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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 01:20 GMT 02:20 UK
War games in India 'show up US'
By Nick Childs
BBC Pentagon correspondent

US military policy relies on air power
The success of India's air force against US fighters in an exercise suggests the US may be losing its air superiority, a US general has said.

Gen Hal Hornburg said an exercise in February, known as Cope India, had been "a wake-up call".

The mock air battles in central India had pitted US F-15s against advanced Russian-designed Sukhoi SU-30s.

General Hornburg said the results show the US may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as it had thought.

Cold War mentality

Of course, it suits the US Air Force at the moment to argue that it needs to invest more in air power, as it tries to get funding for advanced new planes like the next generation of stealth fighters, the F/A-22 and F-35.

Some analysts, and some members of Congress, argue that the air force is stuck in a Cold War mentality, and is pressing for planes that it does not really need.

But establishing air superiority and air dominance is key to US strategy and many in the air force have argued that there are still many more sophisticated potential adversaries out there than Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fact file: F-15 Strike Eagle
11 Dec 02  |  Americas
India 'to buy fewer Western jets'
25 Feb 04  |  Business
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22 Oct 03  |  South Asia
BAE Systems wins India jets deal
03 Sep 03  |  South Asia


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