Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LiveFist Column: Vishnu Som first-hand on what really happened at Red Flag 08

Vishnu Som, Associate Editor and Senior Anchor at NDTV, was the only journalist from India at Red Flag 08, and in that sense, best placed to talk about what happened there. He sent us a very comprehensive comment to the last post on the leaked video controversy. Vishnu has allowed me to post his excellent comment here as a column. Thanks Vishnu!

For all of you who are out there in the internet world and who have an interest in the performance of the Indian Air Force at Red Flag 2008 .. I have a few remarks. As the only Indian journalist who spent a lengthy period of time at Nellis after being granted permission by both the Indian Air Force and the US Air Force, I was granted access to impeccable sources in both forces.

Whats more, I was able to independently corroborate this information with reliable, alternative sources. Several of the points I present here in the form of this post on the Bharat Rakshak forum will be compiled into an article which I will post on my company website ndtv.com. For those of you not familiar with the Indian media ... New Delhi Television (NDTV) is India's largest 24 hour news network and our website is one of the most viewed among news websites in the country. For the moment, I have decided not to do a television news report on this since I believe the contents of this post are too technical for a larger audience.

For starters ... and this cannot be stressed enough ... the Red Flag exercises were a brilliant learning experience for all the participants, not least of all the Indian Air Force which, over a period of time, has earned the reputation of being one of the world's finest operational air forces.

This was a reputation which was reinforced at Red Flag 2008, the world's most advanced air combat exercises where the Indian Air Force fielded a number of state of the art Sukhoi 30 MKI jets in addition to IL-76 transports and IL-78 mid air refuellers.

For other participants at the Red Flag exercises ... namely the South Korean Air Force, French and US Air Force ... the opportunity to train with a platform such as the Sukhoi 30 MKI was an opportunity which just couldn't be missed. This has a lot to do not just with the jet but also with the air force operating the fighter, a force which has made a mark as an innovative operator of fast jets.The US Air Force … the host of these exercises … was singularly gracious in its appreciation for the Indian Air Force contingent which came into Red Flag having trained extensively for the exercises not only back home but also at the Mountain Home Air Force base in the US.

Contrary to unsolicited remarks by certain serving US personnel not directly linked to day to day operations at the exercises … the Indian Air Force and its Su-30s more than made a mark during their stint in the United States.For starters … not a single Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter was `shot down’ in close air combat missions at the Mountain Home air base. In fact, none of the Sukhois were even close to being shot down in the 10 odd one on one sorties which were planned for the first two days of the exercises at Mountain Home. These one on one engagements featured USAF jets such as the F-15 and F-16 in close air engagements against the Su-30 MKI. The majority of the kills claimed in these engagements were granted to the Indian Air Force with the remainder of these being no-results. Indian Air Force Sukhois did use their famed thrust vectoring in these one on one engagements. Contrary to what may have been reported elsewhere … the Su-30 has a rate of turn of more than 35 degrees when operating in the thrust vector mode. In certain circumstances, this goes up substantially.

By the time the exercises at Mountain Home had matured … the Indian Air Force had graduated to large formation exercises which featured dozens of jets in the sky. In one of these exercises … the blue forces, of which the Indian Air Force was a part … shot down more than 21 of the enemy jets. Most of these `kills’ have been credited to the Indian Air Force.

By the time the Indian Air Force was ready for Red Flag, the contingent had successfully worked up using the crawl, walk, run principle. At Red Flag though, they found themselves at a substantial disadvantage vis a vis the other participants since they were not networked with AWACS and other platforms in the same manner in which USAF or other participating jets were. In fact, Indian Air Force Sukhois were not even linked to one another using their Russian built data links since American authorities had asked for specifics of the system before it was cleared to operate in US airspace. The IAF, quite naturally, felt that this would compromise a classified system onboard and decided to go on with the missions without the use of data links between the Sukhois.Neither was the Indian Air Force allowed to use chaff or flares, essential decoys to escape incoming missiles which had been fired by enemy jets. This was because the US FAA had visibility and pollution related concerns in the event that these were used in what is dense, busy air space in the Las Vegas region.

The Red Flag exercises themselves were based on large force engagements and did not see the Indian Air Force deploy thrust vectoring at all on any of the Sukhoi 30 jets not that this was required since the engagements were at long ranges.Though it is true that there were 4-5 incidents of fratricides involving the Indian Air Force at Red Flag … it is important to point out the following:In the debriefs that followed the exercises … responsibility for the fratricides were always put on the fighter controllers not the pilots. Its also important to point that unlike in Mountain Home, none of the Indian Air Force’s own fighter controllers were allowed to participate since there was classified equipment at Nellis used for monitoring the exercises. The lack of adequate controlling and the fact that Nellis fighter controllers often had problems understanding Indian accents (they had problems understanding French accents as well) resulted in a lack of adequate controlling in situations. Whats more … given the fact that the availability of AWACS was often low … the bulk of fratricides took place on days when the AWACS jet was not deployed. Whats important to remember though is that US participants in these exercises had a similar number of fratricides despite being fully linked in with data links and the latest IFF systems.

