Mirage 2000H, MiG-29UPG, Jaguar DARIN III - Medium Multirole Aircraft of IAF

_Anonymous_

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Low level deep penetration is history now. No functional AF in the world employs that in areas without air supremacy.
Still has limited usage as air cavalry accompanying tank formations in thrusts across enemy lands. One of the reasons the A-10 Warthog is still in service.
 
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Sathya

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By the time an indigenous engine gets certified the airframes will have completed their lives. Jaguars will continue to fly from restricted number of bases with limitations on their payload and fuel.

Second tweet - Engine will be used to start main engines .
Means it's not a engine but some powering tech to start main engines?
 
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A Person

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The best use of Jaguar now is in a team with Rafale or Su-30MKI to give them cover, sweeping enemy air defenses (ground-based or airborne) with the Jaguar following in a secured environment to deliver their payload. In this way the more modern aircraft can serve as a force multiplier for the Jaguar fleet.
 

Hydra

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The best use of Jaguar now is in a team with Rafale or Su-30MKI to give them cover, sweeping enemy air defenses (ground-based or airborne) with the Jaguar following in a secured environment to deliver their payload. In this way the more modern aircraft can serve as a force multiplier for the Jaguar fleet.
In a scenario like battle of longewale, i am expecting IAF will be using Jaguars over mki, lca or Rafale. That particular platform is cheap yet ridiculously accurate when comes to air to ground bombing missions even with dumb bomb. As on now its is the sole aircraft in indian inventory capable of dropping CBU-105.
 

Milspec

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Still has limited usage as air cavalry accompanying tank formations in thrusts across enemy lands. One of the reasons the A-10 Warthog is still in service.

It can, but for the price, it brings along with it it's not worth re-engineering the system. A10 will operate in the areas of air supremacy, it will be able to take ack and small arms fire but still won't be able to stand up to MANPADS and SRSAMS.

Jag's 30 years ago had relevance with Radar gaps and large unoccupied territories with limited radio communications. In today's day and age, fly high and let targeting systems do their job. Someone I am sure is going to post an image of terrain mapping flight with the hill on the other side to prove how much smarter they are; but when you get a chance to speak to pilots, no one in the Airforce is now interested in low-level penetration at all.

Now for CAS under Air Superiority, MKI's will provide you much longer loiter time and a huge amount of payload advantage, and I think IAF had expressed the intention of MKI's doing the Jag's job instead of re-engine of the system last year. The funny item of JAG's "the low-level interdiction " aircraft was that F125IN was primarily pitched to IAF to improve the Medium Altitude performance of the system. Even with the engine Jags were to be primarily deployed for medium-altitude interdiction. Similar to how Mig27M's in their later stages were to abandon low-level CAS and incorporate PGM's instead with DARE upgrades.
 
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_Anonymous_

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It can, but for the price, it brings along with it it's not worth re-engineering the system. A10 will operate in the areas of air supremacy, it will be able to take ack and small arms fire but still won't be able to stand up to MANPADS and SRSAMS.

Jag's 30 years ago had relevance with Radar gaps and large unoccupied territories with limited radio communications. In today's day and age, fly high and let targeting systems do their job. Someone I am sure is going to post an image of terrain mapping flight with the hill on the other side to prove how much smarter they are; but when you get a chance to speak to pilots, no one in the Airforce is now interested in low-level penetration at all.

Now for CAS under Air Superiority, MKI's will provide you much longer loiter time and a huge amount of payload advantage, and I think IAF had expressed the intention of MKI's doing the Jag's job instead of re-engine of the system last year. The funny item of JAG's "the low-level interdiction " aircraft was that F125IN was primarily pitched to IAF to improve the Medium Altitude performance of the system. Even with the engine Jags were to be primarily deployed for medium-altitude interdiction. Similar to how Mig27M's in their later stages were to abandon low-level CAS and incorporate PGM's instead with DARE upgrades.
@Falcon has a completely different take on it. He actually advocates the IA fielding a squadron of iHawks as part of the AAC to undertake the role of air cavalry. He did come up with a write up on the same a year ago.

