Pakistani F-16s Shoot Down RAF Eurofighter Typhoons During Air Combat Exercises In Turkey




Pakistani pilots flying modernised versions of the 1970s-vintage F-16 Falcon fighter have beaten the RAF's brand-new Eurofighter Typhoon superfighters during air combat exercises in Turkey, according to a Pakistani officer.

Analysis:

The RAF Typhoon, formerly known as the Eurofighter, should nonetheless have been vastly superior in air-to-air combat whether BVR or close in within visual range (WVR). The cripplingly expensive, long-delayed Eurofighter was specifically designed to address the defects of its predecessor the Tornado F3 – famously almost useless in close-in, dogfighting-style air combat. The Typhoon was meant to see off such deadly in-close threats as Soviet "Fulcrums" and "Flankers" using short-range missiles fired using helmet-mounted sight systems: such planes were thought well able to beat not just Tornados but F-16s in close fighting, and this expectation was borne out after the Cold War when the Luftwaffe inherited some from the East German air force and tried them out in exercises.

Thus it is that huge emphasis was placed on manoeuvring capability and dogfighting in the design of the Eurofighter. The expensive Euro-jet was initially designed, in fact, as a pure fighter with no ground attack options at all – bomber capability has had to be retrofitted subsequently at still more expense. Despite lacking various modern technologies such as Stealth and thrust-vectoring the resulting Typhoon is generally touted as being one of the best air-to-air combat planes in the world right now. Certainly it is meant to be good in close fighting: it is armed with the Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile (ASRAAM) which as its name suggests is intended for the close WVR fight.

Perhaps the account above is simply a lie, or anyway a bit of a fighter pilot tall story. But the pilot quoted will be easily identifiable inside his community if not to the outside world, and he could expect a lot of flak for telling a lie on such a matter in public. It seems likelier that the story is the truth as he perceived it: that the RAF's new superfighter was thrashed in the very type of combat it is supposed to be best at by a 1970s-era plane, albeit much modernised.

It's always possible, as the anonymous Pakistani pilot suggests, that the problem was with the crews. It may be that RAF pilots simply don't know how to fight close-in. During the many years when they had no other fighter than the lamentable Tornado F3 (the Typhoon only reached front line service a few years ago) they may have lost the institutional skillset required for dogfighting with short-range missiles.

But in general when the British forces perform badly it isn't because of a lack of skills and training. It's far more normal for them to be let down by their kit. Based on this account, the Typhoon is actually worse than an F-16, and as a result an export Flanker or Fulcrum equipped with Archer missiles would beat it easily in WVR combat.

It would appear that the Eurofighter's last remaining selling point compared to modern US-made stealth fighters which cost the same or less (or for that matter vastly cheaper ordinary non-stealth fighters like the F-16, F-18 Hornet etc) now has something of a question mark over it.

18 comments :

Anonymous said...

I think Dasult Rafel would be better in IAF MMRCA as Mirage 2000 can beet any f-16 and mig 21, and may be mig 29/31, how ever currently mig 25-31 are best dog fighting fighters in full operational service.
If pakistani f-16 over powers Eurofighter then I then Eurofighter is inferior then Mig-25 which is 3 gen fighter , LCA performs better then Mirage 2000 and also has error correction capability, then I think India must think twice , because Pakistani F-16 are not complete F-16 that U.S has. I think India should split MMRCA between Mig 35 and Rafel.
We have seen Rafel performance in Libia it is good. Do not consider the engine we have power full Engine fighers such as Mig 27 and Su-30 MKI, our requirement is stealth.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:49
its not the gun its the man who is behind the gun and the interoperability and the skills of the pilot whihc wins the war!!! if u want to compare aircrafts i say mig 19 can out manuver and out gun any aircraft in the world in the dogfight given its below 30,000 Ft!!! so its always the pilot not the machine!!!

Anonymous said...

Pakistani F-16 could not intercept indian Mig - 25 in their air, Sirian Mig - 23 shot down F-16.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 8:49
yup coz mig 25 height ceiling was hell more then f16 and mig 25 had better acceleration but bad turning radius !!! it never engaged a pakistani F16 coz it never came to fight it only came for recon!!! if it came for a dogfight it would had been another story!! examale its just like a su30 cannot shoot down a sr71 blackbird !!!

Anonymous said...

Sirian Mig - 23 shot down F-16.

Anonymous said...

And how many f-16's shot down how many migs? Oh wait, couldn't count them all.

Russian technology = fail.
European technology = fail.

