Indian Air Force
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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) may have successfully conducted a daring air raid against terrorist camps in Pakistan’s Balakot in February, but when it comes to a key metric, the IAF doesn’t compare well with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Whether it is pilot to aircraft ratio, or target practice and an ever-depleting squadron strength, the situation is a matter of serious concern.

The IAF currently has a ratio of 1.5 pilots per aircraft as against 2.5 pilots per aircraft for the PAF, top sources in the defence establishment told ThePrint.

Effectively, this implies that the PAF can carry out day and night operations more efficiently than the IAF in case of a full-scale war. The reason behind this is that aircraft can be made to carry out even six sorties a day, but the pilots have to deal with the limits of human endurance.

The IAF also depends a lot on simulation instead of preferred actual bombing practice.

The all-important Western Air Command, which looks after the entire air space with Pakistan and parts of China, does not have a single firing range to drop larger calibre bombs.

Not only this, the IAF does not have a single range to carry out high altitude bombing — a shocking fact given that India shares its borders with China at high altitudes, both in the north and the east.


Also read: 2 months after Balakot, Pakistan changes nuclear weapons tune – they’re for deterrence only


Sanctioned strength

The IAF has a sanctioned fighter squadron strength of 42 and officers strength of about 12,500. Each squadron consists of 16-20 fighter aircraft.

While the shortfall in terms of sanctioned officer’s strength is only at about 2 per cent every year on an average, it’s important to note that the sanction was given in the 1970s.

“The sanctioned strength, which includes fighter pilots, has increased marginally all these years. The pilot strength cleared when India was flying the MiGs. Now we have about 270-odd Su30 MKI, which are twin seats, meaning more pilots are consumed,” said a source.

“Also, as against the sanctioned squadron strength of 42, the IAF currently has only 30, and hence the force has a pilot to aircraft ratio of 1.5. If the squadron strength increases, the ratio will come down,” said the source.

The IAF is looking at increasing the pilot to aircraft ratio to about 2.2, said sources.

Gagan Shakti

Last year, the IAF carried out a massive all-air exercise, Gagan Shakti, spanning the entire length and breadth of the country, which saw months of planning. The aim behind the exercise was to put to test the IAF’s war strategy.

In a bid to stretch and ensure maximum number of sorties, especially keeping day and night operations in mind along with a two-front war scenario, the IAF enlisted all serving and medically fit officers below the age of 48 for Gagan Shakti.

Usually, pilots above the rank of a Wing Commander don’t usually fly as they get tied down to more desk-oriented jobs. Despite enlisting such pilots, the pilot to aircraft ratio rose only to 2.

“But this increase of 0.5 in ratio was a huge boost to flying operations as we were able to do record number of sorties and were also able to stretch the endurance level of aircraft to the maximum,” said a source said.

The exercise, held from 8-22 April 2018, saw over 11,000 sorties, including approximately 9,000 sorties by fighter aircraft.

Over 1,400 officers and 14,000 men were pulled out of training establishments and deployed for the exercise, to augment existing resources.


Also read: Untold story of an IAF Canberra & its crew, 60 years before Wing Commander Abhinandan’s MiG


Firing ranges

At present, the IAF fighter pilots practice their bomb-dropping skills on simulators because of the non-availability of firing ranges.

“No matter how much simulation one might do, there is a huge difference between actual dropping of bombs from the aircraft to hit a target and the one fired from the joystick in front of a large computer,” a source said.

The main issue is with high altitude ranges. The IAF does not have high altitude ranges and the only one available — the Tosa Maidan range in Jammu and Kashmir — was taken over by the state government.

“The IAF has asked the government for two high altitude ranges — one each in Ladakh area and in Arunachal Pradesh. The force is waiting for the decision since 2015,” a second source said.

The Western Air Command currently practices firing at the SK Range near Halwara in Punjab. However, heavy calibre bombs cannot be dropped there because of the size of the range.

“The IAF had identified a place in Thukrana in Rajasthan for creating a range for heavy calibre. But the new Land Acquisition Bill increased the prices phenomenally and it became out of budget for the IAF,” said the second source.

The IAF has to depend on Pokhran range for heavy calibre practice. However, sources said it’s done on a bare need basis because it’s a logistics nightmare to bring in aircraft from across the country.


Also read: Balakot shows India needs to take its technological military edge beyond Pakistan’s reach


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142 COMMENTS

  1. writer unaware of the reality. from the comments such as WAC doesnt have a firing range speaks enough of his lack of in depth knowledge about the subject he is discussing.. about the usage of simulator, again he fails to realise that all modern forces use maximum of Similator rather than real flying and still IAF is the one which was criticized for making maximum real time flying efforts.

  2. Mostly people commenting here on air forces do not have a toilet available to them to poo….. the shit gets to brain and for few it comes out from all output slots including comments. Just relax and keep remembering MM. Alam, Balakot & 27 Feb 2019 that is the comparison

  3. The writer should be unbiased, he should write only truth by ignoring all the consquences.
    India must realize that they cannot pressurize the pakistani army. There is a lesson for india in 27 dog fight.
    India faced a shamless defeat on this day. They lost thier Two fighter aircrafts,
    Shooted their own halicopter by fear of pakistani army and lost many soliders and officers as a result.
    Pakistan showed all the evidences but india nothing.
    One thing you must understand that you are unable to fight with excellent pakistani army.

