Tejas and Cold Start Doctrine

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Kunal Biswas, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    One extremely important role for Indian Air Force (IAF) will be the Close Air Support (CAS) to Indian Army. This is especially true for the decade old doctrine popularly called the cold start doctrine (CSD) extensively covered in press, although never publicly accepted by Indian Army. Ostensibly this was articulated and developed after the attack on Indian parliament when India could not mobilize its forces at the desired speed to make the counter attack, credible.

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    The Cold Start Doctrine

    [​IMG]

    The CSD called for 8 Independent Battle Groups (IBGs) to move rapidly into Pakistan. Each IBG was to be composed of approximately an equivalent armored division in terms of number of armored vehicles (Tanks, Infantry combat vehicles, Self-propelled artillery, etc) constituting it. The Blitzkrieg envisaged that the 8 IBGs will rapidly move into Pakistan in response to any major terrorist or subversive attack carried out by Pakistan or launched from Pakistan – such as 26/11 or attack on Indian parliament – in 72 hours. With 30 km front and minimum 100 km inter IBG difference such massive and rapid incursions will thin spread Pakistani armored and air defense resources, thereby paving the way for Indian forces to go deep into Pakistan. The CSD looked menacing – definitely a conventional deterrence to next Pakistani adventure. The feasibility, alas, was not very high. Pakistan used the Indian CSD to develop a counter in the form of the tactical nuclear option engineered into 60 KM range NASR missiles with low KT nukes – which potentially can be launched from the multi-barrel rocket launchers. Many have rejected the Pak tactical nukes as not capable, read insignificant, yet one cannot discount the threat of NASR. Following the same train of thought India need to consider how to increase the feasibility and effectiveness of CSD – or something similar to CSD – if we need to communicate a credible conventional deterrence to Pak.

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    The Total Air Superiority Problem

    [​IMG]

    One key problem with CSD is the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Threat. Even if Indian army is able to mobilize 8 IBGs and start the inward movement across the Indo-Pak border, it will have to contend with the Pakistan Air force – that can create a large impediment for the blitzkrieg. Let us assume that each IBG (assuming it to be an armored division equivalent) moves in what is called 2up formation – where two armored brigade equivalents are ahead in parallel followed by the third armored brigade equivalent. IAF will have to ensure air superiority on all 8 attack routes. This is tough task – despite IAF having 272 Su-30 MKI Air superiority fighters – 40 of those India will keep for the nuke deterrence against Pak and China. Of the remaining 230, IAF needs to keep about 100 for the conventional war against China if China comes to join hands with Pakistan. IAF will be left with 100 odd SU30 against Pakistan to be utilized as Air Superiority missions including CAP and strike escorts to Jaguars/Mig27s for long range strike missions. For point defence and area defence Mig 21s and Mig 29s should be utilized along with Mirage 2000. Despite the above capability, IAF would still not be able to achieve total air superiority against PAF. India Pak War scenario – we are more than two decades behind those high tech air war. We still have three main missions – IAF calls them – Long Range Strike Mission, Air Defence (AD) (including Combat Air Patrol and point AD), Close Air Support, Air Defence Escorts to LRSM. We still have not created 1991 air package concept that US used in Iraq. All said and done – IAF will not be able to provide total air-superiority in Indo-Pak scenarios as our doctrine continues to be linear. We have to strive to achieve local air superiority for the time and space we chose. One of the key missions for IAF will continue to be CAS to Indian Army – whether IAF like it or not. In fact, if it does not provide a new doctrinal shift for delivering CAS to Indian Army – all the so called CSD type plans will remain low on credibility. Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) plus CAS with AD Escorts package with SU30MKI CAP controlled by AWACS need to be delivered in support of IBGs. IA will not wait for 40 days of pure air operations before starting the ground operations, what US and allies did in 1991 Desert Storm. Indian Army and IAF need to evolve a new doctrine together – especially against Pak.

