|India’s Indigenously Developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas|
NationalDefence.in, 21 March 2016
In a performance analysis of Indian Air Force’s War Exercise, Iron Fist 2016, IAF has emerged as 99.51 per cent lethal to the enemy in terms of weapon delivery on target. Indian Air Force (IAF) has fixed the motto of this year’s exercise as “Demonstrating the capability to punish the enemy, Weapons on target… on time”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee were amongst the dignitaries invited to witness the war exercise on 18 March at Chandhan Range in Pokhran. Defence atteches` of `various countries also witnessed the exercise. Defence atteches` of Pakistan and China were not invited. However, the performance of IAF with day-dusk-night capabilities will certain send shock waves to Pakistan.
During the exercise, Akash missile fired for the first time, BVR Astra also made it’s debut besides, LCH firing rockets and LCA Tejas seen in the swing role for the first time. According to reliable sources, post war exercise analysis, the fact emerged that while the R-73 air to air missile fired by LCA, actually hit the target but the precision Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) missed the ground target. According to Air Force sources, there was problem with the kit of bomb. The kit was bought from Israel. Explosive was however Indian. To make it straight forward, LCA Tejas performed both the roles successfully.
There were some doubts if LCA Tejas actually hit the flare, sources explained to NationalDefence.in that in a situation like this all targets are training targets. R-73 missile is second to third generation air to air heat seeking missile with M-6 tech of 1950s. The flare would not die because so many aircrafts can have hit on flare. However, to have a modern day target, Indian Air Force had mooted the proposal for Manoeuvrable Expandable Aerial Target, “MEAT”, some 6 months back, which is now being processed at Ministry of Defence, which understood to have given acceptance of necessity (AON).
IAF infact turned out to be 99.51 per cent lethal as out of total 613 bombs, rockets and missiles it fired during Iron Fist 2016 exercise, 610 actually hit the target. Out of 108 bombs fired 106 hit the actual target. Only two LGBs fired from LCA and Sukhoi have perhaps missed the target. IAF is further investigating to ascertain if LGB fired by Sukhoi actually missed. All 500 rockets fired were on target and destroyed to doom. Out of 5 Surface to Air Missiles, only one Osa- Ak missile could not hit the target. One mirage aircraft aborted the dropping of precision LGB as the designated target became hazy because of other exploded bombs. So Mirage aborted dropping the Laser Guided Bomb. Another Osa- AK missile fires actually hit the aerial drum target.
According to sources, no weapon in the world is 100 per cent fail safe. The success ration of various air forces or SSKP i.e. Single Shot Kill Probability is about 90 to 93 per cent. However, given the performance of IAF in Iron fist, the success rate is 99.51%. So, Indian Air Force proves to be very reliable, steadfast and lethal in terms of weapons delivery thus capable of punishing the enemy.