• Sunday, December 15, 2019

How could the IAF have countered PAF's Operation Swift Retort?

Discussion in 'Pakistan Air Force' started by Jochen Peiper, May 31, 2019.

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  1. Jochen Peiper

    Jochen Peiper BANNED

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    OPERATION SWIFT RETORT - PAF's RIPOSTE TO IAF's BALAKOT STRIKE

    So starting a new discussion on how the PAF's Operation Swift Retort was conducted as per available information in Indian social media, primarily twitter. There have been a couple of ex IAF Air Marshals (AM Chopra and AVM Subramaniun) and a junior officer (S/L Sameer Joshi) who have spoken on same. I for one after moderating all their tweets/ articles over the last couple of months, will summarise my understanding on the info I have been able to access post that. The larger question once I give my views is -

    HOW COULD THE IAF HAVE COUNTERED OPERATION SWIFT RETORT?

    Operation Swift Retort - 27 February 2019 - 10:00 to 10:30 AM - Jammu & Kashmir

    The PAF launched Op Swift Retort post the IAF's strikes at Balakot. As per my understanding, they had the following strategic aims -


    1. Strike back against the IAF to regain honour for Pakistan lost in 26 February strike by Balakot and stabilise the domestic negative PR
    2. Demonstrate a capability of equivalence firepower to IAF
    3. Not let IAF make this the new normal after Pulwama
    4. Ensure no escalation by this action, but still achieve its tactical aim

    The Tactical aims were -

    1. Get numerical superiority to achieve air
    superiority for the duration of Op
    2. Ensure the strike went through with ease
    3. Prevent IAF CAP from exploiting any actionable window against the PAF's action
    4. Shoot down IAF Su-30s
    5. Ensure No PAF Aircraft is lost.

    Conduct

    The PAF appeared in an organised and numerically superior manner on the western border between J&K and the P_O_K, taking the IAF forces by surprise.

    There were 8 IAF aircraft available during 1000-1030 hours, which responded back.

    The PAF had over 25 aircraft - 12 plus F-16, 8 + JF-17 and rest being the MiRIII/Vs. The IAF had 2 Su 30s near Dharamshala, 2 Mirage 2000 (upgraded) in N Kashmir and 4 M21 Bison at Srinagar CAP.

    The 9 Sqn F 16s climbed to maintain 35-40,000 feet going supersonic in the area between Nowshera and Poonch, staying 15-20 km inside Azad Kashmir. They launched AMRAAM missiles against IAF Su-30s, who were approaching them. THE AMRAAMS were launched from within P-O-K, thus violating the previous set ROE between India and Pakistan. But what the heck, this was war. These missiles were possibly fired at 80-90 km.

    To the North 4 JF-17 took on the 2 IAF Mirages, got into a HOT/ COLD tactical play at BVR ranges. Both sides waiting to exploit positional advantage

    The Sukhois avoided the AMRAAMs with tactical cranking and chaff, but could not launch their missiles due to kinematic ability of R77 for a snap up launch. They went COLD as and when required, now being assisted by the IAF AWACs and the IACCS

    The PAF in the meanwhile launched H4 SOW by Mirage III/Vs of 15 Sqn PAF. A total of 4 - 6 may have been launched.

    The second JF-17 formation with REKs was thwarted by the Mirages to the north and dropped their payload in haste and turned back

    A Saab 2000 ERIEYE gave good command and control to the PAF formation, while the IACCS was guiding and keeping the IAF Mirages and Sukhois clear of the numerically superior F16 threat

    The IAF scrambled 4 M21s from Srinagar to counter any attempt by PAF to cross the border

    The IAF Mirages did not fire at the JF17s and the strike to keep their BVR strength for a possible ingress by the numerically superior force towards Srinagar

    2 IAF M21s meanwhile crossed the LOC somewhere in Naoshera.

    The PAF was surprised by this ingress and reacted to the threat

    Abhinandan, meanwhile locked onto a PAF jet and fired his R-73, just before he was shot down by a PAF AMRAAM from aF16

    The IAF claimed that a F 16 had been shot down.

    Meanwhile 2 MiG29UPG and 2 more Su 30 were also reaching the Op area to support the IAF's defence

    The PAF F16s withdrew to more than 30-40 km and with no further threat for the time being, the IAF Mirages and the Sukhois landed back, handing over to the

    PAF called off the OP

    ____________________

    Tactical Pros for PAF

    1. Surprise and numerical superiority
    2. Ensured partial strike success
    3. Kept IAF CAP at bay
    4. Shot down Abhi
    5. Jamming and control of battle

    Tactical Cons for PAF

    1. Could not get a kill on the Sukhois with over 5 fired AMRAAMs
    2. Range errors with SOW - not as per claimed figures - No video shown
    3. Lapse in checking Abhi till late
    4. Possible shooting down of a PAF aircraft by Abhi

    __________________________

    Now, we know that the IAF has been lambasted on this forum with great effect with words being used as 'Humiliated' to further worse adjectives. But IMO, the IAF did well to hold its own with the limited force which was there.

    However, the PAF is the clear winner here, achieving its strategic aim of putting a brake to the IAF offensive spirit, thanks to the misadventures of Abhinandan. Tactically however, the PAF's Op SR did not go as per plan and exposed a number of issues, which have been covered above.

    The PAF however, was not willing to escalate, hence did not put its heart and soul into the conduct of the Op. Also later claims of a HVT at the strike sites don't hold merit because striking a target with a HVT would have escaped the situation. So we can presume that it had no knowledge of same before, contrary to other claims later. Also, why the range errors when it wanted to demonstrate the capability? Why no video release of this capability?