If it was so good, then they wouldn't need to buy it from the states.

tgillusionz said...

lol ill send u a link which proves american tech (world best plane is crap). In my opinion Typhoon is a very good plane given that it is in the hands of a good experienced pilot. And Russian planes are simply one of the best. No doubt.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaoYz90giTk&feature=related

Anonymous said...

I read some where with reference to Alan Warnes, that it weren't RAF but Italian Eurofighters that got sponged by PAF.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile back in the real world:- anonymous Pakistani pilot confirms they are not so hot at tracking and engaging unknown type of U.S. helicopters engaged in clandestine operations deep into Pakistani territory which has lead to much egg on face.

Anonymous said...

The claims are farcical as NO TYPHOONS were deployed on that particular exercise.

Pakistani Airforce Office Aircraft recognition = Major FAIL!

Pakistan India friendship Zindabad said...

First of all... F-16 is not F-22 plz mention F-16 failure..... russia have also fail project but we can not say that usa technology is best...India also buy P-8i from usa and c-130 is also part of india and many other countries include Pakistan
you should know first..
_______________________________
2nd Thing
______________
Pakistan F-16 call back....
you must know we shot down many russian jets in 80s....with F-16
.....................
Tejas still not display his quality....
New russian jet are also rejected....like migs
.................................
Pakistan is not comparing his strength with any country..Pakistan trying to defend itself from USA, Terrorist,Raw, Mossed and Zionist .....
...............................
Pakistan track down indian jets after 26 attacks..when india try its best....
Pakistan also shot down indain drone...
F-16 and P-3 Orion is backbone of Pakistan defence...
Pakistan intelligence is one of best and india defence budget is more than Pakistan...
Raise of indian defence budget is more than Pakistan's defence budget but still Pakistan introduce JF-17 with mig 29 engine

Anonymous said...

This news are based on an interview wit a pakistani pilot. He concluded, that the result occured due to the fact, that RAF is not training gunfights and rarely WVR.
Other encouters draw the opposite picture (EF dominates F 16 in all possible combats).
RAF seems to focus absolutely on BVR (using AMRAAM and ASRAAM, both high range and low maneuverability) while almost everybody els uses a combination of low maneuverable long range and highly maneuverable short range missiles.
So, this result shows a weak point in the doctrine of the RAF and not of the EF.

Anonymous said...

that is what the pilot saying that its all about the training of the man behind the stick ...

Anonymous said...

The claims are farcical as NO TYPHOONS were deployed on that particular exercise.

Pakistani Airforce Office Aircraft recognition = Major FAIL!

Just a quick point.....This is a old story probably dragged up because of the Indian MRCA deal which has shortlisted the Typhoon and Rafale

RAF Typhoons exercise in Turkey


www.mod.uk Department of defence UK
2009-07-21

RAF Typhoons recently went on exercise in Turkey for the first time as part of celebrations to mark the 60th year of the NATO alliance.

More than 120 pilots and personnel from RAF Coningsby together with Typhoon combat aircraft deployed to Konya in southern Turkey to lead the multi-national exercise.

In addition to British and Turkish aircraft, Exercise Anatolian Eagle allowed aircraft from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to match each other in simulated air combat.

The exercise gave each nation`s air crew and ground support personnel an opportunity to work alongside each other in a co-ordinated effort, and was designed to iron-out any operational procedures.

In addition, it allowed the RAF to show a very receptive audience of high-ranking Turkish military personnel and decision-makers, exactly what the Typhoon is capable of.

Wing Commander Jez Attridge, the officer commanding the Typhoon squadron, said:

"It is vitally important that we continue to train our crews and support personnel. Being able to do so in Turkey, alongside one of our key allies in this region is an added bonus for us."
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the RAF to show off not just the remarkable agility of the Typhoons, but also the seamless way it can be integrated with other allied aircraft."

Air Vice Marshal GJ Bagwell

Colonel Recep Unal of the Turkish Air Force, Operational Commander of the 3rd Main Jet Base in Konya, added:

"This exercise offers a great opportunity for us to practice air warfare alongside our allies.

"The capability of the Typhoon in its air-to-air role, is not as yet well known to us, but we look forward to building upon this exercise in the future in a proactive, effective and innovative manner."

Air Officer Commanding (No1 Group), Air Vice Marshal GJ Bagwell, said:

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the RAF to show off not just the remarkable agility of the Typhoons, but also the seamless way it can be integrated with other allied aircraft.

"Such initiatives are very important for continued operations in Afghanistan.

