Here is a pic of the gun next to a VW Beetle! (image courtesy: Wikipedia).
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-gau8_meets_vw_type_1.jpg

This gun can knock out tanks and small buildings reliably (anti-armor and anti-material).

The A-10 was designed from the ground up as a CAS (Close Air Support) aircraft whose primary job is to provide air support for frontline troops engaging the enemy. Thus it needed to able to take off from a forward operating base, fly low-and-slow, hit targets, loiter for a long time, absorb damage from enemy small arms fire and high explosive rounds etc. and return to base.
Many of the aircrafts design aspects are a result of the above mentioned needs such as the wide wings (for slow flight), high mounted engines (to reduce damage from stones etc. from a dirt runway), multiple fail safe flight controls (to take damage and still fly), high amount of armor protection for the pilot.

It is a very successful aircraft and is a favorite among ground troops who can rely on it to provide much needed fire support.
The only drawback were it's engines which were very underpowered.
There is a joke that the A-10 is actually a single engined aircraft with half an engine on each side

Quote:
Just curious why this was never sold to any nation or why exactly is no one developing something of the same?

Maddy
Not sure why it wasn't sold to other nations.

There have been similar aircrafts developed by others most famous of which is the Russian Su-25 Frogfoot. It used the GSh-30 Cannon.

As for why these aren't being developed anymore, the main guess would be the role of the aircraft. Aircraft's like these can perform only one role, CAS, and be really good at it. But since aircraft are expensive assets, countries today look for multi-role aircraft that can perform multiple missions and fulfill multiple roles during a conflict.
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Old 8th December 2021, 18:01   #1463
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by ads11 View Post

As you can imagine it served with distinction in multiple Gulf conflicts over the past 3 decades yet the USAF has been waging a concerted war to kill off the ugly little jet that in their eyes takes away critical dollars that could go towards their pet JSF programme. In fact Congress has at multiple times had to put a halt to efforts to get rid of what is quite clearly a singularly effective tool for the conflicts the US finds itself in (the USAF had the cheek to make a case for how the magnitudes more expensive in every metric F-35A could pick up the CAS mission from the A-10 in the Middle East for strikes against ISIS and the like!! Imagine a $90m jet used to blow up technicals, Hiluxes with 50-cals mounted!!). So determined are the efforts of the fighter mafia leadership within the USAF to kill off this beloved platform, that they've conceded to another of their pet hates and sanctioned a new light aircraft programme (think prop planes like the Super Tucano) instead of just doing the sensible thing and keeping the Warthogs.
Agree. A-10 pilots on various forums have repeatedly said that all thats needed is an engine upgrade and this platform can reliably serve for decades. The engine is the only Achilles heel of what is a highly specialized platform.
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Old 8th December 2021, 19:03   #1464
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Always amusing to see the Avenger cannon put in context next to something. It's such a comically large weapon. Small wonder there's so many memes centred around the A-10.

You're right on air forces wanting to use the money towards multi use assets as opposed to a highly specialised platform like the A-10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arijitkanrar View Post
Agree. A-10 pilots on various forums have repeatedly said that all thats needed is an engine upgrade and this platform can reliably serve for decades. The engine is the only Achilles heel of what is a highly specialized platform.
Oh for sure. Thankfully it's not just the testimony of the A-10 community that the USAF leadership are fighting against, it's all the grunts on the ground (Marines & Army infantrymen) who swear by the Hog bailing them out of an iffy situation. And guess what happens when those troops rotate out, they're constituents and thus both sides of the aisle have pushed back against the short sighted effort to get rid of the A-10. Sadly though it looks like the USAF will reluctantly only agree to keep the current A-10 fleet going on the bare minimum, with cannibalisation to maintain availability. You can rule out re-winging the jets to fly another 30-40 years and no chance they'll get a new engine (however obvious giving the A-10s a modern powerplant might be).
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Old 9th December 2021, 22:26   #1465
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Amazing info and pretty flattering of the underdog of an aircraft in todays world. It could have made a world of difference in conflicts like kargil too.

I didnt know that gun was so big! Insane. I have seen some pictures of the damage taken and it tells a lot of engineering which has gone to get this machine built.

Maddy
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Old 18th December 2021, 14:32   #1466
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Came across this article published on occasion of 50 years of Bangladesh liberation war.

Narrative of PAF pilots daughter, whose dad was killed in 1971 war.


A snippet from the article

Quote:
Lesley recalls in vivid detail: “There were dead animals with inflated stomachs lying around. There were dead people inside tanks. Mother was horrified. She refused to get out of the car but Daddy got out. I also reached out, my little arms extended for him to pick me up. He lifted me out of the car, despite my mother’s protests, and carried me in his arms to the nearest tank.

