Let me Think
India about to order a new fighter. Typhoon is one of the candidates. "Senior PAF pilot" anonymously rubbishes Typhoon.
Has Lewis missed anything?
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 …
OK.. I dont normally post comments, but I have to on this one. I know The Reg dont have that much time for the Eurofighter, but this article is just crazy. The quote from the PAF fella is basically - "we won because the RAF pilots arent trained for this kind of fighting". The author has spun this completely to attack the Eurofighter. I suspect they would have lost in pretty much any plane, up against a PAF in pretty much any plane able to fly. Thats not proof that the Eurofighter is rubbish, but that the RAF arent trained for this kind of fighting.
Looking at the types of conflicts we are involved with, I'd much rather the RAF were trained in the way they are. We simply dont see Top Gun style dog fighting these days - missles would rain down and destroy enemy capability before RAF planes were allowed even in the same hemesphere!
"It's always possible, as the anonymous Pakistani pilot suggests, that the problem was with the crews. It may be that RAF pilots simply don't know how to fight close-in."
The ATFA (A standing for author, of course) needs to RTFQ (Q standing for quote) that he pasted into his own article.
Where's that Register tombstone icon when you need it most?
Could be the Health and Safety lobby - 'Horror! You can't do close maneuvres - you might get too close and have an accident and crash into a school - THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!'
Equally, it could be a shortfall in the training and equally the habits of UK pilots. They were trained to fight using the Tornado for a very long time - such habits die hard. This was a platform designed for shooting down bombers at long range in the cold war, not knife fighting against all comers. Our boys (particularly ex-Tornado pilots) are probably pretty green when it comes to this sort of thing. I'd be interested to see how a former Harrier pilot (used to maneuvring etc) would fair.
While I'm not a fan of the Euro-White-Elephant, I think the analysis is a little flawed in this case. It's more likely to be the pilots than the kit. After all, it has done reasonably well in other, similar contests.
When the South African Air Force (the second oldest air force in the world) was at war in Angola against the heaviest (East Bloc) defences since WW II a number of chaps from the UK military flying establishments wanted to join us. Those from the Fleet Air Arm (RN) were just excellent and were an asset to the squadrons they had been attached to.
Despite being apt at words during interviews, not a single individual from the RAF made the grade. Oh, they could fly the Mirages beautifully and did the most impressive aerobatic displays - but understanding how to use it as a weapon? Not good at all. Knew nothing of - and also were not "trainable" for ACM (air combat maneuvring) . Not in a single instance in advanced air combat training did any one of them even meet the basic standard.
This is no criticism on individuals. The South African man grows up with weapons from very early age. Fighting a foe many times our own numbers, and with old equipment has been bred into our genes over 400 years. Only the Israelis at the time were a match. RAF pilots have become good at air displays an at coy ("my little pink body") remarks to the media after returning from a sortie over Iraq - where the aircraft systems had failed.
As for the Typhoon against the F16: In close combat with equally well trained crews the F16 MAY have a match in the new F18. And that is all. The Typhoon's air combat ability is grossly overrated and crews depend on over rated weapons and systems. In plain aerial gun combat even the museum flight's F86E Sabres will kill it in each instance.
Sad but true. You taxpayer guys have been flat-spinned into a very expensive, very beautiful but not too good flying machine.
"The South African man grows up with weapons from very early age. Fighting a foe many times our own numbers, and with old equipment has been bred into our genes over 400 years. Only the Israelis at the time were a match."
Well, maybe if you and the Israelis stopped making enemies of everyone, appropriating their lands and forcing them into abject poverty; you wouldn't need to fight anyone.
There's a lot of blood under a 400-year old bridge. Why keep pouring more into the flow?
Your unresearched and historically slanted comment is noted. Thank God there were no black pilots - even the RAF chaps would have been better than them! And we honour the Royal Navy / prior Fleet Air Arm pilots who came out to fight against communism here, and were assets to a man.
That fight in Angola was against communism, not a white against black war. Against the best from East Germany and Russia and against the best of Russian equipment.
