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The Balance of Air power in Sub-continent considering latest inductions of Platforms / capabilities by PAF

CSAW

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THE BALANCE OF AIR POWER IN SUB-CONTINENT:

Air Power has become the Premium force & face of modern combat. Attaining Air Superiority , destroying Air Defenses, Conducting Air to Ground Sorties and Providing Air Cover forms the basis of modern combat winning Strategies.

JF17.jpg


Indian Media ANI quotes IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari:

"Operations like Balakot have also demonstrated that given the political will, aerospace power can be effectively used in a no-war, no-peace scenario, under a nuclear overhang without escalating into a full-blown conflict. This is very important, given the nature of our adversaries. The response options available to the leadership have suddenly increased and increasingly, air power has become an option of choice due to inherent flexibility and unmatched precision strike capability."

In Limited conflicts under the umbrella of Nuclear hangover , The utilization of Airpower, EW Assets , BVR Missiles & Striking strategic targets by PGMs, REKs appears more possible than ever.

Pakistan Airforce has inducted Platforms & capabilities recently such as :

-Omni Role J-10Cs
-PL-15 / PL-15E Long shot capability
-JF-17C with stand off capability such as Taimor & Ra'ad Modified
-Akinci HALE UAV with SATCOM, AESA & SOM Cruise Missiles
-TB-2 UAV
-Ground based EW Assets
-Local AESA Radar facility


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DA-20 EW Falcon.jpg


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Indian Airforce learned some hard lessons Post Balakot and went upon its modernization efforts such as

-Su-30 MKI upgrades
-Induction of Rafale 4.5 Gen jets with Meteor BVR
-Plans to induct Rafale-M as Naval Carrier fighter
-Tejas MK-1 addition
-BVRs such as ASTRA-1
- Air Launched versions of Hypersonic ER BrahMos

In addition both sides have plucked the Air defense gaps ; Pakistan installing HQ-9 Air defense Systems while Indians putting S-400 into layered defense system.


su-30.jpg


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Pakistan's constraints due to end user restrictions on Use of F-16s in aggressive roles or Lack of spares are now a thing of Past. Where as Indians now have rectified the Radio communication Jamming issues or Low range BVR capability.

Pakistan’s response to the Balakot strikes suggests that it would rely on its potent conventional options, which have been rehearsed in several military exercises, when retaliating to such cross-border strikes in the future. Pakistan’s current conventional deterrence strategy rests on "A New war-fighting concept" developed based on recent inductions, Use of Force Multipliers / UAVs and ingredients from Past success based on use of AEW&C & EW capabilities.

The 5.0th Generation NGFA induction from both sides seem distant , hence battle lines are almost drawn clearly for now.

The next Aerial conflict will provide the theater for arch rivals to test out the new Platforms & capabilities and to determine whether the balance of Airpower in the region has changed.

Discussion open.

Thanks
 
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The JF-17 gets underestimated when compared to the Su-30MKI (and basically all other modern Indian fighter other then the Rafale), but these upgrades allow it to nearly operate in a similar manner to the latest Gripens (I now think each JF-17 should have a built in IRST on the nose and use the chin station to carry a dedicated jammer or targeting pod depending on the mission). An IRST coupled with a variant of the PL-15E with and infrared seeker could be very useful in dealing with these large RCS/Large IR signature aircrafts, or even the lower signatures of the Rafale from closer ranges.
Working with China to put in the best IRST system would pay off.

1682301164715.jpeg


Hopefully improvements in sortie generation, road basing, rapid software upgrades especially in EW, as well as IR and RCS signatures and other well known aspects of the Gripen will allow the JF-17 (as well as the J-10 for that matter) to be well suited for the PAF’s doctrine.

Studying how the Gripen is seen as well suited for Ukraine to resist the Russian Air Force and its flankers in the current Ukraine war should also give some other useful insights.

 
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The JF-17 gets underestimated when compared to the Su-30MKI (and basically all other modern Indian fighter other then the Rafale), but these upgrades allow it to nearly operate in a similar manner to the latest Gripens (I now think each JF-17 should have a built in IRST on the nose and use the chin station to carry a dedicated jammer or targeting pod depending on the mission). An IRST coupled with a variant of the PL-15E with and infrared seeker could be very useful in dealing with these large RCS/Large IR signature aircrafts, or even the lower signatures of the Rafale from closer ranges.
Working with China to put in the best IRST system would pay off.

