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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 08:49 
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Singha,
About the karbala incident
Quote:
Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, chief of the 101st Airborne division, candidly conceded the limitations of the assault helicopter. "The Iraqis dispersed very early . . . They weren't massed in the way we want usually for Apache operations," he lamented.


from Failed raid spurs re-evaluation of gunship


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 08:52 
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and I am sure Cheen/TSP is studying all such case history to come up with appropriate countermeasures. what 32 could not do, a little wing of 5-10 cannot.

also we deleted a lot of EULA/CISMOA stuff related to datalink and EW from the MC-130J/P8 we got...there is no guarantee until the contract is fleshed out that the full longbow kit does not incorporate some such problematic kits.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 08:54 
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Nick_S wrote:
rohitvats wrote:
And when it comes to effectiveness, a Squadron of Apaches could wipe out an entire SP Arty Regiment in a matter of minutes and then re-arm and go and whoop some tanks in another sector?


Sir, is that something that LCH could not do? Maybe we would need more LCH, but given the price difference, thats not a big deal.

Plus taxpayers money would mostly remain in India.

Apaches just seem to be the latest brochuritis disease picked up by the IA & IAF.


No. LCH is designed for a different purpose altogether. Air defence against UAVs, SEAD/DEAD, helicopter escort, combat SAR support - these are the roles for which the LCH is primarily envisioned to carry out, and these are the roles for which the will be procured. Tank-busting is a secondary role. To take on an assault by massed armour, you need dedicated helicopters designed for that role. That means something like the Mi-28 or Apache. An LCH just won't cut it, except in smaller engagements or during emergencies.

Also, regarding the Karbala incident, I fear people are drawing the incorrect conclusions about what happened. Indeed, the mission was unsuccessful, and practically every helicopter suffered damage. But it was more a failure of doctrine than an inherent problem with the platform itself. The Apaches were used for deep interdiction - independently engaging the enemy over hostile territory - as opposed to providing direct fire support for ground forces engaged in an open battle with the enemy.

The latter is what attack helicopters designed to do. It seldom involves overflying the enemy, and quite often, forces on the ground provide some form of support and protection to the helicopters.

The former puts the helicopters in a very vulnerable position behind enemy lines without adequate support. It's the kind of thing works fine when used against an unsuspecting enemy, especially when the attacking force has solid intelligence and achieves complete tactical surprise. But the inherent limitations of helicopters mean that it is not repeatable on a long-term basis. Ultimately, interdiction is best left to fixed wing aircraft that possess the speed, payload, and survivability to carry out such attacks with far less risk.


Last edited by Mihir on 06 Mar 2013 09:45, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:03 
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then why is the Helina and PARS-LR being readied for the LCH at great time and expense? how is the Cobra and SuperCobra rated as such effective machines over their history (playing havoc in any role, including with TOW ATGMs) and not LCH? :D

only 12 longbow sets are being procured for the 22 apaches so its not even true that all are longbow and hence equipped for long range tank detection and targeting.

if LCH can do SEAD/DEAD as you mention above, it must be able to sneak in relatively deep behind the lines to knock out such assets and this same range and stealth will make it a potent anti tank platform as well.


Last edited by Singha on 06 Mar 2013 09:07, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:03 
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vic wrote:
I suggest we cancel costly M777 howitzers and use indigenous Bofors. We can purchase around 1000 guns for the same cost instead of 150 and pre-position them near the border. If we use non-automated indigenous Bofors then we can pre-position and deploy 2000 howitzers near the border. And if we use a basic indigenous 155mm howitzer (equivalent to Russian 2A65) then we can purchase around 4000 pieces for the same amount.

Emergency deployment, gaps can be addressed by 105mm LFG + HEER shells + ALHs.


The M777 + Chinook solution is costly, imported and does not benefit our defense capability in long term, as we need to think of local solutions to our defense problems.

We should also modify & deploy Pinaka in single pod versions on 4x4 and even single rocket versions on jeep mounts to address the light weapon but long range 60km needs.

M777 is made by BAE and their honesty is well documented in Saudi contracts.

Indigenous defense needs must be met by local solutions.


vic wrote:
The issue is whether we are using valuable resources on only 22 heavy attack helos which cannot be used in Himalayas, are extremely vulnerable, very costly and can be replaced by indigenous solutions like LCH, even IJT, or LCA etc. If I say modified Saras everybody will attack me and Rohit will have a fit of happiness.


vic saab I can understand the views and statements. While one can describe as well as prescribe the use of M777/Apache use convincingly or otherwise, a well trained observer by looking at the state of affairs in MoD/IA and series after series of unobtanium GSQRs from IA, can't resist in raising the question you put forward here.

While we may not got to see behind the scene decision for this procurement, by looking at the available saga behind FMBT and the saga of unobtanium GSQRs, one wonders, to put it mildly, whether really IA know what they want and raises a question mark on all such gold plated procurements.

Don't know if this question can be honestly answered by any uniformed officer but then ex-COAS VKS Singh is not an ordinary uniformed officer, no? Check his remarks(linked in another thread)...


