BawliBooch wrote:kitplane01 wrote:Suppose your India looking at China. Or Pakistan looking at India. Either way your air force probably should spend its entire budget on those fighters needed to combat the larger enemy. Don’t spend money on cheap ground attack aircraft when you cannot get air superiority. For these nations, would you agree it’s as much stealth as you can get?
The USAF can fly A-10s to minimize the number of very expensive F-35 hours.
Well, the strategic situation in the sub-continent has changed dramatically in the past 4 years since Doklam. Now a 2 front war with China-Pak in alliance is a real possibility. Worse, otherwise peaceful neighbors like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are also making aggressive noises (Kalapani, Farakka) with regards to territorial claims.
Restricting discussion to Ladakh, China has just moved in large numbers of mobile S300 clone radar+missile systems in the areas they occupied since May 2020. Which means Indian air Force will find it impossible to act in this sector without first neutralizing these Radars. Stealth is not useful in this specific context, since they lose it the second they turn on their radars which will enable the Chinese mobile SAM batteries to easily knock them out.
What could IAF do? They could open the hostilities by sending in the good old Jaguars flying close to terrain to knock out the Chinese SAM batteries with either Russian/Israeli or the Indian NGARM anti-radiation missiles. I have info from reliable sources that the IAF pilots are practicing exactly these kind of ground hogging manouvers in simulators! Around 40 of the 125 Jaguars have been upgraded with new radars in 2016. The project was never really completed. There is a new proposal to upgrade the Jaguars with Israeli 2052M AESA radars. Still stuck in bureaucratic tangles though!
I don't think what you wrote is true. An F-35 could locate SAM sites using ECM with the radars off, and strike these sites with the radars off. Or they could attack the sites with the radars off who's location was detected using the same intelligence the Jaguar pilots are using.
I would think a low flying Jaguar pilots has a significant chance of getting shot down by a modern SAM, but a F-35 has better odds.
The scenario of highly contested airspace filled with enemy radars is the situation that an F-35 can do much better than a non-stealth aircraft.