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    An Integrated Cold Start Doctrine is needed

    For the 8 IBG achieving their mission of deep penetration in Pakistan in 72 Hours will require local air superiority and heavy close air support. As is known, the blitzkrieg requires integrated high momentum penetration streams, which IA hopes will be provided by the IBGs. It is the high momentum close air support in terms of number of sorties that IAF can deliver to IBGs IAF will have issues with its strike aircraft like Jaguars/Mig27s – which they will keep more for anti-airbase and deep strikes rather than close air support. Similarly, Su30MKI, Mirage 2000 or even Rafale with their multirole high end capabilities will be utilized for CAP, AD Escorts, or local Air Superiority missions. Even then number of sorties these high end aircraft can deliver cannot be more than 1 to 1.5 per day per aircraft.

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    LCA-Tejas can provide the Close Air Support for Integrated CSD

    [​IMG]

    The integrated Cold Start will require about 100+ pure close air support sorties per day sustained for 3-5 days for the 8 IBGs. We need a light aircraft with rapid sortie generation capability which delivers load per sortie. With 40 Tejas IAF can provide 2.5 to 3 sorties per day per aircraft. 100+ sorties of LCA sustained for 5 days will be crucial component of the integrated CSD. This enables one dimension of making CSD feasible and hence credible. Today we simply cannot do CSD type pincer attack. Our MIGs and Jaguars simply cannot do this support.

    LCA can deliver 3 sorties per day for 3-5 days per day provided pilots are available to rotate the aircraft. Mirage 2000 and SU30 can deliver around 1 or max 1.5 sortie a day remaining Jaguars/Migs if we get 1 sortie per day – it will be great. However for CAS for 8 IBGs we need 100+ LCA sorties per day which is potentially possible. But with current aircraft – we cannot give air support. In the absence of Self Propelled Artillery, we will not have successful “CSD type” doctrine. The complete premise, on which IA has been creating its armored and mechanized force for last decade or so, will be futile. LCA is the real sortie maximization solution in air war.CAS mission the objectives are mostly singular ( A bridge, Rail junction, Artillery emplacement , Enemy fuel and ammunition dumps ) For such task an fighter need not to be a heavily loaded bomb truck, Employing a SU-30 for such role would only waste its combat potential..
     
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The link is here.
    LCA Tejas and Cold Start Doctrine – Potential Joint Operations Test case | Frontier India

    Lot of mistakes in the article.

    1. 8 IBGs won't penetrate Pakistan at once. Only 5 of those 8 will initiate. 3 will be used as reserves. So IAF has to ensure air superiority on 5 routes.

    2. No MKI has been earmarked for nuke deterrence. Only Mirage-2000s. And that's less than a squadron apparently. So all 270 MKIs can be used for air superiority missions. At least 80 MKIs will be placed against China in the NE. A small group may be earmarked for operations against Pakistan, in case the Chinese don't attack. The MKIs located in the North are also part of the deterrence against China. Basically, all MKIs can be used against both China and Pakistan. We have too little information to speculate on how the IAF plans to use the MKIs in a two front war.

    3. Tactical nukes will only result in full scale nuke attack by India. The Pakistanis are just bluffing. Nasr will be used as a tactical conventional artillery weapon like their A-100s. Tactical nukes are extremely inefficient and useless.

    4. Author forgets we can use Mig-29UPG and Mirage-2000UPG for air superiority missions as well. As far as their capability is concerned, the upgraded versions are as good or in some cases better than the F-16 B52, especially in EW.

    5. Author has incorrectly assumed that Jaguars and Mig-27 cannot perform more than 1.5 sorties a day. Sorties are primarily determined by the range of operations. At just 100-200 Km, all IAF aircraft can perform the same number of sorties. The turnaround time of the LCA is definitely higher than older aircraft, basically all our aircraft, but pilot and groundsmen fatigue is the same for all. During high tempo operations during the first 4 days, all aircraft will be leeched to deliver their best, with no exceptions. Sortie rates can be surged to as high as 3 or 4 for most of our aircraft. And sortie rates for air superiority missions and recce missions are different compared to strike missions. For air superiority and recce, missions are determined by how long aircraft can stay in the air while strike missions are determined by how quickly the aircraft can achieve turnaround after completing a mission.