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:09 
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Ajay Sharma wrote:
Now comments ranging from "Shame on IA" to linking all import purchases as motivated by bribes etc are very surprising


In MoD corridors, it is an open secret that no deal goes without any bribes. To get a glimpse of that, see the above VKS talk


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:36 
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pentaiah wrote:
We used hunters in1965 and 1971 as CLAW and took out many patrons The example cited is one F16 imagine a raid by 4 or 6 F16
There has been enough discussion on why the Army needs it's own attack helicopters.

Quote:
He had emphasized that efforts at increasing the firepower and mobility of the Army would not be complete without an integral aviation element comprising light, medium, heavy as well as armed/attack helicopters.


Quote:
While the final fate of these Apaches is yet to be decided by the MOD, it is understood that the Army is also going ahead with its plans to acquire, on its own, another set of state of the art attack helicopters, preferably Apaches, for its Strike Corps.

I believe the debate here is: do the strike corps absolutely require the more expensive and capable Apaches or can they do with more LCHs.

Source


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:44 
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Singha wrote:
then why is the Helina and PARS-LR being readied for the LCH at great time and expense?

A guided missile can be used against many other things apart from armour. And in any case, I never said that the LCH will never be used against armour, just that it is envisioned as a secondary role.

Singha wrote:
how is the Cobra and SuperCobra rated as such effective machines over their history (playing havoc in any role, including with TOW ATGMs) and not LCH? :D

Since when have the Cobra and SuperCobra taken on and defeated massed armour? Or supported attacks by armoured formations? They were never intended for that role, were they? They were built to provide fire support to infantry, and are great at that.

Singha wrote:
only 12 longbow sets are being procured for the 22 apaches so its not even true that all are longbow and hence equipped for long range tank detection and targeting.

The Longbow-equipped Apaches can hand off targets to non radar equipped AH-64Ds. And anyway, are you making the argument that the radar is the only thing that sets apart an Apache from a Cobra or LCH or Tigre?

Singha wrote:
if LCH can do SEAD/DEAD as you mention above, it must be able to sneak in relatively deep behind the lines to knock out such assets and this same range and stealth will make it a potent anti tank platform as well.

And the LCH can haul the kind of payload the Apache or Mi-28 can, yes? It has all the sensors needed to crush massed armour while flying NOE?


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 09:58 
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>> are you making the argument that the radar is the only thing that sets apart an Apache from a Cobra or LCH or Tigre?

I'd like to learn what sets apart a non-longbow apache from a cobra/lch/tigre armed with the same std of rockets and missiles.
yes the apache can carry 16 missiles vs 8 on the others. but does it have N times the loiter time to move around and use up all 16?

what else?

the pakis/cheen would be quite stupid to launch a massed armour attack without some radar guided AAA, M113 mounted manpads and even mobile SAM units on the ground (same as we do with tunguska, zsu23-4) and also throw in some roving F16s to drive away any indian helis.
an apache is as helpless against a F16 as any other heli...it needs to run or hide quickly rather than pick a fight it cannot win.

if billions of $$ are to be spent, I would suggest integrating the "brimstone" and more CBU105SFW to our strike fighters is a better investment...we can throw some 300 brimstone equipped planes into a general pool and use as many as needed to beat back massed armour, with su30s dropping in some heavy bombs to add to the mayhem.

Khan history claims a few CBU105 unleashed from a B52 at 40,000ft set a whole column of iraqi armour on fire and made the survivors run away to surrender.

we need to meet mass with mass, not a band of snipers.


Last edited by Singha on 06 Mar 2013 10:19, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 10:05 
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In the Indian context,I always go by the age old adage,there's "safety in numbers".Given the vast air space,maritime territories,land borders of varying terrain,we will always find that we have too little numbers in a crisis.Yes,militaries around the world always have less than what they require on paper,but in our experience of fighting 4 wars with Pak,and one with China in just 66 years of Independence,that works out to an average of one conflict every 12 years-and that figure is very important to keep in mind ,when we we are engaged today in a continuous battle fighting cross-border terror,numbers do matter.Our analysts today predict that in the future we may have to fight a war on two fronts,sharp,short and vicious,before international pressure brings about a cease-fire.

From the Paki front,just was was planned at Kargil,the aim would be to tear off a valuable piece of Indian property and squat on it claiming a "victory" of sorts.Pak has steadily been upgrading and modernising its armed forces with the help of both the US and China,funded in large part by the Saudis too.It can be relied upon to fire the first shots as it has always done.The aim as in the past may be to try yet again to cut off J&K from the rest of the country.This may be supported by a Mushy type initiative in the high Himalayas.This would in Paki eyes bring India round to the negotiating table on J&K where it could hope to gain from a favourable situ on the ground.If it is on the verge of losing the initiative on the battlefield,then the PRC would sabre rattle to save the situ by threatening/opening a second front.If this scenario takes place, a small number of heavy attack helos will be quite insufficient to deter a paki offensive and would require close-support from aircraft and massed missile attacks against the advancing enemy.Having every helo with some warfighting capability would help enormously.the money budgeted should not forget the "quality" that numbers bring with it.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 10:28 
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Singha wrote:
if billions of $$ are to be spent, I would suggest integrating the "brimstone" and more CBU105SFW to our strike fighters is a better investment...we can throw some 300 brimstone equipped planes into a general pool and use as many as needed to beat back massed armour, with su30s dropping in some heavy bombs to add to the mayhem.

