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Old 7 July 2012, 01:16
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Lightbulb Red Flag 2012 - The Russians Are Coming! (No, seriously, they are...)

I'm not sure how wise it is to invite the Russians to a combat exercise such as Red Flag, and them being active participants.

Nevertheless, it would be cool to see what is likely to be a good number of extensively-modernized MiG-29SM's and Su-27SM's and the like... Would be interesting to see their near top of the line jets and not export monkey models and how they perform against late Block F-16C's and MSIP II F-15C's - the Raptor, et al.

Of course, I imagine the USAF, Russians and many other nations will be turning-off some of the most sensitive systems, putting radar reflectors and external tanks on the Raptors. Lastly, now you have real Red Air, and it would be interesting to see what they think of the 57th ATG's representation of them...


-----

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...-red-flag.html

---------

The Russian Federation Air Force will be coming to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to participate in the US Air Force's Red Flag (13-1) exercise. How the world has changed... This would have been absolutely unthinkable even a few years ago. It's actually kinda bizarre now... But at the same time, kinda awesome.

The questions I have are: Will the Russians play the part of Red Air? It will certainly be interesting to see how the Russians react to the US interpretation of their tactics and doctrine... Also, I have to wonder how the Russian play-acting/dress-up the 64th and 65th Aggressors do will go over...

Anyways, here is an excerpt from the Voice of Russia article--they kinda buried the lede...

"In spring of 2012 it became known that the Russian Air Force is to participate in the Red Flag training exercise in the fall of 2012 together with Americans. From 8 until 19 of October, Red Flag Air Combat Exercise 13-1 will be held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada (the exercises are numbered in accordance with the fiscal years, and exercise in the fall will be number one in the 2013 fiscal year).

Like India, who participated in the Red Flag several years earlier using its Russian-made SU-30 MKI, Russia will get a chance this year to test its aircraft in realistic combat maneuvers with USAF aircraft. This chance is very important, since up until now the only Russian aircraft of the fourth generation which fought in a real combat situation against western aircraft has been the MIG -29, but the possibility of deploying it in the conditions of very specific wars of 1991 and 1999 was limited.

Under such circumstances, the chance to test modernized Russian aircraft such as the SU -27 SM, SU-30M2, MIG -29SM and other strike aircraft - despite simulations, they are still against real western aircraft and pilots - is too attractive to be miss out on."

UPDATE: The USAF confirms the Russians are going to be attending Red Flag 13-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, this October.
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Old 7 July 2012, 02:08
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This is very interesting. I smell trouble though... Seems like a really good time and place for a "mistake."

When I let students spar with each other, I have to watch new ones very closely. When they aren't getting enough hits in they start to move a little faster than the 65% sparring speed they started at. Then the other person moves a little faster to keep up, and hits a little harder. Both sides move forward hitting faster and harder until its a real fight.

I hope whatever the rules are, all the planes are checked for live ammunition that might have "accidently" been left on... Guns with real rounds instead of sims. etc.

Plus, do any of you think that either side will bring their latest and greatest? It seems like a great way to stela each others technology though.

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Old 7 July 2012, 03:00
foxcolt13 foxcolt13 is offline
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I think its a very stupid idea.
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Old 7 July 2012, 06:49
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Originally Posted by foxcolt13 View Post
I think its a very stupid idea.
I would think so too. 'Obviously' someone else has weighed the risk/reward and believes differently?

Unfortunately, politics seems likely to be what drives this, you know, "the Russians are our friends now" thing......
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Old 7 July 2012, 07:35
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I think its a fantastic idea...

Nevada = Hookers and beer!

What better way to learn the real secrets of the Russian aircraft than to get the pilots and ground crews drunk and laid!

Johan, are you available to take lead on this?
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Old 7 July 2012, 09:38
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I'd say the risks here definitely outweigh the gains. I'm not a fan of this idea.
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Old 7 July 2012, 10:19
Maverickf'dup Maverickf'dup is offline
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We'll fight at 60 percent at best. The Russians will achieve a decent kill rate. The USAF will use said kill rate to request more money.
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Old 7 July 2012, 10:19
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Originally Posted by Papa Smurf View Post
I think its a fantastic idea...

Nevada = Hookers and beer!
What's the old axiom? More intel has been gleaned through women and booze than any other since, ever?
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Old 7 July 2012, 10:24
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Originally Posted by Maverickf'dup View Post
We'll fight at 60 percent at best. The Russians will achieve a decent kill rate. The USAF will use said kill rate to request more money.
This.

-Stan
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Old 7 July 2012, 10:46
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Originally Posted by Fofo View Post
Of course, I imagine the USAF, Russians and many other nations will be turning-off some of the most sensitive systems, putting radar reflectors and external tanks on the Raptors. Lastly, now you have real Red Air, and it would be interesting to see what they think of the 57th ATG's representation of them...
For a former AF squadron intel pogue, this has me grinning from ear to ear. I attended one Red Flag back during the Cold War and this feels oh soooooo surreal. On the other, hand, I'd give anything to get to watch it.

Agree with you , Fofo, about how fun it'd be to see what they think of our representation of them. Also agree both sides will surely be turning off their best technologies.