    ___________________________

    But certainly, the IAF has more to ponder over post this OP

    1. Why no warning of large segment strike by PAF
    2. Why not enough platforms to counter the PAF
    3. Fratricide at Srinagar - loss of command and control
    4. No launch against PAF?

    THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS I HAVE IN MIND WHEN I AM CRITICAL OF THE IAF's PERFORMANCE.

    So the larger question I ask you all is

    HOW COULD THE IAF HAVE COUNTERED OPERATION SWIFT RETORT?

    Would be grateful if we could focus on the question. Would be happy if folks participate in this.

    Thanks











     

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  2. Point 5310

    Point 5310 BANNED

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    Very good read.
    The main problem was Indian High Command had assumed that there will no strike attempt by PAF, since Pak media (controlled by establisment for narrative) was emphasing on reports of no casualties at Balakot thus giving ample strategic space to Pak to de-escalate.

    This is why I believe the Spice 2000 purposefully missed the targets at Balakot as all the misses happened at exactly 150-160m from targets. Such similar miss distance won't have happened if it was a targeting error or datum issue.
     
  3. Point 5310

    Point 5310 BANNED

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    Plus I think we should add a Tejas squadron in Srinagar.
     
  4. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

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    They were living in bollywood
     
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  5. valkyr_96

    valkyr_96 FULL MEMBER

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    Exactly how they did with.......coulda, shoulda, woulda
     
  6. Reichsmarschall

    Reichsmarschall ELITE MEMBER

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    @The Eagle please ban this spammer
     
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  7. ebrahym

    ebrahym SENIOR MEMBER

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    the piece of article seems entirely fictional ............... there is no reason that IAF would only have 8-10 aircraft available a day after Balakot and were very much expecting retaliation ...... furthermore it is pretty clear the SU-30s regardless of being shotdown or not were effectively countered

    PAF achieved complete superiority over the course of the OP ....... and it was the one who called it quits after completing the OP ....... the IAF retaliation was also effectively countered..
    it is well documented and admitted by Abhinandan that he did not lock on any aircraft and was only searching for target when shot down .......... this myth has been debunked a thousand times by thousand experts including India's own
     
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  8. hussain0216

    hussain0216 ELITE MEMBER

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    Woulda coulda shoulda

    How they countered it in reality and not a bollywood film is that they shot down their own helicopter
     
  9. My-Analogous

    My-Analogous SENIOR MEMBER

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    Enough hanky panky

    You guys talking about an event which was never happened and IAF FAILED to give desire result due to PAF. both 26th and 27th were big FAILURE in IAF history. Period
    https://scroll.in/latest/920594/bal...of-sushma-swarajs-remark-to-claim-vindication
     
  10. Alternatiiv

    Alternatiiv SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is a good article? It's amateur at best. But that's what happens when your sources are Indian.

    1. AMRAAM is a radar guided missile, you cannot, I repeat, cannot evade it with flares. There's a separate mechanism comparable to flares, and it isn't called flares and nothing like it.

    2. The question of Abhinandan firing a R-73 missile is really out of the question. This is because all parts of all four missiles were found in the Mig wreckage. You can see HD video online of the wreckage and see for yourself.

    Slide7.JPG

    3. The AMRAAMS if shot at a long range, as claimed, were never meant to hit the Sukhoi jets but simply repress their advance.

    4. The R-77 not being launch-able due to not being able to "snap-up launch" something is just pure non sense. I would like you to explain what that even means. Just fancy words for an excuse.

    5. Range errors? 700m isn't as big a range error as IAF missed its target about more than a kilometer.

    6. Rest of the thread is really just opinion on what happened, not facts. We will most likely never know what happened in the skies until some Air Force officer retires, and decides to write a book out of the blue about it.
     
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  11. RIWWIR

    RIWWIR SENIOR MEMBER

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    Agree to this part of the post. Though, the distance, by which they missed, is more and far varied than 150-160 m.
     
  12. Point 5310

    Point 5310 BANNED

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    IAF reported it as Chaff back in march itself:
    https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/iaf-...ultiple-amraam-missiles-to-be-awarded.608304/
     
  13. Zulfiqar

    Zulfiqar FULL MEMBER

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    To the OP, Flares do not impact a BVR missile.

    Aim-120 C5s also has home on jamming just in case someone says it was jammed.

    Rest has been discussed to death in several threads including how the Mig's missiles were recovered in a single location indicating no missile launch.

    What I just want to add is that it was ridiculous of IAF to assume that PAF would not respond after assessing BDA. There would be no so called new normal. There is a difference between generating sorties in an exercise while high on modafinil and generating sorties in real life. You can't control all the variables in real life.

    Facts will be revealed years down the line by authors from both sides. In the meanwhile Alan warnes via twitter has said that PAF Air chief's interview will be published soon via Janes which will give us additional information.

    BTW this is not the first time. I had read in other forums (during previous escalation) that after PAF planned a similar mission after F-16s jets locked on to sukhoi that crossed during the kiyani era.

    After that incident PAF sent a pair of fighters including an F-16 to amritsar for a quick flyby hoping for a response. A significant strength of PAF fighters were waiting on the other side of the border just in case IAF tried to cross again. IAF did not take the bait that time.

    Guess this time they were full of themselves and high on modafinil thinking that they could cross and get away with it.
     
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  14. Point 5310

    Point 5310 BANNED

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  15. Areesh

    Areesh ELITE MEMBER

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    In short you are admitting that India and its military failed on both days 26 February 2019 and 27 February 2019

    Good. There is no shame in admitting the truth
     
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