Khan history claims a few CBU105 unleashed from a B52 at 40,000ft set a whole column of iraqi armour on fire and made the survivors run away to surrender.

we need to meet mass with mass, not a band of snipers.

Why have tanks at all then ?


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 10:48 
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Quote:
The Indian Air Force is refusing to give up control of its AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships, insisting these helicopters are crucial for certain air combat missions (attacking air defense radars and other helicopters).
:rotfl:

source


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 10:52 
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:rotfl: like kids fighting over the latest gaming console.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 11:32 
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Quote:
the pakis/cheen would be quite stupid to launch a massed armour attack without some radar guided AAA, M113 mounted manpads and even mobile SAM units on the ground (same as we do with tunguska, zsu23-4) and also throw in some roving F16s to drive away any indian helis.

Longewala!

I wouldn't put it past the Pakis to try an encore. The are as dumb as a bag of stones most times.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 11:36 
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true. but you never know - depending on the enemies mistakes is not a war strategy, more like a hopeful prayer :D


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 11:44 
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Singha wrote:
true. but you never know - depending on the enemies mistakes is not a war strategy, more like a hopeful prayer :D


I agree with Singha ji here. Obtaining Mi 24s when the LCH was not on the horizon is one thing, but there really does not appear any special capability that the Apache's will bring which can not be made up with LCHs.

Heli's can at best provide pop-up close support to moving troops, and not deep interdiction strike missions anyway.

It makes sense to move the money to LCHs/Rudra's in this case.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 11:51 
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I think this question of Apache vs LCH (or Mi-35 vs LCH) would be best answered by Hari Nair Sir.
Straight from the horse's mouth. No hand-waving or undue sentiments involved.

--Ashish


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 11:52 
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+1. no compelling logic unlike the C130J (I wont mention C17 with Sankuji in rifle range)
perhaps they had a lack of faith in the LCH project couple years back....now with Rudra being handed over and LCH going well, the situation has changed.

there is nothing inked yet. we can drop the deal and instead get more nos of Rudra and LCH.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 12:08 
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Apart from Apache I have pointed out that Army wanted only imported items and I made a list of RFPs issued by them. Apache is an evident gold plated item which has very limited use in Indian context but the same logic applies for almost all demands made by Army. While LCH is too light, Arjun & Prahaar are too heavy.

USA uses a combination of Apache and A-10s and it has around 700+300=1000 machines for this job. Actually A-10 is the heavy/main tank killer/buster.

I can write a 5000 word post to justify why I need only and only a BMW on tax payers money but the point is that TATA Indica or M&M XUV is just as well doing the job.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 12:13 
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Kanson wrote:
In MoD corridors, it is an open secret that no deal goes without any bribes. To get a glimpse of that, see the above VKS talk


One is reconciled to the fact that there will be bribes in "necessary imports" but now import lobby has become so powerful that they are not only effectively killing indigenous products but the purpose of import is just to generate bribes (and not any major overwhelming defense need).


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 12:47 
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So I think there is pretty compelling logic. I don't know if I am right tho.

Here's the searching, target acquisition and missile seeker cueing (right term?) for LCH/Helina from Helina video

1. Target located and identified by the WSO through electro-optical target acquisition system.
2. Align helicopter to sight, i.e. the helicopter needs to be steered.
2a. When the helicopter is within +/- 5 deg of the TAS axis in azimuth, the TAS is put in the auto track mode.
2b. LRF fired to do target ranging
2c. Helina is slaved to the TAS direction/axis
3. WSO places track gate on seeker page in the area of interest on his MFD (Target may or may not be seen clearly)
4. WSO gives target track command which starts coarse tracking of the gated area by the missile seeker.
5. WSO launches the missile.
6......

How long would this combo take to search and target 16 tanks. Compared to this the apache capability specs look pretty mind boggling to me.

Quote:
The aircraft is able to detect and classify more than 128 targets, prioritize the 16 most dangerous targets, transmit the information to other aircraft and initiate a precision attack, all this in fewer than 30 seconds.
....
The FCR provides the Apache with the ability to detect, classify and prioritize stationary and moving targets both on the ground and in the air. Note: this includes RF emitters using the Radar Frequency Interferometer.
....
The system incorporates a fire-and-forget missile that accepts primary and/or secondary targeting information from the FCR and single targeting information from TADS or another aircraft to acquire and engage targets. ... Two acquisition modes, lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) and lock-on-after-launch (LOAL), allow engagement of ground and rotary wing threats at extended ranges. In the LOBL mode, the missile will acquire and track moving or short range stationary targets prior to leaving the launch platform. In the LOAL mode, the missile will acquire long range stationary targets shortly after leaving the launch platform. For LOAL, the missile is only cued by the coarse targeting information the FCR has figured out ?
....
The addition of the Longbow FCR provides a second and completely independent target acquisition sensor which may be operated by either crew member or combined to provide a degree of multi-sensor synergy. When operated independently, the pilot could use the FCR to search for air targets in the ATM mode while the copilot/gunner (CPG) searches for ground targets using the Target Acquisition Designation Sight (TADS).

