USAF pilot describes IAF Su-30MKI performance at Red Flag-08

An unnamed US Air Force officer, who is obviously a Nellis F-15 pilot, lectures an audience with incredible details about the Indian Air Force Su-30MKI performance at Red Flag 2008.

Both videos were posted yesterday on YouTube by an anonymous contributor, who identifies himself only as an Australian (God bless ‘em!).

If you have any interest in tactical aircraft at all, you must watch these two videos. Learn details about the Cope India fiasco, problems with Russian fighter jet engines, how the F-15 can defeat the Su-30MKI’s vectored thrust, and why the Indians apparently won’t be asking for more 1 v 1 dogfights with the USAF.


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62 Responses to USAF pilot describes IAF Su-30MKI performance at Red Flag-08

  1. eg 5 November, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    Some interesting comments there that have some long term implications. Given the performance of the SU-30, I also wonder if the SU-34 will be a hard kill down in the weeds.

  2. ELP 5 November, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    Great find.

    Note the other stuff too. Bison and MKI jamming. Not a small thing. And of course pilot training and experience.

    Interesting too. What the video doesn’t mention is that the MKI peeps are yet to take their radar out of the training mode when on exercises.

    Of course for BVR shots, the F-22 uses that vectored thrust at Mach to quickly go the other way after taking the shot.

    Good points on FOD and engines

  3. NT 6 November, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Vow how incomplete comments gets in the news so fast.

    First and foremost it was the US itself(remeber Congress hearing for funds for F-22!) which said it failed in Cope India 2005. IAF never said a word, nor it did any chest thumping.
    IAF even changed the format next year to prevent a media circus.

    SU-30′s radars were always in training mode.Isn’t it obvious that it was less effective than in combacy mode.
    A point about FOD. IAF does not carry a spare engine in it’s pocket when going on excercises.It is obvious that they will be careful about FOD. End of the day if they are reckless, this pilot might be happy, but it is the IAF which loses out on valuable training time.

    As far as 1-to-1 is considered, it is obvious that given the pilot’s action with F-22, he knows about the handicap with thrust vectoring engines. What if he did not train with F-22′s? And this makes SU-30 a dud?
    IAF did not go to Red Flag to blast out USAF and prove they are the bestest of the bestest. They went to find their faults in large scale combact.. which by the look of it they did.
    And yes Russian aircrafts will never be part of NATO AWACS theatre. It is not a drawback, it is how it should be.

  4. Nit 6 November, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    And yes.. of the thousands of air excerises done by USAF or other airforces… i am not able to understand the obession with USAF versus IAF “My daddy strongest” media circus!

  5. DR 6 November, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    a) MKIs were being flown by newly inducted pilots from Mig squadrons, not by veteran MKI pilots.

    b) Envelope is slightly restricted to both avoid unnecessary wear and tear = expenses and for tactical reasons.

    c) India is the closest US has tested against what a US v/s SU war time engagement would have been ? Hence the extra focus on ‘who won’ ?

    d) USAF is no doubt a few generations ahead of IAF as a fighting system, but in a restricted environment (remote deployment with no near by bases) USAF might find it difficult to ‘beat’ IAF without F-22s

    e) Can anyone imagine even a remotely likely scenario of IAF v/s USAF ? I’m assuming US is not intending to invade kashmir anytime soon!!

  6. Chi 6 November, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    “Both videos were posted yesterday on YouTube by an anonymous contributor, who identifies himself only as an Australian (God bless ‘em!). “

    Actually, the videos were posted as far back as on October 5 and it was pulled as soon as discussions started about it on some Indian and Pakistani forums two days back. The person who uploaded it yesterday probably got it from either the original uploader or from the Indian bharat rakshak forum where the video was re-uploaded.

  7. Stephen Trimble 6 November, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    Great stuff, Chindit. Thanks.

    I think very few, if any, people in the US were aware of the videos when they were originally posted.

    Was that on the Bharat-Rakshak forum, which I think is a great site by the way?

  8. Jimmy 6 November, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    NT, if India wants to join the NATO AWACS network, it is relatively easy to slap on a Link-16/et al terminal inside the Su-30. Nothing says they can’t.

    And if India wants to network its Phalcons to the Su-30, a Link-16 terminal will probably help with the data sharing. I don’t think the IAI built the Phalcon to communicate to the Israeli F-16s using Russian data links.

  9. Anon 6 November, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    From this link

    1. To say the USAF had the better of the IAF in 1vs1 needs to be substantiated. Since all exercises were with ACMI maybe the USAF would like to substantiate this claim of ‘drilling brains out’ and ‘we dominated’ with ACMI recordings.