    • How many cents army pays you for posting these facts. Excellent pakistani army my foot. Lost every war they fought. When couldn’t gather strength to fight more wars then resorted to proxy. There also we defeated you. Entered balakot unchallenged,bombed target successfully eliminated 130-170 insects and returned unscratched. So much so your PM was afraid of full scale war. Shut up and know your place and stop spamming our pages. We are better off without you.

  4. Even your freedom to press doesn’t allow you to humiliate the strength of India. Dare you print such articles from next time. May the hormone of patriotism rise in ur blood. Jai Hind!!

  5. The critic should be taken in good spirit. Gen Manekshaw once said Yes men around ate more dangerous. While all of us love our country, those in power should take the critic seriously. On positive side, it is good to see that some retired armed forces personnel who served more than twe years have said we are in good shape proves that the claim that nothing has happened over last seventy years when different government were in power has been proved wrong

  6. When The print says that Army or CPOs are in trouble then I only laugh loudly…
    Only one target to defame india.

  7. On the outset..let me compliment the writer on penning an readable article.. albeit based on absolutely incorrect figures and slipshod analysis.
    1. Pilot to aircraft ratio is not a standard measure. It is different for fighters, helicopters and transport. So unless you do a comparison uniquely for all types..the ratios stated are useless for any conclusion. Moreover, IAF has a huge fleet of twin cockpit fighters…the ratios to make them effective is grossly different. So, Mr writer..pl wisen up before deducing efficacy of any armed forces.
    2. Fighters in all air forces have limited by periodic servicings…thus, nowhere any air force can fly them non stop forever. Thus, your deductions of less pilot ratio preventing continued deployment of fighter is way off the mark.
    3. You cited that WAC of IAF do not have a range…pl take a guess on how far is Pokhran from any operational base in WAC..max 70 min of flying time for any fighter…a minor step for these flying beasts buddy.
    4. You claimed that fighters are not moved due to logistical hassles… Must share that your informer is terrible…IAF has a well oiled mechanism of fighter deployment away from bases…thus us exercised regularly and without breaking sweat…so relax.

    PAF is a capable adversary..a group of well trained personnel doing their job well…IAF is an extremely potent force with the best mix of man and machine. Do draw out your statistics right and let them decide who is best when the time comes..will urge you not to deduce based on predecided judgement.

    Hope to read a wiser article next time

  8. This news agency isn’t a news agency its just a fucked up group of people getting paid by some foreign group for propoganda purpose. Not accepting comments. Writing this for third time.

  9. It’s interesting to see people who have not flown anything beyond their folding paper planes as kids write so eloquently about real life fighter jets and real pilots.

    Do pray tell, how many aircraft does Pakistan have with respect to India?
    How many of those aircraft are flightworthy and how many of those flight worthy aircraft are combat ready?

    I’m not a blind bhakt like many of my fellow Indians here, and I willingly accept the limitations of our armed forces, however this article and it’s claims are borderline absurd.

  10. By reading the article it’s well understood that this propoganda was spread by our enemy country. IAF is well capable of handling the task allotted to them. Moreover every organisation have their own issues which is sorted out in their own way. Upgradation is continuing process in every country. This will effect the efficiency of the organisation. Let me assure that we are enough capable to face our enemies.

  11. I fail to understand all those Pakistanis boasting their strengths and mighty in this article don’t even looking their real situations. No hospitals, 0 economy, country run by both Army and terrorists nigal vandi even need india starting from tomatoes to hospitals, cannot have even capacity to build train engines, bogies etc come with mentioning their jf17 pak painting on chinese planes. Pls first stop begging and don’t shame the region. Dont sell ur minorities girls to chinease.Make atleast few hospitals and schools. If these basic things come then will discuss rest. Good luck next time.

  12. What is the purpose of this article ?I know this newspaper is run a group of anti nationals. Even if what you are saying is true, is it justified publish such an article.

    You urban naxala are testing the.endurance limit of this country . What is your qualification to write this article ? When no one knew about Balakot , til it actually happened. This is the secrecy maintained by our forces. Don’t believe they will divulge such secrets to a paper run by you.

    To demean the government, you are trying to bring down the country.

    I know , you will not publish my comment.

  13. The rebuttal isn’t easy on this forum.
    US F18 colonel said, after a dogfight against Pakistani F16s, we were like a ping-pong ball against you guys. Wasn’t the same case against Indian warplanes on the morning of 27th Feb this year?

  14. I don’t understand how can someone even such article. Senseless article. No country would allow it . Its height of stupidity. He should be investigated and tried out

  15. Thanks to congress. Congress main interest to rob and rape India. If they spend money to strengthen Indian Army and air force, then, lee money to rob. Also it upset the religion buddies in Pakistan. So any effort to strengthen Indian air force will be very strongly oppose by congress.

  16. Writer is bias fool Muslim with false notion of better than Hindu, in the disguise name of American Christian.Shekhar Gupta is cheap class editor, and low esteem person. Shame on your Journalism.

  17. Pakistan is ready. Come on! Even when you did not attack pak army we did in daylight. What r you waiting for? After crying for war war war when we initiated where is your response. Gazwa hind lurks in your mind surely…. And again paaaaakistan is ready just do it man

      • Their pants are still in deep shit…. they have blocked air space for commercial planes – no media was allowed for 45 days… and this worm is claiming bakistan is ready ..!!! joke of cosmic level… Lolzzz

  18. Muhammadriyaz don’t type something silly
    But remember fifty percent of population in Pakistan is found to be obese that is a major cause of diabetes, as revealed in the latest scientific survey on obesity conducted across Pakistan. Now I hope you are also not obese.

    Came to say that indian pilots are obese and got roasted by a common indian citizen .