Using both TADS and the FCR together combines the unique advantage of each sight. The rapid search, detection, classification, and prioritization of targets by the Longbow FCR can then be quickly and positively identified by using the electro-optics of TADS. The center of view can be focused on the location of the highest priority target and the CPG, at the touch of a switch, can view either display. Alternately, the FCR centerline can be cued to the TADS so that a rapid and narrow search could be made of a suspected target area.

The RFI is an integral part of the Longbow FCR. It has sensitivity over an RF spectrum to detect threat emitters when a threat radar is in a search and acquisition mode and also when the threat emitter is "looking" directly at and tracking the Longbow system. .... The RFI has a programmable threat emitter library to allow additional threat signatures to be stored and/or updated. Incidentally the IAF thinks this capability is good enough for it to order 22 partly for SEAD
Source

The apache seems to be optimized for one and one purpose only - search, target and destroy ground vehicles en masse with additional air defense capability. It's target acquisition capability seems miles ahead of the LCH/Helina combo, even if we downgrade the specs to 4 targets in 30 secs + a visual for each target to confirm the FCRs job.

I think in the case of fixed wing aircraft, targeting information is acquired from elsewhere: JSTARS/Astor/ground troops. The Longbow Apache is both the sensor and the shooter and pretty much capable of autonomous operation in that aspect.

If we do end up getting 60+ apaches for our strike corps, imagine the power 20+ of these critters puts in the hands of the strike corps commander.

As an aside, in the youtube video the presenter states that the IA required a helicopter launched anti-armour missile to have a range of 7 kms. I presume that means IA thinks a range of 7 kms is enough to keep it out of range of shoulder fired SAMs ?


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 19:26 
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Kanson wrote:
Ajay Sharma wrote:
Now comments ranging from "Shame on IA" to linking all import purchases as motivated by bribes etc are very surprising


In MoD corridors, it is an open secret that no deal goes without any bribes. To get a glimpse of that, see the above VKS talk


I am referring to the "Shame on IA" bit of it. If all MoD deals go with bribes, then that taint should be on the people that indulge in it and not on the organization. It almost alludes to everyone in IA being corrupt :evil:


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 19:59 
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rohitvats wrote:

Just because you type something on the lines of - 'I think so' does not mean you have a POV.

Making posts like yours is more suitable to making gossip on 'chai-ka-thela' than being on a forum where subjects are discussed and debated based on certain knowledge base. Which you evidently lack and have not displayed any inclination to acquire.

But don't worry. You'll learn. Or fade out. That is the nature of the beast.

Like I said its your style so no arguments here. :wink:

rohitvats wrote:
Sigh!!!

You talk about capability of LCH+Rudra+Mi-17 in the same breadth and compare them with Apache? What next? Compare LCA with Rafale?

OK. Answer me this - why are we getting LCH when Rudra is there? After all, Rudra can fly to same altitude, carry almost the same payload (Rockets + ATGM) and would cost less than an LCH? Let us have more of Rudra and not waste money on LCH.

The reason is in terms of capability. LCH represents a certain capability customized to undertake particular roles. Which Rudra cannot. Similarly, a heavy attack helicopter like Apache brings certain capabilities to the table. There is more to a Combat Helicopter than the Missiles and Rocket pods hanging outside on stub wings.

Mi-17 - Ability of Mi-17 to fire rockets does not translate to their automatic use as fire-support helicopters - they are primarily, as American would describe, Combat Support helicopters. Those rocket pods will allow them to fight their way in and out - IF THE NEED ARISES. And not as a matter of routine. We barely have enough for fulfill the primary requirement.

Rudra - IMO, it helps IA fill the need for Direct Fire Support for the Infantry and Mech Infantry guys. This is one platform which will help lift the dependence on IAF for CAS. And something which can be deployed in numbers across the entire spectrum of the army. And relatively low cost will allow army to field them in numbers.

LCH - This is going to be IA's baby as far as the main Attack Helicopter of IA is concerned. I have no doubt that this machine is going to evolve on the lines of Tiger Attack Helicopter. A single platform fulfilling multiple roles - Direct Fire Support, Anti-Tank, Armed Reconnaissance and Scout. The first choppers are expected to come online by 2015-2016. The next iteration is unlikely to come into picture by 2020-2022 time frame.

AH-64D Apaches - These are going to be the main punch of the IA and IAF in pure heavy anti-tank roles. We face a strong armored and mechanized infantry threat from west and if CSD is to materialize, Heavy Attack choppers of Apaches kind are a must. These versatile platforms can help punch a hole in during offensive as well as stop enemy armor during counter-attack or break-out.

