USAF explains 'Cope India' Results

Read the forum code of contact

Member for

19 years 8 months

Posts: 920

It is known that IAF Mirage 2000s have gone through silent upgrades, hese are not your typical H versions.

Member for

18 years 10 months

Posts: 9,683

another BS articles
1)IAF did not simulate any r-77s, the only aircraft that participated in that exercise that could simulate R-77 is Mig-21-93, the Su-30K cannot(only R-27)
2)IAF cannot simulate any MICAs, they have older Mirage-2000s with older radars and cannot simulate Active BVRAAMs
3)Now, I dont think the F-15Cs participating in this exercise had the AESA radar, I remember US refusing to bring in their AESA equipped Eagles because Indians refused to bring in their Su-30MKIs(their best aircraft). I am not 100% sure that AIM-120s participated, but im pretty confident they were simulated against r-27s and super530s

You "remember the US refusing to bring their AESA equipped Eagles..." Do you have a source for that? According to AvWeek the USAF personal they interviewed said they didn't want to deal with the additional maintanance problem. As they'd already planned the deployment before the opportunity to exercise with the Indians even came up you "memory" seems to be faulty.

You might try reading the article you are commenting on before commenting on it.

Member for

19 years 7 months

Posts: 94

IAF may not have Micas, but surely they can simulate the missiles for the purpose of the exercise? It is basically a software simulation iirc, so I think that may be a valid point. Also a valid point is that the range/missile restrictions weren't limited to just the Americans, but also to the Indians, so that shouldn't be a major factor of determining performance.

Anyway, I just hope in reporting the next ex the media will be a lot more mature than they have been with this one.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 11,742

But isnt that how all the airwars are fought? Four defenders against the Four escorts + GA fighters seems fair - If they defenders can sneak past the escorts, the strike package is mincemeat (I am assuming that ground attack fighters are not armed with A2A missiles). I would have understood the numerical superiority logic if there were more escorts than the defenders. Besides, F15's and Su30's interchanged their roles and IAF had an upper hand in both scenarios.
That apart, I really appreciate the pilots frankness which should have been very difficult given the USAF's reputation.

Someone with a crystal ball?
When you are lucky (your radar can discriminate enough) your radar shows 12 targets and none hidden in the formations at best. It does not show the type of aircraft and its role. Even strikers have AAMs for selfdefence and a gun/guns. The defender has two pairs to deal with the threat of X formations and is limited in time by that. At which eyesight-distance a pilot can distinguish fighters by type, approaching head-on. The IAF did not operate to textbook and outsmarted the US-flyers by that.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 1,404

It dosn't cost much to stroke a few egos by giving the other side a win. This seems to be the standard when US aircraft participate in these exercises. No harm in agreeing to poor odds during an exercise. The other guy goes away thinking he is better (for a short time at least). You learn more than you otherwise would have without giving away very much.

Given the fact that the U.S. always seems to loose these events, you have to wonder who is fooling who?

Sauron

Sauron

Member for

19 years 8 months

Posts: 12,109

these are a lot more then winning or loosing..we are not pitting for a bullfight..making it fair and letting the pilots test each other out doesnt always make sence...these exercises are about learning newer tactics from new opponents using different types of aircraft..it is to learn limitations that those aircraft pocess and how certain of your tactics hold up against their aircraft and tactics...its about tactic verification and counter-verification...If it not a flying club where u waste millions of dollars on going 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 and seeing which pilot is better!

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 287

Two factors have been cited as major reasons why the 3rd Wing took a drubbing. None of the participating American aircraft had the latest long-range AESA radars, although some of the F-15Cs of the Wing had this equipment. A decision had been made beforehand not to send the AESA equipped planes to India due to the additional maintenance package required to support them. A total of six F-15Cs were sent to India, each equipped with a fighter data link, short-range AIM-9X heat-seeking air-to-air missiles, and the U.S.'s helmet-mounted cueing system.

