Why does IAF emphasize on twin-seaters?

tarunraju

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Be it Su-30 MKI, MiG-29KUB, future FGFA, or the many older examples, why does the IAF have this much emphasis on twin-seater fighters despite having a problem of deficiency with its pilot rosters?
 

Singh

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Mig 29KUB is a trainer so leave that out.
 

notinlove

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change the title to overemphasize :p
other than the ground attack capability

i believe with aerial refueling fighters are able to stay in the air for longer durations and essentially act in place of 2 fighters ...but pilots are not able to fly such planes for such long durations ergo 2 pilots when one tires other takes over .......it might be a good strategy for a country with small no of fighters ...but now when india is aquiring so many a/c's i can't see the logic in this
 

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Be it Su-30 MKI, MiG-29KUB, future FGFA, or the many older examples, why does the IAF have this much emphasis on twin-seater fighters despite having a problem of deficiency with its pilot rosters?
Since, twin seater enable pilots especially navigator to concentrate on bombing role much effectively to pinpoint the intended target. During Kargil conflict, this deficiency really exposed in the use of Mig-27s and Jaguars as they had no extra heads to concentrate on bombing accuratly.
 

Vinod2070

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Yes, I find that surprising too.

Why a one seater version will do for Russia and not for us?
 

tarunraju

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Yes, several Air Forces get by pretty well with single-seaters. Single-seater F16s were pretty OK with multi-role (precision strike or combat). Is it that we need pilots of higher standards?
 

A chauhan

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Play any video game alone & play it with your brother against computer you will find playing together with someone increases.your success rate ...
I am not comparing it with game playing, but flying with an assistant makes it easy to have successful sorties, but when we are buying such a large number of FGFA then it becomes unconvincing to send 400 pilots (in case of 200 FGFA bought) i insist to buy Pakfa in large numbers than FGFA.
100 FGFA
150/? PakFA
 

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Twin-seaters are very important in SEAD missions as there is too much workload for one pilot to do it. F-16 is not good for deep strike missions or SEAD missions.
 

Vinod2070

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SEAD is a bit dangerous role. So don't you stand to lose more trained pilots who are so expensive to train?
 

Daredevil

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SEAD is a bit dangerous role. So don't you stand to lose more trained pilots who are so expensive to train?
That's the reason you need a twin-seater. While pilot maneuvers through the enemy's airspace, the WSO (weapons stations officer) will locate, paint and bomb the targets. One pilot cannot do both these things as you need to be highly focused on evading enemy SAMs and at the same bomb the targets which are usually SAM batteries, Air fields etc.
 

Singh

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Twin seater crafts are the preferred choice for heavy fighter-bomber/strike fighter/multi-role crafts. Basically any craft that needs to attack ground targets and at the same time defend itself from aerial threats.
However for air dominance and air superiority, there is no point in having a WSO or a co-pilot.

(Rally driving vs formula 1)
 

tarunraju

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I agree for specific operations twin-seaters shine, but why entire fleets of them? Twin-seaters step up costs of production because someone like Dassault or UAC has to specifically design twin-seater variants if it wasn't part of their original design, and the costs of training pilots.

Main pilots who are used to having a WSO behind will not be as flexible when they're made to fly solo or in single-seaters?
 

Daredevil

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Main pilots who are used to having a WSO behind will not be as flexible when they're made to fly solo or in single-seaters?
I think they will be trained for both roles.

Depending on the needs, twin-seater nay be flown by a single pilot alone. That way its good that we are looking for twin-seater MRCA.
 

ppgj

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if you note, india uses 2 seater versions for long range fighters. case in point - our SU 30MKI's and the coming FGFA. there is a good thought behind the rationale. points to be noted -

1. these a/c's are meant for deep penetration into enemy territory. the rules of the game changes here. one will be up against not only air assets but ground ones too. to evade by way of piloting and out maneur them and in the end take them out is too huge a burden for a single person. dividing it is to make both the men to be effective and efficient.

2. during peacetime the same a/c's act as trainers!! saving on extra machines plus being able to use the same acclimitised machines in combat!!

3. you can maximise training and tactics during peacetime which can be put to use easily in combat situation.

4. though 2 men are needed, the success rate that it may bring in far outweigh the single piloted ones because of the points noted above.

5. point that it is expensive also does not hold true. in long term it actually saves!!

