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The Indian AF beats the USAF: Not ! The Real Story Behind The Cope India Exersize

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posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 01:06 PM
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Many of us were quite surprised when the stories first surfaced about the Indian Air Force (IAF) defeating the USAF F-15C's in a exersize. Some of you gloated about the USAF's cumuppance, while other (Me included) felt that it was a ploy for the USAF to make the case that it needed more F-22 Raptors. We know know that the deck was so stacked in the IAF's favor the F-15C's had no way of winning.

The details of the exersize have been revealed in this weeks AWST. Some of the salient points:

The 6 F-15C's were not equiped with the newest ESRA radar system that has 100 mile range

The IAF had a numerical advantage of 18 to 6

The F-15's had a 20 mile restriction placed on thier AIM-120's and they had to keep illuminating the target when fired rather than use them in a fire and forget mode.

The IAF had the use of a simulated AWACS plane (An-32 Cline)


The USAF pilots were very impressed by the tactics the IAF used and how they were able to mix it up instead of using inflexable Soviet era tactics The IAF used a mixed fleet including Mig-21's and Mirage 2000's. The IAF did not use the newer Su-30MKI's instead used thier Su-30's equiped with AA-11's and AA-12's. The AA-12 gave the F-15 pilots the most problems as they did not know when they were being illuminated.

The complete story is here, but you have to be a subscriber to AWST.

Cope India


[edit on 7-10-2004 by John bull 1]




posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 01:54 PM
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Interesting that the Indians also had lesser equipment, even in the version of Su-30 used. Isn't the MiG 21 vastly inferior to ANY version of the F-15? I would have thought so. Also the Mirage 2000 has a much shorter detection range so maybe the restrictions were more to even things up rather than being stacked against the USAF? Having said that I believe that if one combatant is falsely handicapped then the excersise is worthless.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:00 PM
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IAF beating the USAF, BS!!!
Isn't the F-22 a beast??? The only plane capable of reaching supersonic speeds with no after burners, plus its stealth.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Interesting that the Indians also had lesser equipment, even in the version of Su-30 used. Isn't the MiG 21 vastly inferior to ANY version of the F-15? I would have thought so. Also the Mirage 2000 has a much shorter detection


The article did point out the the Mig-21 had "grey market upgrades" assuming the avionics and radar were beefed up. Remeber tha tthe IAF had the benifits of a simulated AWACS and the F-15's did not. So I don't think that its short detection range was an issue. That being said, there was little point to the exersize if you put up the ESRA F-15's and let them launch Slammers in a BVR engagment. What the point? It is interesting that the IAF did not use thier shiny new MKI's. one has to wonder if they were concerned that if they lost thier government might pull funding for more of them. The politics might have gone both ways on this one. It seems that some of the engagements were simulated strike packages and the USAF pilots were were impressed with the innovation hte IAF used.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by SmokeyTheBear
IAF beating the USAF, BS!!!
Isn't the F-22 a beast??? The only plane capable of reaching supersonic speeds with no after burners, plus its stealth.


No it isn't the only one, but it is a 'beast' alright



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by waynos
Interesting that the Indians also had lesser equipment, even in the version of Su-30 used. Isn't the MiG 21 vastly inferior to ANY version of the F-15? I would have thought so. Also the Mirage 2000 has a much shorter detection


The article did point out the the Mig-21 had "grey market upgrades" assuming the avionics and radar were beefed up. Remeber tha tthe IAF had the benifits of a simulated AWACS and the F-15's did not. So I don't think that its short detection range was an issue. That being said, there was little point to the exersize if you put up the ESRA F-15's and let them launch Slammers in a BVR engagment. What the point? It is interesting that the IAF did not use thier shiny new MKI's. one has to wonder if they were concerned that if they lost thier government might pull funding for more of them. The politics might have gone both ways on this one. It seems that some of the engagements were simulated strike packages and the USAF pilots were were impressed with the innovation hte IAF used.