    2. The USAF had similar number of fratricide during the exercise as the IAF. Considering they are fully networked with datalink, IFF Mode 4 etc. which is a greater cause of concern? IAF fratricides or USAF fratricides?

    3. The behaviour of the MKI in thrust vectoring is incorrectly described. Maybe someone who has actually flown against the MKI can do better justice, provided it’s an honest and unbiased assessment.

    4. The IAF sustained operations 20000km away from home and had the least dropout rate. Prudence demands that safety procedures be adopted to enhance operations; could the engine operations be viewed against this backdrop?

    5. Now consider this; the inexperienced IAF aircrew adapted so beautifully to the environment (that was totally alien), training rules (that were significantly different from IAF’s), airspace regulations etc in a short span of two weeks, and yet somehow – if we were to believe the speaker they were unable to exploit the jet in its envelope (something that they have been practicing to do for four to five years ) – does it sound convincing? If youngsters can adapt to new rules and environment in a short span of time, its only because they are extremely comfortable and confident of the machine and not otherwise. Also let’s not forget that this was the not the first outing of the IAF against the F-15 and F-16s. They have flown against these aircraft in the past and are aware of their capabilities. So doesn’t sound convincing at all.

  10. Cobzz 7 November, 2008 at 9:06 am #


    It’s Cobzz here, or as my Youtube name is, “Arnaage”. Although the free advertising for my account was nice, I decided to delete the video; apparently many people thought it reflected badly on the United States Air Force. Obviously that is something that I see as unacceptable, whether I, or you, agree with it or not.

    If you must view the video, search for “IAF lecture” on youtube. It is on another users account who stumbled onto the same video.


  11. Capricorn 7 November, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Yeah, right: US made man and machine are invincible, of course.
    Superior, even in (almost vintage) machines – did you hear that? INVINCIBLE, because of superior tactics and hardware.
    Jeezes, how naive can one get? I bet the Indians and French have a lot to laugh about. Let’s hope for GI Joe that it never comes to a real life confrontation between these amateur foreigners and their obsolete airpower.

  12. Chi 7 November, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Just an update on the original video. Here is a google cache of the same

    The interesting bits

    From: FighterFlight62
    Added: October 05, 2008

    (more info)
    (less info)
    Want to Subscribe?
    Sign in to YouTube now!
    Sign in with your Google Account!
    Briefing on the SU-30 MKI, Part 1.
    Briefing on the SU-30 MKI, Part 1.
    Category: Science & Technology

    Daedalian Daedalians SU-30 MKI F-22 Raptor Nellis AFB Red Flag Mountain Home

    Search for FighterFlight62 and you get a lot more google hits.

    So who is/was FighterFlight62? It appears that the account was associated with this organisation

    Now what they actually are – are the Flight No.62 of the Order of the Daedalians – you get the details from this link

    62nd NELLIS AFB, NV
    c/o Lt Col (Ret) Dennis L. Schaan, 5645 Nicole Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89120

    And Now you know where the lecture was given :)

    My thanks to the members of the Bharat Rakshak Forum for the offline analysis they did

  13. bola 7 November, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    the discussion dont needs to open .USAF will always beat india in real war .
    USAF is great power with great experience of air war
    it is big joke to compare USAF with IAF.
    IAF belongs to the category of of third world country.SU-30with what they went to train with USAF were bought to RUSSIA.I
    In real war if US destroy them it will be over for IAF.but it will not be the same for USAF which can replace a lost fighter jet.
    USAF used india cope 2005 to get money for more F 22 and F 35.IN that game it is IAF which had not understood that it was only a piece of USAF strategy to get money from congress for new jetfighters:F 22 and F 35
    In real war canard wing or thrust vectoring or acrobatic manoeuvers are useless!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Stephen Trimble 7 November, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    If the USAF wanted to use Cope India to get more money for F-22 and F-35, they have failed miserably.

  15. Bob 7 November, 2008 at 8:15 pm #

    The lack of knowledge about what goes on in Cope India is surprising. Do not fall for what the uninformed news reporters says it is. Cope India is not about USAF fighters taking on IAF fighters. There is a red side and a blue side to each event, and both USAF and IAF fighters are on BOTH sides on each event. Furthermore, in the air combat at Cope India, every fighter simulates using a generic BVR missile with a “nominal” range. No one uses their own air force’s missiles. Lastly, the exercise is designed to avoid “who is better than who” to the largest degree possible. What it is designed to do is to maximize training and interoperability, to fight together, and to become better at it with each event.