As a nation and army, which is still building up capability in many areas, Apaches represent a potent force which helps cover many a short-comings.

As an aside, Western nations (primarily European) are rethinking the role, and hence nature, of attack helicopters because these is no threat of Red Army hurtling down the Fulda Gap. The development of Tiger helicopter is case in point. Today, the commitments by western nations is of a different kind. French forces in Mali required a chopper with long legs which could double up as the eyes-in-the-sky as well as shooting up the bad guys. And something which required low maintenance. Please see the induction of this chopper in Australian Army service on similar lines even when AH-64D was offered to them. As I said earlier, these Tigers are even replacing the OH-58 Kiowa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_OH-58_Kiowa) in service.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_Tiger#Tiger_ARH

Quote:
The Tiger ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) is the version ordered by the Australian Army to replace its OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Iroquois-based 'Bushranger' gunships. The Tiger ARH is a modified and upgraded version of the Tiger HAP with upgraded MTR390 engines as well as a laser designator incorporated in the Strix sight for the firing of Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles. Instead of SNEB unguided rockets, the ARH will use 70 mm (2.75 in) rockets from Belgian developer, Forges de Zeebruges (FZ). 22 of the variant were ordered in December 2001. Most of the helicopters will be operated by the 1st Aviation Regiment based at Robertson Barracks in Darwin.[72] The first two ARH helicopters were delivered to Australia on 15 December 2004. ARH deliveries were to be completed by June 2010. Full operating capability was planned for December 2011.[72]


There is another more important angle to import of Heavy Gunships - it de-links the development of LCH from the induction program and replacement cycle of IA and IAF. Delay in LCH (God forbid) will not affect the operational readiness of the Army or IAF.

rohitvats ji I agree with each and every point you made about Rudra, LCH, Mi-17. I noticed that you didn't mention Mi-35 heavy gunship in you argument which we already have.

My point is, is it really necessary to go for heavy priced Apache gunship when you have other options available at your disposal. As far as my knowledge goes( correct me rohitvats ji if I am wrong) RFP are worked out based on war doctrine, requirements, other assessments. And it should be flexible enough to change according to new developments in the area. Earlier our war doctrine required heavy gunship as at that point of time we didn't have LCH, Rudra in our inventory. But now thanks to DRDO/HAL/IAF/IA efforts we have Rudra, LCH in our inventory. Our war doctrine which was based on Mi-17 & Mi-35 only for chopper attack roles earlier should change accordingly. Now we have in excess of 4 attack helicopters to choose from with a wide range of attack capability. Down the time it should move from these four to LCh, Rudra and their variants. This is what I call indigenisation.

But as per doctrine already set we are going for Apache heavy attack choppers. Who is stopping IA from getting a dedicated fighter jet fleet for itself. Where anywhere in the world army rule book its written that Army cannot have a dedicated fighter jet fleet under its command. How about 2 squadrons of LCA MK-1 for IA. Ready to roll under their call. The point being we need to explore new options with the capabilities we have developed in house.


Last edited by SagarAg on 06 Mar 2013 20:35, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 20:05 
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Ajay Sharma wrote:
Ajay Sharma wrote:
Now comments ranging from "Shame on IA" to linking all import purchases as motivated by bribes etc are very surprising




I am referring to the "Shame on IA" bit of it. If all MoD deals go with bribes, then that taint should be on the people that indulge in it and not on the organization. It almost alludes to everyone in IA being corrupt :evil:

By this logic all the blame for corruption in India should go to Raja, Kalmadi, etc etc and not CONgress right ? And nobody is saying what you are referring to for IA. Ask anybody here about there feelings for our armed forces and you will know everybody here have THE highest regards for them inside as well as outside and we are so proud of what they are doing for us. :)


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 20:29 
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SagarAg wrote:
The point being we need to explore new options with the capabilities we have developed in house.

Thats right saab. There is no need to follow what americans did!


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 20:41 
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a lot of american weakness gets hidden because they attack each problem with 10 different approaches, so the 2 approaches that work get praised to the skies while the other failures/also rans get to slink away with H&D intact. this is a evolved version of the TSP doctrine where any failure is deftly hidden and doesnt exist.

like with the B52 SFW success story being tom tommed , perhaps a bunch of F-solah or helicopter units had been driven off before the big dog was called in.

when same US systems are used in a more "austere" environment where penalty for failure is heavier, we will know their true worth. perhaps they are gold as per paper, or they may be silver or bronze.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 22:44 
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KrishnaK wrote:
1. Target located and identified by the WSO through electro-optical target acquisition system.
2. Align helicopter to sight, i.e. the helicopter needs to be steered.
2a. When the helicopter is within +/- 5 deg of the TAS axis in azimuth, the TAS is put in the auto track mode.
2b. LRF fired to do target ranging
2c. Helina is slaved to the TAS direction/axis
3. WSO places track gate on seeker page in the area of interest on his MFD (Target may or may not be seen clearly)
4. WSO gives target track command which starts coarse tracking of the gated area by the missile seeker.
5. WSO launches the missile.
6......

