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The Effectiveness & Competency of the IAF in the Kargil War 0f 99'

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posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 06:08 AM
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Hi..

I'm starting this thread amongst accusations that the IAF was not effective in mountainuous warfare conducted in 99. Through this thread I mean to investigate the same and scrutinise the tactics and methods employed by the IAF.
All external opinions and analyses are not only appreciated but required infact, as I am trying to get a not so nationalistic(or anti-nationalistic) view of the whole thing.
What I also aim to achieve through this thread is some insight into the anamolies faced in high-altitude aviation, and the differences in hitting a target at height and on a incline. I'm sure the USAF and RAF would have faced similar conditions in Afghanistan esp in the east. Also any suggestions/scenarios on how different a/c and munitions would have been used by your(any)AF would be interesting to hear.Finally, some media reports blame the IAF for collateral damage(inadvertantly causing damage to friendly ground forces). I would like to get views on this regarding the scenario and the relevance of the same in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

No good maps(to scale maps) of the conflict zones are available and so a google earth survey of the same would be appropriate. I'll try to get one asap but am burdened with work this week, so maybe one of you could come up with it sooner.

Note: Though a heated debate may have inspired this thread I would like this one to remain mostly objective and fact based.

Some links to help get a summary of the topic at hand:

Collection of Articles and clips on the air war

Weekly updates of the Air War


Aircraft used:




posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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I'm unbiased and haven't looked into this issue but from what I remember of the credible aviation press reporting of the time the IAF did pretty well although ground troops did the hardest work. The Mirage 2000s with PGMs represent a major capability leap also.

Re the problems of hitting targets. It is far harder to hit a target on the reverse slope of a hill than the slope facing you for lots of reasons. This goes for artillery fire as well. The first problem is actually seeing the target. Next you have a problem of reachong the target with a ballistic trajectory. The obvious solution would be to fly around and attack from the opposite direction, which for the IAF would have meant flying into Pakistani airspace.

Another point is that at higher altitudes helicopters generally don't work so well, alkthough some are better suited than others. This limits the effectiveness of helicopters although they can still be used.

[edit on 26-6-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 02:07 AM
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Helis were used in an offensive role(Mi-17s with Rocket pods) for the first few days or so (I think 4 days) but repeated lockons by MANPADS and the loss of one heli(Mi-17 with a crew of 4) made the IAF rethink its tactics, thus withdrawing the helis and bringing in a/c like the Mirage 2000H which would fly above the MANPAD envelope(approx 6000 metres ASL).

Also note the Mirages were escorted by MiG 29Bs reportedly fitted with a radar and avionics enbaling it to carry the AA-12. Infact A MiG 29Bs is confirmed to have acquired a BVR lock on a PAF F-16 A/B flying on the other side of the border.



PAF's plight was exposed during the Pakistan army's incursion into the Kargil sector of Indian Kashmir in the summer of 1999. Analyses by Pakistani experts revealed that when the rubber met the road, PAF simply refused to play any part in support of the Pakistan army, angering the latter. While PAF fighters did fly Combat Air Patrols (CAP) during the conflict, they stayed well within Pakistani air space. On occasions, IAF MiG-29s armed with the deadly R-77 BVR Air-to-Air missiles were able to lock on to PAF F-16s, forcing the latter to disengage. In the absence of a PAF threat, the IAF was able to deliver numerous devastating strikes on intruder positions and supply dumps.
Source




ACIG confirms lock on
Date | Unit | Aircraft | Aircrew | Weapon | Victim | Unit
May99 | 23 Sqn | MiG-29 | G.Chibber | Lock-on | 2xF-16 | ?Sqn/PAF






Also another interesting point I noted was that the IAF said it could use the Mi-25/35 Hind attack helis at such altitudes/conditions..
However the Mi-17 was used.

Mi-17 crew first hand accounts at Kargil

Planeman could you conjure up a map of the region? All maps are not to scale:

Here's some reference:
Kargil Maps
IF you don't have the time I'll do it over the weekend.



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