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Thread: USAF critiques Indian SU-30 Red Flag actions

  1. #1
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    Default USAF critiques Indian SU-30 Red Flag actions

    Very interesting. Seems like the USAF and French AF are both working hard to uncover and exploit the SU-30MKI's weaknesses.


    USAF Pilot Critiques Red Flag Action

    Nov 5, 2008
    David A. Fulghum and Graham Warwick

    Indian pilots flying Su-30MKIs are extremely professional, but they're still learning how to best fight with their new aircraft.

    That opinion comes from an unidentified, senior F-15 pilot taped while briefing senior retired U.S. Air Force officers about the most recent Red Flag exercise. The video was made available online at YouTube.com.

    The French pilots flying the new Dassault Rafale appeared to be there to collect electronic intelligence on the Indian aircraft, contends the USAF pilot, who wears an Air Force Weapons School graduate patch.

    The French were originally going to bring the older Mirage 2000-5 until they discovered the Indians were bringing their new Su-30MKIs, the pilot says. They then switched and brought their Rafales with more sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment.

    Once at Red Flag, "90 percent of the time they followed the Indians so when they took a shot or got shot" they would take a quick shot of their own and then leave," he said. "They never came to any merges," which starts the dogfighting portion of any air-to-air combat. He asserts that French pilots followed the same procedure during Desert Storm and Peace Keeping exercises. When U.S. aircrews were flying operations, the French would fly local sorties while "sucking up all the trons" to see how U.S. electronics, like radars, worked, according to the pilot.

    He praised the Indians as extremely professional and said they had no training rule violations. However, they "killed a lot of friendlies" because they were tied to a Russian-made data link system that didn't allow them to see the picture of the battlefield available to everyone else. The lack of combat identification of the other aircraft caused confusion.

    But the U.S. apparently isn't ignorant of the Su-30MKI's radar either.

    The Su-30 electronically scanned radar is not as accurate as the U.S.-built active electronically scanned radar carried by the F-22 and some F-15s. Also, "it paints less, sees less" and is not as discriminating.

    He praised the F-22 as the next great dogfighter. But he faulted the fact that it carries too few missiles and contends that the on-board cannon could be a life-saver, particularly against aircraft like the MiG-21 Bison flown by the Indians. It has a small radar cross section, as well as an Israeli-made F-16 radar and jammer. The latter makes them "almost invisible to legacy F-15C and F-16 radars" until the aerial merge or until it fires one of its Archer, active radar missiles, the U.S. pilot says.

    Against the much larger RCS Su-30MKI, the F-16s and F-15s won consistently during the first three days of air-to-air combat, he continues. However, that was the result of trying to immediately go into a post-stall, thrust-vectored turn when attacked. The turn then creates massive drag and the aircraft starts sinking and losing altitude. "It starts dropping so fast you don't have to go vertical [first]. The low-speed tail slide allowed the U.S. aircraft to dive from above and "get one chance to come down to shoot," the pilot says. "You go to guns and drill his brains out." The Su-30 is jamming your missiles so...you go to guns and drill his brains out."

    U.S. pilots conclude that the Su-30MKI is "not [an F-22] Raptor," he further says. "That was good for us to find out." But when the Indian pilots really learn to fight their new aircraft - "they were too anxious to go to the post-stall maneuver," he says-- the USAF pilot predicts that they would regularly defeat the F-16C Block 50 and the F-15C with conventional radar.

    A final weakness in the Su-30MKI was its engine's vulnerability to foreign object damage which required them to space takeoffs a minute apart and slowed mission launches.

    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...hannel=defense

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    If an antique Indian MiG-21 is "almost invisible to F-15C and F-16 radars" that speaks indirectly about Gripen with much less Radar Cross Section and one of the top Electronic Warfare Suits in the world.

    Su-27 being sensitive like the F-16 et al at take-off was also a new thing. It's clearly a myth that all Russian planes are like the Su-25. Gripen takes off from unprepared road-bases and has probably the best foreign object (bird-strike etc.) resistance in the world.
    Last edited by Thor; 11-06-2008 at 07:29 AM.

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    Gripen with much less Radar Cross Section and one of the top Electronic Warfare Suits in the world.
    I remember reading something that Gripen's jamming systems made it near impossible to shoot it down in air-to-air combat in past Red Flag.

    Fuels the speculation on general BVR efficiency.