  19. What a strange news. Supreme court bans 10year old vehicles, and big hue and cry. But no one has thought how 15+year old aircrafts will protect the nation. So much of noise on Raffale.
    Please Indian Airforce needs urgent state of the art aircrafts. It should be loud and clear. INDIA FIRST, & INDIA ONLY SHOULD BE FIRST.

  20. Worse off not only on pilot strength front but also with pilot cababilities and skills. Shooting down of your SU-30 by a JF- 17 Thunder in IOK’s area and Mig 21 in our Azaad Kashmir area clearly leaves no ambiguity.

    • We shot your F16 with a vintage aircraft. Pigs does come in group. Lion comes in singles. That’s our vardhman. You Imran pissed in pants and let off vardhaman

  21. It is a condemnable news expose. Nothing but under estimating and explaining with, presumably for lowring the morales our military strength.
    Authors of such articles should be dealt with seriously.
    The author is boosting Pak strength and condemning our Government internationaly to gain benefits from hidden sources.
    Authorities may please take care and deal with such anti national activities.
    Freedom of expression should not be beyond nationalism.

  22. Congratulations Indians for making world record of losing 9 fighter jets in 45 days. This is just Indian things.
    Remember India lost 5 pilots and arrested 1 abhinandan without declaration of war.
    Indians say that they strike in Balakot, while there is no human lost or any infrastructure except 1 crow and few trees. And Indian air force left pay load and ran away.
    While Pakistan strike in day light.
    Engaged 6 targets successfully including the target of weapon depo and Indian air chief martial.
    Pakistan shot down 2 Indian jets and 1 chopper.
    Killed hundreds of Indian soldiers on border on that day.
    That was real surgical air strike.
    Indians lost the dogfight too.

    • Bro first of all where are these kinds of drugs available in your country, secondly thanks for reacting the way we wanted you to react, the power of Indian diplomacy has left you and your army covering thrash burns and marks and pretending you are not hurt which leaves you non liabke to take any step against the Indian action. Moreover our Air chief marshal is fine and safe and all ready to tickle your Pakistan’s ass whenever needed and all the other things you wrote like bombing our ammu depo and killing 100 soldiers please do tell me the drug used while writing this even you army would laugh if he reads it. See as of now I see you as a dumb teenager who had listened crap in schools and had pasted all those made up stories on the website of our antinationals. PEACE until we choose to break it 🖕

  23. I didn’t read the comments but as far as i know Indians Nature After Knowing The Truth And Their Weaknessess
    Indians Be Like,
    Its A Pakistani Publication.
    In Short They Can’t Accept The Reality And Whole World Witnessed That Fact After 27Feb 2019.

  24. Vishal of indian navy clearly states that we surpass Pakistan. We should comparewith China. So the author’s point of high altitude range is valid

  25. Dear Indians please try to accept your limits, stop boasting around like Superman. Admit you lack everything in almost everything. Send your Bollywood heroes they will wipe out the entire terrorists. You win wars only in movies and not in reality. Even after your Indenpendence since 1947 you are very far behind compared to today’s modern world.

    • That’s understood Joe. We are far behind. We have issues. But we will solve it ourselves. But, What is your problem??.
      If you are an American, then you guys are the root cause for so many problems. You give Millions of dollars to our beggar neighbour, who only uses that money to send in terrorists and destabilize our country. Historically you were always on the wrong side as far as India was concerned.
      Atleast we don’t trouble you or ask for help to solve our problems. We are trying to solve it ourselves and move on.
      You too move on my friend, if you don’t like. We are like this. Change. We will. But at our place.

    • Dear Joe Smith it’s your good luck to share your comments in India against India. You must share your comments against North Korea in North Korea you will be tied with cannon and you will fly in air

  26. Alexa / Philipa, u have written as if u r a military guru, wanting to teach the bests of the world with your bullshit theory and statistics. Tell me honestly how much Raga paid you….. to write this something more nicely and creatively than him?

    • This guy snehash was not even true with his religion. You expect to speak truthLook at the rice bag convert. Alex Philip and add some more, so that you sound like Italian Vatican. Sold out guy since chidhood

  27. First of all what the credentials of the author. Is he a war veteran, worked in the intelligence, or is a soldier. What’s you knowledge about winning a war. Americans lost in Vietnam. Russians had to back off from Afghanistan. There are hundreds of things involved. Are u trying to tell our enemies how many pilots we have and things like that etc. I seriously doubt the motives behind such articles.

  28. Where did this guy crawl out from? Maybe the light is blinding him & he cannot see the truth. Then again he may not be able to bear the truth!
    I wonder what his real name is!

  29. First of all take this point into consideration that Balakot air strike was utter failure by IAF, secondly IAF pilots are far behind in combat skills than PAF pilots. Successful sorties against terrorists hideout made PAF one of the best pilots in the world.

  30. The above news says that
    Pakistan has 2.5 pilots per aircraft
    India has 1.5 pilots per aircraft

    What about the quality of training..?
    Does Pakistani pilots match the quality of our pilots?

    Abhinandan Varthman has shot down their F-16 using an ageing mig-21

    What if Abhinandan had Rafale?

    Pigs and donkeys can’t be compared with IAF pilots.

    Just bcoz Pakistan has F-16 it does not mean it can defeat India.

    F-16 needs well trained pilot and Pakistan don’t have it.

    During the joint military exercises with US Airforce the US Airforce pilots have praised indian Pilots for their skills, bravery and commitment.

    I pity on the guy who is bringing such news.