  16. naashak 7 November, 2008 at 11:22 pm #


    Always remember complacency is the first step towards defeat. Fortunately, USAF is a thoroughly professional outfit which do not underestimate their adversaries (or allies) and so is the IAF. The whole purpose of these Red Flags is to minimize surprises…better to train hard than bleed in war.

    Re. some of the views provided by the pilot in the video…he is entitled to them….doesn’t make all of them correct or wrong. Readers might be interested to read a take from the IAF side on this, posted by Dr.Shiv at (scroll down to his post on 07 Nov, 12:07AM):

    Again, everything the IAF guy says may not be totally correct or wrong (its his opinion also) though he does correct some of the impressions given by the video.

    The 1 minute interval for takeoff seems to be done since they were operating far from any home base repair depot so engine damage due to FOD was not an option whatsoever.

    Also, this IAF detachment had a lot of rookies on purpose (saw this being mentioned by one of the senior members who participated, in a news interview)…so hopefully they got a great training experience and learnt some new tricks of trade.

  17. Jimbo 8 November, 2008 at 6:45 pm #


    Surprised you havent picked up a lot of stuff using your own perception. First, the AWST guys broke the Cope India story, wheres the IAF guys bragging about Cope India? I followed both events closely, and apart from webbased chitter chatter (between Russian Su fanboys and F-15 fanboys), the IAF never released an official remark about the incident. It took “Duke” Cunningham and AWST to inform us all of the 9:1 exchange ratio between the Indians and the USAF.

    And frankly, the Indians dont appear to have got their A team to the fight at Nellis. All the pics show young “fresh out of training” pilots with a handful of veterans. Thats no top heavy “out for glory” squadron, but seems to be a watered down version of an operational squadron (which would have several more senior operators too).

    Also anyone noticed the Indians dont appear to have brought their jamming gear with them? I was reading another forum where these comments were made by a Spanish guy who says I quote ” IAF MKI dont have brought their Elta jamming pod or anything else”. His english apart, with the Bars on training mode, no jammers, and if you read that mail above from the Indian forum, even the sustained turn rate is low. The obvious conclusions are that the Indians didnt get their entire rooting tooting circus to the fair either. So the French havent seen it all, have they. Or the US for that matter!!

  18. Jimbo 8 November, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    This is the post from the forum:

    On Ex Red Flag-the You Tube video- The other side of the Coin!!

    These are comments by a friend of mine-one of our top grade professional youngsters, and a participant in the recently concluded Red Flag Ex in Nellis AFB.

    1. No 1vs1s were flown during the Flag,nor did they engage in Thrust Vectoring(TV) then.IvIs were flown during the sorties in Mountain Home AFB and that too on the first day only! In none of these ex were the Su ever shot down or become vulnerable(This can of course be checked on the ACMI Pod films/casettes).

    2.The data rates of turn and TV with regard to the Su is grossly out- the ones on the F-22 may be closer to the truth!! The figures for the Su are very much more than that referred to in the video!!

    3.The Radar of the F-22 is superior to the Su presently!

    4.Fratricide by our side did take place, more due to not being networked-it occurred when the AWACS was not available(u/s) and a very poor standard of controlling by USAF controllers( terminology and accent).This was mentioned in the debrief.Surprisingly, Fratricide was present for the F-15C as well as other allied A/C. Considering that they were better networked( Link-16,IFF-Mode 4 etc), while we had nothing,it should be a matter of concern for them and not us!!

    5.FOD-Take-Off separation-was 30″ at Mountain Home but extended to 1min and known to all participants before the start of the Ex!!

    6.Incidentally,Mission achievement ratio was higher than 90%, whereas the mission success rates were significantly lower for the USAF, inspite of us op some 20000 kms away!!

    7.Our level of experience was a standard Sqn cross-section and our youngsters performed very well in the new environment and not one rule was violated.Our professional approach was very favourably commented upon.

    8. In the ultimate analyses, we had a significant edge all throughout and retained it.

    It appears that this video was to pep up the US industry, showing that the F-22 is the answer to the Su-30MKI and one never knows-this will be the pitch for larger orders!!

  19. gf0012-aust 9 November, 2008 at 12:50 am #

    seriously, for someone who was supposed to be at Red Flag you demonstrate a very poor knowledge of what its designed to achieve.

    Red Flag is DACT – its designed to force events for training requirements – and the sides exchange roles. Its not some competition.

    The only way that people could start thumping their chests would be if Red Flag and Blue Flag were unscripted and it was weapons free.

    the commentary to date and thumping, beating etc is so far off what actually is being generated to be farcical.

    can the teenagers and fan clubbers pull their heads in and not insert pretend knowledge about these things. It’s decidedly irrittating. For crying out loud, make the effort to understand the purpose of DACT before making stupid comments about air forces beating each other. Red and Blue interchange!

    btw. if anyone thinks that more F-22′s are going to be generated out of exercises such as this – then I’ve got some land in antarctica for sale.