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    Low radar cross section non-stealth target may be able to elude conventional mechanically scanned radars used by the F-15 and F-16s, but the new AESA's are designed from the outset to be able to detect tiny cruise missiles flying at low level at long ranges.

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    Eh.

    Why is there a seminar with an active USAF pilot talking about national and friendly countries air combat capabilities for a bunch of retired Generals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by signatory View Post
    Eh.

    Why is there a seminar with an active USAF pilot talking about national and friendly countries air combat capabilities for a bunch of retired Generals?
    īcause Generals are also people and want to feel important in addition to being impotent

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    I don't think I'm a stupid man but I think understood about 10% of the article!

    what gives?

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    The Su-30 electronically scanned radar is not as accurate as the U.S.-built active electronically scanned radar carried by the F-22 and some F-15s. Also, "it paints less, sees less" and is not as discriminating.
    Pre Red Flag news stated that Indians would fly with their radars in training mode, or something like that. Maybe they donīt or maybe the guy is talking about the said mode.

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    The French pilots flying the new Dassault Rafale appeared to be there to collect electronic intelligence on the Indian aircraft, contends the USAF pilot, who wears an Air Force Weapons School graduate patch.
    Ohhhhh ! We are bad ! We are the only ones to do that.

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    I actually dont think so. I think he is a poor reflection on what is otherwise a great airforce. He is talking to some senior most people about the IAF capabilities, when his whole speech is filled with inaccuracies.

    1. MiG-21 Bison radar is Russian, Kyopo-21 not Israeli
    2. Su-30MKI doesnt have Tumansaky Engines, rather the AL-31FP Lubyanka NPO Saturn Engines
    3. To think a force which has a history as long as 75 years, follows the western and british traditions in particular to be some un-proffessional bunch boys.
    4. Has he ever considered, when the SU-30MKI falls out of the sky, what is the most potent weapon in its arsenel, IRST Short Range Missile cued by the HMS doing?
    5. IAF is in foreign territory, it doesnt carry much spares nor does it machines carry in similarity of parts with US machines, so why should they risk FOD
    6. This proves, as he himself agrees that Indians thrashed the Americans in Cope-India 2005
    7. He is comparing the Su-30MKI to Raptor throughout the episode, this is what is suprising me. He already says it is as a system above 15's and 16's.
    8. Indians uses K-DlAE/TKS-2-27 system for datalink, therefore they never had any realtime info, only an American Accented AWACS controller calling IFF.
    9. Indians in Mountain AFB, was fighting the against the creme de la creme of US Airforce, the Red Forces. And if as the speaker says, Indians held on pretty well. Then well done Indians!!!!!!
    10. Has anyone considered that Indians might also be looking for the weakness of the 16 and 15 series. trying to figure them out!


    Midav

    1. You're correct.
    2. Correct again.
    3. I don't see how that was said. He even praised the IAF.
    4. Can't speak for the man but from what he claims, a number were shot down, so the USAF guys must have known what they were doing.
    5. There have been many foreign AF's to Red Flag as well.
    6. Was discussed many times on mp.net.
    7. Because the F-22 would be the front line fighter facing the SU-27 series in the event of hostilities... let's say, hypothetically, China.
    8. And thus causing confusion in what I am speculating was often a fast paced battle environment.
    9. Congrats to the IAF, indeed!! Or anyone that can hold their own against aggressors
    10. It's not been the first time the IAF has flown against either aircraft afaik.
    3. He says he expected the Indians to be unproffessional. Shows his lack of intellect in learning of histories of Airforces.
    4. That is because the Indians used their Radar's BARS PESA N011P in Training Mode, not to mention they didnt use the IRST Missile.
    5. Yes, Which is why Rafale had very low turn around times, refer Sagar Pathak's review on Indian Ground Crew.
    6. Saying it was all Politics(Congress Funding) for Raptors, this Speaker says otherwise
    7. Maybe one should wait for PAK-FA, Raptor and MKI is incomparable in my opinion, yet the Speaker says though Raptor is better, they still have a chance? Which is interesting
    8. Yes, It agains shows how good the Indians were, even with all their limitations and unfamiliarity with Red Flag, I wonder how they are going to perform when they get their Phalcon AWACS, and their AFNET is up and running!
    10. It is the first time for SU-30MKI, earlier it was the SU-30K, Jagaurs and MiG-21s and Mirages 2000 TH
    11. The average age of the IAF pilots participating in the Red Flag was 24.
    12. He is wrong about the transfer of MiG-21 Bison pilots being the most experienced(did he base it on the age of the aircraft, lol) is wrong. Indians dont have elite squadrons as such! All of the people are distributed as per opening. Every Sqaudron has experienced as well as young members, with young members being in larger numbers.