    • Do You Have Any Proof Of F16???
      Lets say i am from Norway.
      Give me any Evidence to prove your Words?
      And Yes Dnt Say
      “DG ISPR ny Do Pilots Kahy Thy Is Liay Hamari Assumption man Li Jay K Hum Ny F16 Giraya”
      World is not supporting india’s narative

      • Hi I am not sure from which country you belong to but I trust my Indian Air Force marshal more than the politicians of my country & he publically showcased media the F-16 missile parts along with prudent evidence of F16 electronic signature.

        Whereas Pakistani Army didn’t allow international journlist till 2 months to visit the site after the attack. If the air strike wasn’t successful what is their to hide.
        think rationally

      • Why us government will say that their modern F16 was thought down by conventional mig21.

        If they says they will have to suffer a lot of financial loss as no one Willing to buy an F16 get.

    • Just dare to enter again. We replied with befitting answer. Our truth was like daylight strike and your lie was darknight ambiguous assumption. Why india is portraying like capitulated cargos.

  31. Dear friends
    don,t believe on shekhar gupta news fact. this is the guy who have been taking money from lokheed martin to demolished the actual strength of indian fighter plane. there is a group such reporters who takes money to advertise lokheed martin fighter plane by showing the historic and capable performance details on newspaper and media also instead of indian fighter or russian and european fighter plane’s performance and capabilities .they decide what to be shown in paper about planes and what not to be shown.this man and his media intellectual group is under charge of money laundering. they run agenda of congress and always have interpreted with the real facts about history and political history of this country. since 1947 the media taught us the wrong history about the nation.

  32. I am a retired Indian Navy personnel(CPO UC1), and from my experience and analysis from what i have seen during my 27 years in sea i can confidently say that Indian Naval air arm is superior from pakistan air force leave IAF which is far superior than many developed countries.

    Special mention:: Criticizing government is good i appreciate that but dont be so ignorant while posting such anti national things publicly and if you say IAF personnel are not well trained i can accept that but how can you say that PAF pilots are more trained unless and until you are one of them.

    • Mr. Vishal. You are right sir. This is a cheap article, aimed at some cheap publicity. But unfortunately, we have many such writers within the country and also outside, who make a living out of just maligning our armed forces.
      And also such reports are put out mainly by armament manufacturers, to influence the government or the forces to select their product.
      I did see in the Bangalore Air show in 2017. The media was so much of praise for the F16. Lockheed Martin even offered free rides to certain bollywood actor which was effectively covered by the media.
      But just a few metres from the F16 was parked our own LCA Tejas. Media wouldn’t even bother.

  33. Even then IAF is far more better than PAF, PAF inspite of having more pilots they couldn’t even reach their target, while IAF pilots not only reached their targets but also shot down an 4th Gen F-16 operated by PAF with an 2nd Gen MIG-21… So IAF is more powerful than PAF.
    JAI HIND

  34. The print is trying to act like strict Indian parent….but again based on class 10 and 12 marks u cannot judge the students quality………
    At present in the current situation we all should praise the IAF .. Indian Army and Navy….rather than publishing all these non sence…
    You people should rather focus on Rahul Gandhis marrige issue…and if it happens..then further…
    I think we Indians and all armed forces donot need any suggestions from your side…..and i think day will come u will be sitting in pakistan and writing all these bullshit again….in pain…
    Thank you

  35. The number of idiots and third class people arising articles is increasing by the day.
    They just don’t care at the reviews.
    No wonder these rascals are called presstitutes

  36. It takes several thousand soldiers to win a war….but dropping 2 atom bombs defeated Japan…hope you will understand how technology works…more the advanced tech lesser the people involved.
    But keep on writing as you have to obtain praises and recognition from anti-india gang

  37. Rajaji said Commies are No.1 enemy of the State. Snd how RIGHT he was. The Print must be from the Commie Gang. That is why no sense of pride and sense of propreity even about what should be reported, what should not be. This article is written as if the author is a military strategist. We will IGNORE the Pakistani Bums writing shit here.
    Ah! In a way misleading the Pakistani bums that Indians are ill prepared may also turn out in our favor.
    Yet all I can say is one thing. The US kinda Democratic Press Freedom may be perilous for this country. Perhaps it is right that an autocratic Modi keeping many things close to his heart will achieve better results than Congress and their callous ways

  38. How much low would you stoop The print and The wire ? ,btw they both are notorious anti national elements . These print medias are run by some far left ideologies, so much far that they always cross the line . Many people do share the same ideologies, and i have no personal vendetta against them. But this is bloody poisonous to question the credibility of our IAF, if they are not anti- national , then who are? And these radicals say that our country has gone intolerant.

  39. Lots of keyboard patriots. They know crap and don’t have guts to pick up a rifle and stand at the border or fight terrorists. But, have an opinion and blame a political opponent to show off their patriotism. Be qualified to join the armed forces first, fight the enemy on the field, then sit behind your keyboard and give your opinion. Till then it’s all opinions are just rubbish.

  40. who ever say that Su30mki was shoot down man seriously lacks knowledge 🤣🤣. Also if india can claim 1 why not both … if he was dead why no parents claimed the body. At the end PAF has more officers then jet’s compared to IAF

  41. In the wake of this article we will soon have Rahul, Tejaswi, Akhilesh, Sachin and their likes joining the IAF to increase the pilot strength. Hope this comes true then these rotten “netas” will come to know what it takes to become a “Fighter Pilot”.

