Pakistani pilots flying modernised versions of the 1970s-vintage F-16 Falcon fighter have beaten the RAF's brand-new Eurofighter Typhoon superfighters during air combat exercises in Turkey, according to a Pakistani officer. Eurofighter Typhoon trainer (two seat) in flight. Credit: MoD Costs like a Raptor, flies like a Tornado …
..Happiness is vectored thrust!
So no going back to face F-16's until we get F-35B's then. Or maybe instead of replacing the GR3 on its concrete plinth outside Wittering with a nearly new GR9 they should have sent those them to Turkey instead?
Eurofighter is crap
It is not brit bashing to say that the eurofighter has been a huge failure. Due to incompetence in procurement and actually deciding what the thing was supposed to do it has ended up costing more than an F22 and yet will get owned by much cheaper planes that other countries have been going for instead. Not only that but we couldn't back out of it when it became plain to see it was going to be a mess due to the ludicrous agreements that had been made. It is not the manufacturers or pilots that are to blame, it is the red tape disaster.
Return of Sharky?
Didn't Sharky's book about the Harrier's performance around and during the Falklands mention that the Harrier defeated F-16s jockeyed by elite US pilots in air-to-air combat?
Please may we have the Sea-Harrier back now?
RE: Return of Sharky?
Yes and no. In the first engagements USAF F-16 drivers had with Sea Harriers the RN pilots had a field day, mainly as the F-16 drivers weren't experienced in how the Harrier could manouvere out of plane, it was an unusual shape for them (the F-16 drivers reported that sometimes they couldn't tell at a glance if a Harrier was turning to them or away), and they'd fallen for the idea that a subsonic jet couldn't match a Mach2 one. After a few losses and some talking with the RN pilots (and, if the rumours are to believed, the USAF pilots swallowed their pride and called some USMC Harrier pilots to get some ideas), the F-16 drivers came up with tactics that reduced the deficit. Even so, in NATO exercises the Harrier in any form was an unpopular opponent even for F-15 jockeys, and scored many a "kill" against larger and more powerful fighters. They developed such a rep that Argentine Mirage III pilots were instructed to avoid combat with RN Sea Harreirs over the Falklands, despite the Mirages having a BVR capability that the Sea Harriers couldn't match.
...if the Eurofighter was designed to be good at dogfighting, why haven't our pilots been trained to do it? Either their training wastes the planes capabilities, or the plane's capabilities are considered superfluous. In either case that's bad news.
Maybe this is all a bit of a set up?
India gets the Euro fighter and a bit more of a discount because everyone *knows* that the plane is crap, right?
Pakistan get bolder because they think they have air superiority and then they do something stupid like start WW3.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Only the high end arms dealers make out.
Its all a complicated con...
Ooops what's that 'whoop whoop' I hear outside my window... got to go.
For my sins, I lived in Islamabad for three years in the late 80's. Every morning, regular as clockwork, 2 PAF F-16s would take off from Islamabad airport (which was also a PAF base) and fly in slow circles around the city for an hour, before landing. That was the only flying I ever saw the PAF's fighters do - the local joke was that they didn't want to fly out of sight of the city in case they couldn't find it again...
The RAF are one of the best-trained air forces in the world, before you take the kit into consideration. (My brother was a Harrier pilot for them - he may have slagged the kit occasionally, but I never heard him question the competence and training of the pilots. Unlike those of certain of our closer allies with whom he flew...)
In other words, I don't believe a word of this story. To be honest, I'd bet that if the RAF boys were in the F-16s and the PAF pilots were in the Typhoons, the PAF would still lose any engagement against the RAF...
Correct some misconceptions
Let me establish my bone fides first. I'm an ex-RAF Engineering Officer who working on one of the Tornado F3 bases before they were pensioned off for the vastly superior Eurofighter/Typhoon.
Let me assure everyone reading this article that the RAF pilots train extensively for close in air to air combat. In fact, pilots in ground attack aircraft also train for within visual range air to air combat. At one point I worked on a Jaguar Squadron, and the pilots there trained for this role.
What is not clear, and was is really important to judge this case, is what the "set-ups" referred to in the interview are. Given the types of combat that get practiced at these NATO exercises, it is wholly believable that F16s might win. For example, it could have been a pair of Typhoons protecting a fixed asset (like an AWACS or refuelling aircraft) against a squadron of F16s. It could have been an exercise where one side had AWACS support and the other didn't. It could have been F16s practicing intercepting a penetration bombing attack. I sincerely doubt that an F16 beat an RAF Typhoon in a straight one on one dogfight.
I also would like to re-echo the comment from an earlier AC. India are considering buying a bunch of new aircraft and the Typhoon is a contender. Rubbishing the Typhoon in air to air combat would be a useful thing for a PAF pilot to do.