Actually I believe that a simulated engagement using full BVR capailities would be much more beneficial than this travesty. It would show real life capabilities and show everyone what they are really up against, it might just also reveal the flaws in the 'total BVR' scenario which would allow these flaws to be tackled.

Just saying that BVR wins every time and then being amazed when in a real war it suddenly doesn't wont do our or your airmen any good at all in my view.

I find it worrying that so much faith is being put into BVR, to the point where actual A2A fighting doesn't seem to matter anymore when in fact it is much less than 100% reliable and we (RAF and USAF) really ought to be prepared for ANY eventuality.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:17 PM
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These are the results of pre-determined rules of engagement with the Indian Air Force clearly having an advantage.

Cant' they have an excercise with what the U.S. would have in an actual combat situation?



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
I find it worrying that so much faith is being put into BVR, to the point where actual A2A fighting doesn't seem to matter anymore when in fact it is much less than 100% reliable and we (RAF and USAF) really ought to be prepared for ANY eventuality.


You have a point and thats why the Raptor will have a cannon as well as the new AIM-9X sidewinder witht he helmet queing. (The F-15 in this exersize had these)



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:33 PM
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How many raptors US have? At a time it can take 5 objetcs & shoot them down. Even if US has 100 Raptors they won't launch all of them together. So just having few Raptors is not good enough.

Also IAF came to alaska for second round of excersize? Where is result of that excersize?

I am not criticising USAF. I know they are BEST & COUP INDIA was just planned excersize to get more funding from Congress for F22.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by netscape
How many raptors US have? At a time it can take 5 objetcs & shoot them down. Even if US has 100 Raptors they won't launch all of them together. So just having few Raptors is not good enough.


Remember that the ESRA in the Raprtop (And in the F-15's and F/A-18's) is an LPI radar. It also has a 100 plus mile range. If they have AWACS coverage, they can be cued by the E-3A and the OPFOR won't even know that they are there till they eject. Two Raptors could do signifigant damage to a large strike force and let the F-15's mop up.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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Australian Aviation carried a series of reports about "Cope India".

It drew the impression that the presentation of the report was actually targetted by some in USAF and thier contractor allies to paint a picture of a poor 'ole tired F-15 in need of replacement by a nifty new shiney F-22.

First they misrepresented the model upgrade of F-15s, older wired birds.
Second they neglected to mention that Flankers had the initial advantage of a long range russian BVR -v- the medium ranged BVR on Eagles. First shot advantages. AA claimed the USAF doesnt have a LR BVR currently inventoried, so no advantage Raptor.
Third AA reported the IAF Flankers had the advantage of passive IR Visual equipment. Eagles not fitted with one.
Fourth that pilot for pilot, the IAF fly significantly more real flight hours, in more realistic a2a environments. Pilot not a machine problem.
The report also failed to address USN participation in the excercise with another old hand the F-14 Tomcat. Judges assessed that the Toms had the advantage on the Flankers, engaging with LR Phoenix (and doesnt it have a passive IR TV system?) or that by excercise end USAF performance had improved with practice against the IAFs top line.

This and apparently a raft of other things besides

You must add that IAF pilots have the best operational environment in the world - nearly 60 years of real a2a and playing boarder chicken with thier equally skilled PAF counterparts. Meanwhile the USAF a2a opposition has been rubbish in the last twenty years. Accounts I have read make range shoots sound hard. US a2a reputations have rested in Red Flags and Top Guns, while the mentality largely published in aviation and defence journals seems to be its the day of the fire and forget BVR and pilotless UCAV.

For what it can do yes the F-22 is a great aircraft. IMHO I think a new green F-15 airframe fitted with the latest skin surfaces, engines, avionics , guidance and weapons systems (many developed with F-22) can beat an F-22 (and JSF for that matter) and for a fraction of the price.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 08:11 PM
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Thank you for this thread!

I am so sich and tired of people saying "look - the USAF lost to the IAF, so the USAF is over rated!"

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 08:18 PM
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Something I ve noticed on the boards ans well as in comments of USAF aircrews and bosses.

I know part of the psyche is belief in being the best in the best, but theres a saying about writting cheques you cant cash.