So was the Indian Air Force invincible at Red Flag. In a word … no. So yes, there were certainly days in which several Sukhoi jets were shot down. And there were others when they shot down many opposing jets. Ultimately though … the success of the Indian Air Force at Red Flag lay in the fact that they could meet their mission objectives as well, if not better, than any other participant. Despite the hot weather conditions, the IAF had a 95 per cent mission launch ratio, far better than some of the participants. And no one went into the exercises thinking the score line would be a perfect one in favour of the IAF. In fact … the IAF went into these exercises with an open mind and with full admiration of the world beating range at Nellis with an unmatched system of calibrating engagement results.Perhaps the most encouraging part of these exercises comes from the fact that the Indian Air Force’s young pilots … learnt from their mistakes, analysed, appreciated and came back strong. Mistakes were not repeated. In fact … the missions where the IAF did not fare well turned out to be immense learning experiences. At the end of the exercises … its more than clear that the IAF’s Su-30s were more than a match for the variants of the jets participating at the Red Flag exercises. Considering the fact that the central sensor of the Sukhoi, its radar … held up just fine in training mode …despite the barrage of electronic jamming augurs well for the Indian Air Force.

As for its young pilots … these are skills and experiences that they will take back to their squadrons … experiences which will be passed on to a whole new set of pilots who will come into the next set of exercises that much wiser.

63 comments :

Anonymous said...

Vishnu looks handsome in the overalls

Anonymous said...

Dear Vishnu,

Well it is understandable that technically loaded news is of no intrest to the nation, but how about covering the human emotions loaded news in your news channel? Why have you guys left services in this difficult time. All of you were swarming for news when we were fighting in Kargil, and talked at leangths about the sacrifice being done by men in uniform. Your lack of support at this juncture when all those men are feeling low and miserable will always be remembered as a betrayal.

no friend of your

K K said...

I feel there are informal gag orders on the press from the IAS/Politico wallas to stop doing any news commentary on the Armed Forces Pay matters.Are the press guys so afraid not to take up the just cause of the Armed Forces. What are they asking? Only equivalence and parity with civil(?????)employees.
So much for the FREE press in our Country.
Jai Hind No Jai Jawan

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to talk about the fighter capabilities in terms of interception, destroying targets etc.. What about the electronic counter measures, jamming etc at red flag, can someone elaborate on this?

Anonymous said...

The moment someone mentions this [b]if not better, than any other participant. Despite the hot weather conditions,[/b]

you know he is talking BS. The said Unknown pilot talked the same what Vishnu here saying, albeit with Chanukyan than the arrogant cowboy.

Bottom line: we were spanked and we learned from it.

Anonymous said...

@kk.
Freedom of press looks like now is a cocktail party subject. looks like the pree has got one dirty look from ias lobby and they have gone totally silent.so much for the free press.or they will not get thier borading pass for the next foreign trip...!!.

Anonymous said...

this article appeared on bharat-rakshak as a response to the questions of some people there.
thanks vishnu.

Anonymous said...

In another news ala Vishnu news: a pirate tugboat threatened a frigate!!
“the vessel’s threatening response was that she would blow up the naval warship”

This adventure get funnier
two speedboats were observed breaking off to escape. The ship chased the first boat which was later found abandoned. The other boat made good its escape into darkness,”

What time was it??

Anonymous said...

Men behind these machines(In air as well as on ground)are already feeling betrayed by Govt and now by our Mature Media who were interested in only flashy TRP stories. They some how seem not commited to the Cause!
vj

Anonymous said...

By the way Shiv,
Your channel also has gone back on the promise of covering the issue till it is resolved.

All this is not going down too well with men in uniform.

Anonymous said...

abe paki buradiah @ 6:45 fck off mofo.

we dont need you two bit pakis on this blog.

you POS

Anonymous said...

Let this be a reminder to the desi dorky media that keeps sensationalising news like the debriefing video which can only instill doubts about Su-30 MKIs in the minds of our unsuspecting public.
I was particularly upset about the kind of 'hulla-balloo' that was raised on Headlines Today a couple of nights earlier. You, Shiv of all the people should be mature enough to understand that. Shame on HT.

Anonymous said...

Dirty Khalse ne fauj ki jai hind kar di, bhai.

Anonymous said...

Free press my foot. Indian media is on payroll of IAS sitting on stinking plile of money belonging to the starving and rotting Indians. Notice the thousands of feet of govt ads in the newspapers doled out to the papers by the IAS Babus. Indian press is worse than slaves of the Indian Babus. They have been totally exposed.

Anonymous said...

class reporting....truth does prevail. thns vishnu.

Anonymous said...

thnx.

S said...

The statement made by Vishnu
"......did not see the Indian Air Force deploy thrust vectoring at all on any of the Sukhoi 30 jets"
is factually incorrect.
As mentioned by the USAF pilot, the Su-30 aircraft went into a freefall due to loss of energy. Such loss of energy is a typical attribute of a vectored thrust maneuver.
This conclusively proves that our pilots had indeed applied thrust vector during the Red Flag Exercises quite contrary to what Vishnu Shom has stated.