I believe the situation when these iHawks he advocated be deployed wasn't a completely sanitized air space of enemy air assets but one where we did enjoy considerable air superiority not complete or total air superiority. That said one can't completely sanitize the combat zone of other anti aircraft assets like SRSAM or MANPADS which effectively means that we'd have to deal with them while undertaking such missions.

OTOH, if one buys into your narrative, there's absolutely no role whatsoever for the Jaguars even after the limited DARIN - lll upgradation the IAF is undertaking ( minus the F-125 Honeywell engine) . Yet that isn't the case which is why the IAF is undertaking a limited upgradation of the Jaguars. What role do you envisage for these fighters then?
 
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Saaho

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The best use of Jaguar now is in a team with Rafale or Su-30MKI to give them cover, sweeping enemy air defenses (ground-based or airborne) with the Jaguar following in a secured environment to deliver their payload. In this way the more modern aircraft can serve as a force multiplier for the Jaguar fleet.
If new standoff weapons work fine, then we do not need to put pilot lives at risk in SEAD or DEAD missions. Find the enemy air defences from far off and take them out from far off.
 

Milspec

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@Falcon has a completely different take on it. He actually advocates the IA fielding a squadron of iHawks as part of the AAC to undertake the role of air cavalry. He did come up with a write up on the same a year ago.

I believe the situation when these iHawks he advocated be deployed wasn't a completely sanitized air space of enemy air assets but one where we did enjoy considerable air superiority not complete or total air superiority. That said one can't completely sanitize the combat zone of other anti aircraft assets like SRSAM or MANPADS which effectively means that we'd have to deal with them while undertaking such missions.

OTOH, if one buys into your narrative, there's absolutely no role whatsoever for the Jaguars even after the limited DARIN - lll upgradation the IAF is undertaking ( minus the F-125 Honeywell engine) . Yet that isn't the case which is why the IAF is undertaking a limited upgradation of the Jaguars. What role do you envisage for these fighters then?

Jaguars or its makers haven't wronged me in any way, because every time I speak about it it seems that I have a personal axe to grind.

@Falcon CAS for IBG's is absolutely important, but which platform would make the most sense is the question, and with littening III pods and massive payload on tap along with it's extended loiter time; there is nothing that comes close to MKI in bang for the buck, the drawback being it will remain with the IAF. Think of an MKI that works like a fullback.

Coming back to Jags, they were envisaged to be low-level deep penetration strike aircraft with secondary nuclear delivery capability. They do have remarkable endurance and are simple machines to work on. I don't think there is much of scope for its primary role of low-level strike roles with large coverage of Medium-range sams, in the immediate theater. Now for CAS, yes it can be used, but I think its payload is a bit of misnomer and I do not think it can carry 4.5 tons as is usually referred to with usable range. If you want to utilize it's endurance, it becomes more of a 1 ton capable strike platform.
For the roles, it can run, They are already employed in the Maritime patrol role and the rest of the fleet can be repurposed to do the same. They will work great with two AShm, and two CCM's and three drop tanks. Run them in coastlines and they will perform brilliantly.

The idea of having it as a bomb truck in a strike package sometimes feels right but, it's not a very useful truck either. So the other use could be a dedicated EW unit, where it's endurance can come in handy.

Retiring them before time wouldn't be the worst deal. This one is a bit of Praveen Amre of Indian lineup. I'm sure Praveen Amre's fans wouldn't take to kindly to it, but you get the point.

Finally there is always target drone, or even unmanned weaponised drones. I have long wished for a Mi21 armed unmanned drone for combat ue.
 
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Milspec

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The best use of Jaguar now is in a team with Rafale or Su-30MKI to give them cover, sweeping enemy air defenses (ground-based or airborne) with the Jaguar following in a secured environment to deliver their payload. In this way the more modern aircraft can serve as a force multiplier for the Jaguar fleet.
I wonder though, would you fly on 2 MKI's or 8-12 Jags in the same strike package. jags at extended range have to cut thier payload almost by 1/2 to 1/3rd.
 

randomradio

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Low level deep penetration is history now. No functional AF in the world employs that in areas without air supremacy.

