Draft copy of the exercise Cope India report says:
While the superb performances of IAF Sukhoi-30s were somewhat anticipated, the performance of MiG-21Bison came as a major “unpleasant surprise” to the USAF officials. It also validates the claim of the Russian officials that they are capable of successfully converting “second generation” late-model MiG-21bis fighters to “fourth generation combat platforms”. Inherently the significant positive attributes enjoyed by MiG-21s were their dog fighting ability in WVR (Within Visual Range) combat. Even the earlier models had a low corner velocity of 556 kilometers per hour and at Mach 0.5 had an instantaneous turn rate of 11.1 degrees per second. The MiG-21Bison with more powerful R-25 engines not only considerably bettered this performance but it may also be credited with “jackrabbit” acceleration, a very critical attribute in WVR combat.
Something in-line to:
Among many fourth generations attributes added to the IAF MiG-21Bison design, the incorporation of HMS (Helmet Mounted Sight) and high-off-boresight R-73RDM2 NBVR/WVR (Near Beyond Visual Range/Within Visual Range) AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) have turned it into a “Great Equalizer” in the WVR combat scenario. Conceptually a small number of MiG-21Bisons maintaining “radar silence” can be guided towards their aerial target by a couple of Sukhoi-30s by secure data links in accordance with MFFC (Mixed Fighter Force Concept). Upon entering into an WVR combat envelope the MiG-21Bisons armed with HMS and deadly NBVR/WVR missiles had the capability of destroying even fifth-generation fighters alike F/A-22 Raptor as assessed by high-profile Fighter Analyst Ben Lambeth of RAND Corporation. According to Lambeth “in visual combat everybody dies at the same rate.” F/A-22 also has to slow down if forced into a WVR combat scenario and loses the advantage of its super-cruise attributes. The situation further complicates if the IAF Sukhoi-30s have acquired the capability of providing target illumination for RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) BVR missiles being launched from IAF MiG-21Bisons at extended ranges.