Having said this, I reiterate my earlier statement made in the previous post - The USAF pilot DID NOT mock or pick on IAF personals. He just stated some of the outcomes of our engagements at Nellis.

The only personal opinion that he gave about the Indian Air Force pilots,
"..the professionalism and skill of the IAF pilots at Red Flag gained the respect of the USAF pilots"

Please go through the videos before drawing negative conclusions about the USAF pilot or our own Air Warriors.

Part 1, Part 2

Irresponsible reporting on part of Headlines Today to say USAF personals picked on IAF pilots

Anonymous said...

Good Som..
I must Complement you ...we need someone in the Country to understand what defence is all about...

Not those IAS ans CCS koots who have just screwed up every thing farting away to glory...

Cane-an said...

I think we are getting our just deserts.
We had an air force exercise in India. We did well in it. Now as a professional force, we should have kept quiet, been gracious and learnt from our experience. Instead, we went to town "beating our chests". This was not called-for by one of the finest air-forces in the world.
Now if we got beaten in Nellis and the Americans are beating their own chests, we should keep quiet and be humble.
No one doubts the Indian Air force. They are a professional outfit. They should just have not acted like the Australian cricket team....

Anonymous said...

everybody, prasun sengupta is making a reply to this. get ready.

Anonymous said...

all is a fuckin bunch of BULLSHIT. who even asked VISHNU to talk?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

A couple of observations regarding Vishnu Som's reportage:

1) In the absence of AWACS-based airborne battle management support in the within visual range air combat domain, the Su-30MKI or for that matter any other combat aircraft (like the Rafale and Eurofighter EF-2000) equipped with an infra-red search-and-track system (IRST) will undoubtedly prevail and this is most likely what happened at Mountain AFB. In fact, so vital is the IRST sensor today that even the US Navy has contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a pod-mounted IRST system for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

2) When operating in the supermanoeuvrable mode the 35-degree rate of turn per second mentioned refers to the instantaneous turn-rate, I presume. However, I've come across different figures being mentioned by RMAF Su-30MKM pilots for both the instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate.

3) As far as data links go, neither the Su-30MKI nor the Su-30MKM has the kind of Russia-origin airborne data links that are on board the Su-30MKK or Su-30MK2 or Su-27SMK. This is because the Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM are not required to share tactical air situation data with one another, but to exchange such data with AEW & C platforms. On the Su-30MKI the data links are of Israeli origin (from TADIRAN SpectraLink) and they will be operationalised only AFTER they are commissioned into service, which will happen only after the PHALCON AEW & C platforms are commissioned into service. This has nothing to do with OPSEC.

4) The question of dispensing chaff and flares during Ex Red Flag doesn’t arise at all since all the AAM firings (for both within visual range and beyond visual range intercepts) are simulated and are not live firings.

5) The equipment used for calibrating, monitoring and recording air combat engagements in real-time is the DACTS/ACMI system, which is also used for sortie debriefing. It is not a classified or restricted system, but it has an open architecture design which allows non-US DACTS/ACMI pods carried by participating aircraft to be data-linked in real-time. It is for this reason that the Su-30MKIs were clearly seen equipped with such underwing pods (supplied by RADA of Israel) when flying over the skies of Nevada.

6) Every contemporary on-board radar, be it for the F-16E, the F-16C/D or even the Su-30MKI, has a training mode, which is made use of during simulated air warfare exercises. One must bear in mind that the Red Flag series of exercises, while being the most realistic worldwide, are not a ‘no holds barred’ event and are held in a highly controlled environment when it comes to the participation of air forces not hailing from either NATO member-states or major non-NATO allies. In such an environment even the host air force, the USAF, is loathe to expose the full spectrum of its air dominance capabilities, particularly the crucial non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR) mode of US-origin airborne radars and the EW environment that would otherwise be created. Therefore, even the IAF had to adopt the norm of reciprocity and consequently desisted from putting to use the NCTR mode of the Su-30MKI’s NO-11M BARS radar, and decided not to equip the deployed Su-30MKIs at Nevada with EL/L-8222 jamming pods. As for the BARS’ ability to survive in an extreme EW environment and maintain its functional integrity, this is a non-issue as all electronic LRUs and components of the radar are already ‘hardened’ to prevent them from being ‘cooked’ by ultra-strong EMPs.