  20. kams 9 November, 2008 at 3:08 am #

    GF, funny that you take trouble to comment on chest thumping by internet forumites, but completely ignore the same done by no less than a full colonel of USAF…remember the ‘drilled their brain out’? Sorry, good Colonel is no better than 2 bit internet arm chair warriors. Quite dissapointed to see such a senior officer of our airforce trying so hard to blow his own truimphet against a not so advanced Airforce (as compared to USAF). And yet you berate against fanclubbers? Who is not being objective here?

    We all know about DACT (Thanks to Internet)..1vs1 didn’t take place in Redflag but at Mountainhome.

  21. Pat 9 November, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    I’m really suprised by alot of these comments on here. The pilot speaking is the real deal. He’s flown against the F-22 in the F-15, and he’s also flown against the SU-30 in Red Flag. He is 10000 times knowledgable than most of you on the subject, and for all of you to second guess his assesments is ludicrous. Everything he says in the video is true. Is the Su-30 better than our current F-15′s and 16′s? yes. Are U.S pilots better trained? yes. Is the Su-30 better than the F-22? No. No nation does airpower better than the U.S, and no nation has more air combat experience than the U.S. Currently, there is no country, NO COUNTRY that has the capability to match the U.S toe to toe in an air war.

  22. Anon 9 November, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    No – No one is claiming that the Su-30MKI is better than the F-22 or that the IAF can beat the USAF in a future conflict.


    People are disputing the Colonel’s statement that the USAF dominated the 1 vs 1 – and that the Sukhoi-30 has various internal flawas that didnt let it perform upto expectations.

    I understand the Colonel has 1000s of hours of experience and may have flown against the Sukhois etc.

    But then, the rebuttals “quoted” here from the indian forum have also been made by Indian pilots who have flown against the americans with possibly 100s of hours if not 1000s behind their belt.

    Cant spell it out more clearly than that.

  23. Stephen Trimble 9 November, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Well, hold on. It cannot be said that everything Colonel Fornof said was accurate. I still don’t know what he means when he calls it the “Tumansky” engine. Anybody got a clue what that’s about? And, as far as Jane’s and everyone else in the open source world knows, the MiG-21bis are equipped with Russian radars, not Israeli. Of course, the colonel could be correct on both counts, but it’s not backed up by the public record.

  24. Anon 9 November, 2008 at 11:34 pm #


    The SU-30MKI uses 2x Lyulka/Saturn AL-31FP not Tumansky. The Mig-21 Bison uses a Phazotron Kopyo radar (so its Russian and not Israeli).

    I think the issue with the Colonel’s presentation is not that he got some of these bookish facts wrong but the fact that 2-3 veteran members of Bharat-Rakshak forum who have close acquaintances who participated in Red Flag or know more details about the SU-30MKI than probably even the good Colonel, found that some of the assertions re. 1-1 domination etc. were incorrect and wont be borne out by the ACMI recordings.

    In the final analysis, it seems the SU-30MKI is not the bottom heavy duck it is made out to be in the video. But I don’t think we can fault the Colonel since this was clearly a private presentation and he is entitled to his opinion (the YouTube uploader OTH should have known better) but it seems like both sides had some issues with each other’s operations but then recognizing and resolving them is the whole purpose of these exercises isnt it?!

  25. gf0012-aust 10 November, 2008 at 10:17 am #


    anyone crapping on about performance like that is a knob – I don’t care what airforce they’re from.

    again – for someone (and I’m talking about the poster who responded on here prior to my comment) who states that they particpated he gets some fundamentals wrong.

    I am not talking about the colonel – although I think his comment is unfort. again, the bubba/biggles stuff is pointless.

    so far all I’ve seen on here are lots of people skewing info to suit their own prejudices. and for heavens sake – if people are getting the basics wrong, then it does raise a whole lot of other questions about other claims.

    btw, the Mig21′s that use Israeli gear are the Romanian Lancers – not the IAF.

    geez people. Red Flag and Blue Flag together run unscripted with weapons free (electronically) would start to resemble a real life scenario.

    This was not. If you don’t get the basics, then you can’t understand the actual detail.

    it aint rocket science. skip the fan club support and look at it clearly.