While working in the NMCC at the height of the Cold War, I looked up toward the balcony one day to see a whole bunch of senior Chinese Military looking down over our command center and was a bit perplexed at first too. I'm sure these things are well thought out.
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Old 7 July 2012, 11:24
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Red face Whoops...!

Apparently Flight Global and Voice of Moscow kinda jumped the gun on this one... Being on the fence as to whether or not such participation was really a good idea - I'm actually kinda relieved it's probably not gonna happen.

Be it as it may the US can get a better look and feel for OPFOR aircraft, do the Russians really need an easy way to fill-up their electronic databases with American and NATO aircraft data and electronic emissions?


I found this on the Nellis AFB Facebook page just now...

Reports of Russian Federation Air Force participation in Red Flag exercises at Nellis in the near future are inaccurate. For questions about Russian Federation Air Force participation in Red Flag-Alaska, please contact the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs through the switchboard at the Pentagon."
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Old 7 July 2012, 13:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxcolt13 View Post
I think its a very stupid idea.
My initial thought, unless you wanted to see if your F-15/F-16 force can match up against export versions of Russian Aircraft.

Both sides are using this as an intel gathering forum.

AF/Navy/Marines will hold classified hearings after this to justify more F-35's, and Russians will give briefings on how they kick our asses, so buy their planes instead of F-15/F-16's.
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Old 7 July 2012, 15:45
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Think like US Intelligence Officer

It is a very smart idea, on several level.

Those who say with sarcasm "The Russian are our friend"- your sarcasm may have some merit. But you also share some enemy and some very serious potential enemy.

Political- there is merit to idea.

Military- there is some merit. There will be friend made. Friend who will be Generals in 10, 15 years. Generals who make decision on availability of base in some remote or bad part of world. This is only 1 example.

Intelligence- you have fighter and strike squadrons operating over your electronically monitored battlefield. The only caveat- the Russian are the past master of espionage, deception, intelligence. They will not be easy source, but there is still something to be gained.

Good idea or bad, I would give 1 year of quality non-flying life to be aggressor in Su-27 or MiG-29. In terms of Strike/Fighter flying, "It will be a party".

The result will be skewed- largest US advantages will not be present in real-world state, for various reasons.

But any fighting/flying time is to the benefit of Fighter Pilot.

Regards,
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Old 7 July 2012, 16:27
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I'm amazed that someone still considers the Russians worthy of participating in serious maneuvers with our military.

No, I don't care if people think the Ruskies can build an AC -- there is more to combat than having a great piece of equipment.

They might again be a world power, and maybe soon -- but until then, let's not act like they are in our league....
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Old 9 July 2012, 22:14
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Wow...its Iron Eagle II for real...where's Chappy Sinclair?

Seriously, if the US really needed intel on Russian AC Capabilities I'm sure they can just buy one from the many ex-WP/Sov Bloc Countries...

In fact they already did that with some Hinds and MiG-29's? From Moldova?

Agreed with SOTB, yeah the Ruskies can build stuff...but I'd think their training and morale is down the shitter, probably worse then the PRC.

I remembered back in 99 watching a Su-27 pulling off the Cobra at the Melbourne Airshow and was quite impressed.

When the Flanker landed and parked, had a close up look. The riveting and panel gaps looked like the thing was built by 6 year olds....
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Old 9 July 2012, 22:33
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Misfire. Turns out Red Flag will be occurring like any other year but without the ruskies. See above post.

Last edited by dagger0824; 9 July 2012 at 22:35. Reason: Inaccuracy
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Old 11 July 2012, 13:27
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Russians in the war room? What if they see the big board?
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Old 13 July 2012, 19:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpaw View Post
Wow...its Iron Eagle II for real...where's Chappy Sinclair?

Seriously, if the US really needed intel on Russian AC Capabilities I'm sure they can just buy one from the many ex-WP/Sov Bloc Countries...

In fact they already did that with some Hinds and MiG-29's? From Moldova?

Agreed with SOTB, yeah the Ruskies can build stuff...but I'd think their training and morale is down the shitter, probably worse then the PRC.

I remembered back in 99 watching a Su-27 pulling off the Cobra at the Melbourne Airshow and was quite impressed.

When the Flanker landed and parked, had a close up look. The riveting and panel gaps looked like the thing was built by 6 year olds....
Everyone was very excited when the Germans brought their MiG-29s to Red Flag in 1999 or 2000.

Nice looking airplane, but the reality when compared to the myth was underwhelming, to say the least.
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Old 14 July 2012, 12:27
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The India Air Force bragged they won....

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2008/11/usaf-pilot-describes-iaf-su30m.html


[QUOTE=Fofo;1058162059].
Like India, who participated in the Red Flag several years earlier using its Russian-made SU-30 MKI,
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Old 15 September 2012, 06:34
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(1) Drinking in Vegas with Russians: bad idea from a force protection standpoint. I doubt any non-Slav could safely imbibe with those people. Probably the real reason they won't be there.

(2) Indian AF. The only "under-a-minute" ace on the planet is a Pak.
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