IAF Fighter Pilots annual Flying hours?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Poseidon, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    Does anyone have any info regarding IAF combat pilot flying hours?

    It is believed that MKI pilots log 220-230 hours a year.

    It is also known that afh's dropped to 120 hrs in 1992 but rose to 190-200 in 1999.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There is currently no open source info on that.

    We know 3 years ago that a USAF pilot mentioned MKI pilots do 300 hours a year compared to their own 250 hours.

    Overall, our flying hours won't be that great for other platforms because all of them are old. PLAAF is in the same boat. But they source parts from their own industry which makes it better. But we have no idea how many hours their pilots fly.

    PAF has obtained new planes with regard to F-7PG, JF-17 and F-16 in the last decade. So, their flying hours would be a little higher. They have a 100 new planes and 250 old planes compared to 150-170 new planes and 550 old planes(80 Mig-21s are grounded) for IAF. That gives a new: old ratio of 1:2.5 for PAF and 1:3.5 for IAF.
     
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  4. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    @p2prada: The 300 hour per year figure is possible only if the hours for flight simulation are accounted for.

    This is a quote from an active duty f-16 pilot (at least in 2006) on f-16.net
    300 hours of actual flight in a fighter is difficult to achieve as the number of hours of ground maintenance required for every hour in the air for fourth gen airframes varies from 9-14 for newer airframes and 19-30 for older airframes. Pentagon wanted 12 hours maintenance for every flight hour of f-22, but the raptor needs *gasp* 30 hours of maintenance per flight hour. So if we assume 12 hour maintenance (on an average) for Su-30Mki airframes (which is being modest considering the size and complexity of the machine and slightly older production technology and product design), the number of hours of maintenance needed would be over 3600 an year for 300 hours of flight !! Almost 10 hours a day considering no days off and assuming AF maintenance personnel don't have to attend trainings, mission briefings, seminars or any other bureaucratic duties.

    In my opinion 150-200 hours of actual flying (and rest on simulators) would be closer to what can be achieved on Mki's. Most of the NATO countries used to achieve 120-140 flight hours per year (could be down now for smaller nations considering the economic climate). Even VVS has set an aim for 140 flight hours for fighter pilots.
     
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  5. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The NATO standard has been 180-200 hour for many years now. No idea where you get 120-140 hours from.

    Members are expected to meet that standard.
     
  6. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes. In smaller NATO countries with smaller defence budgets, not all pilots are qualified for NATO operations.
    Like when Hungary joined NATO, only a fraction of pilots were trained upto the minimum NATO requirements

    Link:- Integrating New Allies into NATO
     
  7. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    PAF F-16 pilots have the highest annual flying hours followed by JFT's.
    F-7 pilots except PG's generally have the lowest AFH's among PAF.
     
  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I doubt it because the USAF pilot did refer to flying hours. Both Su-30 and F-15 pilots may manage more hours in a single sortie because of their higher endurance.

    Maintenance man hours also depends on how many people are working on a single aircraft at a time. We can certainly manage more than what's required.

    As for the F-16 pilot you quoted, he may be referring to his own aircraft which is quite accurate considering both Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 average the numbers he mentioned. The Mirage-2000 will possibly do between 100 and 150 hours a year after MLUs and so will the Mig-29. Bring in the Mig-21 and the number will drop considerably and reduce IAF's average flight time to a large extent.

    PAF F-7PGs should be doing much higher than the Bisons. They have better spares access.

    Eglin F-15 Reaches 6,000 Flying Hours
    Here the pilot says the F-15 is less than 20 years old and achieved 6000 flying hours. That's 300+ hours a year. Considering it was a new platform, 300 hours was achievable every year. The MKI is in the same boat.

    VVS is broke and have ancient jets(cold war time). They will be lucky to manage 100 on non Flankers without more MLUs. Don't care what rest of NATO does, they don't have the Cold War type armies anymore.

    Peace time average flight hours is between 150-300 hours for large aircraft. This article from Trimble says average time for F-15s is set at 300 hours.
    US Air Force looks to dramatically extend F-15 service life

    I guess the F-22s may have already crossed the 200000 hour flight time in 5 years across the fleet which is quite significant considering it is still in production. Comparatively PAF took 2 decades to manage 100000 flight hours on 54 F-16s. That's around 150 hours on an average for their fleet and this matches the F-16 pilot you quoted. So, MKIs should be doing twice that on an average.

    The maintenance hours for every flight hour is all statistics. They don't relate to actual position on the ground. During war time, an aircraft may finish it's entire service life in a span of one to two months, ie, if the war goes on for that long. Plenty of F-15s finished 6000 hours in 20-25 years while many F-15s were between 4000-5000 hours even after 25 years. So, it depends on the airbase and it's allowed budget as well. All figures for peace time, not war.
     
  9. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    Thanks.p2prada.
    May you tell me how many years it takes to be a sqd.leader?
     
  10. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I don't have this figure over the top of my head. I got this from an IAF ground crew member probably 4 years ago, so no written material available from my side.

    The pilot needs to fulfill age and flight time criterias AFAIK.
     
  11. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The stats are per plane, right? Since you have more pilots than planes, it means they have to share the same plane. The actual hours per pilot is therefore lower. How much lower is depends on how many who have to share the same plane. So I will assume probably 20-25 percent lower.
     
  12. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Could be. Young pilots fly more than old pilots. The Weapon Systems Officer is the guy who sits at the back and has the experience, so he flies less. The pilot flies more, a lot more.

    Of course I don't know how everything works on the field. We don't know actual flight hours on the MKI beyond what was said 3 to 4 years ago and the MKI version was quite new then.

    An average F-15 pilot normally gets 2000 hours over a 15 year period. So, that comes to 135 hours a year for the pilot. I am talking about an instructor/trainer. We can only speculate using past history. It's not highly classified information, if you get your hands on a pilot you can ask the same.
     

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