  26. mrmalaya 10 November, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    i’m more interested in how the french faired. it was hard to tell.

    did he say they didnt get involved apart from in some bvr? his comment about them just watching the different radars was related to peace keeping ops as much as to this exercise wasn’t it?

    he had nothing to say about any f15 v rafale combat . does this mean they were on the same side then?

    i’m just interested in how both the F15 and su30 handle a european canard delta

  27. Stephen Trimble 10 November, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    I closely listened to this part and transcribed his comments. He says the Rafale did not come to any merges, so there was no 1v1 combat. Fighters in Red Flag-type exercises typically switch sides repeatedly throughout the exercise, so that wasn’t the issue.

  28. W800I 11 November, 2008 at 5:31 am #

    A very interesting video.
    Interesting in that it gives the non military, non security cleared individual just a little glimpse into this most interesting world.

    I would caution that watching one video does not a expert make. However I would caution those with security clearances and more in depth knowledge and whom preach down or shout at those with less knowledge on forums, should exercise more control.

    Watching videos such as these is a great way for those interested to learn more and for those employed by air forces or contractors to help and teach others in the confines of security restrictions. I am interested to hear what military experts have to say about each of the important points raised in the video. I do not however want to be referred to as a knob or implied that I am one for simply clicking onto this forum, or for having the audacity to comment even if it may seem silly or stupid to some.

    The officer involved may or may not regret the video but I can’t see how any of the things he discussed aren’t already common knowledge to those within the air forces involved.

    It is no huge secret for example that relations between France and the US have been strained over the last few years.

  29. gf0012-aust 11 November, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    “It is no huge secret for example that relations between France and the US have been strained over the last few years.”

    that would be the common perception – but the reality is that France and the US do work closely together on terrorism issues – public colour and movement in the popular press has no relationship to what happens in real political life.

    eg the french are regular visitors to the US at a naval and air force level, they exchange staff, they use each others kit, they exchange intelligence and they exercise together.

    I’d suspect that the average citizen in both countries would have no idea about it – unless they had a military or security interest/requirement.

  30. W800I 11 November, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Thankyou gf0012 I was aware of French and US exchanges. Re kit the one that comes to mind would of course be the Hawkeye and the help the US navy give to the French navy. These facts are of course open source and interesting to discuss. No doubt one could fill a blog with all sorts of other US/ French cooperation. Information dissemination has been discussing French operations off Somalia of late regarding pirates. No doubt the cooperation extends their as well. Politically of course things have been strained but I agree what is being said publicly and what is being discussed privately between both governments are probably two things.
    The point I was very thinly trying to make was for professional posters to talk to us and not down at us.

  31. mrmalaya 11 November, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    so just to pick up on my point about rafale v the rest.

    if they did not engage in close in combat then did they hold the f15 at arms length?

    he makes a point that the f22 shouldn’t need to get in close and personal with other fighters but can handle itself if it does.

    does his lack of comment on the rafale tell us that they don’t want to talk about how well it handled itself in bvr, or simply that nothing worth mentioning happened?

  32. T SHip 11 November, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Take it with a grain of salt. Pilots are cocky and always think they and their machines are better than others.

    The F-22 and SU-30 pilots are also learning their machines as well, Needless to say, they will learn from their experiances and the next time it wil;l be differance. Also, They KNEW the F-22 was in the AO. It a broad conflict, they will not be sure 100% what is there.

  33. Jason K 11 November, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    Funny thing, is that the above said pilot in the video is more qualified, has more experience and is privy to much more information than any of you here. Yet, you all question his integrity and understanding like he’s some arm chair gerneral or internet expert. I’d take his word before some “anonymous” pilot on some Indian forum.

  34. Eyebrow Raiser 13 November, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    “Funny thing, is that the above said pilot in the video is more qualified, has more experience and is privy to much more information than any of you here.”

    That’s a fact? You’re sure of that then are you – that he has more quals AND experience AND gen than ANYone here……….

  35. Jason K 15 November, 2008 at 3:16 am #

    “That’s a fact? You’re sure of that then are you – that he has more quals AND experience AND gen than ANYone here……….”

    Let me guess, you’re a retired colonel with thousands of flight hours and actual combat experience? I also failed to notice you ACTUALLY participated in the exercises with the IAF, as this pilot did, and were videotaped. Who he is and what he does cannot be disputed. Posters on the internet have the luxury of being anonymous. If people are “in the know,” why not come out and share your experience, especailly as it pertains to Red Flag 8-04. I have a “friend” or “know” someone doesn’t weight much in the credibility department.

    I’m sure if all he did was praise the other air forces nobody would care. However, he provides some personal insight/observations that’s not so glorious of some participants and now he’s vilified. Until people come from behind their anonymity and can prove this pilot is wrong or is lieing, I don’t see how anyone can refute what he said. Besides, what was so wrong or awful about what he said, other than hurting people’s national pride.