Count the number of South African pilots that helped you won the battle of Britain against Germany. And a South African general who was the true father of the RAF, Field Marshall Jannie Smuts.
And then count the number of women and girls killed by the Brits in the Anglo Boer war. When 160 000 of Her Majesty's Little Britain killed 27 000 women and girls in "concentration camps" and burnt our land and shot our cattle when they could not win their war against 50 000 farmers and their young sons, armed with only their hunting rifles. All in order to get our gold and diamonds. When you could not beat the Germans you bombed ( how many millions?) civilians in Dresden, and kept on attacking the ambulances and ambulance trains with rockets as they were evacuated. The cultural heartland of the German people, and not the war-machine factories of the Ruhr.
In South Africa YOU started the 8 wars against the Xhosa (called them Caffir Wars) and lost each one of them.
At Blood River 440 farmers defended themselves successfully against 15 000 Zulu, with ancient flintlock rifles. Later in two instances similar sized British columns were decimated by similar number of Zulus. The Brits were armed with Lee Metford magazine rifles and an endless supply of ammunition. Spear-bearing Zulus took them to the last man.
You are good at fighting civilians because they do not fight back. So, please sir, read the crux of my post where I do NOT belittle the grand RAF chaps who came here to join the fight against communism, but because of the silly training they had received and still receive, they could not make the grade. Strange that the RN guys were up to scratch in at least one case one of them was right there with the best.
By the way, what was termed "apartheid" (and which is hinted to in your unkind post) was started by Britain in South Africa. The "protectorates" of Bechuanaland, Swaziland and Basuthuland became independent homeland for these ethnic groups and eventually independent nations. So did the Transkei, and Vendaland and Kwa'Ndebele and Baputhotswana under the Nationalist Government.
ONLY, you Brits assisted the SA Communist Party to fight against that, AND shielded and fed them in London, and assisted them to let Xhosas now rule Zulu and Venda people under the banner of the communist ANC. (At least we flew in to unknown London and killed a fair number of them right there under your righteous noses, and walked out, and flew back to Pretoria).
YOU put Robert Mugabe in power with ballot box swapping (I was there, I saw it) and YOU still keep him there despite him killing 100 000 of a different ethnic group. Sadam Hussein killed 148 opponents and you went to war against him. You almost went to war against Ian Smith for daring to defend his country against REAL communist terrorism - something you have not lived with.
The main thrust of my post was that the RAF must look at their training curriculum for pilots. And buy proper fighter aircraft - 60% cheaper F16s. Your country does NOT have the economic ability to maintain the Eurofighter.
I was in London again a few years ago. It is now your world class AFRICAN city. It looks terrible west end way. Congratulations...
Watch the crime, AND the profile of the criminals.
How many non-white pilots?
Or haven't you noticed the revolution took place some time ago and the politicians who have taken control of the SAAF are now no longer white? So what are you fighting to maintain? Is the SAAF of any relevance any longer? What does it exist to do?
I agree with you. The comment was on the pilots' abilities, not the aircraft. Therefore I found it very strange that the rest of the article panned the Typhoon, even though the pilot making the comment never said it had anything to do with the Typhoon itself.
It would be intersting to know how the Typhoon actually stacks up in a dogfight with a properly trained pilot. Until then, the author's comments are just suposition.
As to your preferring the training being done on BVR combat, surely they should be trained in both, in case an enemy plane "pops out from behind a mountain". The RAF pilot isn't going to be able to get out of visual range, so that he can use his training, he will have to cope with the situation, and if the PAF pilot is to be believed, it wouldn't look good for our chaps.
Seriously, why are you even asking this question, this the MoD were talking about, it's policy to buy kit and not train people properly to use it. One of the biggest problems we had with picking he Apache attack helicopter was we had a load sitting around but only a couple of pilots trained to use them (I think they may have since corrected that issue).
These PAF pilots are the guys that India's air force are most likely to come up against. If they say we can thrash a Typhoon it's a good reason to not get them Typhoon.
Then again why would the PAF tell India about a machine they can beat just before they buy are about to decide what to buy to use against them? Braer Rabbit and the Bramble patch perhaps?