7) As EX Red Flag 08 was a multinational event designed to enhance the synchronisation of diverse airborne assets as part of a unified coalition-based air tasking effort, emphasis was not placed upon one-upmanship or pitting one participant’s competitive air combat skills against the other to prove one’s invincibility. For the IAF, therefore, one of the greatest lessons learnt was that it too has to, sooner rather than later, create a realistic training environment within India by virtually replicating a substantial part of the Red Flag exercise model, especially with regard to acquiring the necessary ground-based infrastructure like a fully instrumented range for dissimilar air combat and engaging in effects-based offensive knowledge-based warfare using standoff precision-guided munitions. Thus the stage is now set for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to have its own state-of-the-art, fully instrumented facility at a cost of US$80 million in the state of West Bengal, which will be used in future for staging multinational air exercises similar to the Red Flag series of exercises hosted by the US Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base. As per present plans, the IAF, like the USAF, has adopted the cluster approach under which it will equip the air bases in Kalaikunda, Hashimara and Barrackpore, and the air-to-ground ranged at Dega near Kalaikunda and at Chandipur-on-Sea. By 2011 it should be possible to put to test this gigantic state-of-the-art infrastructure in ‘no-holds barred’ exercise scenarios involving not just the Su-30MKIs and PHALCONs, but also participating assets from friendly countries like Singapore’s F-15SGs, Block 52 F-16C/Ds and G-550 AEW & C platforms, as well as France’s Rafales and the UK’s Eurofighter EF-2000s.

Prasun K Sengupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neosumit said...

I don't know what is the big fuss about making any issue of red flag ..
I have seen the speach by F-15 Pilot
I think he clearly says what happened .. and I think we should take it as a learning point and not to make a fuss about it..

Anonymous said...

Lets not get too worked up about some yank on youtube. Our appreciation of our own self worth should be based on rational assessment of own capabilities & skills, not on the rhetoric of some soap box orator.
The only fair test of a weapon system is in war, so for now lets concentrate on strengthening ourselves economically & make a mark globally by our deeds, rest will follow, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun ... I don't agree with some of your points. Let me collect my information and get back.

Thanks
Vishnu

Anonymous said...

Accept Vishnu is nothing more than an embedded journalist. You know what that mean, right?? Chamch journalist.

His all points are bullokcs.

Did IAF knew about AWACS arrangement beforehand or not?

Did IAF knew about the tempo of the exercise??


Who do you believe "Drill the brains out" straight shooter or the Chmcha jouno, WHEN THEY SAY 1v1 DID/N'T TAKE PLACE??

Did the pilot trying to bring down IAF?? No. He is showing the respect they deserve. But at the same time doing some plain talking. Unlike Vishnu Chamca jouno he do not have to feel apologotic--for your n=1 my n=1 ala fratricide.

viru said...

It is just a matter of a few years from now that there won't be enough pilots to man and fly these magnificient machines in the defence of this country. Cong party and the political class would be remembered for repeating 1962 in a few years. These people have fooled the public in believing that India would be a SUPER POWER.Without strong and motivated Armed Forces it is not possible. Today both the Political class and babus are working for ISI.They would be sorted out soon by the people of this country starting with throwing out of the present govt fron center in the coming elections.Mark my words it will happen

Mihir said...

Cane-an said... Now as a professional force, we should have kept quiet, been gracious and learnt from our experience. Instead, we went to town "beating our chests". This was not called-for by one of the finest air-forces in the world.


When did the IAF (I suppose that is what you ment by "we") do that?

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun ... a few of your points are incorrect ... the others I agree with ...

You wrote:

1) In the absence of AWACS-based airborne battle management support in the within visual range air combat domain, the Su-30MKI or for that matter any other combat aircraft (like the Rafale and Eurofighter EF-2000) equipped with an infra-red search-and-track system (IRST) will undoubtedly prevail and this is most likely what happened at Mountain AFB.

My View on this:

Currently the IRST on any aircraft does not offer any significant benefit in the visual bubble other than in probably the F-35 where the coverage is 360 degrees. Essentially, coverage of IRST is similar to radar albeit in azimuth only. While the IRST has the inherent advantage of a passive sensor, an alternate source is required for ranging (essential for enabling missile launch solutions). The advantage that it mainly offers is of a silent launch of a passive guided missile once the target ac is within the IRST envelope.

Prasun wrote:

2) When operating in the supermanoeuvrable mode the 35-degree rate of turn per second mentioned refers to the instantaneous turn-rate, I presume. However, I've come across different figures being mentioned by RMAF Su-30MKM pilots for both the instantaneous turn rate and sustained turn rate.

My view:

The sustained rates of turn are very high with TVC and vary between 30 to well over 50 degrees per second. Unlike conventional manoeuvring there really is no applicability of the terms instantaneous and sustained rates in manoeuvring with TVC. If you really must apply then in the case of TVC the sustained rates will be higher than the instantaneous rates, quite unlike the conventional manoeuvring. Thrust vectoring becomes more and more effective at lower speeds and as speed is reduced the rate of turns increase (sustained).




Prasun wrote:
3) On the Su-30MKI the data links are of Israeli origin (from TADIRAN SpectraLink) and they will be operationalised only AFTER they are commissioned into service.

My point:

The Su-30MKI has the Russian data link and not Israeli.

Your point:

4) The question of dispensing chaff and flares during Ex Red Flag doesn’t arise at all since all the AAM firings (for both within visual range and beyond visual range intercepts) are simulated and are not live firings.

My point:

In the case of these exercises ... Chaff `inhibited' missile launch to a large extent, while flares were used to counter IR Missiles post launch. Hence, in case somebody launched a missile and someone launched a flare after that, the shot invariably was classified as miss and not granted. In the Red Flag scenario with multi sensor tracking from ground and air, chaff was extremely important and needed to be utilised judiciously. The `use' of flares could be replaced by a voice call.