"Turkey is NATO`s second largest military force, after the United States, and has been absolutely pivotal to our ongoing international commitment to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, and our efforts to bring peace and long-term stability to this region. As such this exercise provides an invaluable opportunity for the RAF to train alongside one of our key NATO allies."

Exercise Anatolian Eagle culminated in nine days of simulated air combat with each nation taking it in turns to command the mission. The dynamic sorties test the reconnaissance, targeting, air-to-air refuelling and co-ordination skills of the pilots.

It is anticipated that in the near future, the Typhoon will replace the Tornado as the RAF`s main combat aircraft in Afghanistan. By carrying extra fuel tanks and with mid-air refuelling, the Typhoons can be stationed for several hours in the air, providing cover and support for troops during long actions against a ground-based enemy.

2009-07-21

Anonymous said...

Interview: Pakistan Air Force Viper Pilot

Q 1: What is a PAF F-16 pilot doing in Turkey?

A: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Turkish Air Force (TuAF) have a long-standing pilot exchange programme, which goes back a couple of decades under which, at any given time, two PAF pilots are in Turkey and two TuAF pilots are in Pakistan. Since the PAF and the TuAF share two common aircraft – the T-37 trainer and the F-16 – both countries exchange pilots on the each of these aircraft. So right now we have one PAF pilot flying TuAF T-37s and another PAF pilot flying TuAF F-16s in Turkey and one TuAF pilot flying PAF T-37s and one Tu-AF pilot flying PAF F-16s in Pakistan.

Q 2: How long is the duration of the secondment?

A: The average secondment is 2 years, but it could be less or more depending on various factors.

Q 3: What is the basis for PAF’s selection of a pilot for secondment to the TuAF F-16 squadrons?

A: The selection is done by the PAF and is based purely on merit. They start with your academy reports and the final report is given by your squadron commander. The TuAF requirement is that the pilot must have a minimum of 250 hours on the F-16 before joining the TuAF F-16 squadrons.

Q 4: What is the PAF criterion for selecting a pilot for its F-16 squadrons?

A: A pilot must have an outstanding record and a minimum of 500 hours on either the F-7 or the Mirages or both aircraft. Additionally, he must have the right aptitude and the ability to learn and apply his learning. The F-16 is not a simple aircraft to fly. Usually, most pilots go from the F-7 to the Mirages before coming to the F-16. This route washes out the weaker pilots.

Q 5: Which route did you follow?

A: I went straight to the F-16 after logging 450 hours on the F-7P.

Q 6: Which PAF F-16 squadron were you flying with before secondment to the TuAF?

A: No. 9 Squadron “Griffins”.

Q 7: What squadrons and what airbases do you fly out of in Turkey?

A: I have flown from different airbases with different squadrons on different F-16 types and this depends on the mission training that is being undertaken at a given time. I have served at two air bases – Mirzofen and Balekesir.

Q 8: What F-16 Blocks have you flown in Turkey?

A: I have flown all three TuAF F-16 Blocks - the Blocks 30, 40 and 50. I am the second PAF exchange pilot to have flown the TuAF Block 50 as previously the Turks did not give PAF pilots access to the Block 50.

Q 9: Why was that?

A: US restrictions. However, once the sanctions were lifted and talks began to purchase Block 52s for the PAF, it no longer remained an issue because we would be flying a more advanced version than the Turks. That’s when the US allowed the Turks to give us access to the Block 50. The Turks have been very cooperative with the PAF.

Q 10: What kind of mission training did you get on the TuAF F-16s?

A: We are trained for all types of missions since most TuAF F-16s squadrons are multi-role. However, I was primarily trained for air-to-air combat in the air defence role.

Q 11: Any BVR training?

A: Yes.

Anonymous said...

Q 12: Which BVR missile?

A: The AIM-120 AMRAAM “Charlie”.

Q 13: What are the differences in training methodologies between the PAF and TuAF?

A: There are substantial differences. TuAF follows the US and NATO training methodologies where everything is written down and you have to follow set procedures. This is not necessarily bad because these procedures are based on experience. They learnt this after their experience in air-to-air combat in Vietnam. However, the downside is that you tend to get bogged down into following procedures and you become predictable. In the PAF, pilots are given more freedom to come up with their own solutions. Our training approach is more similar to the Israelis than NATO. We do more “seat of the pants” type of flying and are required to be more creative.

Q 14: Have you taken part in any Anatolian Eagle exercise?

A: PAF has been participating in the annual Anatolian Eagle exercises since 2004. I have participated in three Anatolian Eagles – one national and two international.

