What is the importance of Scramble time to an Air force?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Neil, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2010
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    Scramble time is basically how fast an Air force can get its fighter planes in the air in case of an emergency, like an attack from enemy aircraft or in similar other mission critical scenarios. To “scramble” combat aircraft means to get them started, the crews aboard, and in the air as fast as possible. Scrambling an aircraft means to get them into the air as quickly as possible and into formation in order to defend, interdict, intercept the enemy aircraft.

    In earlier times scrambling an aircraft perhaps meant to get them off the ground as quickly as possible to keep them from being destroyed regardless of formation. Presently the procedure of a Scramble includes , Pilots being ready with their G-suits on and always in a ready mode. Then the phone rings , siren goes off and pilots pick up their helmets , dash to their aircraft , jump in the cockpit , quickly strap out , taxi out , line up and take off with full after burners to intercept the enemy aircraft’s . The average Scramble time in case of any emergency should take around 4 to 5 minutes.

    We also have something called as cockpit standby time which has an average of 3 minutes. When a radar picks an aircraft that is lurking close to International border but not a threat yet , the pilots are ordered to sit in the cockpits with radios on and wait for the instructions. If the aircraft becomes a threat, then a scramble is ordered and can be carried out within 3 minutes as pilots were already sitting in cockpit.

    During warfare a cockpit standby time also lasted for hours and in intense weather conditions it becomes extremely difficult for the pilots to sit in that cramped space of cockpit with helmet and G-suit on for hours. But at the same time during cockpit standbys, there is a certain level of excitement and anticipation in the minds of pilots and they would be waiting
    for some real action for which they have been training for years.

    In critical locations and situations, the military commanders keep airplanes ready with ground crews on standby and flight crews ready to get in the air as quickly as possible in the event of an emerging threat. Thus we conclude by saying that Scramble time it of utmost importance to any Air force in-order to make them more effective against enemy aircraft.

  3. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Moscow, russia
    Scramble time is dependent on various mechanical parameters like damage to the airstrip/taxiway takeoff point ? what measures and alternatives are there to get the bird take off when serious dame has been inflicted to the resources to make it operate?
  4. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    May 25, 2009
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    Holy Hell
    The scramble time of F-16 is 2-3 minutes, the Gripen is 1 minute and Mig-21 Bison is 30 seconds. :)
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    There is the Runway Readiness, which means that the aircraft are fuelled, armed and ready.

    Cockpit readiness means pilots are strapped up with the aircraft fuelled, armed and ready.

    The issue is difference in the fatigue factor and inability to change the armament.

    Cockpit readiness is instant in a manner of speaking.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011

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