Prasun wrote:

The equipment used for calibrating, monitoring and recording air combat engagements in real-time is the DACTS/ACMI system, which is also used for sortie debriefing. It is not a classified or restricted system, but it has an open architecture design which allows non-US DACTS/ACMI pods carried by participating aircraft to be data-linked in real-time. It is for this reason that the Su-30MKIs were clearly seen equipped with such underwing pods (supplied by RADA of Israel) when flying over the skies of Nevada.

My perspective:

Its NACTS (Nellis Air Combat Training System) and not DACTS. It’s from M/s Cubic of US and not RADA of Israel. Yes the pods were networked and recorded manoeuvring. However, they did not provide any inputs to the pilot. They transmitted data to each other and to ground stations for real time display of the situation on the ground. The same picture is not available to the pilot for reference in the air. Hence, it’s a good debrief aid as it accurately records the relative position of each participant in real time and aids in shot assessment during the debrief.

Thanks Vishnu

Anonymous said...

now here is a nice debate if i ever saw one. keep it running, boys!

Anonymous said...

vishnu goes around so much with defence forces, but he does not find it fit to talk abt pay related issues?????

Anonymous said...

Dear shiv
though you are doing a yeoman service to the defense but i have a submission to make you update once in a while if no new news in there daily people loose interest i know it is a free service that you are providing out of your expensive time but still its your choice isn't it so please there are always news which will be of interest to us faujis' like the tabar issue please update the post more frequently than you do comments will follow in any case we indians can comment on any thing

Jagan said...

"Now if we got beaten in Nellis and the Americans are beating their own chests, we should keep quiet and be humble."

IF we got beaten in Nellis.

But we weren't (Beaten)

That is the point that shiv, vishnu and the unofficial sources in the IAF are trying to make.

Also - the IAF is not going to town making a fuss about all this. Vishnu and shiv are just doing a favour to the countless enthusiasts like us by clarifying the issues we raised after seeing the video.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Hi Vishnu! Many thanks indeed for the heads-up. Deeply appreciate your inputs and clarifications. Regarding the ranging reqmts of IRST I believe the built-in laser rangefinder supplies the ranging data. Fully agree with you regarding the superiority of the instantaneous turn rate factor and the RMAF Su-30MKMs have thus far attained 52 degrees. Lastly, when I was referring to the DACTS, it was the generic term used for describing dissimilar air combat training system. The one at Nellis was originally supplied by Cubic Corp but has since been upgraded by a company called DRS Technologies (http://www.drs.com). As you've explained, the rangeless ACMI pods are employed for real-time transmissions of the tactical air situation to ground receiving stations. The IAF uses two such types of DACTS/ACMI systems, both of Israeli origin: the ELBIT Systems-built EHUD and the RADA-built system. At Nellis the ROKAF F-15Ks used ACMI pods built by Dong JI Inter-Tech, a South Korean company. I would deeply appreciate if you could kindly post your above-stated clarifications at my blog as well, at: http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/11/su-30mkis-at-ex-red-flag-08-clearing.html

Many thanks & keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys I am back

Anonymous said...

If Vishnu goes around so much for defence matters, why doesnt he settle down?

Anonymous said...

When IAF was not privy to a lot of classified things owing to security then how would Vishnu be able access impeccable sources as he claims, and as a journalist how would he be able to report accurately.

As it is he is not a technical person and knows nothing about technical matters.

Vishnu, please start a blog of your own. As it is you have enough time, as can be seen. Your first comment came at 7 in the morning yesterday and today after you promised Prasun at 3 pm, you replied at 7 pm, four hours after collecting the info.

TV chaps, and especially as NDTV men claim , are supposed to be busy but doesnt appear so, as is evident , Shiv and Vishnu both.

So since you are such a free person with time, start your own blog.

Anonymous said...

its just a startegy by US to market their products and to show that russian armaments are inferior. India should just ignore it and never go to or invite them for joint exersices.

incidents like this has happened at Cope india 2004.when a spat broke out between USAF seargents and a IAF officer, when the former individuals commented about the latter's greasy gloves.

there are more serious incidents that has happened over protocol issues in almost all the joint exersices in recent time........

Anonymous said...

All of us can keep dilly-dollying on the performance of IAF Vs USAF, but I guess the actual data collected from the exercise would never be available to public interpretation or debate. Atleast I guess IAF would get the accurate data captured by these "pods" for EVERY aircraft in Red flag - Rafale, F16, F15(k) and F22. That way Indians can ascertain the aero qualities and tactics of these fighters.

Can some one confirm if this information sharing was part of the exercise?

Agreed MKI is way below F22 in terms of passive/active sensors and RCS. But the tone took by that youtube joker seemed like cocky, humorous, reduce his student's fear and stop them from p*ssing in their pants when facing the MKI.

But alls well - we did not have any incidents/mis haps. Young blood, lot of learning from the excersise....