It entirely depends on the target and the sophistication of the defences protecting the target. For SEAD/DEAD, you need a combination of low level pentration and medium altitude standoff strikes.

So what you're talking about is in the post-SEAD/DEAD environment.

Lastly, what was eventually found through various studies is that aircraft that operated at lower altitudes were the safest compared to those that operated at medium or high altitudes because air defences are primarily located around targets worth attacking, so they are not all over the place hence their lower range at low altitudes creates smaller SAM rings. For example, even a 400Km range S-400 can only do 30-40Km against a target that's only 10m above the ground. The main idea behind low level penetration is to minimise the attack window of ground fire.

Would recommend reading this article:

But at this time, since Jaguars will not be used for SEAD/DEAD in the near future, its low level penetration capabilities are significantly less important than it used to be, as you have stated, but it is still important considering the terrain in Pakistan still has radar gaps, fewer SAMs and vast tracts of unoccupied territory. It's just that now we can integrate standoff weapons even when using low penetration thereby increasing the range of attack, thereby still being able to avoid AAA and IR SAMs in the target area.

Using only tactics, there is only one way to avoid AAA and IR SAMs, that's by staying out of reach. Since air is a three dimensional medium, there are two ways of doing it. One would be to fly above the maximum altitude of these weapons and the second is by staying out of range, which is mainly possible using low level penetration. During the Gulf War, the USAF chose the former, whereas today both medium altitude and low altitude are possible due to the sophistication of PGMs. For example, during the Gulf War, PGMs had very poor range, so they couldn't use the second option. Today, with the AASM and powered-SAAW, we can achieve standoff ranges even at low altitude and still deliver weapons with extremely high precision.

What's happening today is SAMs are gaining the sophistication necessary to defeat even PGMs. So regardless of whether you do an attack from low or medium altitude, the PGMs themselves are now more important. For example, the British are adding electronic attack capability on their SPEAR 3 called the SPEAR-EW. The idea is whether its fired from medium or low, the EA will take it to its target. So the sophistication of the enemy is now the main concern. If the enemy is sophisticated enough to defeat the SPEAR-EW given enough time, ie, when fired from a range of 100Km, thereby giving the defender 7 minutes to react to it, then the only other alternative is to go low, fire the PGM from 15Km away, still outside the range of AAA and IR SAMs, and give the defender only 1 minute to react to it. For Gulf War, the latter option wasn't available. It's no longer the case.

Now, you argue that pilots don't favour low penetration today, that's because they do not yet operate these new fangled sophisticated PGMs. The only aircraft capable of performing at the level required is the Rafale with the Hammer, and to a smaller extent the British with the SPEAR 2/Brimstone 2 on the RAF Typhoon and Tornado, and to the fullest extent with the SPEAR 3. All other aircraft have to use the same option as the USAF did in the Gulf War. But they will change their minds once the new PGMs become the norm. For example, SPEAR 3 is still WIP, as is the powered-SAAW (the Desi SPEAR 3).

The MKI is not suitable for CAS due to its slow response time, inadequate turnaround time and low sortie rate. The job can be/will be handled by the LCA Mk1/A and LCA Mk2 instead, along with the Jaguar. MKI is more suitable for staying in the air for 2-4 hours at a time and acting like a watchdog, apart from acting as a bomb truck in the strike role with its large payload. I suppose the only CAS role the MKI is suitable for is carpet bombing, but the IA is sure to insist precision artillery and precision rocket barrages are faster and better options now.

The MKIs are in enough numbers that it can take over most of the role of the Jaguar, although that won't force the Jaguar to retire. And with the DARIN III upgrade, the Jaguar will be much more survivable in a contested environment until the MKI MLU is complete. The upgrade program is expected to complete in 2024, whereas the MKI MLU will barely have even started by then, so the importance of the Jaguar is greater in the coming decade than the MKI is in the strike role. You can also expect half as many Jaguars of the DARIN II build to get the next level of upgrades in a DARIN III+ program, thereby keeping the Jaguar fleet relevant into the 2030s. Combine that with the 32 second-hand free of cost Jaguars that we can cannibalise to keep the fleet functioning for more than a decade at extremely low cost, the advantages of the Jaguar are already quite a lot.
 