  42. Bhai apna Gyan Apne pass rakh dost kya soch ke Gyan de rahe ho bhai Sahab apke Gyan Ko salam. App Pakistani to nahi ho

  43. निंदक नियरे राखिए, ऑंगन कुटी छवाय, बिन पानी, साबुन बिना, निर्मल करे सुभाय।

  44. Your commentary in our Air Force, might be wrong or right, but I think you forgot, our boys flying for the Air Force, are considered to be one of the best in the world. Ultimately, it’s quality that counts. Regarding the Ratio part, the Govt is very much aware of it and as long as our boys in the sky are ready for any eventuality, our country is safe.

  45. I don’t know how true this is. But, when we destroy the PAF flights, what will they do with pilots?

  46. Very poorly written article. The only point it genuinely makes is the lack of firing ranges in higher altitudes, which should be immediately looked into. The sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons is a vintage number. Today, the range and power of aircraft is much better and this number is now irrelevant, though we ought have much more squadrons than 32 as of now. The pilot to aircraft ratio gives a distorted number. For a given situation, IAF has enough pilots to man required sorties. The conduct of Gagan Shakti itself proves the point. But what is not said and which is more serious is that IAF requires to match up to PLA air force. IAF requires longer range air to air as well as other types of missiles, more 4G+ aircrafts, UAVs, satellite imaging support and AWACs. This is the real issue, which had been fully ignored. ThePrint should review useless articles before publishing.

  47. Lol..you cant see the mirror if shown to you,better to accept your dirty face and wash it rather than cracking the mirror. Modi cant be the cheif editor of the print.
    And we know the expertise and moral value of your pilots as well….if you dont: ask abi nandan and his father .

  48. Mathematical bankruptcy of the 3rd grade writer who articulated this piece of logical fallacies reflects in the fact itself that Indian Air Force got more aircrafts than shitty counterpart….Wait for some time your fundings have come off age…

  49. While numbers don’t tell the whole story, the pilot to machine ratio is important and has been declining for India since past 25 years.

    PAF lacks numbers and quality in machines, but has better trained personnel that can leverage her machines more effectively. This was proven on 26 February and 27th. Abhinandan will forever remember as well as dead pilot of SU-30. India best stick to building toilets.

    • Abhinandan proved that INDIAN SOLDIERS
      ARE BETTER by shooting down an F-16 with a MiG-21 bison, which also proves what you are saying is wrong cause you are an anti-national person
      INDIA has better trained personnel, Indian soldiers have Valour which others don’t have.

      Shame on you for writing such a thing.

    • Shah rukh arebt u aware about the destruction we heaped on ure balakot and u didnt dare enter our country only peed and ran away. Rather you did not even accepted the death of ure pilot brought down by abhinandan and killed by ure illeterate citizens. Or u hv forgotten 93000 soldiers were made to rub their noses on our soldiers feet in 1971.

  50. Is it Indian journal …?
    Even enemy country would not dare to write this kind of article. Cheap journalism… the comments section has more credible data than yours.

  51. It is unfortunate that analysis is not done by competent persons. Now forces are going hi-tech with UAV’s, Messiles operated beyond visual ranges, space wars, Missiles launching from multiple bases like air to air, land to air etc. Automation has reduced human interferences. Simulations give opportunities with lesser time and cost practice for simultaneous multiple terrain practice. It also ensures skill secrecy of our fighters. Final rehearsal is also done with best air force around the world for further skill enhancement. What else do you need? Russian Old MIG with brave pilots like proud Abhinandan us more competent to bring down F-16. We should invest more in new technology. We are far better than PAK. Please compare our air force with worlds best with potential to defend country and ready to take up challenge.

  52. Ostrich approach or Bollywood approach.
    Stuck in two extreme reality hideouts. Comments suggest 3rd world it is. Indeed! Always some problem with digestive system.

    Unh….how many times India was runover historically? For many thousand years, right, even before Muslims came over. Isn’t the current Israel copycat behavior putting another nail into repeating what has been the history; another runover. See, the most Israelis are sharp featured, contrast to laid back dull featured. Please make toilets for human use first before getting into false image hideouts.

    • It isn’t a ostrich or a bollywood approach, it’s a technical approach which requires the use of something known as “brain” (I’m sure you guys haven’t heard of it as your comment proves that) And well, matter of fact, you can run over something only when that thing exists, you guys were inexistent on this world, you think I’m lying, ask your history teacher, but oops, I forgot, you lack sense…..
      And rest assured with the “dull featured comment” is it the reason why Indians are taking high profile jobs like CEO’s at majority of the companies
      But yeah, I get it, just another butt hurt hater

      • Yeah, you guys are good at selling, anything everything. But hey, what’s the reason you guys can’t provide toilets to 800 million people? Too much problem of faulty severage lines or fault lines?
        Its going to take few more centuries to recover from brain damage of 800 years of rule over. Remember, caste system is right opposite to democracy.
        World is watching the hotchpotch of two opposites. You’ve got to deal a lot.
        Lesson #1, hit the reality before imagining to stop lying. You guys lie a lot like a parrot.

  53. I am not a technical expert. But being a proud Indian I have a feeling that we did not do the right thing when PAF came at us. Our IAF has not been tested since Kargil….but this is to be taken positively and improvements carried out wherever required

  54. quality matters more than quantity,,, indian are world class pilots and have shown their strength in many air exercises,, and if you are talking about ratio then even usa and japan have 1.5 pilots per aircraft but it doesn’t mean their air force is inferior, go get some research done the print before printing anything baseless about IAF.

    and most important you have not to forgot that back in 2004 indian pilots achived 9:1 kill rato against the same f15s, thats not a joke,, it show’s the true potential IAF has

    • Mr. Somesh, you did a good job taking the side of the IAF. But it looks like you’re the one who’s not got your facts right. The 9:1 kill ratio in favour of the IAF was only because the F-18S had come less loaded and already fatigued. Please go do some “research” on Wikipedia. The internet is free for all.