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Dear Vishnu....some additional clarifications for your reference. The OEPS-31 (Type 31E-MKI) IRST sensor made by UOMZ for the Su-30MKI is operable in both azimuth AND elevation. You can check this up at: http://trishulgroup.blogspot.com/2008/11/su-30mkis-at-ex-red-flag-08-clearing.html where I have uploaded the IRST's brochure. I beg to differ with you about the limited benefits of IRSTs in the visual bubble. If that were the case then the UAE Air Force’s Block 60 F-16C/Ds and Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-15SGs wouldn’t have the on-board IRST sensors that they now have.
Secondly, the two-way airborne data link to be used by the Su-30MKI for sharing the tactical air situation picture with the PHALCON AEW & C platform is indeed from TADIRAN SpectraLink (whose photo I have uploaded as well in my blog) and not of Russian origin. Specifics of this data link installation can be found in supplementary contract no9 of the principal contract РВ/535611031077 that was inked between Rosoboronexport State Corp and India's Ministry of Defence in Irkutsk on November 30, 1996. The data link was one of several non-Russia GFE avionics that was seen by me undergoing flight certification tests in the avionics integration rig at Irkutsk in May-June 2001. Also undergoing integration tests at that time were the RADA-supplied mission planning/mission de-briefing system (of which the rangeless DACTS/ACMI suite is a component). The ROKAF F-15Ks at Nellis AFB were equipped with a similar rangeless DACTS/ACMI system supplied by South Korea's Dong JI Inter-Tech.

Prasun K Sengupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lt Col(Retd) AM Khan the GRINDER said...
Apropos Vinay Shankar's article 'Neglect of Military Morale' http://gconnect.in/gc/6cpc-matters/neglect-of-military-morale.html#comment-1344

The root of the problem is, as the article rightly points - 'obsessive apolitical attitude of the officer corps'. Things will become on an even keel if the armed forces officers are politicised like the IAS. This pay commission, by a decisive act of reducing the status of armed forces officers, has set into motion some significant changes in the outlook of defence officers which can only result in greater voice for the services in the polity. You may have some bad hats like Purohit, but on the whole it will certainly be good for the armed forces personnel. Already, the initial hatred, sense of being betrayed, and an unbridled anger for the bureaucractic-politician nexus is giving way to the grim realisation that political clout rather than articulating grievances is what will restore their parity with civil services who, to-day, armed with a superior 'nusiance' offer far beneficial alternatives to the Indian political leaders.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Hi Vishnu! Kindly allow me to explain further why exactly was the airborne data link developed by Russia’s POLYOT Federal State Unitary Enterprise Research and Production Company (formerly the Gorky Radio Communication Research Institute) dumped by the IAF in favour of the one developed by TADIRAN SpectraLink. Back in the late 1990s when the Su-30MKI was taking shape, the Russian avionics OEMs had one big problem: they had not yet mastered the technology for MMIC-based processors and as a result of this, all the LRUs destined for the avionics bulkheads was a bit too big by Indian standards! Furthermore, the Russian concept of lumping all radio-based avionics into one complete suite was regarded with deep skepticism by the IAF, which preferred a standalone approach. What the IAF therefore decided to do was to overcome these problems (it was a problem because the IAF believed a lot more could be squeezed inside the Su-30MKI airframe than what the Russians were proposing) by installing several items indigenously developed by then by the DRDO’s Bangalore-based Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) for the ‘Tejas’ LCA programme. These included the two mission computers (instead of the twin Russian BCVM 486-1 mission computers that were ready only by 2004), the two radar computers RC-1 and RC-2 for the NO-11M BARS PESA, replacing the entire POLYOT-built K-DlAE and K-DlUE communications/data-link suite with a distributed suite sourced from HAL and TADIRAN SpectraLink (whose data links are also on board the three PHALCON AEW & C platforms on order), and doing away with the Tester-U3 Series 3A airborne flight data recorder, UPOV multi-purpose airborne flash memory recorder, and the SVR digital video recording system (the last two items were replaced by similar but more compact systems along with the Type 967 HUD, all from Israel’s ELBIT Systems). Once this was done, there was considerable internal volume available within the avionics bulkheads for the installation of a HUMS suite and an internal EW jammer (the ELTA-built EL/L-8212) required for detecting and jamming the data links and active microwave radars of BVRAAMs, and located in the bulkhead aft of the rear cockpit. To be added to these in future on-board the airframe will be a missile approach warning system and laser warning receivers, both of which are now being co-developed by DARE and EADS Defence Electronics.
For acquiring predictive maintenance capability via HUMS, the DARE and IAF joined forces with South Africa's Aerospace Monitoring And Systems (Pty) Ltd (AMS). Predictive maintenance means the on- and off-board processing of aircraft sub-systems data, resulting in an accurate, conclusive indication of the health and usage status of various airborne systems. The Su-30MKI's on-board health-and-usage monitoring system (HUMS) not only monitors almost every aircraft system and sub-system, including the avionics sub-systems, it also acts as a combined flight data/engineering data recorder (this is also standard fit on the IAF’s Hawk Mk132 LIFTs). For the Su-30MKI, AMS was contracted for providing total HUMS solutions, starting with definition of the IAF's qualitative requirements, followed by systems provision (development and implementation), integration and support phases. Methods were subsequently co-developed by AMS and the IAF for the following: fatigue loading spectra; fatigue analysis methods; material fatigue behaviour; fracture mechanics; damage tolerance analysis and testing of redundant metallic aircraft structures; fatigue crack growth analysis; crack growth and residual strength analyses; aircraft structural integrity programme analysis; and exploring ageing aircraft issues.

stop censoring! said...