How long would this combo take to search and target 16 tanks. Compared to this the apache capability specs look pretty mind boggling to me.

Quote:
The aircraft is able to detect and classify more than 128 targets, prioritize the 16 most dangerous targets, transmit the information to other aircraft and initiate a precision attack, all this in fewer than 30 seconds.

--SNIP--

Good post. Engaging 16 tanks simultaneously is crazy.
Yup. The 7 km range was to get it out of man-pads range.

Carlo Kopp has done a writeup on Longbow and describes what you asked.
On AH-64A
Quote:
Grease filled gearboxes designed for substantial ballistic tolerance to 14.5 mm and 23 mm fire, twin T700 engines with sufficient reserve power to limp home on one powerplant, a tailshaft designed to absorb hits and if cut by fire, not to chop the tail off, extensive use of composite armour to absorb low calibre fire, shrapnel and spall, seat shock absorbers and structural design to absorb extremely high sink rates, a dual redundant 3000 psi hydraulic system and a host of other less evident design features provided the AH-64A with unprecedented damage tolerance.


On AH-64D
Quote:
A textbook "ambush" scenario would see a Apache Longbow led AH-64D section move into position masked by terrain and coordinating via datalink. The lead ship would then raise its Longbow system to detect targets, and then drop back under cover, while the lead gunner distributes the targets via "drag and drop" to the other aircraft in the group, to avoid multiple targeting. At that point, all aircraft can salvo launch their MMWI Hellfires and back out into a new position, while the missiles attack the targets. The software "remembers" the coordinates of attacked targets and flags these on the screen with an X to avoid redundant reattack and wasting of rounds.

Quote:
Boeing's statements concerning the ability of the Longbow to find targets hidden behind foliage is not an overstatement. The treeline along the freeway obscured much of the traffic, which could in some places not be seen through the TADS(original AH-64A nose-mounted eo sensor). The Longbow locked them up in a single sweep.

--Ashish


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:24 
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SagarAg wrote:
rohitvats ji I agree with each and every point you made about Rudra, LCH, Mi-17. I noticed that you didn't mention Mi-35 heavy gunship in you argument which we already have.


First and foremost - please drop the 'Ji' thing. I know I look the part for this 'Ji' but a man can have his delusions, no?

I did not mention Mi-35 for a reason - when we required an attack helicopter, they were the only game in the town. Like Mi-23 MF acquired to counter initial induction of F-16. Though, they have served us well and are a potent force.

And I can see that you're formulating your POV in a much better manner. Good for you and us. This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me.

Quote:
My point is, is it really necessary to go for heavy priced Apache gunship when you have other options available at your disposal. As far as my knowledge goes (correct me rohitvats ji if I am wrong) RFP are worked out based on war doctrine, requirements, other assessments. And it should be flexible enough to change according to new developments in the area. Earlier our war doctrine required heavy gunship as at that point of time we didn't have LCH, Rudra in our inventory. But now thanks to DRDO/HAL/IAF/IA efforts we have Rudra, LCH in our inventory. Our war doctrine which was based on Mi-17 & Mi-35 only for chopper attack roles earlier should change accordingly. Now we have in excess of 4 attack helicopters to choose from with a wide range of attack capability. Down the line it should move from these four to LCH, Rudra and their variants. This is what I call indigenization


You've raised multiple issues - allow me to address them to the best of my abilities.

1. Doctrine - Well, this is a very big word which is being bandied about quite casually. There is very little literature in the public domain about Doctrinal aspect of war-fighting of Indian Services. Of late, some literature has been put out by the Army on certain aspects. Whatever we know, is through papers and articles by various think tanks. But we digress.

Your doctrine is formulated to fulfill certain objectives. While formulating the Doctrine, you look at the capability of your adversary and your own resources – what you can afford and how much of it can you afford. It is not a linear thought process but something which enmeshes various factors. Take for example the Sundarji Doctrine formulated in 1987. It envisaged that in next Indo-Pak shooting match, India will strike across the deserts of Rajasthan and Southern Pakistan Punjab/Sindh, take Rahim Yar Khan (RYK), severe north-south link in Pakistan and severe the country into two.

To achieve this, he concentrated the firepower of Indian Army into 3 x Strike Corps centered on powerful armored divisions. He formulated Army Plan 2000 under which IA was to be fully mechanized with 4 x Armored Division, 7 x Mechanized Divisions and 4 x RAPID and 10 Mountain Divisions. Of course, nothing came of it because of the financial crisis of 90s and IA's involvement in insurgency.

Another important example is the proposed Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). IA has taken numerous steps in organization aspect to ensure that it is aligned to undertake and implement this doctrine. For example, it has moved certain formations more closely to border to cut down mobilization time. More firepower is being added to the Pivot Corps to lead the initial offensive.