    It was stupid for him and his counter parts to assume Indians to be some tinpot airforce, not to mention just because they use Russian equipment(top of the line) they will use Soviet Tactics. This kind of unproffessionalism at one point of time was unforgivable in the US Airforce, I dont know what is happening now?

    Midav

    1. I am not branding all pilots, but many can be cocky. Confidence can be good.... Overconfidence can be bad. A general rule for life

    2. That's news to me if true. Much how aircraft were limited in Cope India but that is #6.

    3. Rafale is only one of dozens and dozens of aircraft that have partaken over the decades.

    4. Already been talked about.

    5. PAK-AF is in the future. F-22 vs SU-27 series would be now should a war break out. I pray that does not happen.

    6. Just like any AF that comes to a new exercise am sure they did well

    7. So they have experience against said aircraft. As the pilot stated, many SU pilots were former MiG-21 pilots. It's a probability they engaged F-15/16's then.

    8. I have no idea what the average age was. However, he was talking experience and flight hours. He said 50-50 between experienced pilots and rookies?

    9. That's news to me if true.

    I do enjoy the civility this debate has taken and the opinions exchanged
    1. We all love Maverick, I am sure the Indians are doing the same in their own de-brief. But that is not my point of contention, the sheer number of errors in his speech, very schoolboyish and not to mention to the higher ups of the US Airforce, and Airforce Magazine has already written an article on this, this guy is full of hot air, yet his title and position gives him a lot of crediblity. Not to mention his complete dis-respect for the french, this isnt school yard.

    2. Those are well reported in the media, i could give you links

    3. Yes, But they had similar problems, and he is right about Indians have to send back the engines to Russia. My point was the reason why Indians did it.

    4. Yes, but those talks were quite unapperciate of the IAF, this admission by the speaker should silence that. IAF did really well in Cope India

    5. Agreed, If that is case, as the Speaker said the MKI is a formiddable machine.

    6. For an airforce coming for the first time, and not used to many technologies, they did more than 'just as well'.

    7. He is wrong on that count, very few have transffered from the Bisons, since they are in operational service till 2020. Most of them have transffered from retired MiG-23 and MiG-21 Bis. Even then the average age is 26-27. The WSO is the most important person in the Su-30MKI not the pilot.

    8. I didnt get that. 50-50,how?

    9. It is true.

    Same here, I am not in the IAF "D" Great or USAF invincible bandwagons. I am sure both airforces learnt quite a lot.

    PS: He is also wrong about the F-15K Radar.


    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...d.php?t=145477

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Pre Red Flag news stated that Indians would fly with their radars in training mode, or something like that. Maybe they donīt or maybe the guy is talking about the said mode.
    I heard it somewhere that Indians were going to use their radars

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    http://iagblog.podomatic.com/entry/2...15_41_04-08_00

    I cant believe such mainstream journalist are so idiotic, The Indian MiG-21 Bison carries the Kyopo-21 Russian Radar, not some Israeli one. This reflects so poorly on all these aviation journalist and not mention the US Pilot!

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    Stallone,

    Never mind the mainstream journalists. But there's no reason to discredit all of what the US pilot had to say just because he didn't get all the technical details 100% correct. He is a pilot after all and was obviously generalizing quite a lot to keep the lecture going. It's totally irrelevant for his crowd if the Bison radar is Israeli or Russian what was important was to inform them that the jet was updated and alot more different than the old school Mig-21s.

  14. #14

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    lol @ the French

    I probably shouldn't question a pro pilot , but why not use AIM-9 instead of the gun when the SU-30MKI is jamming?

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    Quote Originally Posted by signatory View Post
    Stallone,

    Never mind the mainstream journalists. But there's no reason to discredit all of what the US pilot had to say just because he didn't get all the technical details 100% correct. He is a pilot after all and was obviously generalizing quite a lot to keep the lecture going. It's totally irrelevant for his crowd if the Bison radar is Israeli or Russian what was important was to inform them that the jet was updated and alot more different than the old school Mig-21s.

    That is not all he got wrong, read the above post! His all speech is filled with inaccuracies! I expect an organization the stature of the USAF to rap him for his lack of intellect.

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