India plans SEAD Exercise in Red Flag 16
Indian Air force plans to send it's deep penetration attack aircraft Jaguar along with Su 30 MKI Air superiority fighter to participate US Red Flag Exercise in Alaska USA. The Indian Air force to learn many things from USA to perform SEAD/DEAD missions along with combat air patrol and Air superiority missions. Such exercise is very minimal since most exercise focus only one vs one or group fighting.
To perform SEAD Missions, The Fighter jet need to penetrate the enemy air space by flying very low or below the radar coverage. after it will launch the anti radiation missile over the enemy Radar and air defense missile site. The Jaguar has similar capabilities and specially designed to perform such missions. IAF earlier used the Jaguar as bomb truck, mostly used to drop Bombs. The IAF not ready to retire the Jaguar aircraft, with many upgrades IAF plans to keep the Jaguar till 2035 or till the AMCA comes.
The IAF also dispatches two C 17 globe master transporter aircraft. who carries more than hundreds of IAF's elite special operation commando's known as Garuds to perform the same SEAD mission. The C 17 will drop the Special forces deep behind enemy lines. where they would carry out sabotage missions in enemy radar sites.
There were only two options to perform SEAD mission, One is via Jaguar aircraft other is using special forces to sabotage the radar site. Most of the nations used such kind of aircraft's to destroy enemy air defense batteries in first wave. Israel is the only other who send elite special forces along with heavy lift helicopters to perform SEAD missions deep behind enemy lines.
In modern warfare, Forces not only face the Early warning Radar's, They eventually face more powerful electronic warfare systems like Jammers, communication and Radar interceptors and high power radio frequencies who disrupt missile and it's guidance. They were very powerful and highly mobile platforms.
IAF wanted to penetrate highly defended Chinese Airspace, the upcoming Russian S 400 delivery to China threatens each and airborne platforms flying over Indian Capital in case of war against China. IAF tries many options to perform SEAD Missions which include Kamikaze drones, PTA Vehicles and Stealth drones, If all of the previous options failed IAF may send it's troops deep behind enemy lines to execute the SEAD mission.
Once the SEAD mission is accomplished IAF need to patrol the Air space from enemy Intruders. IAF Plans to use the Su 30 MKI armed with maximum number of BVR and WVR missiles for combat air patrol. The Patrol supported by two IL 78 aerial tankers. IAF will send four Su 30 MKI to the Red Flag exercise, where they can perform CAP missions. Usually a Su 30 MKI can fly more than two hours without the need of aerial Tanker. with Tankers Su 30 MKI can fly more than eight hours.
The Exercise clearly validates IAF's new operational capability of capturing enemy air space and keep the air space under IAF control. Such missions are top priority to conduct safe ground operations for friendlies.
Indian Air force slowly expanding it's wings from primary air defense into Close air support missions, Offensive air missions and Capturing enemy air space's. Future ground operations must need such capabilities.
|Patriot Air defense missile|
USA giving better opportunities to Indian Air force to exercise with Red forces and Blue forces. US may deploy Patriot or HAWK missile batteries along with AN TPS 75 Mobile radar and F 15 and F 16 fighters as Red forces or enemy forces. Where IAF will dispatch Jaguar aircraft's or C 17 with Garuds for SEAD missions and Su 30 MKI for Combat air patrol missions.
The Exercise already get authorization from government, which will be scheduled to be happen Summer 2016.