... and then don't bother to train for a type of fight we will not see in their lifetime?
Hm hm. That's a toughie you came up with there. *scratches head* Lemmegetbacktoyouonthat.
Anyway, pilots are not expendable like squaddies; you only send in your expensive planes if you expect them to come back, as opposed to soldiers you send in and keep in with unprotected jeeps and no body armour.
Funny how it was US kit that mostly took out 3rd world Libya's air defenses early on. Also is because the Typhoon and other Euro kit is so awesome that Europe is begging the US to bring our air power to bare again? BAE owns the UK tax payer even worse than Boeing, etc own the US tax payer. At least we can operate in any theater successfully by ourselves (military success not politically we still really suck at that).
"Funny how it was US kit that mostly took out 3rd world Libya's air defenses early on"
Funny how it wasn't. If you bother to read the facts we even fired more tomahawks than the yanks and we don't really have many. Piled on top of that was a pretty serious storm shaddow shitstorm..
So no not really.
US mostly contributed planning, command and yes some air/sea assets, but not "mostly".
"If you bother to read the facts we even fired more tomahawks than the yanks and we don't really have many. "
Nonsense. The first night, about 120 tomahawks were fired. Only a few were British.
You give the above link a good read.
"Piled on top of that was a pretty serious storm shaddow shitstorm."
I wonder how long Britain can sustain this pace considering...
"US mostly contributed planning, command and yes some air/sea assets, but not "mostly."
According to http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/08/gates-urges-us-allies-to-increase-role-in-libya-conflict/
"The U.S. military moved to a secondary role after the initial period of air and naval bombardment that established a no-fly zone over the North African country and opened the door to the NATO-led air campaign.
Obama has declined to put U.S. warplanes back into an offensive role -- aside from a relatively small number of planes targeting Libya's air defenses. But a few weeks ago the U.S. provided nine more aerial refueling planes to enable NATO to accelerate its bombing, the U.S. officials said."
According to: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2076471,00.html
"The U.S. is contributing about 75 percent of the aerial refueling capacity for the campaign and 70-80 percent of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, U.S. officials said.
That sure as hell sounds like "mostly" to me. Maybe you should read "the facts".
However, you are missing a point or two here.
USA has fought only wars where the opponent was backed up by another superpower and/or committed to not surrendering in the first place. Same for ex-USSR. In fact, since the Vietnam war there was no defined proper centralised opponent at a government (or organisational) level facing them anywhere except Iraq.
Smaller developed countries like Britain, France, etc are much more likely to be underestimated by some w*nker extraordinaire who erroneously perceives them as "equals" or "weaker".
We all know the "Falklands" example though that one was touch and go and very close at times. A more recent good example is that idiot in Cot 'd Ivoire who decided that using his "airforce" to attack French troops is a jolly good idea. Bad move. Terminally bad move.
That same w*nker would have never had the thought of picking on USA. That is why USA ends up fighting conflicts against "fuzzy" enemies which it cannot win.
Coming back to Libya - people fail to understand that Lybia is not a central-government/organisation opponent. It is Afghanistan redux, just worse. Qaddafi has spent his life juggling the power balance of tribes and tribal leaders. He is in fact a figurehead and has always been. As a result if we are drawn into a war we will never win it.
i agree with what your saying but thought i should just point out that the Falklands war was a huge amount of Luck. Had they actually comited to the fight with all their naval assets it might have been a different story, in fact it was highly likely it would have been a complete defeat for us.
As it was we got lucky with sinking the General Belgrano, we had a massive amount of luck with the multitude of bombs that didnt blow up on contact with our ships because the pilots wouldnt fly high enough for them to arm (inexperience or belief that they would get shot down perhaps) as it was our anti air defences were patchy at best, of course they didnt really know this
and there is much much more but whilst i would obviously mark it up as a Win i wouldnt go a far as saying we kicked arse, they kicked the crap out of us as well but fortune was on our side many many times...
unfortunately not all of the time. RIP guys.
