Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Yusuf, Apr 19, 2009.
@Brimstone ........ Lets discuss the bomber issue here.
1.We used it in 71 for naval blockade of East Pakistan and for bombing raids.
2. You are right, upto a point. That is an expensive and bulky asset with a lot of accessories. But, who controls the seas, controls the region. Maritime game is different than ground and air. To be strong, independent and a regional power, we kinda need it. And the rate with which China is spreading it's legs, it's is necessary to have 2 carriers to project power on both the sides.
Did not find any good article about it's reconnaissance capabilities but P-8I is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (as per Boeing). It has 5 internal and 6 external stations for AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, AGM-84 Harpoon, Mark 54 torpedo, missiles, mines, torpedoes, bombs, and a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon system (as per Wiki). Stress is on the anti sub role over a large area. We do lack in that area. I didn't know anything about us going for Tu 22M3M and what happened with it, but we can say that GoI procured P-8's for hunting subs. I don't know if Tu-22M3M can keep an eye on subs.
We are still developing and refining our missiles. We need standoff range, and 400 KM won't do it. Nirbhay is not complete yet. Plus, IAF doesn't have money for expensive and heavy platforms like dedicated bombers. You can either add squadrons of multirole jets or spend everything on 1 squadron of bombers. IAF has priorities and our ALCM's need to mature more. I am not against bombers, we just don't need them right now.
Before our bombers can invade their airspace, you have to wipe out their AD's and most of their 16's and 17's so that there's minimum resistance. For that, you need Squadron strength, advance jets, missiles, superior weapon, EW capability and a lethal AD network. We cannot afford everything at once. Bombers can wait.
Even if we have bombers in future, it should cross the IB only for unloading gravity bombs, not cruise missiles.
1. First of all, our AC didn't played any major role in imposing naval blockade in 71. Ops Trident and Python were carried out by missile boats and frigates instead of our ship borne fighter bomber. In same way none of our fighter bombers attacked any of their vessels during the time.
2. I would say that you are contradicting yourself here. Right now we are aspiring to be a blue water navy. But in current scenario we don't need the A/C to control our backyard. Neither it is helping us in ASW nor it is helping us to patrol area near SCS. At the construction and operational cost of one A/C, we would be able to have 4 Destroyers or 6 Frigates. They would be more capable of thwarting Chinese threat right now. Isn't it?
But we are still going with A/C by thinking of future. We would need them in future and now is the best time to invest so that we don't remain wanting at that time.
I would not argue the fact that when it comes to ASW capability, P8 is probably on top right now. It is a specialized platforma nd bound to excel in that role. TU-22M on other hand has been designed as a maritime reconnaissance and strike bomber.
So for navy I would agree that P8 is a more potent and useful then TU-22M. But GoI approached for only 4 of this, which indicates that those were meant to be for special purpose. Moreover we are talking on Air force point of view. P8 is great for IN and let IN have those. But a couple of TU would have brought the versatility and swing role in armament. More over in the link itself you could see that strike capability of TU is much more then P8.
Even 100km range weapons fall under Standoff category. 400 km is more then enough for a standoff range. How many defensive weapon in form of SAM or AAM you think are there to counter such a range?
Again you are talking purely incoherent here. Why are you each and every time looking at a bomber as a weapon of invasion? By that sense its necessary to take out enemy AD for your jets to operate in conflict zone. US too took out AD system of Iraq before sending in troops.
Bomber for us is more of a force multiplier just like a carrier is as of now. It gives us enough flexibility and options to operate.
Operating and maintaining one is offcourse a costly affair and no doubt in that. But in past we have operated Tu-142. So we could afford a couple of those among our forces. If the option is available, IMO we should ponder it.
Factually wrong about the 2nd point.
INS Vikrant and her CBG played a crucial role in first, luring out the Ghazi and sinking it, and second in air strikes into Dhaka and Chittagong using Sea Hawks. This led to the destruction of naval facilities at the latter port and small ships and landing crafts that were placed to allow Pak Army troops to withdrawn along the riverine channels into Myanmar.