  36. anon 16 November, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    I cannot figure out the FOD statement. Su-30s have been a part of close formation flying,air-refueling, and have been doing closely spaced launches (most definitely shorter than 1 minute apart).
    So is this new? Because I seriously doubt a serving officer here would go on the record with a fallacy!

  37. naashak 18 November, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    Jason K,

    Since you are demanding some ‘non-anonymous’ source, have a look here:

    Scroll down to see Vishnu’s post on 18 Nov, 2008 (for some reason I don’t see the time of post).

    Now in case you are wondering who is Vishnu (just google his name)? Vishnu Som who is a pretty well known reporter who covers defense matters for India’s largest TV news network and was the only reporter who had complete access to Red Flag by both USAF and IAF. He has plenty of official access to both IAF and USAF senior personnel.

  38. Merv 18 November, 2008 at 11:01 pm #

    It seems to me as though its a bit of Bragging to a classroom full of Personel…..Like the The We are better than anyone comment, comes to mind! I have personally seen the IAF SU.30′s fly in 2 countrys and believe me they can do things nothing can touch…The SU.30 is one Awesome Aircraft in which the USAF dont like to admit..and I think Uncle Sam in Nelis AFB is a little Jealous!

  39. anoop 19 November, 2008 at 1:47 am #

    a national guards flier commenting about this issue!!
    these retards fly occasionally and probably never in hot combat conditions
    dad’s army
    look at his physique – not really awe inspiring
    sounds more jaded than happy
    and, snips against all possible opposition to the multi-billion iaf contract
    the french – no good
    the russkis – no good
    and the f-15, 16, 18s —hot hot hot1
    a really good reason for us to drop these aircraft from any contract evaluation IMMEDIATELY
    do we really need to feed on oversized, overweight and mathematically challenged individuals for our info???

  40. mrmalaya 19 November, 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    i hate to bring it back to my original comment, but I still think that his lack of comment on Rafale’s capabilities is telling.

    Particularly when you add this to the recent french trials (reported in flight) of passive detection of airborne targets.

    The european canard deltas were built with the SU30 in mind and in with the tone of the speech being so bullish, I think that a lone whinge about the Rafales not “playing” actually says quite a lot!

  41. anon 26 November, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    I never thought I’d see an American airforce pilot ever appear so insecure as this guy. Everyone knows that the US has got the best airforce in the world, so the Indian (or Russian) success in a few friendly exercises doesn’t change the overall picture. That’s why I’m so embarrassed to see this guy make so many excuses for losing to the Indians in Cope India.

    He’s actually trying to make excuses for his side’s performance in the first set of exercises. This is Sad and mildly Childish. I’ve seen little kids make excuses on the playground after getting their asses whooped in a fight or after losing a baseball game, but I’ve never seen an adult do it; until I saw this video.

    I believe it was General Hornburg that said the following to USA Today:

    “General Hal M. Hornburg told USA Today that India’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multi-role fighters have been successful against F-15 C/D Eagle aircraft in mock combat. In fact, the Indians won 90% of the mock combat missions.” – Source USA today.

    Secondly, this guy seems to get most of his facts muddled (maybe wishful thinking on his part?) and then he contradicts himself: Examples include:
    1) He says the Sukhois use Tumansky engines: Wrong they’re Lyulka Saturn AF31FP
    2) He claims that Indian Mig 21 have Israel Radar: Wrong the radar is Russian and yes the Mig21s use Tumansky engines
    3) He claims that the Sukhoi engines need to be sent all the way back to russia for servicing: Wrong, the IAF services their own engines and their local manufacturer HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.) assembles and repairs any engines locally.
    4) Spacing take offs 1 minute apart was agreed to during the planning stages months earlier; I wonder why he’s so ignorant of this?
    5) He admits that the Indians beat our pilots in one-on-one in Cope India “in India, they [the indians] wanted to do nothing but 1-to-1 because they [the indians] were winning” and admits the Su-30 is better than the F-15 then denies all this later on? WTF?Nothing kills more soldiers & pilots than overconfidence –

    The only issue he seems to have gotten right is the FOD issue; the Sukhois are more susceptible – forcing the IAF to install a special protective screen to shield the engine blades from damage.

