Did the Indian pilots really ace the Americans?

Maybe. But its a great one for debate

A big debate — both in quantitative and qualitative terms — rages on at Sepia Mutiny over the outcome of the joint air exercises between India and the United States. Indian pilots, apparently, outdid their American counterparts so many times that some military-types called it a ‘wake up call’ for the United States.

Was it a simple case of Mera Bharat Mahan or an equally simple case of US air force generals creating a bogey to lobby Congress to release funds for their desired toys? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Exactly where, even the discussion on Sepia Mutiny does not tell.

12 thoughts on “Did the Indian pilots really ace the Americans?”

  1. I agree.
    Seems unlikely that the profile of people who fighter pilots here or in the US is gonna be so vastly different as to account for “wake-up calls” right, left and center. Besides, Their tech is superior, period.
    I do suspect lobbying/feintish foulplay.

  2. Niraj,

    I emailed Nitin a description of what really happened on in the tests but let me tell you something that several US Air Force people told me. That regardless of how the test was setup (i.e. 3 to 1 odds, lack or air borne radar, using older radar etc) the US Pilots where deeply impressed by their IAF counterparts who on average spend something like 300 hours in training compared to 240 for the US. The US pilots may or may not be better but the IAF pilots are, by all accounts, very good.

  3. I really agree with Robi,

    I am living in USA, and my best friend is in US marines, US may have far more weapon piles and better technical superiority but they don’t realize that, after all it is courage that wins the war.

    The mighty Americans lost to puny Vietnam and the same thing with Indians, our far great moral and great ties to Mother India makes up what we lack in Armament.

    And being technical, the newly developed F-15 are not much superior in any way then su-30 or mig 29. It’s just that some libral Republican always feel the need to make new weapons at all the time.


  4. We indians are one of the best fighter pilots in the world. Our pilots must have defeated US pilots who probably underestimated the capabilities of our pilots.

  5. If Indian Pilots are so good and matched the US Pilots, why is that we have so many fighter jet crashing all the time, our inventory is wiped out, most of our planes crash on villages killing innocent people,and also US Pilots have not used F18’s or F22’s and Indians have used Sukoi which is superior to TomCats, i wonder what would happen if US used Stealth Jets, our pilots might be still searching for the Stealth Jets before realizing they have been hit by some missile, So the conclusion is wake up, it is not some wonderland, Of course one thing is sure, IAF pilots did put up a great show, but assuming that IAF is best is ridiculous, just because we matched the US pilots. I say Technology rules, no matter how much courage you have, whats the use without technological advanced planes

  6. Shashank,

    Crashes can happen to even the best pilots if they are flying bad aircraft. But crashes due to bad planes should not come in the way of recognising good pilots when they are good.

  7. Hi Nitin, I do agree with you, USAF themselves said IAF pilots put up a great show, but still we should evaluate ourselves before declaring ourselves the best in the world.

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  9. I was a little surprised to learn that a bunch of Indian air force pilots flying mirage 2000s,Mig-27s,Su-30s,and Mig 21s were able to beat US air force
    pilots(Flying F-15Cs-still considered one of the best fighter planes in the world)in mock air combat. I also read that the indian military planners asked the US air force if F-16s could be used in this mock exercise(but pakistani military planners don’t like the idea of Indian pilots learning capabilities and tactics of the F-16. so it is hinted that there was a request from PAK air force, not to use the F-16 in this mock battle.The article also said that the Indian planners had asked the US Air Force planners to give the indian pilots a 3:1 advantage over US pilots. A More realistice exercise for The indian air force would have been a mock air combat exercise with Israeli Air Force pilots and planes(that is if the Israelis agree to conduct such military exercises with the IAF). This way Indian pilots can learn air combat tactics from the best air force in the world(Israeli air force), and not just from the 2nd best air force in the world(US Air force)

  10. Indias LCA:
    I haven’t heard anything new about Hindustan aeronautics light combat aircraft project. the last news i read was that they were sending its kaveri engine for high altitude testing in russia. It is really sad that a nation that is capable of producing highly skilled engineers, and IT people cannot
    speed up the development of this jet engine. i’m guessing that all this is due to only one problem: the indian government cannot afford to pump any more money into this expensive project. well anyways, nice try India. It may be less expensive for india to buy military aircraft from foreign markets.

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