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Other Nations Gaining On US In Air Power

Gen. Hal Hornburg, head of U.S. Air Combat Command, said a U.S. air-to-air exercise with the Indian Air Force in February, in which India used Russian jets to defeat aging American F-15Cs, revealed "that we may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as we once thought we were."

Defense experts in both the United States and Europe, however, have said it is unlikely that America -- with vast spending power and a major industrial base -- would lose its dominance in military technology.

U.S. defense officials have said Indian SU-30, Mig-27 and older MiG-21 jets, some armed with Russian-made AA-10 air-to-air missiles, got the best of F-15s based in Alaska in exercise "Cope India" high over northern India.
USAF F-15Cs get asses kicked by . . .
USAF F-15Cs get asses kicked by . . .
Indian SU-30s (license-manufactured from Russia)
Indian SU-30s (license-manufactured from Russia)
Other nations gaining on US in air power -general

Wed Jun 23, 2004 05:04 PM ET
By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) - The United States must modernize its fighter jets to maintain air supremacy, a top Air Force general said on Wednesday citing the success of advanced Russian-made jets against American planes in a recent exercise as signaling an erosion of its overwhelming advantage.

Gen. Hal Hornburg, head of U.S. Air Combat Command, said a U.S. air-to-air exercise with the Indian Air Force in February, in which India used Russian jets to defeat aging American F-15Cs, revealed "that we may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as we once thought we were."

Defense experts in both the United States and Europe, however, have said it is unlikely that America -- with vast spending power and a major industrial base -- would lose its dominance in military technology.

U.S. defense officials have said Indian SU-30, Mig-27 and older MiG-21 jets, some armed with Russian-made AA-10 air-to-air missiles, got the best of F-15s based in Alaska in exercise "Cope India" high over northern India.

Hornburg said in an interview with military writers the air maneuvers emphasized his service's push for expensive, stealthy new F/A-22 "Raptors" being built by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters being designed by Lockheed with input from allies.

He declined to discuss classified results of the exercise but said, "Something like Cope India, when we find that some of our advantages aren't as great as we thought they might be, leads me to remind people that we need to modernize our air-to-air capability."

Hornburg added, "We have been saying for a long time that we need newer fighters to do more things," and that the Indian exercise could be a "wake-up call" for Washington.

Russia's Sukhoi aviation works and the Moscow Air Production Organization company have been designing and building increasingly advanced fighters such as the MiG-29 in recent years. India, China and other countries are buying the warplanes -- some with contracts for co-production.

France and Sweden also build advanced combat planes and a consortium of four European countries, including Britain, are producing the Eurofighter "Typhoon" jet.

"I see air forces across the spectrum and across the world becoming better and better as each year passes. That just means that we have to do the same thing," said Hornburg.

"With air superiority, everything is possible. Without it, hardly anything's possible" he added. "People jump to the conclusion that it is ours just because we go. And that's blatantly false."

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address: address: Reuters

Well that settles it. 24.Jun.2004 22:12

PHH

We need more defense spending, less to education and healthcare and more tax cuts for the wealthy!

we're so scared...of India! with the US's arsenal??? 24.Jun.2004 23:01

ha

talk about another selling tool! What's the stats on the U.S.? that it outspends the rest of the entire world combined over 10 times on military issues? With the U.S.'s 300+ international military bases and this guys is using India as a bogeyman?! Besides the Pentagon is missing 3 trillion dollars, and you know it went into black projects for something. The public technology is light years behind what they actually have, and seemingly from things I have read actually used in the Gulf War I and onward.

I'm Surprised the corporate military sales-guy failed to suggest 'you know, let's just take 'em out, before they do any REAL harm. You remember how we had to deal with Iraq, right, before it became any danger?" Heil!

Clinton's fault 25.Jun.2004 01:03

GRINGO STARS

Under Clinton-Gore, the Pentagon, rather than protecting US military technology superiority, actively sold it to foreign powers. That way, instead of saving money by not having to upgrade from newly-obsolete technology, we can spend trillions on new shiny wartoys and everyone with a stake in the military-industrial-communications complex gets filthy rich! Thank you Clinton! Long live the Democrats! Long live the Republicans!

Check out the Noam Chomsky video THE MANUFACTURE OF CONSENT about Clinton-era Pentagon selling out the US's military technology.