    It’s clear from USAF General Hornburg’s public comments to USA Today that it wasn’t the IAF that ‘chest-pounded’ to the media; quite the opposite, the Indians avoided the media as much as possible, it was USAF staff like General Hornburg that spoke to the media. Secondly, you have to admire General Hornburg’s intelligence in thinking strategically; he used the Cope India exercise result to get members of congress to support further enhancements of USAF’s already awesome capabilities, he didn’t waste his time indulging in childish chest-pounding, nose-thumbing & excusing making like “the un-named officer” presenting in the above video. Maybe thats why the General is a General and the un-named officer is still an officer ‘-)

  42. Joker 27 December, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    If USAF is so advanced and if US has all the technology in the world. Why the hell they can’t beat the rag tag Taleban fighters.

  43. anand 24 January, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    it seems like the IAF really drilled his brains out in the red flag exercise.there is no doubt that the USAF is the best airforce in the world, then why do someone brings out the pros and cons of a participating(friendly) airforce unless he is so pissed off with them? kudos to indian officers on their professionalism – by keeping mum

  44. sanjy 10 February, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    after all its an Indian punjabi who has designed stealth technology and after the atom bomb test oppenheimer recited slogans bhagvathgitha

  45. Prabhu 30 March, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Hi Guys
    I am happy that a colonel from USAF accepting IAF is a professional force.He at least needed a strategy to win .So we Indians are no more a third world force with arm chair pilots.I felt this is the American way of praising people.



  46. Aviatrix 3 April, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    This is all hilarious……about a decade and a half back, we once had an accidental encounter with F-14s in the Arabian Sea, and know who threatened them, Mirage-Vs…i dont go into the deails but at the time of gulf war, Iraqis also had top of the line russian crap….but look what happened…….the pilot inside the cockpit is the most important node in the entire matrix…….if your air force has performed good in the past , it would do so in future…Gentlemen, a lot of genuine self assessment is required………….and………………..”In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.”

  47. Aron 15 September, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Comparing the IrAF to the IAF as the above poster did, is a joke.

  48. tony sebestian 11 October, 2009 at 9:32 am #


    yeah its a joke bcoz IAF is better tha IrAF…..

  49. jith 2 December, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    On many ocassions one gets the feeling that speaker is defensive in his assessments. Nevertheless, I think the IAF will do good to learn from the critical analysis of the USAF. There must be more truth in the lecture since it was meant to be an internal talk.

  50. Enter now 15 March, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    I 100 % agreed with Eyebrow Raiser.None of these joker are pilot or served in air force. There Bloggers thinks they know more then this major.

  51. Harp 24 August, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Usaf is only best in the Ratio where they are in overwhelming Numbers. Defeating Desolate Talibans & Dehydrated Iraqis or to say the underprepared Libyans(Blowing off their Rece)is no good. The fact presented by the Major is pure outburst of Frustration & biased. I have been a Part of these sort of Military exchanges recently & found Indians faring better in any condition better than the over-exxagerated USAF

  52. anonymous 27 August, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    su 30 does not use the turmansky engine in the first place. its the saturn al 31 fp. so the colonel needs to get his facts correct.

  53. Perry Lenahan 16 October, 2010 at 12:32 am #

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  54. Akash 19 February, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    There is a trend in US that India is still a 3rd world country, keep in mind a 700years ago in US nobody even knew how to wear pants and in India we used to a rich culture in Political science, Maths and Chemistry so dont dare to call India a 3rd world country, if we strike , any damn superpower will be despatched with Dinosaur..!! We have done that with many son of a bitch and if required we will do that. Try to survive the power of 100crore citizen!! Jai Hind!!

  55. sid 16 April, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Indian AF Su-30K during the Cope India exercise. The Flankers defeated US Air Force F-15Cs during this exercise, exploiting not only superior BVR radar/missile capabilities, but also the TKS-2 datalink, used to network flights of Flankers (US Air Force image).

  56. Justin 29 August, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Watch the whole thing, the media “highlights” are pretty cherry picked. He was actually pretty complimentary of the developing capability, their professionalism and of the Indian Bison aircraft. Who really got hammered were the French, but they don’t seem to be all that fragile.

  57. alok 1 September, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    this is very right situation this pilot is in. As of being an american he is jealous of all russian made stuff,since the cold war so he is obviously going to say crap about indian/russian stuff whether it be anything.And since being an indian i agree yes indianAF pilots should go through very rigorous and extensive training during peace time so to pound,bleed the enemy during the wartime.