“It had a big hole on one side through which we could see two men seated inside. I tried to touch the arm of one, which just disintegrated. It turned into powder. Ash. Daddy was annoyed at me for doing that but I had questions. I asked him if they were bad men. Because in my head there were only two kinds of people — good and bad. He looked at me and said, ‘Les, that’s someone’s daddy.’

For those interested, link to full article.
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Old 30th December 2021, 13:51   #1467
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

Pakistan confirms raising squadron of Chinese J-10C in response to India's Rafale jets
https://www.indiatoday.in/world/stor...852-2021-12-29

From Wiki:

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-screenshot_1.jpg

From Hushkit:

How good is China’s J-10C fighter?
https://hushkit.net/2019/02/26/how-g...si-think-tank/

Name:  j10crcsabout1squaremetersbasicallycanbesaidtobeaquasistealthfighter.jpg
Views: 257
Size:  28.2 KB

Last edited by SmartCat : 30th December 2021 at 13:53.
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Old 30th December 2021, 15:11   #1468
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Pakistan confirms raising squadron of Chinese J-10C in response to India's Rafale jets
While most commentators are right in claiming that the J-10Cs are no match for the Rafales, let alone the Mirages and Su-30s, I believe these are still qualitatively better than the JF-17s and would be the second-best fighter in the PAF arsenal after the F16s which they can't buy anymore. This is certainly a concern for India as if we are to turn our attention to China, our advantage over the Pakistanis must be overwhelming both qualitatively and quantitatively such that it is no longer a threat, not just sufficient as is the case now.

Pakistan is really moving forward with its modernization, especially of its Navy and Air Force with the Chinese frigates and Subs along with the J10s now, no doubt helped by the lower cost of Chinese equipment and perhaps subsidized rates given the state of the Pakistani economy now and need to China to have a strong Pakistani military to keep India distracted. This should be a shot in the arm for the policymakers to either fast-forward MRCA or buy more Rafales!
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Old 30th December 2021, 16:29   #1469
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Pakistan confirms raising squadron of Chinese J-10C in response to India's Rafale jets
https://www.indiatoday.in/world/stor...852-2021-12-29
How much does each J-10C would cost to Pakistan because it has not made the cost of the deal public ? Even on the conservative estimates, this proposed deal should be close to 3-4 billion US dollars. It's huge deal for 11 billion dollars military force.

Considering the doddering economy of Pakistan (which is on IMF's assistance and also in FATF's grey list), I don’t know how much and by what means Pakistan will pay for these high end weapon. But, one thing is pretty sure, that Chinese leverage on Pakistani state has increased many folds since 2013.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
While most commentators are right in claiming that the J-10Cs are no match for the Rafales, let alone the Mirages and Su-30s, I believe these are still qualitatively better than the JF-17s and would be the second-best fighter in the PAF arsenal after the F16s which they can't buy anymore. This is certainly a concern for India as if we are to turn our attention to China, our advantage over the Pakistanis must be overwhelming both qualitatively and quantitatively such that it is no longer a threat, not just sufficient as is the case now.
J-10C must have been envisaged for procurement because of perceived limitations of JF-17's Air to Ground role to replace existing Mirage-V role. Moreover J-10C offers more performance compared to proposed JF-17 Block-3 thanks to its hardpoints/AESA/PL-15 capabilities.

Certainly, Rafale is much better equipped fighter jet than J-10C, because later doesn’t have integrated suite like Rafale or any enhanced self protection, but still, J-10C does have large AESA radar and along with ECM jammer, which makes it worthwhile Air Superiority Fighter.

Credit: J-10C photograph taken from twitter handle of @hesyja
Attached Thumbnails
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-j10-c.jpg  

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Old 30th December 2021, 18:19   #1470
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Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by Ankur@VNS View Post
How much does each J-10C would cost to Pakistan because it has not made the cost of the deal public ? Even on the conservative estimates, this proposed deal should be close to 3-4 billion US dollars. It's huge deal for 11 billion dollars military force.

Considering the doddering economy of Pakistan (which is on IMF's assistance and also in FATF's grey list), I don’t know how much and by what means Pakistan will pay for these high end weapon. But, one thing is pretty sure, that Chinese leverage on Pakistani state has increased many folds since 2013.
Cost is one thing but what surprised me, even more, is the speed of delivery. According to this link, the first aircraft will be delivered by March 2022. I don't know much about aircraft manufacturing but I don't think an aircraft can be delivered within 3 months of the order being placed, certainly not a 4++ gen fighter jet.

Also, something else cracked me up from that link

Quote:
There are also no details yet on the model of the Vigorous Dragon purchased for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), but Minister Sheikh Rasheed also commented that the addition of the J-10s are a direct response to the purchase of the Rafale by the Indian Air Force (IAF), and that these aircraft are far superior to the French fighters. It can therefore be assumed that the squadron of aircraft purchased are the J-10C model, the latest and most modern version of this fighter currently in production.
Call it a match but far superior?
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