SOURCE: Jogin Abraham Thomas / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
8 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the first time participated in Indian Airforce’s Biggest air Exercise in last three decades and flew countless sorties with main Air Superiority aircraft of the Indian Air Force, which is Sukhoi-30MKI.
In first of the Joint Missions flown by LCA-Tejas and Sukhoi-30MKI, Pilots of both aircraft not only got the feel of each others aircraft capabilities but were also perfecting their tactics and ideas to create a hunting pack between an Air Defence Point Interceptor fighter and Air Superiority fighter aircraft to further improve coordination between two jets.
Top Brass of IAF is very keen on using Combination of Light category and Heavy category fighter jets to provide effective both offensive and defensive capabilities in case of the two front war where Sukhoi-30MKI is expected to fight on both the fronts and also guide and help other aircraft in the fleet for effective missions.
Sukhoi-30MKI due to its powerful NIIP N011M Bars (Panther) passive electronically scanned array radar is often used by IAF as “Mini-AWACS” to support various other aircraft in its fleet towards their mission objectives. Sukhoi-30MKI using its net-centric warfare capability can not only provide target information but also provide buddy firing mode, target information acquired by it but passed on to the other fighters.
A small fleet of Sukhoi-30MKI flying at Higher Altitude can guild Swarm of LCA-Tejas aircraft while staying away from the area of action but also be able to intervene whenever it is required. Sukhoi-30MKI with its buddy-buddy refueling capabilities can also act as Mini-Tanker for LCA-Tejas fleet to keep them longer in the air if required as per their missions.
To further improve coordination and also develop more tactics, IAF will be transferring few Active Sukhoi-30MKI pilots to the LCA-Tejas Squadrons when new aircrafts are delivered in near future. IAF which plans to acquire 83 MK1-A and 201 MK-2 Tejas aircraft in the future will also see both aircrafts also sharing Airbases in the future.