View attachment 925967

Hopefully improvements in sortie generation, road basing, rapid software upgrades especially in EW, as well as IR and RCS signatures and other well known aspects of the Gripen will allow the JF-17 (as well as the J-10 for that matter) to be well suited for the PAF’s doctrine.

Studying how the Gripen is seen as well suited for Ukraine to resist the Russian Air Force and its flankers in the current Ukraine war should also give some other useful insights.


While agree to whats been written ; For others IRST is a Long debated subject which would have different opinions by different experts. J-10C comes with IRST.


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"The Next BVR Battle in the region would be more fiercely contested then anywhere else in modern Aerial combat history. Instead of Lopsided battles between US F-15s & F-16s vs older watered down MiGs or earlier models of BVR Missiles - The current Theater in Subcontinent could potential boast some of the most current & updated A2A Missiles pitted at ranges not done before. The First detect First shoot capabilities, extensive use of AESA Radars, Coperative Targeting with UAVs, role of AEW&C , No escape Zone or near to it firing vs Maneuvers to negate would be mouth watering."


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The JF-17 gets underestimated when compared to the Su-30MKI (and basically all other modern Indian fighter other then the Rafale), but these upgrades allow it to nearly operate in a similar manner to the latest Gripens (I now think each JF-17 should have a built in IRST on the nose and use the chin station to carry a dedicated jammer or targeting pod depending on the mission). An IRST coupled with a variant of the PL-15E with and infrared seeker could be very useful in dealing with these large RCS/Large IR signature aircrafts, or even the lower signatures of the Rafale from closer ranges.
Working with China to put in the best IRST system would pay off.

If all those features are true there would be more customers for the JF-17
 
TRG-230 MISSILE ON AKINCI RAIDER HALE UAV SEAD CAPABILITY

The TRG-230 Missile provides accurate and effective fire power against high priority targets within the ranges of 20-70 km. [Upto 100 km max]
TRG-230 Missile can be launched from ROKETSAN Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher [MBRL] and other platforms with compatible interfaces.


System Specifications​

  • 24/7 All Weather/Terrain Usage Capability
  • Ready to Fire in a Very Short Time
  • Highly Accurate
  • Low Collateral Damage
  • Precision Strike Capability
  • Pod Structure for Transportation, Storage

Potential Targets​

  • Targets Located with High Accuracy
  • Artillery and Air Defence Systems
  • Radar Sites
  • Assembly Areas
  • Logistic Facilities
  • C3 Facilities
  • Other High Priority Targets

Technical Specifications​

Diameter230 mm
Weight215 kg
Range20 - 70 km
GuidanceGPS*+GLONASS** Aided INS***
ControlAerodynamic Control with an Electromechanical Actuation System
Propellant TypeComposite Solid
Warhead TypeHigh Explosive + Steel Ball
Warhead Weight42 kg
Warhead Effective Radius≥ 55 m
Fuze TypePoint Detonating and Proximity
Accuracy [CEP****]≤ 10 m




 
The JF-17 gets underestimated when compared to the Su-30MKI (and basically all other modern Indian fighter other then the Rafale), but these upgrades allow it to nearly operate in a similar manner to the latest Gripens (I now think each JF-17 should have a built in IRST on the nose and use the chin station to carry a dedicated jammer or targeting pod depending on the mission). An IRST coupled with a variant of the PL-15E with and infrared seeker could be very useful in dealing with these large RCS/Large IR signature aircrafts, or even the lower signatures of the Rafale from closer ranges.
Working with China to put in the best IRST system would pay off.

View attachment 925967

Hopefully improvements in sortie generation, road basing, rapid software upgrades especially in EW, as well as IR and RCS signatures and other well known aspects of the Gripen will allow the JF-17 (as well as the J-10 for that matter) to be well suited for the PAF’s doctrine.

Studying how the Gripen is seen as well suited for Ukraine to resist the Russian Air Force and its flankers in the current Ukraine war should also give some other useful insights.