Ankit Kumar

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Next 4 years will see remaining Mig21s going out. We aim to cover that shortfall in 4 squads of Tejas and 1 squad of Mig29 upto 2027-28.

Next 8 years will see the non updated 3 squadrons of Jaguars going out. Hopefully batch buys of Rafales will cove that slump up.

Around 2033-35 the 61 DARIN 3 and 60+ Mig29UPG would have beginning to finish their service lives. That's when we will need either 114 MMRCA or 100+ MK2.

The Mirage2000 has upto 2040 to serve and should be replaced by AMCA MK2.


As long as LCA MK1A plan remains on schedule and we manage to buy upto 4 more squadron's of either Rafales/Su30MKI or maybe an export variant of PMF we are fine in my opinion for this decade.
 

randomradio

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Next 8 years will see the non updated 3 squadrons of Jaguars going out. Hopefully batch buys of Rafales will cove that slump up.

1 of those 3 squadrons are less than 20 years old. So they will undergo MLUs. 37 were bought after 2000, but I don't know have many of these have crashed. So there's at least 30-35 left. And I think the maritime versions are being upgraded under DARIN III, so there's a squadorn leftover. If you recall, IAF wanted to reengine 80+ jets, so that's 61 DARIN Is and the last remaining squadron that's relatively new. So 40 jets are awaiting exit, which I suppose will be carried out fully by 2028.

As long as LCA MK1A plan remains on schedule and we manage to buy upto 4 more squadron's of either Rafales/Su30MKI or maybe an export variant of PMF we are fine in my opinion for this decade.

My thoughts are the same. Although I think we will do better than that. I predict we will induct 2 MRFA and 3 LCA Mk2 squadrons before 2030, not counting the possibility of 2 additional Rafale squadrons or the PMF.
 

Bon Plan

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1991 gulfwar, nato had started the war with apache's low level intrusion to target iraqi airdefence
During the same war, the french jaguar targeted an iraki airfields in a low altitude raid. One jaguar was hit but can return home.
 
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Bon Plan

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Jaguar is a old horse. The Indian defense can't rely on Jag ! It has a quite limited range, a quite limited load, not really agile.
I think it's a loss of money to upgrade it again and again.
Never forget that at the beginning it was studied as a training jet...
 
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randomradio

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Jaguar is a old horse. The Indian defense can't rely on Jag ! It has a quite limited range, a quite limited load, not really agile.
I think it's a loss of money to upgrade it again and again.
Never forget that at the beginning it was studied as a training jet...

True. It's merely a light strike fighter. But it still represents 6 squadrons and we can't throw it away since we can't afford its replacement yet.

It's still capable of carrying a tonne of bombs and now comes with the best hardware we have on an upgraded jet, AESA radar and AESA EW suite, along with some of the best weapons, like the ASRAAM and CBU-105.
 

Hydra

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True. It's merely a light strike fighter. But it still represents 6 squadrons and we can't throw it away since we can't afford its replacement yet.

It's still capable of carrying a tonne of bombs and now comes with the best hardware we have on an upgraded jet, AESA radar and AESA EW suite, along with some of the best weapons, like the ASRAAM and CBU-105.
CBU105,thats really an attraction. None of our aircraft other than Jaguar can carry it at the moment. I dont know why Tejas is not configuring to carry cbu 105.
 

STEPHEN COHEN

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True. It's merely a light strike fighter. But it still represents 6 squadrons and we can't throw it away since we can't afford its replacement yet.

It's still capable of carrying a tonne of bombs and now comes with the best hardware we have on an upgraded jet, AESA radar and AESA EW suite, along with some of the best weapons, like the ASRAAM and CBU-105.

If we cannot afford to use ONLY stand off weapons , then it means that
We will also need to use Dumb bombs and LGBs

Now the question is how to drop such weapons

If such weapons are safely dropped by Low level flights , then Jaguar is still useful

The Cold Start is all about Shallow incursions by Mechanised forces

They will need close air support