Tandori chicken 25.Jun.2004 03:13

kzoo

Gen. Hal Hornburg is saying the Indians beat the Cowboys, so what's his point. Maybe the US should out source from the Russians.

Why Would He Tell The Truth 25.Jun.2004 06:54

Shit Detector

Yes - have we not heard this sort of talk before. When does dissinformation start and end?

The manned fighter air plane maybe obsolete so thats why I think we now got the F-22
program.

We conquer ourselves by our fear and our spending.
A pic 4 US
A pic 4 US

(cough) BULLSHIT!! 26.Jun.2004 10:19

Iceman

"BULLSHIT!!" Like they said in TopGun.
An F15 & Sukhoi dogfight doesn't prove shit. The US military machine is a complete system that doesn't really suffer when one link is weak. E.g., when was the last time a real dogfight even occured anywhere in the world involving US planes? WW2? Korea?

It's all long range missiles since those days.

Besides, since India doesn't have mid-air refuelling or carrier capabilities, what the fuck does it matter if their planes are better, they're not going anywhere beside India. This could only matter to someone who's actively planning of fucking with India on their home turf. See Iraq if u think this is a good idea (BTW: no jets in use there).

true. 26.Jun.2004 11:21

this thing here

there really are no more dogfights. jet fighters are simply platforms for launching air to air missiles with ranges anywhere from 5 - 50 miles. the neccessity of human pilots is also going out.

so the amount of brain power and technical expertise put into the manueverability of fighter aircraft is rather strange. particularly with the f-22, with it's steerable jet nozzels. why? how could that increadibly expensive feature possibly lead to an advantage, when fighter aircraft aren't flying against other fighter aircraft anymore, but really against missiles, which are tens of times faster and more manueverable than any aircraft. and no, their manueverability does not help them "out run" or "dodge" the missiles.

the scenes depicted in "top gun" or any other such movie or t.v. show, with human pilots dodging missiles and engaging in close combat, are purely romantic. it's all microchips, sensors and robotic, hydraulic actuators now...

Jets are in use in Iraq 27.Jun.2004 16:36

GRINGO STARS

...and have been for a dozen years. But they weren't used for dogfights. they were used to lauch air-to-surface missiles on civilian targets ("infrastructure"), and US jets have made hundreds of thousands of sorties over the so-called "no fly zone" over Iraq before this latest surface occupation.

'Its the economics, stupid!' 01.Jun.2005 01:11

Rahman, Bangladesh, email: maf_r@yahoo.com maf_r@yahoo.com

Military power is only an extension of a nation's economic power. War is an extension of a nation's foreign policy. On both accounts, the domination of the USA since the last decade of 19th century todate is going to alter for the worse by mid 21st century.

As to this event of brand new Indian SU30 MKIs flying rings around the venerable USAF F-15C, it is not the first time that American equipment have been found to be of second rate quality. At the outbreak of the WW2, the Mitshubishi Zeke (Zero) fighters were vastly superior in every index of performance to anything that the Americans could fly. At the end of it, the German jet and rocket planes, especially the advance ME 262, were decades ahead of any allied aircraft, including the British Meteor jets, then just operational, or American F80 Shooting Stars, yet to arrive. In the Korean war, the Russian Mig15s with their copied Rolls Royace engines were much superior in performance to the vaunted F86 Sabres, even though the kill ratio went in Americans' favour because of poor training and tactics of North Korean pilots. In both wars, Americans were victorious because of their vastly superior economic powers, as in the end, wars are won by force logistics and numbers.

The real danger to US domination in global power politics is not a few jets, but the imminent emergence of China, and later of India, as dominant economic powers of the world, to be reached by 2050 or a few years later. The manufacturing powers of China's vast work force and the brain powers of 300 million Indian world class science graduates will tell their tales in any future power play that may be staged on the global scene. Like the Roman and the British Empires of the bygone ages, Pax Americana is dying its natural death. Forces of history are against them. There is no reverse way. It is an one way street to a second or third position.

The madness in Iraq is only a symptom of a giant's dying aberrations. It is neither the cause nor the effect, merely a sign of things to come.

As Mr. Clinton famously cautioned, 'Its the economics, Stupid!'

Will Mr Bush or his Mad Hatter's Party in Washington listen?

Of course not! For, that will be against forces of history, from which the men in absolute power never takes lessons.