The attitude that the IAFs top line fighters with thier best pilots didn't beat yours...that its only exercise spin and politics.....now that's BS. Show the IAF guys some respect.

Read your history. RAF, RAAF & US Army Air and USN officers were telling themselves and thier aircrews before 7 Dec 41 that the Japanese were no good in the air. Near sighted, poor body strength, poor sense of balance. They couldnt drop a bomb on target or dog fight worth a damn because of vertigo. Thier planes were poor knock offs of ten year old American and European designs. Most Allied crews went into the war thinking they were bullet proof, then treating the Japanese as boogymen for the next eight months.

Allied intelligence were ignoring reports from observers in China, like Colonel Claire Chenault a US pilot who lead the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers, which detailed the flying skill and tactics of Japanese aircrews, and the quality of thier latest equipments like the A5M and its successor the A6M Zero. The predecessors of todays hotshots couldnt beleive these were the same opponents they were supposed to be better than either.

And a Red Flag Instructors advice to a pair of pilots flying F-15s in the early 1980s after he had repeatedly beat them in 2v1 in an F-4 to teach them a leason about assuming thier superiority. "Stop thinking you are going to win every battle because your well trained and flying the better aircraft, and remember that a better pilot flying an older plane will still probably kill you unless you keep that fact in mind"

Ive heard RAF and RAAF pilots show every bit as much confidence, but it seems to be tempered with an appreciation of a similar truth from that F-4 pilot a quarter century ago.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 08:27 PM
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I think the USAF is great. Overworked and short on aircraft given whats going on, and sometimes over cocky, and prone to getting dazzled by big expensive new shineys that suck the life out of everything else, but theres no one else besides our own RAAF I'd rather see dropping thier undercarriages at an Aussie Base if there was trouble inbound.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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THanks for this link!

I think politics was involved on BOTH sides.



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 11:12 PM
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This is the most pathetic excuse-thread ever.

It almost doesn't even matter. The U.S. Air Force, got beat. It got beat. It got beat.

Instead of trying to cry foul, we should look at what we can improve so our Air Force will be unbeatable under ALL conditions, including supposed-inferior-technology conditions.

Besides, hindsight is 20/20. If the U.S. Air Force won under the same circumstances, none of you would be complaining about lack of technology.


You should show the U.S.A.F. more respect by not reducing everything to technology. There are real pilots behind these machines that train hard to get the most out of their aircraft. They may not train as well, but they do train as hard.

[edit on 7-10-2004 by sweatmonicaIdo]



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
This is the most pathetic excuse-thread ever.
It almost doesn't even matter. The U.S. Air Force, got beat. It got beat. It got beat.


Hmm interesting take. That being said, They did get beat but the circumstances were clearly stacked against them. Its pretty clear that the even without the new radar and real world ROE that allows BVR engagements, the F-15 would have kicked some serious butt.

Did you actually read the inital post? Far from an excuse thread.

Game Set Match....



posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Hmm interesting take. That being said, They did get beat but the circumstances were clearly stacked against them. Its pretty clear that the even without the new radar and real world ROE that allows BVR engagements, the F-15 would have kicked some serious butt.

Did you actually read the inital post? Far from an excuse thread.

Game Set Match....


What's your point? There's a conspiracy against the U.S. Air Force?


That the U.S. Air Force can win only under certain conditions? That our pilots rely solely on technological advantages? I mean, if you're admitting that, I can't say I blame ya.



posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
This is the most pathetic excuse-thread ever.


If this is the most pathetic, then what 's the best?

It almost doesn't even matter. The U.S. Air Force, got beat. It got beat. It got beat.

Did you see that the IAF had a 3 to 1 advantage on us? You've got to be more real dude. It was set-up by both governments on purpose, to give the IAF a little experience against the best pilots in the world and they didn't do too bad, OK?



posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 12:58 AM
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Am I reading this correctly? I mean are intelearthling and FredT actually conceding that American pilots can't win in disadvantaged situations?


I mean, disadvantages are disadvantages, but this is nothing like what these two usually say.




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