In the interests of balance (take not Lewis), I will say that I would not be surprised if some of the avionics in the Typhoons is causing problems and prevented the aircraft from achieving its full capabilities in this role.
Finally, I will repeat a point which Lewis always misses in his "buy American" articles. In almost all modern air warfare roles avionics is much much more important than airframe. The US *NEVER* sells the same avionics to its allies as it puts in its own aircraft. Generally to get fully capable aircraft we end up having to develop all of our own avionics. The avionics have been most of the expense of the Typhoon, and developing our own avionics for an F35 or even an F16 would be an extremely expensive way to get new aircraft.
American F-16 kicks butt!
That's my completely unbiased take on this article.
The stodgy old F-16, designed in the good old US of A, is still Barney Super Bad A$$ of the skies.
America! F*** Yeah!
If Lewis looks in the mirror these days..
Does Richard Littlejohn stare back at him?
You couldn't make it up!
Eurofighter worse than Spitfire - clearly! Someone think of the children!
The Eurofighter (a relaxed stability aircraft made of light weight composites) represents a step change in manoeuvrability over any aircraft of the F16 era. This is a matter of mathematical fact and can easily be shown from widely known performance data. There are also a number of well cited examples of Eurofighters coming up with devastating kill to loss ratios over far more capable aircraft in close-in scenarios.
I have, however, read numerous articles by fast jet pilots asserting the idea that within visual range combat is essentially suicidal at best for any aircraft in the modern arena because the dog fighting missiles are so effective, and even relatively old aircraft sport helmet mounted sights. That is exactly why modern air-to-air doctrine is designed around avoiding that scenario at all cost. Your article therefore pretty much ignores every possible sensible argument and instead jumps to the most blatantly preposterous conclusion imaginable. It’s the sort of thing you usually read in the comments section on youtube! Good job!
I'm Glad they Lost
With Typhoon Pilots currently on QRA (Air defence of the UK) and in operations in Libya, I’m glad we didn't beak the PAF in their F16's.
Why you may ask?
Because it shows that the RAF would rather put their best pilots into planes doing something useful, rather then at this sausage fest of "my planes bigger then your plane." Like I don't know, Dropping Bombs in Libya (yes Lewis, the Typhoon can drop various types of ordinance and it has been able to for some time, it's just never had to in anger before.)
Or maybe having the RAF pilots who excel in Dog fighting stay in the QRA role, chasing off the Fighters and Bombers that are uninvited into British Patrolled Airspace (you'd be shocked how many times this happens,) is a waste of resources and the RAF should send their best equipment and best pilots to show off to other countries. What are we, America?
Ohh and the Bashing of UK equipment Lewis, it's getting very old now.
What The Hell
Is UK doing, playing games with Pakistan?
Pakistan is not a nice country.
Talking to myself: selling, I suppose
Damn, I forgot that some countries make money from selling arms to not-nice countries
You could loose 4Bn Dollar Indian contract to Rafael
Hi, if u keep hiiting out against your own kit, you could lose the 4 Bn Dollar Indian contract. after all perceptions can harm more .
Be careful with interpretation
Despite some national pride in the F-16 modernization program (programme on your side of the pond?), I wish to point out that one needs to be very careful when it come to interpreting leaks from exercises or war games. The way these are set up, "Blue Team" is supposed to beat "Red Team" most of the time. Everything important is in the details of the scenarios run.
Second Anonymous Coward's post
It's interesting that Lewis, between bouts of Typhoon-trashing, also condemns the Tornado F.3. Has he never heard of the exercise a few years ago, where two Tornadoes defeated eight - count'em, eight - of the mighty US Air Force's F-15 Eagles without loss?
Now, there was the petty detail that the F-15s only had their own eyes and radars, while the F.3s had AWACS support - sending its Big Picture straight to their cockpits by Link-16 - but trivia like this don't matter much compared to the final score...
As has been repeatedly stated - the setup and exercise rules are key to the score, otherwise we'd have proved that the F-22 Raptor is hopelessly inferior to the F-16. (F-16s beat Typhoon in an exercise, Typhoons have beaten Raptors out at Nellis, therefore the F-16 is superior to both).
Well, to be fair
... depending on what year this happened, this might not have been unfair - the F-15s didn't have datalink. It was considered big news when the 366th Composite Wing's F-15s (and apparently only them, at least for that period) got JTIDS links, at least back in the 90s.
The moral of the story is
invade England! The RAF suck at close-in-fights. Germany should have patiently waited.
