Joint army training of Indian and American Air Forces under a codename “Cope India 04” took place in February in the Madnya Pradesh state in India.
Back then however the even did not interest anyone aside from specialists. Besides, no one was surprised, since such joint training sessions are becoming traditional. “Cope India” has been held since 2002.
However, results of present-day training turned out to be quite surprising for American air forces. To put it simply, Americans miserably failed. American pilots F-15C that participated in the training, have lost 90% of air battles to Indian pilots on Russian “MIGs” and French Mirage 2000 (MIG-27, MIG-29; also Su-30K was used as well). The results turned out to be so bad that it took almost half a year for American experts to conduct thorough analysis of all the possible reasons of the “defeat”.
Only now did the US Air Force bulletin Inside Air Force has called the main reason of their failure. Apparently, Indian pilots have twice as much flying experience than American pilots. To put it mildly, such statement appears to be pathetic. One thing Americans cannot complain about is their flying experience.
Americans were impressed by Russian airplanes MIG-21, specifically their upgraded version “Buffalo”.
Obviously, budget of the American Air Force is expected to grow. After all, it is a shame to be defeated by India, the country that had 102 crashes of MIG-21 in the past 10 years.
Anyway, one should keep in mind that budget increase does not necessarily guarantee higher class of American pilots. American defense budget exceeded $400 billion USD while Indian budget was also worth billions, but Rupees. In 2004-2005 Indians plans to invest 660 billion Rupees (about $14,5 billion USD) in its defense industry. It seems that they are more effective in these things than the Pentagon.