So, you see the weapon systems and organizations are tailored around a doctrine and not the other way around. In our case, since a large component of major weapon systems is imported, we adapt these weapons to the best of their (and our) capability. So, doctrine about role and use of helicopters in today’s battlefield is not platform centric – rather, it is the other way around. Let me again quote the example of planned capability increment in terms of Heliborne Operations in the Indian Army – IA wants each Corps to be able to heli-lift at least one Infantry Battalion. Now, which platform would you acquire to do this? Mi-17 or ALH? Mi-17 seems the obvious choice, isn’t it? Tomorrow, there might be some different platform available to fill this role – there could be our very own Advanced Medium Lift helicopter. But the requirement of air-assault and its place in overall war-fighting scheme will remain.

The development of Tiger helicopter is another example – it is a very sophisticated piece of equipment which comes in various forms. At no point in time were the Germans or French planning to develop something on the lines of Apache. They wanted a helicopter which could fulfill multiple roles, have long legs and be easy on maintenance leading to overall lower cost of ownership. You see, by the time development of Tiger started, USSR was already history and Germans and French knew that they would not be fighting massive columns of Red Army’s Operational Maneuver Groups. Tiger is what would be required to fight a dispersed enemy who does not fight as per the rules of a regular war. Deployments across the globe for missions like in Mali would mean that the chopper had to be less maintenance intensive.

Australians chose Tiger over Apaches to fulfill requirement for Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). This ARH is not only going to be their prime anti-tank helicopter but also replace OH-58 Kiowa Scout helicopters. This allows Australia to standardize their fleet further.

2. Indian Threat Scenario – The threat scenario that we face on our western borders has only increased in quantum and complexity. PA maintains a very large tank and mechanized infantry fleet. And these mechanized forces are accompanied by MANPADS. And then there are ATGMs, heavy caliber guns and small arms fire. Today’s battlefield is a highly complex and hostile environment for a chopper. And thanks to the US Dollars, the modernization of PA continues unabated.

Apart from the anti-tank role, you need a chopper to fulfill other roles like scout, direct support to the ground troops, armed reconnaissance etc.

One of the objectives of ‘limited war’ which is likely to be fought between India and Pakistan is attrition and degradation of war-fighting capability of PA. Something like ensuring that their armored formations cease to exist as coherent fighting machines.

What you need is a weapon system to address this complex threat scenario and achieve the required objectives. And tank-busting is going to be one of the major portions of the role which any attack helicopter is going to fulfill.

3. Role of Helicopters – I’ve already commented on the level of helicopter fleet and its component being planned for by the army. By all indications, helicopters are going to be a very critical aspect of Indian war fighting machine. We’re talking about helicopters across the entire spectrum – from heavy to light combat helicopters, light and medium support helicopters and light utility helicopters.

You would be surprised to know (old fogies on this forum would know this) that Indian Army had earmarked 54 Infantry Division for Air-Assault way back in 1986-87. Of course, nothing came by way of resources and this division continued in its infantry role.

So, rest assured army knows and understands the importance and place of this third dimension of vertical envelopment. It is only now that it is getting the resources to put it in place. ALH/LCH/Rudra/Apaches are parts which are helping complete this big picture. Only thing missing is the Mi-17 class of helicopters which IAF controls and operates.

4. Weapon System – Of this entire requirement picture, heavy anti-tank role is one part. And here is the crux of the situation: AH-64D Longbow Apache offers a capability which is not offered by any other chopper out there to fulfill this role. Not even the Tiger. And not our own LCH.

That Longbow MMW Radar is a system in its own class. Without getting into too many technical details, the basic difference between a Tiger (and other attack helicopters) and Longbow equipped Apache is this – Tiger needs to ‘SEE’ a target using its optronics. Longbow Apaches on the other hand ‘ACQUIRE’ targets using their AN/APG-78 radars. They automatically classify top 16 threats and highlight the same for the crew to act upon. This brings it close to how modern fighters operate. And apart from this radar, it has all other capabilities in terms of optronics which Tiger has.

LCH was conceived to fulfill a specific requirement – requirement borne out of inability of Mi-35 to operate in Kargil. This is an example of a weapon system designed for meeting a certain doctrine. Other aspects of LCH as a weapon platform have been designed to ensure that this fundamental requirement is not breached. However, the need to remain true to this requirement will mean that there is going to be a limit to the growth potential of this platform – in its current form. But the same has not prevented IA and IAF for placing orders for LCH far in number to what are actually going to be employed in high-altitude areas. This is an example of Army/IAF adapting a weapon platform to fill a certain need.

I have no doubt that the next iteration of LCH will be on lines of Tiger – a more evolved and full bodied attack helicopter. But LCH will still continue to be an important subset of any attack helicopter development – till we come with engines to haul a Tiger class of chopper in the Himalayas.

Rudra falls in class between ALH and LCH/Apache. There are examples of such choppers in service of other nations – UH-1 Bushranger is one example. These will provide the armed support to the ALH and medium lift helicopters (when they enter service).