Make no mistake
The Block 50/52/60 F-16s have as much to to with the original as a Spitfire MK I with an XIV. The 2010 models, which sport 32.500 lbs thrust engines, sold for 60M a piece. They have all the latest gadgetry and are everything but ancient.
Wow! Do you do any research or fact checking at all?
Excellent Lewis, not a single fact in your post, the RAF did not attend this years Anatolian Eagle, though the US, UAE, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan & Spain did. Indeed the RAF have only made an appearance at 2 events so far, 07/02 - when we sent Tornado GR4s and when Pakistan also attended; the RAF also went in 09/2 when Pakistan were NOT present. Now the Saudi's and Spainiards have Tiffies, they might have sent , cos the RAF didn't.
Update to the article?
Just waiting for Lewis to update the article to acknowledge this is all based on a false report, or better just withdraw the whole thing and replace with a note explaining why.
The giveaway - even if he hadn't checked the dates/attendees - was that pretty much every quote on the original source was obviously bollocks to anyone with even a small clue about the subject.
There are quite a few people who already consider these articles to be a joke and this one in particular really isn't helping the reputation of the author.
NATO attened though
According to Anatolian Eagle website
Pakistan and NATO attended AE-06/2. The RAF could have been part of that presumably. The PAF pilot does not state it was this years event.
He says: "On one occasion – in one of the international Anatolian Eagles - PAF pilots were pitted against RAF Typhoons, a formidable aircraft."
If theReg can contact the RAF on that - it would clear everything up.
Well, you've checked the Anatolian website
... but did you check the interview from which the article was sourced? It does say:
"TuAF has honoured the PAF by also letting its pilots fly in the national Anatolian Eagle exercises under Turkish command and wearing Turkish flags and badges. This is a unique honour given only to PAF pilots. The exchange pilots also get to fly TuAF F-16s in the Anatolian Eagle international exercises. So you could have 6 visiting PAF pilots flying their own PAF F-16s and the one PAF exchange pilot flying with the Turks in a TuAF F-16."
In other words, according to the interview, the absence of a Pakistani flag on the website does not necessarily negate the presence of Pakistanis, flying a foreign flag.
The national as opposed to international Anatolian Eagles are internal Turkish Air Force only, so there would have been no NATO or RAF foreign aircraft involved regardless of whether PAF pilots were flying TuAF F-16s.
but it says
"The exchange pilots also get to fly TuAF F-16s in the Anatolian Eagle international exercises"
it says that they get to fly TuAF f-16s in the international exercises - maybe that's what the PAF guy is on about.
In Question 20 the interviewer also suggests the PAF may have flown with/against the Israeli AF 'pretending' to be TuAF pilots - presumably an international version of the exercise - though the PAF guy does not reply to the question.
But it seems reasonable to say that PAF pilots could have flown against the RAF pilots in eurofighters in the international exercise - but with Turkish F-16s - not PAF ones.
Slight matter of this actually never happening anyway.
Just one wee small point:
Reading the Ex Anatolian Eagle website, the Pakistani Air Force attended AE04/ 3, AE06/2, AE07/2, and AE08/4. The RAF has only turned out to bat at 07/2, sending 14 Squadron, which /was/ equipped with.... wait for it.... Tornado GR4!! Typhoon didn't make an appearance at Anatolian Eagle untl 2009.
So the PAF F-16 topguns managed to 'shoot down' aircraft which weren't even there! Much like the story, really.
Perhaps the account above is simply a lie
"Perhaps the account above is simply a lie, or anyway a bit of a fighter pilot tall story. But the pilot quoted will be easily identifiable inside his community if not to the outside world, and he could expect a lot of flak for telling a lie on such a matter in public."
Well, it looks like if you pass on a lie, you can expect a lot of flak too
I'll go easy on you Brits, then
Being a Yank and all, I could pounce all over this, but I won't.
IMO, the problem is almost certainly one of training. The Typhoon pilots may not have enough quality dogfight training. Lord knows we Americans were getting our butts kicked in 'nam with a terrible kill ratio of 1:1 against the MiG-21. After the Navy instituted Top Gun, that changed to about 14:1. (The Air Force opted to forego training and bought external 20mm guns-their kill ratio remained dismal).
A very well trained pilot can make all the difference in the world. So, to be fair, one must examine the pilots backgrounds before assuming the aircraft is at fault. If there's a next time, make sure you have properly trained pilots going against the PAF F-16's.
All just my opinion.
Funny, most of the pilots I know are pretty well trained.
They also considered what was covered at Top Gun to be simplistic compared to the training they covered at home or on other exchanges.
Top Gun and FAA
Phoenix Squadron by Rowland White links the development of Top Gun into the exchange work between USN pilots and the Fleet Air Arm in the 60s.