A two-pilot crew provides higher work efficiency (thanks to distribution of the aircraft handling and armament control functions) as well as the engagement in close and long range combats and the air situation observation. Besides, the same dual control aircraft can be used as a combat and training aircraft. Additionally, the integrated air-borne equipment enables the aircraft to be used as an air command post to control the operation of other aircraft.

In practice, the front seater is the pilot and the back seater is the "Wizzo", the WSO (Weapons Systems Operator). The pilot flies the aircraft and handles air-to-air and some ATG weapons, as well as countermeasures. The WSO takes care of the detailed aspects of navigation, ground radar mapping & target designation, setting up delivery solution for ATG weapons, designating for guided bombs/missiles, ECM, and so on. There are many tasks which overlap; either pilot or WSO can do the job depending on circumstances. The aircraft can be flown from either seat, however only the front cockpit driver can operate the helmet mounted sight (Sura) as sensors are only in the front. The rear cockpit has a HUD repeater.
http://vayu-sena.tripod.com/info-su30mki.html

i actually posted a similar reply on PAKFA thread.

as to the russians or anybody preferring single seaters -

india has enemies at the doorstep. india has had wars in the past and the possibility of one happening exists all the time. hence our airforce needs to be ready and effective all the time if war breaks out. the results of the 2 men arrangement will be felt then.
 

Dark_Prince

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Definitely Twin Seater, as it increases efficiency:

1) Performs well under tight missions

2) Division of tasks leads to better efficiency

3) When conducting complex operations in coordination with different arms of military, twin seater come in handy due to the ability to coordinate better

4) There could be a case when mounting an attack with allied forces, which requires a second person who is well versed with the allied tactics, plans, language, strategy etc.....i.e. combination of an experienced and a more experienced pilot in Combat

5) My last point sound lame, but it could be a factor that the pilot may not feel lonely and confused at the time of major stress and tight combats or some grave situation across enemy line
 

Yusuf

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All twin seaters that india has ordered are heavy multi role fighters. Mainly for ground attack and deep penetration strikes.

If we had an RFQ for just a fighter for escort of bombers, then it would be a single seater. Most of our numbers filling fighters, MiG 21 and its intended replacement is single seater.
 

Rage

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Ever watch the Swat Kats?




Not an attempt to flame, you'll pick up some important points.


As others have waxed longsome on the issue, the idea is to reduce combat load on long-range, deep-penetration and strategic-bombing missions and thereby reduce pilot fatigue and ameliorate safety. It is also to reduce collateral damage by ensuring pin-point accuracy of delivery. With the advent of laser-guided weapons this has become a doubling concern. LGB's are expensive- to the tune of a crore, and certainly can't be wasted.


The lineage extends right back to the 70's, when the USAF, with its F-15's preferred the single-seater variant, while the Navy with it's F-14 prefered a double-seater. Then, target acquisiton depended heavily on the NFO and on-board aircraft radar because ship-board radar was still primitive. With the F-15's, target acquisition using onboard systems was not as important as the F-14 because the missions could include large powerful ground-based radar systems for aiding target acquisition. Later, the F-15E 'Strike Eagle' was developed as a long-range, high speed interdictions platform without having to rely on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. The added combat functions and work load necessitated a twin-seater aircraft. The NFO tracked and engaged multiple radar contacts, relieving the naval aviator of that duty. Today, with the heavy automation of radar systems, that is no longer much of a concern, still naval air-arms and air forces may find it prudent to install dual systems on their aircraft because of the information overload stemming from advances in electronic and avionic onboard systems. Hence, the Tranche 2 twin-seat Typhoon, Finnish Patria-constructed twin-seat Hornet fighter jets, the Naval LCA, etc. The trade-off ofcourse is diminished performance because of the added weight of an extra seat.


With respect to precision-guided munitions, the taskedness of delivering within the 'weapons basket', the problems of interruptions in autonomous designation via smoke, cloud or fog, and the desirability of uninterrupted designation for more than sub-optimal accuracy (and the resulting attenuating circumstances therewith owing to increased vulnerability to enemy SAM's from decreasing to a medium altitude, especially on SEAD missions) makes the case for a twin-seater more concrete. With respect to India, this will give you an idea of why twin-seat fighter are of increasing concern to us:

India tests laser guided bombs successfully

January 21, 2010 19:25 IST


India on Thursday carried out two successful flight trials of laser-guided bombs (LGBs) for the Indian Air Force to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems at the Chandipur integrated test range in Orissa.

