Why is India moving its P-8I Neptune and MiG-29K fighter jets to the ladakh?
The Indian Navy plans to deploy 20 of its 45 MiG-29 carrier-borne fighters to the Himalayas to reinforce air force jets flying patrols over a disputed region bordering China.
The MiG-29Ks are supposed to fly from the fleet’s new aircraft carrier Vikrant. But Vikrant is years behind schedule, freeing up the MiGs and their pilots for land-based operations.
Not only Mig-29K but other Naval assets like P-8I maritime surveillance aircrafts will be deploy. It is quite surprising action and never heard such action in past. Though inter operability is very common in military.
Mig-29K is equally capable compared IAF’s Mig-29 UPG. Previously Indian navy was operating sea harrier jump jet from its aircraft carrier. But their number was too small just 15 units and capabilities also was very limited. This jet is not capable to operate from high altitude air fields. Plus infrastructure for sea harriers was not exist in north air fields. So those are never deployed in north. But Mig-29 K has not such problems. Navy has 45 units of Mig-29K. Their infrastructure has common with IAF’s Mig-29 UPG. IAF’s ground staff can maintain Naval Mig-29. So these can easily deploy in northern air fields.
Now real question is that why India is deploying its Naval assets in north which is thousands kilometres away from sea?
Inter operability of military arms : Inter operability of various arm forces are very common practice in military. If one arm of military ( suppose Indian air forces) face shortage of resources ( fighter planes) than other arm ( in this case Indian Navy), which has under utilised resources, transfers it’s resources as required. IAF regularly aids Navy in south India. IAF’s Jaguar regularly engage in maritime strike roles.
Su-30 use to protect air space near Arabian sea. IAF’s transport aircrafts regularly use for transport navy’s goods and personal. This time Navy is comes to strengthen air force.
IAF’s weak squadron strength :IAF’s fighter plane squadrons are in very bad shape due to government’s experiments. Government had approved 42 squadrons for IAF in 1980s. But that was never achieved even after 40 years past. Currently IAF has just over 30 squadrons. So Navy comes forward to give some relief to IAF by providing its fighter planes to IAF.
Experience :This deployment will give an opportunity to Indian navy’s fighter pilots to get experience of real time war like situations. Their skill will be improved. Plus military will observe issues of such inter operability of resources. Later those will be fixed. So that during actual war, things works smoothly.
P8i deployment : P8i is known as anti Submarine Warfare aircraft. P8i is much more capable than that.
It’s role is much more wider. It has capabilities to monitor EW emissions. Though IAF has few aircraft for electronics surveillance but P8i will work as force mutiplier. There is news of S-400 deployment in Tibet. P8i can be used to detect S-400’s radar signals.
Talking to Tyler Rogoway of TheWarZone, a pilot of Patrol Squadron Five, a maritime patrol squadron of the United States Navy, which is also known as the VP-5 the “Mad Foxes,” said: “ESM (electronic surveillance measures) is used to collect a wide range of emitters used by… land based facilities at extended ranges. It allows us to be able to geolocate emitters to find a foreign submarine, surface combatant, or land based surface-to-air site. It is also a passive system, which allows us to covertly monitor a wide area.”
“The EO/IR (electro-optical/infrared) camera can be used to visually identify both land and sea based targets, with the IR camera having both white hot and black hot images,” the pilot had told TheWarZone.
P8s can use these capabilities, and many others which remain classified, while flying in own airspace to draw a picture of enemy’s dispositions on the ground.