      • Having advanced fighter jet is not sufficient….there should be enough competency which PAF pilots lack.
        IAF has world class pilots thats why a our Abhinandan with an old MIG had shot down an advanced F16

      • Mr. Prajwal, instead of teaching others how to conduct a research, first you have to understand that going through an article of Wikipedia is not correct citation for any research work.

        Firstly, read the whole thing that I have posted, before replying to me.

        Secondly, Mr. Somesh Singh rightly quoted that in 2004, USAF used F-15C (not F/A-18) in the exercise.
        Thirdly, there isn’t any thing known as less loaded. The loads of fighters are classified/considered as per the mission the plane is flying.
        Fourthly, the only request the IAF made to the USAF was not to use AIM-120 AMRAAM, but the USAF allowed to use AIM-9 Sidewinder, which incase happens to be a short range missile and also happens to be most deadliest close range missile in the world and at that was way superior to any close range AAM missile in the world at that time.
        Fifthly, the score was 9:1, as the USAF wasn’t able to fire their weapons at a rate at which the IAF pilots were and USAF used decade old tactics.

        9:1 kill ratio achieved by Indians pilots against USAF fighters during the Cope India 04, was also reached thanks to their (IAF pilots) skills as USAF Colonel Greg Newbech said: “What we’ve seen in the last two weeks is the IAF can stand toe-to-toe with the best air force in the world. I pity the pilot who has to face the IAF and chances the day to underestimate him; because he won’t be going home. They made good decisions about when to bring their strikers in. The MiG-21s would be embedded with a (MiG-27) Flogger for integral protection. There was a data link between the Flankers that was used to pass information. They built a very good (radar) picture of what we were doing and were able to make good decisions about when to roll (their aircraft) in and out.”

        All the above mentioned information is quoted from the US sites and US documents published in regards of Cope India 2004 and 2005 not from Wikipedia.

        Lastly, this is especially for The print.
        1. Don’t open your mouth if you are paid by some State. You are journalist and maintain the ethics of a journalist and journalism.

        2. Don’t talk about the matters on which you don’t have knowledge about.

        This is for all.

        In terms of strength of IAF and PAF, both the airforce have good amount of planes and both the airforce are professional and have skilled pilots. But the difference is whose pilots are more skilled.
        Merely having large numbers of weapons, is no good. The knowledge of using the weapon, mastery of the weapon, quality of weapon, the motivation level of the soldiers to dominate the area etc. play major role in a combat scenario.

        I don’t understand what is the point of discussing things like those mentioned in this article and the events like Feb 27, 2019, IAF and PAK conflict.
        World has seen how the mastery of our (IAF pilot) has shocked the west and other supporting countries and media (like ThePrint). When the matter or MiG 21Bis (a 2nd Gen aircraft) engaging an F-16 (a 4th Gen aircraft) was discussed with Russians, their reply was “it is the person sitting in the cockpit matters not the weapon.”

        Jai Hind 🇮🇳
        Jai Bharat 🇮🇳
        Bharat Mata ki Jai 🇮🇳
        Jai Hind ki Sena🇮🇳

  55. Please remember the kill ratio of IAF Su-30 MKI against USAF fighter planes …… 1:9 ……. Forget abt PAF …. Success depends on the expertise n grit of the pilots which our pilots have achieved …. Bakwas article …. It’s a shame how our own media try to sell news without proof

  56. Well, the writer of this article needs go through the induction process of Indian Air force. Let me tell the editor of this ‘out of the blues’ media that forces in India( Indian coast guard, Army, Navy and Air force) believe in Quality rather than quantity. They don’t want mob in the forces. The selection process in the Armed forces+ ICG does depend on rote learning. I guess, ‘the print’ recruitment process believes in quantity and that’s why we have such an illogical comparison. Anyway,Keep comparing our forces with pakis on baseless facts. But the zeal of our armed forces will always be high.

  57. Well there is always a problem but who would you blame for this a gov. Who had this matters in their hands for more than 2 or 3 decades they could have easily solved this problem if they were even little worried about security of people like you and me and when there is a deal of 36 rafales you guys have problem of corruption and the opposition who are much more worried about corruption then to strengthen the IAF this news will surely make awareness but the issue is what was the previous government doing to resolve this issue I think I am clear on this do you!???

  58. Paid propoganda media and ISI media persons can’t be expected to write facts and truths. People know what you are “The Print” or “The Prick”. – From an Indian Muslim

  59. What can u expect from ‘”The Print”, a 3rd grade column & left biased Shekhar Gupta & gang their main motto is demoralizing the defence forces & supporting antinationals in the name of freedom of speech & so on

  60. Don’t worry The Print you Congress stooge. Im sure our IAF is very much capable to save your ass being set on fire by your superior PAF. And I’m sure they’ll do that without expecting anything good written about them by you.

    Keep up your good work of criticizing India and all it’s elements.

    • Dumbass Pak is not the only enemy India have.there is China on other side and together they will crush the IAF. Your self praising won’t help in any way . Dreaming about everything and speaking a lot ,it’s a big problem here in India . We are so busy in praising ourselves by own mouth. This Country is full of idiots and fake patriots.