In most of those losses you site wasn't the UK fighting along side us? I agree if the goal of the war is political more than likely we will muck it up bad. We are much better at killing than building. We always have insane kill ratios of 10 to 1 or more but winning is usually defined politically not by putting the other guy into the stone age (when you can undercut China on labor you are dirt poor eh Vietnam).
It probably also "sucks" having to stitch a Canadian flag to your backpack when you travel, in the vain hope that it will explain your hick accent and persuade the people you encounter you are from the "right" side of the border. I'd imagine it "sucks" if you have to think carefully before visiting large swathes of the world because your nations delivery of ordnance, foreign policy or morality dependent aid has stuck in so many local throats over an extended period.
Personally, I'll take "irrelevance" any day.
" Korea: No victory
- Vietnam: Had to run away with tail between legs
- Lebanon: Had to run away with tail between legs
- Somalia: Had to run away with tail between legs
- Iraq 1: Failed to topple Saddam
- Afghanistan: Failed to achieve really anything of value
- Iraq 2: Had to run away with tail between legs"
Korea - America was fighting Soviets,N. Koreans, and the Chinese. Last I checked, the Aussies, Brits, and S Koreans were there too. We lost politically, not militarily. If not for us, S. Korea would not exist today; I consider that a "win".
Vietnam - Our military never lost. Our politicians would not let the military engage the enemy using our total force due to concerns with China and Russia. It wasn't until the Chinese/Russian border skirmish that the U.S. military got the OK from Washington to bomb supply routes such as parts of the Ho Chi Minh trail that went through Cambodia. Our government would not allow the military to engage targets in neighboring countries; that's how the Vietcong openly hid from us. Just like today, our military has suffered losses mainly due to rules of engagement that bind us.
Lebanon, Somalia - had little political support; the military was never defeated.
Iraq - We didn't go after Saddam because it was not our mandate to. Just like how today certain countries are complaining that NATO is overstepping their mandate in Libya, we were just following our mandate in Iraq. If we had tried to topple Saddam, some countries would have thrown a fit just like they are now with Gaddafi in Libya.
Afghanistan and Iraq - "Had to run away with tail between legs" Really. We're still there. It was the Brits that needed us to take their place in Helmand. Most of NATO has so many restrictions on their military, that they can't even fight unless shot at first. Most are just there for show.
Our military has never lost a war. It's only due to our politicians and the war-weary public that cause us to pull out of a region before that job is done. Besides, what exactly is the criterea for considering any one of those wars a "win". If "holding ground" is the critera, then we'd be ostracized by the world for "expanding our empire" or accused of "colonizing".
By the way, America did help you during the Falklands, we just did it behind the scenes. I believe we had an agreement with Argentina over copper, or something like that that we didn't want to lose out on.
Thoroughly disingenuous too with rather inaccurate references to "1970s-vintage F-16". If you were to date most aircraft from the day the specs were laid out, most of the worlds air power would look very dated. "Block 50" is a thoroughly different aircraft to the one that first flew 30-odd years ago in the same way that the 2100hp Mk24 Spitfire was a rather different animal to the 1000hp Mk1.
If you're going to try and make another tiresome "God Bless America" point and style it as "news" or "analysis", at least try and raise the standard of comparison from "loud bloke in a pub" to "interesting conversation".
The facts should speak for themselves without a massage, surely?
@"missles would rain down and destroy enemy capability before RAF planes were allowed even in the same hemesphere!"
and @"we won because the RAF pilots arent trained for this kind of fighting"
The RAF don't need to be. If the PAF were going up against the RAF (assuming there were any PAF remaining after initial ground & airfield bombardments) then the RAF will still shoot down the PAF at a distance with missiles long before the PAF get near enough to the RAF to use any old school dog fighting tactics.
Warfare has moved on. Lets see the PAF dog fight with a few RAF air-to-air missiles chasing them down. Warfare is becoming less about human vs human and a lot more about human vs machine and the machines are getting ever more effective. Its how the humans use these new machines (i.e. missiles) that will win the day, so the RAF will win as they train with these modern warfare tactics in mind, not old school PAF outdated tactics that can't be used, as they can't really get close enough to use them in reality.