Secondly, at India's request, the U.S. agreed to mock combat at 3-to-1 odds and without the full range of capabilities of simulated long-range radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. U.S. fighters could not use the active on-board radar capability of the AMRAAM, and the missile was limited to around 32 kilometers range and required the use of the F-15C's onboard radar to target Indian aircraft. In standard use, AMRAAM has a range of over 100 kilometers and is a fire-and-forget missile that doesn't require additional guidance from the F-15. Practiced tactics by the F-15 crews mix two AESA-equipped F-15Cs with two stock aircraft. The AESA aircraft take long-range missile shots to thin out and disrupt the formation of a numerically superior force before the two sides close up for closer fighting.

The F-15s flew in groups of 4 against packages of 12 Indian Air Force aircraft consisting of a mix of Mirage 2000, Su-30, Mig-21, and Mig-27 aircraft. The Mirage and Su-30 aircraft were used in the air-to-air role, while the Mig-27 was used as the strike aircraft with the Mig-21 providing escort to the Mig-27s. The Indians also had a simulated AWACS platform and the use of simulated active radar missiles such as the AA-12 and the French Mica, unlike the F-15Cs. This gave the Indian Air Force a fire-and-forget air-to-air missile capability that the U.S. fighters didn't have, a heavily unrealistic assumption in actual hostilities.


http://www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/2004101421.asp

Member for

20 years 4 months

Posts: 120

It dosn't cost much to stroke a few egos by giving the other side a win. This seems to be the standard when US aircraft participate in these exercises. No harm in agreeing to poor odds during an exercise. The other guy goes away thinking he is better (for a short time at least). You learn more than you otherwise would have without giving away very much.

Given the fact that the U.S. always seems to loose these events, you have to wonder who is fooling who?

Sauron

Sauron

I wonder why US has to stoke Indian egos :confused: and why do they have to come here all the way from alaska to learn the tactics of a third world airforces tactis. And good to know that US wants to 'learn' :) from IAF.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 2,210

IAF is good. But the exercise has almost nothing in common with how we execute a major air plan to disassemble a large integrated air defense.

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 2,264

what we see are snapshots of forces in transition. usaf is definitely changing..going ahead with lots of new toys and tools, iaf will also change by end of this decade as more upg's , better simulators, phalcons, midas, tejas etc start to weigh in. iaf still has a ways to go before it becomes a well rounded fully hi-tech af like IDF / FrAF / RAF.
thats why they are so interested to exercise with AFs whose tech is on average better.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Posts: 1,877

I could go on to type a rather interesting article in AW&ST title "Rogue Elephants" about B-52 bombers being hunted down by F-16s and F-15s..the article stated that once the B-52 bomber pilots were allowed to actually start flying the way they had trained, which was essentially 200 feet AGL, and not 2000 ft. as being simulated in the exercise, the entire exercise results were changed..the B-52s were not tracked for a long time, and by the time they were, they were already almost on the target. an F-16 that got behind them was actually made to overshoot by simply "braking hard"..the F-16 pilot said it was like a huge building suddenly coming up in front of him after hectic turning ! imagine an F-16 finding it difficult to stay behind a B-52 ! the B-52 managed to hit the target and only after that was it "shot down" by a Falcon..the fighter jocks were outraged at the bomber pilots changing rules of engagement, that did'nt allow them to simply take potshots at helpless bombers..and the bomber pilots said it was perfectly legitimate to fly low becoz Soviet bomber pilots using the Backfires would do that too..previously used tactics of shooting down straight flying bombers at convenient heights was just rubbish according to the US bomber pilots who were humiliated earlier by fighter pilots. just goes to show that innovative tactics would put off "highly trained" American fighter pilots.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 17

It seems to me that there is a reason why IAF requested those odds. It seems that they wanted to stimulate an PAF-IAF encounter with USAF acting as the PAF. I guess they want to validate their tactics for future battles with PAF. It makes sense because USAF is the premier air force in the world and would have better aerial dogfighting skills than PAF. See how IAF requested USAF not using AMRAAMs or BVR missiles? PAF doesn't have those and they have inferior numbers against IAF.