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  60. Satish Halemane 21 October, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Contrary to unsolicited remarks by certain serving US personnel not directly linked to day to day operations at the exercises … the Indian Air Force and its Su-30s more than made a mark during their stint in the United States. For starters … not a single Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter was `shot down’ in close air combat missions at the Mountain Home air base. In fact, none of the Sukhois were even close to being shot down in the 10 odd one on one sorties which were planned for the first two days of the exercises at Mountain Home. These one on one engagements featured USAF jets such as the F-15 and F-16 in close air engagements against the Su-30 MKI. The majority of the kills claimed in these engagements were granted to the Indian Air Force with the remainder of these being no-results. Indian Air Force Sukhois did use their famed thrust vectoring in these one on one engagements. Contrary to what may have been reported elsewhere … the Su-30 has a rate of turn of more than 35 degrees when operating in the thrust vector mode. In certain circumstances, this goes up substantially.

    By the time the exercises at Mountain Home had matured … the Indian Air Force had graduated to large formation exercises which featured dozens of jets in the sky. In one of these exercises … the blue forces, of which the Indian Air Force was a part … shot down more than 21 of the enemy jets. Most of these `kills’ have been credited to the Indian Air Force.

    By the time the Indian Air Force was ready for Red Flag, the contingent had successfully worked up using the crawl, walk, run principle. At Red Flag though, they found themselves at a substantial disadvantage vis a vis the other participants since they were not networked with AWACS and other platforms in the same manner in which USAF or other participating jets were. In fact, Indian Air Force Sukhois were not even linked to one another using their Russian built data links since American authorities had asked for specifics of the system before it was cleared to operate in US airspace. The IAF, quite naturally, felt that this would compromise a classified system onboard and decided to go on with the missions without the use of data links between the Sukhois.Neither was the Indian Air Force allowed to use chaff or flares, essential decoys to escape incoming missiles which had been fired by enemy jets. This was because the US FAA had visibility and pollution related concerns in the event that these were used in what is dense, busy air space in the Las Vegas region.

    The Red Flag exercises themselves were based on large force engagements and did not see the Indian Air Force deploy thrust vectoring at all on any of the Sukhoi 30 jets not that this was required since the engagements were at long ranges. Though it is true that there were 4-5 incidents of fratricides involving the Indian Air Force at Red Flag … it is important to point out the following: In the debriefs that followed the exercises … responsibility for the fratricides were always put on the fighter controllers not the pilots. Its also important to point that unlike in Mountain Home, none of the Indian Air Force’s own fighter controllers were allowed to participate since there was classified equipment at Nellis used for monitoring the exercises. The lack of adequate controlling and the fact that Nellis fighter controllers often had problems understanding Indian accents (they had problems understanding French accents as well) resulted in a lack of adequate controlling in situations. Whats more … given the fact that the availability of AWACS was often low … the bulk of fratricides took place on days when the AWACS jet was not deployed. Whats important to remember though is that US participants in these exercises had a similar number of fratricides despite being fully linked in with data links and the latest IFF systems.

    So was the Indian Air Force invincible at Red Flag. In a word … no. So yes, there were certainly days in which several Sukhoi jets were shot down. And there were others when they shot down many opposing jets. Ultimately though … the success of the Indian Air Force at Red Flag lay in the fact that they could meet their mission objectives as well, if not better, than any other participant. Despite the hot weather conditions, the IAF had a 95 per cent mission launch ratio, far better than some of the participants. And no one went into the exercises thinking the score line would be a perfect one in favour of the IAF. In fact … the IAF went into these exercises with an open mind and with full admiration of the world beating range at Nellis with an unmatched system of calibrating engagement results.Perhaps the most encouraging part of these exercises comes from the fact that the Indian Air Force’s young pilots … learnt from their mistakes, analysed, appreciated and came back strong. Mistakes were not repeated. In fact … the missions where the IAF did not fare well turned out to be immense learning experiences. At the end of the exercises … its more than clear that the IAF’s Su-30s were more than a match for the variants of the jets participating at the Red Flag exercises. Considering the fact that the central sensor of the Sukhoi, its radar … held up just fine in training mode …despite the barrage of electronic jamming augurs well for the Indian Air Force. Courtesy: Vishnu Som

    • Dan Kuyek 21 October, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      So your saying that the U.S.A.F. Col. was lying about the Mountain Home results?

      That senior pilots, who knew the F-15 envelope fully, did not significantly defeat the Su-30′s?

      All due respect to the professionalism of the IAF pilots and their outstanding platform, given the generations of combat experience passed on, the 1000′s of hours of personal experience, tactics already in play to deal with thrust vectoring opponents via the F-22-which has a higher deflection rate with 2-D than any 3-D system-, no SU’s where “lost”?

      Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

      Red Flag is, after all, a DACT. Not an all out “pissing contest”.

      You were invited, performed admirably, learned and are better for it.

      The Col. stated that with more experience, the IAF pilots in their SU-30s would have an edge over the F-15s.

      That’s a pretty high compliment from an alpha male driving for the USAF.

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