So, our Aircraft Carriers have proved invaluable during 71 war, and later during Op Jupiter, IPKF ops in Sri Lanka.
The latter op was with Garhwal Rifles and the Viraat, but the point remains.
You don't need an aircraft carrier until you do - and then, best of luck finding a ship to fulfill your needs.
Right now, we need to tackle the problem of Chinese subs sneaking into our backyard. So what's the point of having an asset which does half the work.
So why don't you use some logic and explain how would a bomber, which is slow, bulky and lack maneuverability can evade multiple agile SAM's with speed of mach 3 and service ceiling of 14-18 Km. And now Pakis are inducting long range AAM's too.
In any air campaign, you gain air superiority first and clear out the threat's by taking out their C2 nodes, radars and missile sites. US in Gulf used F-117 to penetrate Iraq's heavy air defences and took out their CC's. How would a non stealthy bomber is going to help us achieve control over their airspace ? You need to run SEAD ops for weeks before you even think about a bombing campaign. Watch this for reference
Maybe. Maybe not. Personally, I think our standoff range should be 600-800 for cruise missiles so that if you launch it over Jaisalmer, it can reach Quetta. 400 Km is not bad at all. But we should not stop there. That's why we need Nirbhay in large numbers.
A weapon's range has nothing to do with it's interception by a SAM. Long range Tomahawks can be intercepted by LY-80's if they enter it's kill zone. Speed, maneuverability and ability to avoid detection are some key factors for penetrating enemy's defences, not range.
I agree with your point that we need bombers but you are wrong about aircraft carriers. We need them. Chinese subs that lurk in our water can be hunted down by our p8i and anti sub helicopters. They are essentially unprotected and are only alive because it's peacetime.
Why are they unprotected because Chinese can't provide air cover to them. In absence of an Chinese airwing our p8i , mh60, asw frigates will be free to roam over ocean and hunt the Chinese subs.
Same applies to us . If our subs and frigate have to operate effectively and safely in all of Indian Ocean then an air over is required to take down enemies anti sub helicopters and aircrafts.
Without air cover our subs will be hunted down by enemies .
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Why do you think a bomber even need to face enemy SAM . Nirbhay is here numbers will only grow in thousands by 2030. Bramhos air range is reported at 500km already. Extended range will be first 600km then eventually 800-900km.
A bomber can carry multiple such missiles and fire them at a very safe distance.
Think about a battle around andmann. Bombers can destroy an entire naval armada with standoff missiles while flying from Indian mainland.
And if same bombers flew from andmann they can destroy any enemy ship trying to cross straight of Malacca!
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I was talking about the current scenario. But as you said, in future we will have the extended range air launched Brahmos and Nirbhay in thousands, so their SAM's won't be a problem. Plus, it'll be a coordinated attack by Army, Navy and the Air Force. By then we will have the NGARM. So we could overwhelm their AD network and takeout their C2 nodes within the first 24-48 hours
I agree. A long range strike/recon platform is a great idea. But right now, if I have to choose between a strike/recon aircraft and ASW helicopters, I'd prefer ASW helicopters because we have Kamorta Corvettes but not their heli's. Their surface vessels can be tackled by our surface vessels and subs. But you need to protect yourself from their subs as well. For that, P-8I's and Romeo's are priority. Right now, we can make do without bombers.
That is the thing. Even if we plan to buy the bombers immediately it will still take a. Decade to design and build new bombers . Without tot from Russia it might take 20+ years to have desi bombers. So now is the time to start on it.
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You know we're discussing this topic in the wrong thread. Army Aviation will never have bombers , IAF will get those and right now, IAF is going through a tough time. It has it's priorities and budget will not allow for heavy and expensive equipment which will require a lot of R&D work and a long process of negotiation.
But our DPSU's and private players should look into this and start working on it so that when budget allows IAF to procure bombers, we can have a head start in the form of a basic design or a scale model to pitch ideas and don't have to start from scratch.
I have a suspension that iaf and govt are waiting for propose 90 seater jet to be developed along with Saras . That knowledge base will then be utilised to develop everything from transport aircraft to maritime patrol aircraft to AWACS platform to finally as bomber.