India is currently building Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters under license. As India signed a contract for another 40 (on top of the 142 currently in service) in 2010, it would seem quite unlikely that its thinking of buying anything else for quite some time. The Su-30MKI is a very good dog-fighting aircraft and well-armed too. I've read that its considered the best version of the Su-30 by quite a large factor.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-30MKI for details.
You've mixed things up.
First error: Su-30 and Typhoon aren't in the same fighter class. Su-30 is a heavy air-superiority fighter in the same class to the F-15/F-22 (MTOW=38,800 kg). The Typhoon is a lighter multi-role fighter in the F-16/FA-18/Rafale/F35 class (MTOW=23,500 kg). They do not perform the same roles, so don't confuse them.
Second error: The Su-30MKI is being procured by India for a different role (air superiority), as a part of a different program.
Third error: The Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft program has short-selected two fighters (note the MEDIUM part), the Rafale and the Typhoon, discarding all the others (F-16, FA-18, Gripen, MiG-35). The Su-30 was never in contention (because it is not MEDIUM).
A simple Google search before commenting could have told you that the Typhoon was a finalist for the MRCA program.
The title? "Eurofighter Typhoon frontrunner to bag the $11 billion Indian Air Force Multi-Role Combat Aircraft contract". The RAF even sent a few Typhoons over to play with the IAF's SU-30MKIs to see how they'd work together and the IAF loved them.
India are actually playing a very smart game. The strategy is to use the Su-30s with their powerful radars and weapon loads to stand off and pick any baddies off while the Typhoons charge in and do the dirty work at relatively close quarters.
This strategy is suitable both for wars against Pakistan and China.
The reason the US Navy created the Top Gun school was precisely because of that silly thinking about missiles being the "be all and end all" and that dog fights were history.
Then then went up against the Chinese in Vietnam and got shot out the air. Their aircraft were superior in most respects, but they still lost.
The reason being that the pilots were required to make a visual positive identification of the enemy aircraft before shooting at it (something most yank allies would like to see more of today), making their shoot from 20 miles away missiles utterly useless. Once in close enough the confirm what the plane was and comfirm it was an enemy plane, they could not get a lock with missiles.
The only pilots who were not being shot down were those who had gotten their training in WW2 and Korea. But even many of them had trouble as their planes did not have guns.
The US Navy very quickly retro fitted cannon to their planes and created a proper fighter pilot school to teach all the new crews the art of dog fighting.
I have no first hand knowledge of how the crews are actually being trained in RAF now but based on the fiscal and financial situation in the country and all the cuts in the RAF budget I am pretty confident that all or some of the above does happen:
- live flight training reduced to absolute minimum to save on fuel and airframe wear
- high-g maneuvers are discouraged for the same reason
- close in group training beyond smooth formation flying is discouraged for fear of losing an expensive and irreplaceable aircraft in an accident.
This is not unique to RAF - that's how any financially ham-strung military lacking clear doctrine operates in peace time. Soviet army and AF being a case in point - both before WWII and prior to the break up of the USSR.
That is why the USA army has regular postings of their fighter pilots to Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland so they can fly against real Russian aircraft.
It costs less to use some money on that occasionally than to have your aircraft not up to date for both your own airforce and for tender.
Let's procure the current export version of the Su-27 and get it over with. Having 4 of these for aggressor training will cost the same as having any other aircraft and we will finally have a realistic assessment if it is worth writing blank cheques to BAE.
He seemed to put it very squarely on the pilot training; that RAF pilots aren't adequately trained in close air combat and dogfighting, favouring BVR engagements.
He doesn't say *anything* about the capabilities of the planes.
Your anti-eurofighter crusade is just a bit too transparent I'm afraid.
Let everyone think you are outclassed and outmatched and they will be arrogant and overconfident in a real situation.
All you have to do is get the enemy to give up their high ground and break ranks based on lies and innuendo.
I'lve lost count of the number of times this tactic is used.
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