  61. Truth hurts,even my village buffalo knows that IAF has serious problems on Pilot to cockpit ratio,since operation Parakaram. IAF got a bloody nose on 27th after their Tree Strike and were defeated in all fields,technical,technological and human resource.
    If PM Modi and IAF Chief cry like babies and say,”Had there been Raphaaaallle the outcome would be different”,It’s a slap on face of IAF,actually instead of sacking AOC Western Air Command, Changa should have been sent home.
    It was also noted that during recent standoff with Pakistan,IAF was getting technical support from Israel,France,Japan,Germany and US.Does it show that IAF cannot run her machines without technical support from others,shameless.
    One important thing missing in the article is why IAF has a quality problem with pilots..Actually more intelligent youngsters don’t want to join IAF,so the problem is at induction stage and it has existed since 90s.
    IAF has become an embarrassment to their arm suppliers even the Russians were pissed of when they found that IAF had put Israeli pilots on Su30s,One is with Pakistan..Jaay Bhind

  62. It will not help the purpose of the left though journalism is not about protecting the interest of any lobby but presenting the fact itself .

  63. Sekhar Gupta is named in the AWL helicopter deal by Christian Michelle. So no doubt The Print will publish these crap stories. Being a Congress propaganda news medium, it will definitely hype Pakistan.

  64. Will you stop sensationalising the armed forces strength for your benefit.? Now there’s a limit for everything…stop your arse licking habits…if at all you wanted to compare our forces…compare it with any other countries which is equivalent to India…why Pakistan? How much did they pay you for all these falsehoods?

  65. The title given by you itself suggests as if u r wrting the article for Pakistan.. “Never mind Balakot” whom u want to address this?? I m an Ex-IAF n I know how v operate so u don’t have to worry about Pilot ratio. V have ample strength to dismantle the the enemy at any given time. V have twice the strength that Pak have..

  66. Well Pakistan has less no. of fighter planes….But India’s most of the fighter planes will be retiring in coming years. That is the concern which was even shown in few IAF report and in the hearing of Rafael in supreme court by the IAF personnel.
    But IAF is matured enough to address and deal it’s own problems. And why never mind balakot?….after 1971 first time ever IAF crossed LOC struck them and came back unharmed. PAF failed to respond in time. This shows are planning, plotting and execution. This shows our preparedness.
    So I request you to stop protraying Indian Armed Forces as a weak and inferior to other nation forces.

  67. Thanks for exposing all of iaf weaknesses to the entire world!!!! Sad to see facts being shown from weird angles..

  68. Credentials of the author please.
    Pilot to aircraft ratio has to be seen in real numbers also. If you have 10 aircraft and 25 (2.5 pilots per aircraft) pilots, Visa via another having 50 aircraft and 75 pilots (1.5 pilots per aircraft), you can easily calculate who can generate higher sortie rates.
    Very shallow analysis of a very serious issue, especially when casting doubts on own capability in an open forum, where accuracy of the conclusions drawn out are of doubtful integrity.

  69. please do have a sense of quality is always needed for a fighter pilot. did not you see that a quality fighter pilot can down a f16 plane while flying an old aircraft. you sir have not mentioned anything about it. indian air force pilots have been much better than US air force pilots in air exercise in older mig aircrafts. i understand IAF is struggling to get latest gen fighter pilots. However it can be plugged with rafael and tejas lca. please bring the bright side of the story not just go on reporting pessimistic opinions. this is a new age of citizens you are reporting your balant lies can be easily exposed

  70. LoL! Who the hell is this half-baked and ill-facts oriented writer? Why is this article even showing up on my news list? Damn!

  71. Such shamless news reporting and biased presstitute they only come to compare with Pakistan I doubt how such shameless people work behind the news agency no problem karma will teach you lession ur mother or father or sister or ur close one will meet with accident soon

  72. This is because Indian Air Force neck down US made aircraft……. that’s why US Based media is showing it’s real color

  73. Mr. Tiwari, how many Pakistani Naka Chitas and Abhinandan Indian Air Force captured? You are claiming that Indians are mightier than Pakistanis? Oh sure dark color, disfigured, being shot down by light weight M. M. Alam and by another Pakistani Sq. Leader, your pilots are not only mightiest, but over weight personalities, who come down to the ground because your planes can not hold the weights of your pilots, sure the Indians are mightiest.

    • Oh I’m sorry so u claim PAF is more mightier than IAF but who carried out Air strikes in almost 100kms inland of Pakistan and came back unscathed?? Not to mention how IAF even downed a PAF fighter jet when Pakistan tried to carry out I don’t know what the hell that was… And dark color? Srsly? Well a sickening racist mentality can only be expected from Pakistanis… A shit hole full of subhumans

  74. What the hell are you talking about?
    NEVER MIND BALAKOT, MAY SUCCESSFULLY CONDUCTED what is this? Are you guys nuts?
    IAF-139,576 Your Paf-70,000 personnel
    IAF-1800+ only AF AIRCRAFT and 2100+ (army+af+navy) , paf – 900AF+1050 (army afs navy)
    India-
    Su-30MKI: 242 in service
    MIG-29: 70 in service
    HAL Tejas: 12 in service
    Dassault Rafale/Rafael: 36 in order
    Mirage 2000: 42 in service
    MIG 21: 115 in service

    Pak-
    F-16: 76 in service
    JF-17- 00 service oh 100
    Chengdu-60
    Mirage III 75

    Heli- 430+ India only (AF)

    90+pak (army navy af)

    Don’t write whatever you want!
    Go to the deep
    🇮🇳(LOVE INDIA)

  75. Its being not a surprising 😂 before 2014 pakistan claim India is weak in Air force.but after 2016 Pakistan claim India in growing its defense system in every sector and now pakistan is nothing in front of india and this growing power is not good for pakistan .Now newly they had mention now india is more power full country in Asia. So dont make a bitch statement .