Looks like IAF baited USAF to be the red force in a stimulated war scenario without USAF knowing it!

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 2,264

I think IAF is a lot more concerned about the burgeoning capabilities in PLAAF than little PAF. ofcourse operationally they train to meet PAF also because Pak once every decade decides its "man enough" to take on the biggest bully in the schoolyard(india) and forces a showdown :diablo:

if you want to live in forest who do u watch out for - the tiger with the biggest teeth :)
if you can deal with the tiger, the hyena falls in line.

Member for

20 years 4 months

Posts: 1,220

^^ nah, we prefer to live in cities.

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 424

Well, there's only so much you can train for when going against BVR
missles - how to out turn them, an dhow to know you're being
targeted/tracked by a BVR missle - neither of which a mock air-fight will
help train for. So, you go for tactics, not strategy.

Throw a bunch of your planes in with X number of the other guys, and see
how their trainign has prepared them to react to the other guys tactics.

Flying 4 F-15's in a wall formation isn't very complicated, it provides the
Indians with no surprises. It's as if the USAF wants to see how an enemy
would deal with an open, up front attack. The Indians were most likely
concerned with how their strike package would have defended against a
group of fighters. This provides both sides with what they want. One on
one pilot training isn't what they were looking for, neither was a test of
strategies, surprises, etc.

Those 4 Eagles really attract - and DEMAND - attention. Any enemy
aircraft will not ignore such a threat. If they do, they will die. As such, the
F-15 will work incredibly well with the F-22 in any future operations.
When confronted by a group of F-15's, the enemy will not have the luxury
of wondering where the F-22's are or are not -- the f-15's are THERE.
By studying how others react to a threat (F-15's, for example), the USAF
can have a better understanding of what strategies will work in the future.
Let's say a flight of 4 F-15's is closing in on a strike
package/AWACs,/Etc.of enemy aircraft, or a target. Fighters will be sent
to attempt to stop the F-15's. Less eaisly detected F-22's can be
vectored in at an angle. Since the F-15's will show up on radar sooner, the
raptors will get closer - their speed will enable them to be even further
away, increasing the amount of time before they are detected. By the time
the enemy fighters are within range of the F-15's, they've already been
fired upon from a different angle by the F-22's, forcing them to react.
Even if the 22's turn away, the enemy fighters are are disadvantaged, since
they've been forced to manuver, have lost energy, and close to the F-15's
firing from an advantageous position.

It should not be a surprise that the Indians came out on top. It was 4 vs..
12, plain and simple. If you take good pilots, and thow them in with
similar planes and such different odds, AND give the smaller number of
planes the more difficult task, is there any surprise?

In this case, the US pilots admit they underestimated the Indians. Some of
them MAY have even thought they were so much better, they'd win
regardless of the odds.

You try to train with people better than you. I guess th eUSAF feels
they're the best, so it's good to train with unfavorable conditions. Any 1
vs. 1 or 2 vs. 2 becomes a pi$$ing contest - and is of little real value.

In high school, my football coach had us scrimmage against the big city
schools. They were the biggest, fastest, strongest athletes in the area. We
played East Side every year in a practice game(If you've ever seen "Lean
on Me", about principal Joe Clark, in Paterson, NJ, - that's them, the East
Side Ghosts - Big, Bad ,boys, I tell you). They'd beat the hell out of us,
every game. They outran us every time, they were stronger than us, every
time. Yet we always beat them in the end. We ran our plays better, had
better coaching, and never gave up.

I guess India had a reason to want favorable odds. It seems strange, but
I'm sure they had something they were looking for in it. Maybe even an
ego boost?