PRASUN sengupta is here!! WOW!! now is he gonna start a fight with Vishnu Som? Vishnu i gotta advice: dont feed the TROLL!

Anonymous said...

This Shiv is resposnsible for Prasun's popularity and now its Vishnu. Good job your doing Shiv.

Popularising your colleagues. No one knew these people till they appeared on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai,

Mera dil machal gaya to mera kya qasoor hai.

Anonymous said...

prasun sengupta, how do u know that is really vishnu som?

OFF THIS MODERATION AROORJI

Anonymous said...

A final word, from India, on 'YouTube Terry'
By
Stephen Trimble
on November 21, 2008 5:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I hope this is my last post on Col Terrence Fornof's YouTube indiscretions. Much has been written throughout the blogosphere and the press since I posted the infamous video here a couple of weeks ago.

But I didn't want to let it go without a firm rebuttal from the Indian side. The Indian Air Force has declined comment, but I can present a response by Vayu Aerospace Review Editor Pushpindar Singh.

He writes:

Being aware of the IAF's views on the subject, and while fully respecting the IAF Vice Chief's statement that the 'leaked' video and its content was 'too demeaning for reaction', I have decided to share the facts with readers, not those fancily conjured up by Colonel Terrence Fornof.
YouTube rebuttal:

Being aware of the IAF's views on the subject, and while fully respecting the IAF Vice Chief's statement that the 'leaked' video and its content was 'too demeaning for reaction', I have decided to share the facts with readers, not those fancily conjured up by Colonel Terrence Fornof, an F-15 fighter jockey and now Director of the Requirements and Testing Office at the USAF Air Warfare Centre at Nellis AFB. The USAF later issued a statement to say that Fornof's was a private briefing to the 'Daedalians', a group of retired military pilots. "Colonel Fornof did not mean to offend any U.S. allied forces, as he knows firsthand the importance of training with allied forces and the awesome firepower they bring to the fight. His comments during this briefing were his personal opinions and not those of USAF Warfare Centre or of the Air Force".
Still, to get the record straight, the facts are :
Ø The IAF did not undertake any IvIs at Nellis during Red Flag, nor did they engage thrust vectoring during the Exercise. IvIs were flown only at Mountain Home AFB. In none of the IvIs were the Su-30MKIs ever vulnerable, let alone shot down. As all exercises were flown with ACMI, the situations are recorded and available to substantiate this aspect. Additionally, the MKI's behaviour with thrust vectoring is dramatically different from that described by the Colonel. F-15 and F-16 aircrew were well appreciative of IAF manoeuvres with thrust vectoring.
Ø Colonel Fornof's statement on Su-30MKI rates of turn with thrust vectoring (20o/ sec) is grossly 'out' but apparently gives away actual F-22 performance (28o/sec) Pitch of the talk seemed as to whether thrust vectoring was important or not. As all sorties were with ACMI, entire profiles are recorded, can be analysed and surely would have been replayed to drive the point home and make the 'chest thumping' sound more real. Apparently this was not done. Perhaps, as the Colonel is aware of F-22 data, he has tried to down play the Su-30MKI in comparison. Surprisingly, while there was no systems / avionics / comparison between the two types or with any other type of 'legacy' aircraft, the speaker does admit that radar of the MKI is 'superior' to that of the F-15 and F-16, however 'inferior' to AESA of the F-22 (a correct assessment). However, the IAF used the Su-30's radar in the training mode, with downgraded performance vis-à-vis operational mo! de, as they could hardly participate without this primary sensor
Ø The 'Bison' radar : the USAF should be aware that the 'Bison' does not have an Israeli radar, it is Russian. Nor does the Su-30MKI have Tumansky engines (but the NPO-Saturn). Surprisingly the Colonel seems oblivious of such facts, yet tries to convey that he is an authority on the matter.
Ø Fratricide by IAF fighters : this is correct, the IAF did 'shoot down' some 'friendlies' and that was assessed and attributed to the IAF not being networked. However, what the Colonel did not bring out were the two essential reasons for this. Firstly, this occurred mainly when the AWACS was not available (unserviceable) and controlling was done by GCI. More significantly it happened during extremely poor controlling by their operators, this fact being acknowledged during debriefs and the controllers being admonished accordingly. 'Accents' were perhaps the main culprit here, which very often led to American controllers not being able to understand Indian calls.
Ø Now hear this : the F-15C and other USAF fighters had the same number of fratricides as the IAF ! Considering they are well networked, yet their pilots shot down the same number of 'friendlies'. This was not only a major concern but also turned out to be a major source of embarrassment as the USAF had everything -- Link 16, IFF Mode 4 etc and the IAF had nothing. Under the Rules of Engagement, they did not even permit the IAF to use data link within themselves. All cases of USAF fratricide were covered in the next day's mass briefing as lessons learnt by concerned aircrew. In the IAF, the incidents were covered by concerned controllers, and attributed to lack of adequate integration, excessive R/T congestion and poor controlling. Gloating on cases of IAF fratricide is frivolous and unprofessional.
Ø However, Colonel Fornof did appreciate IAF 'professionalism' and that the IAF were able to dovetail with USAF procedures within short time. There was not a single training rule / airspace violation. This is a most important aspect.
Ø Since the Colonel could hardly tell his audience that the IAF had given the USAF good run for their money, they downplayed the Su-30's capability. It is correct that the IAF aircrew included some very young pilots -- nearly 70 percent - but they adapted rapidly to the environment (totally alien), training rules (significantly different), airspace regulations etc but to say that they were unable to handle the Su-30 in its envelope (something that they have been practicing to do for four to five years) is just not credible ! If young pilots can adapt to new rules and environment within a short span of two weeks, it is because they are extremely comfortable and confident of their aircraft.
Ø The IAF's all round performance was publicly acknowledged during, and at end of the Exercise, specifically by those involved. Not a single TR / airspace violation was acknowledged. Mission achievement rate was in excess of 90%. The drop out / mission success rates of all others, inclusive of USAF, were significantly lower. This is of major significance considering the fact that IAF was sustaining operations 20,000 km away from home base while the USAF were at home base. (The 8 Su-30s flew some 850 hrs during the deployment, which is equivalent to four months of flying task in India over 75 days). IAF's performance at Mountain Home AFB was even better that that at Nellis AFB.
Ø FOD : At Mountain Home, IAF had reduced departure intervals from the very beginning (30" seconds) considering that operating surfaces were very clean. However, a few minor nicks were encountered and it was decided to revert to 60 seconds rather than undertake engine changes. This was communicated by the IAF at the very start (IPC itself).
Ø There is no need to go in for 'kill ratios' as that would be demeaning. However, the IAF had significant edge throughout and retained it. In fact the true lesson for the USAF should be : 'do not field low value legacy equipment against the Su-30MKI' !.
(demeaning or otherwise, it is understood that the kill ratio (at Mountain Home AFB) was 21 : 1, in favour of the Su-30MKIs).