Q 15: What is the difference between national and international?

A: TuAF conducts annual Anatolian Eagle exercises - one version is national, for TuAF only and the other is international, with friendly air forces. TuAF has honoured the PAF by also letting its pilots fly in the national Anatolian Eagle exercises under Turkish command and wearing Turkish flags and badges. This is a unique honour given only to PAF pilots. The exchange pilots also get to fly TuAF F-16s in the Anatolian Eagle international exercises. So you could have 6 visiting PAF pilots flying their own PAF F-16s and the one PAF exchange pilot flying with the Turks in a TuAF F-16.

Anonymous said...

Q 28: One of the stories going around is that the Block 52s are coming with strings attached: (i) the PAF can only base them in one airbase, Jacobabad; (ii) they cannot be used for offensive operations beyond Pakistan’s borders; (iii) some sort of monitoring mechanisms will be put in place to monitor the location of each aircraft and (iv) PAF cannot take them outside Pakistan without the permission of the US. Are these correct?

A: To some extent, yes. However, it is important to understand the background to these conditions.
When the PAF asked for the Block 52, the initial US reaction was “no”. Their main concern was that if this potent technology could be released to Pakistan, sooner or later, it would end up in the hands of the Chinese who would reverse engineer it. It was the PAF that offered a solution. We could place the Block 52s in a separate airbase where the Chinese would have no access. This meant an airbase that had no Chinese aircraft. We could not base them in Sargodha because we would not deny the Chinese access to our most important airbase. Jacobabad was a forward base which had been revamped by the Americans for Operation Enduring Freedom, including a new first-class runway, so it was the first choice. The US agreed to this proposal provided that it would have the right to monitor the aircraft.

To recall an interesting little story: soon after the first F-16s were delivered to Pakistan in the mid-80s, the PLAAF Chief visited Sargodha. The Americans were there as well. As a gesture of courtesy, the PAF showed the PLAAF Chief one of the F-16s and let him sit in the cockpit. Some US technicians were there looking on. As soon as the PLAAF Chief sat in the F-16 cockpit, the first thing he did was to start measuring the HUD with his fingers, you know, when you extend your little finger and thumb to measure something? This worried the Americans.

Q 29: What are the monitoring mechanisms? I have heard they will have US personnel stationed at Jacobabad?

A: The US personnel stationed at Jacobabad will be transitional. They will be training PAF aircrew on the maintenance of the Block 52. Most of these US personnel will be from Lockheed Martin. The US does not need to have personnel physically present in Jacobabad to monitor the Block 52s.

Q 30: Could you elaborate?

A: They have ways of keeping an eye on the Block 52s without being personally present. The main concern is the transfer of cutting-edge technology – the avionics and radar, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) the Sniper pod. They have put digital seals all the sensitive technologies, which can only be opened via a code, which only they know. If there is a malfunction or these parts need to be serviced, they will be taken out of the Block 52s and shipped back to the US for repairs/servicing. If we try to pry open these systems without the codes, inbuilt alarms will be relayed to the Americans, which will be a breach of the contract.

Anonymous said...

Q 31: Will the Americans be able to track the locations of the Block 52s through some sort of tracking devices hidden inside the aircraft?

A: If there are tracking devices then they will be inside the sealed systems, like the avionics suites or the sniper pods because we will not have the ability to look inside. If their Predator and Reaper drones are transmitting their GPS locations via satellite so can a Block 52 F-16.

Even though Turkey produces the F-16, there are some components that are manufactured in the US and only come to Turkey for the final assembly. In one incident, a Turkish Block 50 crashed and the pilot was killed. They salvaged the wreckage and laid it out in hanger and started putting together the pieces to find out the cause. They found a piece of sealed equipment which had cracked open and inside they found some device that looked like a bug. Upon inquiry, it turned out to be a tracking device.

Q 32: Doesn’t that worry the PAF?

A: I’m sure it does. However, the PAF considers the Block 52 a “bonus” aircraft. We are not depending on it for our entire air defence. It is a temporary force multiplier until we have enough squadrons of JF-17s and FC-20s. The opportunity to know what the latest technology is capable of is enough justification to purchase these aircraft.

Q 33: If the PAF cannot cross the border with these Block 52, what is the purpose of the Sniper pods and the air-to-ground munitions that we are getting?

A: Those are for use against terrorists who are waging a war against Pakistan. The fact is that the Block 52s will give us the capability to mount successful counter insurgency operations against terrorists in the tribal areas.

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