"Two flight trials were conducted at Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems of the LGBs," a Defence Ministry release said in New Delhi.

IAF officers flew their aircraft and released the LGBs as per prescribed standard operating procedures. "On-board systems in both the trials worked satisfactorily and the mission objectives have been met," the release added.

Bangalore-based Aeronautics Development Establishment (ADE) has developed the guidance kit for 1000-pound LGBs and these are designed to improve accuracy of air-to-ground bombing by IAF.

The ADE has already carried out a number of tests on the LGBs both through simulation and flight tests over the last few years to reach the required performance levels.

"The bomb, once released, by the mother aircraft at appropriate range, will seek the target and home on to it very accurately and with high reliability. All the necessary on-board components are sourced from Indian industry," it said.

Instruments Research and Development Establishment, another DRDO lab in Dehradun, has partnered ADE in the project.
http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/jan/21/india-tests-laser-guided-bombs-successfully.htm

More:
http://www.defencetalk.com/india-tests-laser-guided-bombs-23804/
http://theasiandefence.blogspot.com/2009/06/iai-seals-deal-to-provide-griffin-3.html


In the context of stealth fighters, the requirements of dynamic adjustment, timely ordnance deployment so as to reduce RCS at bay door openings, and acquainting flight times for defensive weapons and target acquisition via guidance systems (while the weapon is still attached to the aircraft) impose even greater requirements and elicit even greater bearings on pilot-fatigue. This will give you a clue as to what happens when pilot-fatigue takes over:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8123942.html


India's also recently upgraded its 100+ Jaguar fighters to dual-seater based on precisely that operational doctrine:


Indian Air Force to induct twin-seat Jaguar fighters

Dated 28/3/2006


Ambala Airbase: Indian Air Force's Jaguars are all set to get more teeth, an extra set of 32 to be precise. How does a Jaguar get more teeth? Well, if it's the one in the air, by creating room for a second fighter pilot on board.

The Indian Air Force is now inducting twin-seater Jaguar fighters for more destructive firepower. Potential adversaries better watch out as there is double trouble in store for them.

The Indian Air Force Jaguar squadrons are now opting for twin-seater variants to add muscle to their deep strike capability. It is like two beasts rolled into one. The objective is to deliver bombs with deadly accuracy.

"Precision strikes is the future of the Indian Air Force as no country today will stand for collateral damage," Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command Air Marshal AK Singh says.

The pilot in the rear cockpit will be the weapon systems operator tasked with ensuring pin-point bombing. The other pilot will then be left free to steer the aircraft through dense enemy air defences.

Indeed, the new cockpits are so crowded, and information overload so heavy that a second pilot is deemed a necessity on complex missions in well-defended areas.

"Twin-seater helps you to share the load and delivger it more precisely because you have to not only worry about target but other aircraft closing on to you," Commanding Officer of 14 Sqn, Wing Commander RR Tyagi says.

Jaguars, both old and new, will be equipped with laser-guided bombs for accuracy. "Laser-guided bomb costs you to the tune of a crore and certainly can't be wasted," Air Marshal AK Singh adds.

Pin-point precision attacks are the future of the Indian Air Force. And its Jaguars are being modified to strike the fear Of God and the Air Force in the heart of the enemy.


http://www.india-defence.com/reports/1629
 
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VayuSena1

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The first 50-100 (estimated) we will be getting would be in single-seater configuration when it comes to FGFA.
 

VayuSena1

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The reason we prefer Twin-seater configuration is because we would be more efficient in handling multiple systems simultaneously in a potential full-blown war. Trust me, it isn't easy to handle everything by oneself and s a great relief if someone behind me is monitoring weapon and other systems. It greatly reduces our workload and also at the same time ensures that we are able to remain outside the stress envelope. The reason why Russia doesn't need them is probably because they are used to a single pilot system for decades as compared to the recent observation by Indian authorities of a better performance when having 2 pilots. If there is a potential conflict where we are to strike deep into enemy territory, a second set of eyes on the scenario in our favor would be really helpful when we fly amidst of all the anti-air fire and SAM batteries.
 

tarunraju

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Some very valuable posts, people. Keep it coming.
 

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