SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

MMRCA Deal - Flying the Super Viper

Issue: 10-2009By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey, Bangalore

The F16-IN meets and exceeds all radii of action and loiter-time requirements of the MMRCA, ensuring that you can put any enemy target ‘at risk’

A strike fighter is a combat aircraft that is capable of attacking targets both in the air and on the ground, with equal efficiency and effect. India’s Medi¬um Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender calls for a strike fighter to replace older generation aircraft and en¬hance the combat potential of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The F-16IN Super Viper meets and even exceeds the challenging strike fighter requirements, delivered within a timely, low-risk programme tuned for India’s defence industry. The Super Vi¬per is the ultimate Fourth Generation fighter, combining ad¬vanced Fifth Generation capabilities with its combat proven performance, reliability and maintainability.

Imagine yourself preparing to lead a strike fighter mission. Your target: a weapon depot deep inside enemy territory. The F-16IN meets and exceeds all radii of action and loiter-time requirements of the MMRCA, ensuring that you can put any enemy target ‘at risk’. Learning that the target is guarded by modern surface and air threats, you commence preparations with the help of your computer-based Mission Planning System with the confidence that the F-16IN Super Viper, custom designed for the IAF and its missions, is the fighter for any challenge. All the data is there at your finger tips to optimise the mission.

Attack & Destroy Target

Using a predicted Electronic Order of Battle (EOB), digital maps of the terrain and key intelligence data, you determine the route to and from the target. Your mission data is shared across a network with the other aircraft in the mission and soon all routes for the multiple fighters in the strike package are optimised and coordinated. Synthetic imagery and maps, predicting what each pilot expects to encounter during the mission, are created and reviewed. Now it is time to embark on the mission.

Pre-flight preparation of the F-16IN Super Viper is rapidly accomplished, even though your strike fighters configured with two precision-guided stand-off weapons, a full set of close-in and beyond visual range air-to-air missiles for self-defence and external fuel tanks. All weapons and pre-flight gauges are easy to inspect on the ground and there is no need for maintenance ladders or stands. The mission planning data you have prepared is automatically loaded into the advanced mission computer via the cockpit receptacle.

Control of the agile F-16IN Super Viper is with your right hand on the side-stick controller. There is no stick in the middle of the cockpit blocking your view of the displays. Each of the three main 12.7x17.8 cm full-colour displays is fully programmable, reflecting selections you made during your mission planning. For every system, weapon or sensor, there is a preset mode of your choosing. Vital for today’s attack is the all-in-one Tactical Situation Display (TSD) you have configured on the centre display.

After take off, you settle into a seat optimised for close combat and concentrate on the mission. The mission will be flown at low altitude—too low for aerial refuelling—but the high fuel-to-weight ratio of the F-16IN design provides plenty of range to fly your mission and navigate through any unforeseen diversions. As you penetrate enemy airspace, you are flying at 30 metres above the ground, on auto pilot, using terrain following radar backed up by a passive digital terrain database. Nap of the Earth flight at 900 km per hour!