"a Pakistani officer."
Must be true then.........................yea right
Normally I rate your articles because, they are a breath of fresh air. They are entertaining and reasoned. The off the wall stuff is peppered with wisdom and interesting jump-off-points for googling, and the factual stuff is factual - even if blatantly cherry-picked for fun, and the opinion stuff at least makes it's case in a way I can respect, even if I disagree, which I often don't.
This article is a low point for lacking almost all the above-mentioned good qualities.
Paris, because I wouldn't throw her out of bed for farting, and I am not going to do the same (metaphorically) with you, just because of this fart, you sexy old Lewis Page, you.
How are the points scored?
Just a honest question from one who knows nothing about aerial combat: How do you keep score about who kills whom in exercises like this? The obviously cannot fire real missiles or bullets at each other.
Did they ever get around to fitting guns to the RAF Typhoons? Wasn't it decided to not have them as an economy measure? If so then it might explain why the Pakistani Air Force were more successful in close combat.
The Typhoon does not have a gun.
It has a 27mm Mauser Cannon.
Thus has nothing to do with the kit, the Pakistani pilot was talking about training differences that led to an exercise win. BVR training means you destroy their planes before they get in the air
pick n choose
The pilot makes two main points.
1. In one exercise, Pakistani pilots beat Eurofighters 3-0 in their F-16s
2. They did so because they have more experience training in close quarters dog fights.
Now read Lewis's conclusions where he accepts (1) at face value and then dismisses (2) completely and substitutes his own well-worn prejudice instead.
Honestly, I wonder does Lewis have the editor's kids hostage or is he actually employed as a professional troll? I just cannot figure out why any publication of repute would continue to print such utter garbage.
A professional pilot involved in the incident in question says it was better training and experience that prevailed. Lewis Page, sitting on the other side of the world with no information other than this pilots comments says it is the Eurofighter aircraft that is to blame. Who am I going to believe?
A better conclusion would be to sack all our useless plumby-voiced handlebar moustache wearing RAF guys and hire the Pakistanis instead. Lot cheaper too.
A better conclusion would be...
...to note, as other posters have above that Lewis hasn't even done any basic fact checking, which fact checking would have revealed that the PAF have never faced Typhoons at Anatolian Eagle at all, making the entire article a load of rubbish.
So it appears the RAF were never even there, and nor were any eurofighters. If there was any integrity to this journal a retraction is clearly warrented. Unlesss of course, this really is all just about entertainment and there was never any serious intention at serious journalism.
I too though would definitely echo the view that I have always enjoyed these articles. That's why I think it's such a shame this sneaked through the net, it rather undermines anything published in the future.
In any case, I'll still look forward to reading the next Frigates are a Waste of Time rant as much as the next man. Never fails to make me smile :)
RTFA gents. Pakistani PILOTS on exchange to the Turkish air force flying Turkish F-16s. There are always Turkish planes at Anatolian Eagle and - according to the pilot interviewed - in some cases these jets are flown by Pakistani exchange pilots.
Do try and get beyond the headline before commenting.
All facts have been ommitted from this report as they don't back up the authors opinion!
cut and paste reg, fancy hang some wallpaper at my house
Let me clarify this story, 3 PAF pilots while using a SIMULATOR managed to shoot down 3 typhoon on guns only portocol.
End of Story.
What next Al Qaeda beat the U.S Marines (at L4D2).
knomes, pixies and unicorns.
"according to a Pakistani officer" who is unnamed.
So a completely anonymous and unbiased then.
If it was true why would he have to remain anonymous? There are certain countries that need to blow their own trumpet because their military, in general, sucks. Pakistan is one of those countries.
That is all.
Rarely Edited Garbage.
this is a silly story gone wild the Simulators that the PAF use where updated with the typhoon profile (only climb rate, thrust, turn speed and gun characteristics) will trying out the PAF F16 profiles against it they managed to down a few typhoons.
The Typhoon profile was taken straight for Jane's and programmed independantly by PAF avionics techs as a pet project, just like the heathrow simulator that ran XWING.
And i have shot down a blackbird with a Xwing glad you guys did not hear about that the mind boggles at the headline.
Through what seems to be wishpers and extremely poor investigation be some this old story has once again new legs , tomorrow's article will be "man forced to marry goat" exclusive or "60 US. RANGERS killed by talilban in Counter strike soruce shocker".
This story is few years old and a subject of much humour in RAF.
Did anybody read....
past the first couple paragraphs?
Based on the majority of comments, probably not.
A poor workman blames his tools
"But in general when the British forces perform badly it isn't because of a lack of skills and training. It's far more normal for them to be let down by their kit."
Nah, it's 'cos they is crap.