  76. I make it a point not to waste time reading on articles on The Print, The Wire and likes. Directly read the comments section to understand the bullshit in their stories.

  77. Please report number of fighter planes..is it that they’ve 5 planes and 15 pilots vs 10 planes and 15 pilots.. ?? ..and pls don’t print half baked bs knowledge about sorties and flying hours etcetera… 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  78. How do you think this article is helping IAF and the nation as a whole.

    Is it to create fear in the minds of Indians that India is weak compared to Pak in terms of Air Force.

    What is the motive behind this article. The informer appears anti-national. He is punishable.

    This article is highly condemnable.

    Stop writing such crazy and unverified articles.

    As a patriotic Indian I condemn this article.

    Jai Hind

  79. The Print clearly seems to be in pakistans’ side. This high definition piece of shit proovs how low the level of journalism has fallen in recent years.
    By the way, the dialog “log paise ke liye Kya kuch nhi karte” suits this shitty article and it’s author the best.

    P.S: this article is far away from the actual facts and don’t trust this article as well as The Print platform. This is Congress backed.

  80. I understood the dubious agenda of this article after reading the first paragraph. All the best… But rest assured your team and your bosses go take a hike as you would never succeed in demotivating this country a year more.

  81. india didn’t hit anything beyond trees while Pakistan hit your ammunition dumps and supply dumps. End of story.

  82. Please mention number of fighter planes in both countries.. what if they’ve 5 planes and 15 pilots vs 10 planes and 15 pilots..and cut out dumb half baked knowledge about sorties and flying hours and other technicalities… 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  83. You are really Ideot while raising concerns. God knows from where you are getting this data. Why you are collecting this data and why you are publishing this.
    I consider it a treachery with country as well as people.

  84. This is alarming. Requires immediate attention.

    What is the point in acquiring more sophisticated aircrafts when there is shortage of pilots.

  85. What a case study this article and the comments above have proven to be. Author not only bravely portrayed the facts that his fellow country men do not want to believe (a classic Ostrich approach) but has also been able to be brave enough by not blindly buying the product Modian Media was trying to sell. Offcourse being an Indian he had to choose to write ‘may have conducted a daring raid’ or else he would have been tortured to death in that increasingly intolerant society. The truth of that ‘daring raid’ has been openly admitted by Indian Foreign Minister to an extent that she even did not claim the only life loss of a crow in that cowardly runaway childish activity that was called as a surgical strike. All of the sain elements in India and the entire international community have accepted that Balakot strike was a blatant lie and India did not shoot any F-16 and infact lost a Mig-21 and a SU-30.

    I think the article has very clearly tried to make it’s point that with this unprofessional and ill equipped Indian Airforce whatever happened was a fate accompli.

  86. Do you people have any sense before commenting on our forces look into your ownself. U r demoralizing our pilots. It is easy to say whatever comes into your mouth. Why don’t you go and try it. It is better to do it yourself rather than preaching.

  87. Assuming your description is correct. You fail to attribute to the previous regimes. Obviously this wouldn’t have happened in last couple of years. I would rather thank you for exposing the erstwhile governments.

  88. You jackasses should know how many airplanes that IAF has and how many PAF has , this article would make sense of the numbers were even comparable,
    Do basic research first !

  89. Mr karan Thaper how much money or assets u get as kickback while printing this….? By Pakistan or Congress party… Same on u people 🤛

  90. It means there is great need to recruit more in IAF academy and train to the state of the art training as pilot not only capable for fighting with enemies but with strong psycho-physiological approach. In addition, there may also be need for aero-pilots (army ) for lodging, transportation and rescue work at high to extreme altitudes including Siachen Glacier using choppers.

  91. Mr karan Thaper how much money or assets u get as a kick back while printing this new..?
    By Pakistan or congress party…. Same on u people …..

  92. What way to begin the article!!
    “The IAF, MAY have conducted a dating raid …..”
    May have?
    First, may like to learn to trust the IAF before trying to put forward your half baked ideas.

  93. Is the author of this article claims less man power / aircraft reduce the tactical advantage to INDIA..foolish assumptions..all friendly air show & skills in the past show the capability of our GREAT fighter pilots…

  94. The composer of this superficial story doesn’t know the level of practice n strength of IAF. let the ratio be 2.5 or 10.5 . one fighter need one pilot only and history says one IAF pilot has been 100 times mightier than ur 2.5 PAF pilot. As far as the day and night exercises are concerned ur lie will be in light to know that only night flying hours of IAF is 2.5 times more than of total day n night flying hours of PAF on monthly basis. Only thing where IAF is behind PAF is IAF has never carried out any operation on it’s own citizens as PAF did in Baluchistan.
    So my dear colluminist No matter how much u pay for the payment u have received from PaF., u r not going to prove it great.

  95. If the pilot ratio is no of planes per pilot then pray tell how many aircrafts does Pak hold Vis a Vis India ……it’s easy to give nos…..ur print media and have a lot of responsibility do act accordingly…..also take into account the characteristics of all aircraft and war waging doctrine if ur reporters have that much of sense ….stop sensastionalising headlines to sell third grade news

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