Wednesday, July 11, 2007

When Lex dreams

I bet it has some stuff like this in it. You got to wonder how Lex would do in his Hornet - super or otherwise - either way you know he would enjoy himself.
Much was at stake of its reputation, when for the first-time-ever, the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon, developed by a consortium of European manufacturers and recently inducted into the RAF, was to engage in any kind of an aerial combat with any non-RAF/NATO fighter.

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) Sukhoi-30 MKI air superiority fighters, which are at Waddington, UK for the bilateral air 'Exercise Indradhanush-2007', had an opponent for the befitting duel.

The operational part of the 'Exercise Indradhanush-2007' began with a series of 1 vs 1 air combat sorties. Both variants landed with their much-touted reputations intact as each side tested their potentials with their adversary in the air to their limits. These sorties were premised not entirely on having winners or losers“ but more for their evaluator and training values as encapsulated in the objectives. Both sides ended-up sharing an enhanced respect for each other's capabilities“ both in terms of training values, and combat potentials of the diverse aerial platforms.

While the RAF fielded some of their most-experienced and highly-qualified pilots, some of them being very senior performance evaluators in active service, the IAF pilots were a mix of 'young to middle-level pilots' from the 'Rhinos' squadron.
Sounds like an excuse. I guess the Brits got the best of the Indians.
The RAF pilots were candid in their admission of the Su-30 MKI's observed superior manouevring in the air, just as they had studied, prepared and anticipated. The IAF pilots on their part were also visibly impressed by the Typhoon's agility in the air.
Big fun - but here is a serious thought. Why is it the sexy but wrong theories always seem to recycle every generation? Yep, the false prophet of BVR air-to-air combat is back again. may be understood that in today's aerial combat scenarios of 'beyond visual range' (BVR) capabilities of air platforms, it is highly unlikely that any of the modern-day fighters will ever get into a situation that warrants extreme close air combat, as in the situation simulated in the 1 vs 1 sorties.

How many times in the last half century have we heard that, only to have facts crush it every time? From Vietnam, the Arab-Israeli Wars to the Falklands to today - you simply are going to not going get BVR ROE when you want it - every time you want it. You have to be able to close to knife-fighting range. Fact.

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