Anonymous said...

unfortunately he is popularising all the most useless ppl.

ao next is vishnu gonna start a blog along the lines of prasun????????????????????????????

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, only Shiv and Vishnu understand defence in this country. Yes indeed!!

Anonymous said...

Why no new post? Shiv are you unwell or something?

Anonymous said...

The Article is a Pure Bull&%@* who is interested in that?

Sontu said...

All,

If the following lines/data needed to be OUT & DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC..

There is no need to go in for 'kill ratios' as that would be demeaning. However, the IAF had significant edge throughout and retained it. In fact the true lesson for the USAF should be : 'do not field low value legacy equipment against the Su-30MKI'!.
(demeaning or otherwise, it is understood that the kill ratio (at Mountain Home AFB) was 21 : 1, in favour of the Su-30MKIs).


were the objective of those two leaked videos..so that US congress agrees to buy more F-22..then I think.. we can expect to see that present cap of F-22 may be lifted and more F-22 is budgeted..

Regards,

Sontu said...

All,

If the following lines/data needed to be OUT & DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC..

There is no need to go in for 'kill ratios' as that would be demeaning. However, the IAF had significant edge throughout and retained it. In fact the true lesson for the USAF should be : 'do not field low value legacy equipment against the Su-30MKI'!.
(demeaning or otherwise, it is understood that the kill ratio (at Mountain Home AFB) was 21 : 1, in favour of the Su-30MKIs).


were the objective of those two leaked videos..so that US congress agrees to buy more F-22..then I think.. we can expect to see that present cap of F-22 may be lifetd and more F-22 is budgeted..

Regards,

Anonymous said...

We all know about su-30MKI's close one on one capabilities, but can anyone tell me about its BVR achievements during RED FLAG

Anonymous said...

Vishnu looking good. Must have been fun.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sen-Kutta, why did IAF choose TADIRAN over polyot? Is it due to kickbacks the israelis are even famous for?

Anonymous said...

Vishnu Som is so handsome! He looks just like a real fighter pilot!!

Anonymous said...

"Vishnu Som is so handsome! He looks just like a real fighter pilot!!"

u think all the other iaf pilots look like fake fighter pilots?

i feel like crunching ur peanut brain!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.01PM: My previous comment clearly spells out the IAF's reasons. Even a Gadha can make sense out of it, so why can't you? Are you worse-off?

Swaraj said...

Mr. Aroor,
This is Swaraj Padhi. Hope you remember me. Please extend my congratulations to Mr. Vishnu Som for such a well written article.

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