Cost cutting

thunder needed a better engine(rd93 ma or ws 13) and IRST but apparently were shelves in favour of getting more J10s
 

THE POST-SWIFT RETORT ENVIRONMENT: FOUR YEARS LATER​

QUWA

"In February 2019, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF) clashed in a brief, two-day and two-event skirmish involving both air-to-air and air-to-surface exchanges. In the midst of all the narratives, claims, and counter-claims, the clash resulted in the definite loss of one IAF MiG-21bis.

However, since the clash, both Pakistan and India both carried out a series of major modernization steps – some a result of plans predating 2019, or in response to it. Hence, the air warfare climate of South Asia is, arguably, one of the most complex and highest-stakes environments in the world.

Background​

On 26 February 2019, the IAF had sent six Mirage 2000Hs armed with Rafael SPICE 2000 stand-off range (SOW) weapons. The IAF’s Mirage 2000Hs were reportedly escorted by Su-30MKIs and further supported by a pair of ERJ-145-based airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

The IAF apparently initiated its attack at stand-off range (i.e., from within Indian airspace) against targets in Balakot in Pakistan. The PAF claims that it sent F-16s and JF-17s to respond to the incoming IAF fighters.

The next day, in the early hours of 27 February, the PAF send its retaliatory package comprising of two JF-17s, four Mirage III/5s, and a large assortment of multirole fighters (F-16 and JF-17) in the escort as well as patrol roles. This force was further supported by the PAF’s Saab 2000-based Erieye AEW&C and Falcon 20-based electronic attack (EA) and electronic countermeasure (ECM) aircraft.

In total, the PAF may have deployed upwards of 18 to 24 fighters, most of which were multi-role, though the remainder (i.e., four Mirage III/5s) were SOW specialists. The PAF dubbed its operation, “Swift Retort.

If the PAF believed it was successful with Swift Retort, then it certainly stood up for it by investing in the exact areas that worked in 2019. For the PAF, the success of Swift Retort rested on the following pillars – i.e., multi-role fighters with long-range air-to-air missiles (LRAAM), electronic support assets, and long-range air-to-surface strike capability through a variety of SOWs.

New Fighters​

Following Swift Retort, the PAF ordered and inducted an entirely new fighter type into its fleet – i.e., the J-10CE alongside the PL-15E LRAAM. In 2020, the then PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) said, “…if the acquisition of a new fighter fits into our doctrine then we will try to acquire it.”[1]

It seems that the experience of the operation played a role in seeking the J-10CE. In fact, the PAF seemed to have expedited the induction program as it received the aircraft within a year of inking the contract. In most cases, it would take at least two years to induct a new aircraft from the time of closing a deal.

However, the J-10CE acquisition was likely in lieu of the PAF’s inability to acquire additional F-16s (new-built and used) from the U.S. and third-parties in earlier years. From a technical standpoint, it would have been easier to add F-16s to the fleet and leverage the existing operating infrastructure.

Hence, the J-10CE filled a gap in the procurement roadmap left by the apparent block on new advanced-model F-16s (like the Block-72). In fact, through the J-10CE, the PAF added an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar paired with a new LRAAM (with a range of at least 145 km), and an actual combination of helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) with high off-boresight air-to-air missile (HOBS AAM). Prior to the J-10CE, only the F-16 had an HMD/S, but it lacked a HOBS AAM like the AIM-9X.

Thus, the J-10CE is a ‘complete’ package, especially from an air-to-air standpoint. However, the PAF seems to be bringing a similar package to the JF-17 via the Block-3. It seems that the JF-17 Block-3 will utilize the same HMD/S as the J-10CE alongside the PL-15E LRAAM and PL-10E HOBS AAM.

Now, unlike the F-16 and JF-17 mix in 2019, the J-10CE and JF-17 Block-3 combination may be much more interoperable thanks to shared platform inputs. Yes, one should expect the J-10CE to have an AESA radar with a higher transmit/receive module (TRM) count than the Block-3. However, because the PAF single-sourced the radars and other avionics inputs, the level of network enablement between the two platforms may be deeper compared to say the JF-17 and F-16.

Moreover, the two fighters would use the same LRAAM and HOBS AAM stocks, so the PAF can generate economies-of-scale and logistics streamlining…

End of Excerpt (738 / 1,793 words)"


 
I know the fc31 isn't an aircraft yet but would have loved PAF opting for that or j35 instead not saying J10 isn't a fine aircraft
 

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