    6. LCA isn't a good aircraft for CAS. The right weapons and avionics for this mission are not yet planned to be integrated. We can talk about it more definitely when we talk about LCA Mk2's FOC. The immediate objective of the LCA is point defense and escort. CAS will continue being Jaguar's mission profile, as it has the right weapons mix for it. Rafale will multiply that capability after induction. The French are planning to develop a new low collateral weapon for this mission, or just buy Brimstones.

    It's obvious the author doesn't know basics about air operations.
     
  4. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    For the purpose of extending the discussion, how can UAV or UCAV fit into the CSD?
    Assuming we will have COM and GPS satellites up and running in next 2 years.
     
  5. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Tejas is the only cost effective choice available in the immediate future ,if india has any hopes of putting into operation its much vaunted cold start doctrine.

    It has enough endurance, weapon load and true multi role capability to be used in support of CSD.

    Tejas will be the most important support for the armor columns and infantry .

    because we can afford it in large numbers and call upon it to do the most of tasks during CSD.

    Since many of its parts are locally made it will be operationally economical as well.

    High in number multi role tejas fleet will release Su-30 MKi to its strategic role of air dominance and deep strike.

    tejas avionics will be what IAF demands from it, nothing else.

    Even the cockpit of tejas and su-30 MKI look similar in all counts.

    It has sudharshan LGB and can integrate whatever new weapons india can get from abroad and develop locally as its IP rights is fully in our hands .

    tejas was designed as true multi role fighter.

    It is stupid to call it again and again as point defence Mig replacement as many import lovers repeatedly called it in vayustratpost.

    In recent Aeroindia 2013 photo tejas endurance was given as 2 hours 30 minutes. It has a combat radius of 500 Km without centerline fuel tank and it has a range of 1700 Km, which is mostly in line with multi role single engine combat fighters ,

    Mig-21 is the point defence fighter, not tejas, it demoed its swing role capabiity or multi role capability in the recent livefist exercise when it jettisoned drop tanks released ground bombs and fired off R73 E all with in hundred seconds.

    Also it has a multi mode radar(bigger than rafale) to designate both air and ground target at a decent range.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
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  6. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    Very GOOD JOB of Running down tejas and hyping up Rafale unnecesarrily

    While You are pointing out that the required weapons for strike roles are not integrated with Tejas so it is not suitable
    But it is capable only question of integrating it

    while we could integrate the targeting pods and strike weapons in mirage 2000 during kargil overnight with foreign AC weapons source code

    why cant the same be done with our own AC our own weapons ?

    Lets see what logic you come up with

    Also while you have issue with tejas that the required strike wepaons are NOT INTEGRATED

    but you are advocating Rafale with weapons which are still planned to be developed forget integrated -
    which are still only planned ot be developed in future then made then integrated

    WOW

    what Rafale Bhakti !!!!!!

    also you say buy brimstone - which country ? britain

    wont they sanction us during war (if they can sanction EFT parts they will also sanction this brimstone supply)

    lets see your logic for such prescription
     
  7. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    right now tejas is undergoing ground bombing missions in Jaiselmer

    So dorks who feel ground strike weapons are not integraed can travel to jaiselmer

    New bombs of 250 kg 450kg being tried out

    of course the Dorks will say they are being dropped without being integrated

    :taunt::taunt::taunt::taunt:

    :lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
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  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The primary mission of UAVs is recce. Normally larger fighter aircraft can stay in the air for only a few hours, but UAVs can stay airborne for a day or two. So they can observe enemy movements for much longer. This will reduce the burden of large fighters to provide continuous surveillance. This reduces cost and large jets can be used for much more important surveillance missions that require more data. We may not yet have such UAVs today, but they are coming. UAVs are small and can stay undetected for long periods while not risking a pilot. It is also very cheap when it comes to acquire and operate.

    UCAVs today are not sophisticated enough. In 10 to 20 years, they should be able to perform some missions that complement manned fighters in strike missions while capable of self-defense. A demonstrator program is running today.

    We already have comm and GPS satellites.
     