5. Force composition – In an ideal scenario, if all the Corps of the IA were to be equipped with Grade A Attack Helicopter, my guess is that it would be on the lines of Tiger helicopter – with some of them equipped with Longbow type of radars. But we know resources are limited and need to be spread across judiciously. AH-64D is the cutting edge of the Attack helicopter requirement meant to undertake the most critical tasks. LCH will fulfill everything else.

People who criticize army for ‘wasting’ money on AH-64D need to remember one simple point – if the Services had be that foreign pasand, they would have never initiated the requirement for such a chopper in the first place. And in case they did, they could have limited the numbers required only for deployment in mountains. But I don’t see that happening. These choppers are going to be deployed from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Going ahead, IA will see induction of at least 3 x Apache Squadrons @ 1 per Strike Corps. Other Corps are going to be equipped with LCH as their prime Attack Helicopters. So, of the 14-15 Corps that IA will have in future, only three are likely to see Apache Squadrons.

6. Production – People who are shouting LCH from roof-top are forgetting one simple fact – where is the LCH and when will it enter service? As per the latest reports, LCH will receive FOC by 2015-2016 timeframe. Assuming HAL would have established the production line for LCH in parallel to development process (after all, there are firm orders for 179 choppers) with initial production rate of 20 LCH/Annum, by 2020 we would see a total of 80-100 LCH in service. Apart from the technology aspect of Apache Mi-35 need replacement as of now.

This entire debate about 22 Apache and their role and LCH versus Apache aspect is based on flawed premise. That LCH is same as Apache. It is not. This is not a Arjun versus T-90 debate. The LIGHT in LCH is there for a reason.

By the way, you asked what prevents IA from having 2 x LCA Squadrons – well, there is actually a system which decides who owns and operated what resources.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:32 
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What would be the R&D challenges for DRDO to take up a SADARM Excalibur type round?


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:32 
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This will work if Himalayas will lower their altitude, enemy AEWs will go on leave, Radar network will be on blink, VSHORAD defense will be doing potty, AD Guns will be jammed, Tanks will sit on their ass in narrow valleys waiting to ass kicked. Am sure all this will happen for the benefit of Apache.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:37 
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vic wrote:
This will work if Himalayas will lower their altitude, enemy AEWs will go on leave, Radar network will be on blink, VSHORAD defense will be doing potty, AD Guns will be jammed, Tanks will sit on their ass in narrow valleys waiting to ass kicked. Am sure all this will happen for the benefit of Apache.


:roll: :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:41 
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Singha wrote:
>> are you making the argument that the radar is the only thing that sets apart an Apache from a Cobra or LCH or Tigre?

I'd like to learn what sets apart a non-longbow apache from a cobra/lch/tigre armed with the same std of rockets and missiles.
yes the apache can carry 16 missiles vs 8 on the others. but does it have N times the loiter time to move around and use up all 16?

what else?

Greater payload carrying capacity, more sophisticated sensors, superior target acqusition and fire control, IR signature suppression, twin engines, et cetera et cetera. And you forget that when dealing against an armoured thrust, those 16 missiles (or 8 missiles + 30-odd 70 mm rockets) would get used up in a jiffy.


Singha wrote:
the pakis/cheen would be quite stupid to launch a massed armour attack without some radar guided AAA, M113 mounted manpads and even mobile SAM units on the ground (same as we do with tunguska, zsu23-4) and also throw in some roving F16s to drive away any indian helis.

Yes, a massed armour strike will likely be accompanied by organic SHORAD assets. But those air defences will have a hard time shooting at helicopters operating over friendly forces or contested territory unless they want to become targets for tanks and ICVs themselves.

Singha wrote:
an apache is as helpless against a F16 as any other heli...it needs to run or hide quickly rather than pick a fight it cannot win.

Indeed, the Apache is helpless against an F-16. As is every other helicopter in the world. How does that build a case for procuring more LCHs? In fact, we should be doing away with the LCH, Dhruv, Mi-17s too.

Singha wrote:
if billions of $$ are to be spent, I would suggest integrating the "brimstone" and more CBU105SFW to our strike fighters is a better investment...we can throw some 300 brimstone equipped planes into a general pool and use as many as needed to beat back massed armour, with su30s dropping in some heavy bombs to add to the mayhem.

Ah, but fixed-wing aircraft have their own limitations. They have to avoid long and medium range air defences, something terrain-hugging attack helicopters are not bothered by. Often, an attack by Brimstone-esque missiles requries overflying the target area, and that carries risk. Also, fighters get to spend very little time on station and are often not available for immediate fire support the way attack helicopters are. Once they exit the battlefield, they have to refuel and rearm at far-away airbases. It all takes time. Helicopters, on the other hand, can quickly replenish their stores at FARPs and be available to provide support in a relatively shorter period of time.


Going by all these arguments, we don't need MKIs either. Just buy more LCAs. After all, they can both fire missiles. And drop bombs. And shoot shells from an on-board cannon. Range is the only thing that differentiates the two, and with buddy refueling, it shouldn't be any problem at all if we replace one MKI with two LCAs. In fact, get rid of Arjuns and T-90s too. Just buy more ICVs equipped with anti-tank missiles. