Indian BVR Combat tactics

Fact for 16/6/2021



Earlier MiG-21 was the poster boy of Indian Airforce and Indians surrounded their tactics based on what MiG-21 can do the best. We see the developed nations have got strategies and they design their weapons according to these strategies, but developing countries tweak and adjust their strategies based on whatever weapons they manage to receive from developed nations. Although late but Indians decided to make their own strategies and tweak the foreign weapons suiting that. That's why the baseline Su-30mk was modified to MKI.
Induction of MKI brought new dominance for the IAF. Although MiG-29’s induction was the first time in history that IAF clearly knew that they have got a weapon superior than anyone in region. Having gained BVR capability IAF practiced real hard initially during an exercise which was conducted back in time, where all missiles fired missed their targets at high ranges. Those are Russian made R-77 missiles which both India and China operate in heavy numbers but not Russia itself. Unlike this Pakistan have got AIM-120s in the form of BVR and SD-10s as latest. Rising up to the reality IAF went major change in its BVR tactics that were akin to the actual capabilities of its missiles. This is why IAF who have so much loved foreign material is highly admanant of getting an indigenous Astra missile. Now the tactics differ at different levels for a heavy class fighter like Su-30MKI, IAF choses to fire two missiles in one volley at a time per aircraft. This overwhelmes a usual target that IAF may potentially face. In fact there is a weapon select mode in MKI that makes it fire two missiles but this is only about R-77. While using R-27 it's just one missile in one volley because R-27 is relatively more reliable this is used in a later stage of BVR combat only if the first volley of R-77s have failed because the variants of R-27 used by IAF are semi active and at longer ranges using semi active radar seeking guidance is giving away your position.
If you see the Su-30MKI in air superiority configuration with maximum air to air loadout, it carries some 8 to 12 missiles in total. IAF believes that 'more the number of missiles in one volley more would be the kill probability’ Since if you fire just one missile the enemy have a number of countermeasures to get away and respond. But for a lower tier of fighters like MiG-29 the Navy's MiG-29k, Dassault Mirage 2000 or the latest HAL Tejas IAF puts it's bet on single shot kill probability being so high that a single missile is enough. Both Astra and the currently unnamed SFDR missiles are optimised for future scenarios and would be armed onto Indian 5th generation fighters. This is why IAF has French and Israeli AAMs in their arsenal. If there's any nation that has fired the most number of AAMs in actual combat that is Israel, they have huge experience in this. This is why Python 5 and Derby are some new favorites of IAF and recently tested and integrated with HAL Tejas.

info gathered by - exeter#3926 from defence matrix discord server