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  9. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Even if they integrate 80 Km akash missile, laser guided bombs and even if tactical N bombs in future it will always be point defence for Dorks!!!

    i dont know what point is defended with both 80 Km range Akash mk1 , 120 Km range Akash mk2 and also with 250 Kg 450 Kg ground bombs , sudharshan along with LGBs.

    Have they discovered a new point defence doctrine and classified fighters that have 500 Km combat range in hot indian conditions, 2 hrs 30 minute endurance, 1700 Km range, 3.5 ton weapon load, Multi mode radar(bigger dia than both rafale and gripen ) as point defence onlee!!!
     
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  10. power_monger

    power_monger Regular Member

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    What are the right weapons here? BVR missiles like derby are getting integrated into tejas.Its just matter of few months. Astra will be inducted once they are developed.Gattling gun has been ground tested.Bombers of weight 250Kg and 450Kg have been tested.What other weapons are you looking at?What is that you are looking in avionics.

    Once tejas FOC certification happens sucessfully,what prevents LCA in CAS operations?
     
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  11. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    It won`t be hard to find post such as Rafale is a good for CAS somewhere in Rafale thread, IAF is not fool to arm Tejas with LBG and cluster Bombs unless it want it for CAS ..

    Like Rafale, Tejas are too multirole, Difference is the Medium and light category ..

     
  12. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    Tejas will also be armed with Longer Air launched range of Helina

    Air launched of Nag with 10-12 Km range

    it can be armed on multiracks - in anti armour roles
     
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  13. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    if 272 MKIs can handle the 2 front war along with CSD
    then whats the logic of MMRCA ?

    then this itself proves that there is no requirement of MMRCA

    instead lets go for 100 more Su30MKI + >200 tejas

    will suffice
     
  14. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    First of all we need 40 fully operational Tejas mk 1 to be ready and deployed at Forward
    air bases like Bhuj ; Jaisalmer ; Jamnagar or Adampur

    That will signal BOTH; intent of IAF and capability of Tejas

    However IAF and DRDO are being cautious and creating the squadron at Sulur near ADA Bangalore

    It will take Five years to get ALL 40 Tejas Mk 1 inducted starting from SP 1

    IAF does NOT have the luxury of waiting for so long

    They have operationalised their CSD doctrines on the basis of what they have in hand
    ie older planes Mig 21 ; Mig 27 ; Jaguar
    and the UPGRADES to Mig 29 ; Mirage 2000 and the accretion of Su 30 MKI

    Jaguar with DARIN 2 and DARIN 3 are now very capable planes
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  15. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    if we are using today dose not mean we cant use any other fighter AC for those roles - the requirements keeps changing fast in todays times - remember your own word insome other thread on this same forum ?

    also it does not mean that other AC are not capable to be employed in these roles - it is just we are not using them in those roles

    good to see that you have not said that LCA cant perform 3-4 sorties / day

    Alos it seems you agree to the fact that even Su30Mkis can be made to do 3 sorties/day
     
  16. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    no when a new AC hell even a new machine is being put to use it ineviatbly encounters some problems / hiccups

    to ensure faster resolution and smoothening out of such small issues it is being based near the HAL Factory / centre
     
  17. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    mirages are still being upgraded
    upgrade not completed

    Darin upgrade still going on

    LCA will be produced at rate of 16/year

    if IAF places more orders the 16 can be done to 32 / year that is IF IAF places more orders

    also will the IAF be ready to induct such a large nos of AC / year ?

    it takes time to train pilots

    DRDO is ready to deliver home grown AWE&C aircraft - IAF is not ready to take delivery - they havent have got the crew trained for it
     
  18. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    On ANOTHER Note IAF is gearing up for a TWO Front War ( As is the IA )

    The Exercise Live wire in March 2013 was carried out for this contingency

    And we should remember that many Paki targets will be taken care of by Brahmos and Prithvis
    especially before IAF carries out its First Sortie thus freeing up IAF assets for CAS support to the Indian Army
     
  19. power_monger

    power_monger Regular Member

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    Each production line cost 1300 crores for HAL. HAL can easily rampu up yearly production of tejas from 8 to 16 or 30 if IAF places sufficient order for MK1 till Mk2 arrives.There is no point buisness wise to Invest in production line to delivery 40 AC in 1.5 years and stay idle till mk2 comes.This is just a constraint on Oders only and not of any capabilities.

    Sulur base is just a begning. Once number increases you will see tejas being spread out.

    Let FOC happen.I am sure Indian airforce will increase the order size as tejas flight envelope is opened just recently and many of its capabilities is not known to the fullest extent.Pakistan being a small country will easily negate tejas issues wrt range.
     
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  20. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There are two ways to achieve CAS missions. CAS means Close Air Support. It means soldiers on the ground provide targets for the aircraft. One is the very old method of flying close to the ground and the second is a more recent method of employing PGMs and networking.

    For the first one, there are a lot of intrinsic characteristics that the LCA lacks. Firstly, it doesn't carry the right kind of weapons. The gun is meant for air to air, not air to ground strafing. It is of lower caliber rounds with lesser rate of fire. LCA is not equipped with rocket pods.

    Second, LCA has low wing loading, it is not meant for continuous low altitude performance. It's gust response is very poor. It is designed to fly and fight at higher altitudes. The F-404 engines are leaky turbojets that are efficient only at medium and high altitudes. So, neither the airframe nor engine are equipped for this type of mission. And Jaguar is armored, while LCA is not. A few shots from the ground and the LCA is toast while Jaguar can eat multiple large caliber rounds and still finish its mission.

    While LCA carries a radar, it still doesn't carry a digital map generator or radar altimeter for low level flight. Your radar will end up being used up for these functions instead and your targeting suffers. And radars aren't silent, they will inform the enemy of your arrival very early at those ranges. Jaguar is also being equipped with a radar, but that is meant for strike missions because of a requirement to carry cruise missiles and other stand off weapons, not CAS.

    For the second type of mission, you need two things. One would be a very diverse menu of PGMs and second would be pilot training. LCA lacks both. Air to air weapons are not used for CAS. So Derby, Astra etc are entirely useless. What you need is LGBs, cluster bombs, fuel air explosives and low collateral damage weapons like Brimstone. As of today LCA is only integrated with LGBs out of these. And CAS requires high integration with ground troops. LCA isn't designed for this mission, it is designed for missions that the Mig-21 is supposed to carry out. So LCA pilots are trained to protect Jaguar from hostile aircraft, they are trained to perform in WVR, BVR and dog fights, which are not Jaguar's domain. Naturally, due to LCA's multirole requirement, LCA pilots also carry out air interdiction missions, but that doesn't require assistance from soldiers. The low caliber LGBs are not meant to strike at hardened targets, but to destroy enemy formations at greater ranges than what is required for CAS. Thus for this mission you need 500 Kg LGBs and cruise missiles like the KH-35 or Harpoon, which Jaguars can also do.

    Jaguars are equipped to handle both types of CAS missions while LCA cannot perform either. Or you can say LCA is very limited in CAS roles, just like how Jaguar is very limited when it comes to air to air roles. This is why LCA was designed to complement the Jaguar. A mission that the Mig-21 Bison performs.

    Btw, Mig-21 Bison and LCA carry the same weapon types, BVR, WVR and LGBs.
     
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  21. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    @PaliwalWarrior

    Like every Indian I too wish the LCA to be e great success But just look at the facts

    1 Tejas Mk1 FOC has been delayed yet again for lack of Quartz Radome and IFR Probe

    2 BVRAAM firing will happen Next Month

    3 SP 1 has been in the Making for ONE YEAR Now and is FINALLY ready

    Yet you are dreaming of 16 LCA per year ; It is NOT as easy as making CAKES you know

    8 LCA per year is the realistic and achievable target

    SECONDLY and MORE IMPORTANTLY There is a HUGE Difference between FOC and a FULLY Operational fighter plane deployed at Forward air bases

    It takes a Few years for that
    IAF will have to devise tactics and combat doctrines AROUND LCA Tejas

    And Tejas has to be FITTED in the existing squadrons and the various strike packages / fighter escorts for its optimum utilisation

    We wont have stand alone Tejas squadrons
     
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