Anyway this is not the thread . More important is to have a desi transport aircraft which can also work as multiple platforms for MPA , AWACS etc. That's where development money Should go now along with AMCA.
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Totally agree with you on the desi transport aircraft. There was also some talks about a medium lift multirole jet which was to be jointly developed by us and the Russians. Don't know what happened to it.
That MTA project was cancelled. Russian were not ready for engine change perhaps. Also work distribution was sketchy as was in fgfa.
So Russian are going alone . It flew recently iirc.
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When I said that we should go for Tu instead of P8? I just said that along with P8 if we do have few TU, it would give a certain amount of versatility in operation. It could be used as a cross platform.
Its not me who is saying that bomber is just for invasion. In our scenarios we could operate bombers from within our territory. Even to send the current 2 sqdn of BRHAMOS equipped MKI in enemy territory we have to get air dominance.
Its not about what you think of range factor in a standoff weapon system. Definition wise, Standoff weapons are missiles or bombs which may be launched at a distance sufficient to allow attacking personnel to evade defensive fire from the target area. So a 400 km range missile definitely comes in that category.
I think I've already covered it above.
Whether Pakistan would have launched Ghazi if we didn't have Vikrant or not is a question which have many IFs and BUTs. Remember that in western front where the major offensive was carried out by IN we lost Khukri to a PN Sub.
As far as bombing of Chittagong and Dhaka is concerned IAF played a major role. But I'd not deny the fact that air arm of IN too carried out its part. But along with it no one could deny that improvised bomber had a major role in the strategic bombing part. So basically we had a platform in form of Vikrant which we used optimally, but we were lacking the other platform in form of bomber and had to improvise and still doing the same.
@IndianHawk .......... No where I denied that we don't need an A/C. We do need it. Weapon like these are for power projection and it did same in past. Same way a Bomber too is a weapon of power projection.
I'll conclude it for you
We can handle subs with our P-8, ASW helis and enemy surface vessels with our Cruise missiles. Right now, there's no need for a long range maritime recon/strike aircraft.
We need minesweepers, multirole heli, jets for our new carrier, amphibious aircrafts for ASR role, nuclear/conventional subs, and variety of other vessels. We have a limited budget and we need to focus on priorities.
You're going in circles
Alright, here are the steps before getting a bomber
1. Build up your squadron strength so you can gain air superiority over the enemy
2. Make your SEAD and DEAD game strong as hell and simultaneously work on your AD network to make it better.
3. Develope long range ALCMs so that you can strike your enemy without entering their airspace to minimize the loss of jets.
All these steps should go simultaneously. Then
4. Check if you have any money left after spending on above, If yes then go buy a squadron of Bombers. If not, then modify your jets.
We can but then it will not be a wise decision because we are already low on jets.
Let's say war starts. Then, we need jets to dominate and defend. In that process, we are bound to lose some wings. We were already low on jets and now we are losing more. You can't down enemy jets with bombers or defend your airspace. They have a very limited role in a war. That's why countries today are going for multirole platforms. So, we need to build our offensive and defensive capabilities before inducting force multipliers. We can't get both at the same time due to budgetary constraints.
Whoever came up with that definition, forgot to take two things into account
1. Jets doing CAP's
2. Medium/long range SAMs
I said it earlier, 400 Km is a good range but we need atleast 600. With 600, you can cover almost all of Pukistan without even crossing. So why enter their air space and face enemy jets/SAMs when you can strike deep without any worry.
So when according to you would be the right time to have a maritime strike aircraft?
When 2 of the Chinese CBG would enter your backyard? Because then we would have a max of 3 Destroyers to face it with one AC. A P8I with its Harpoons would be the first to go down to enemy fire.
Its not me who is going in circles, but its you who is stick on the point of invading enemy space with bomber.
Anyway if you are feeling safe with the current scenario of BRAHMOS equipped MKI, let me tell you that these planes can't land with the missiles strapped in their underbelly. That's a huge setback.
A bomber brings in the versatility in your approach. It acts as a force multiplier to your attack.
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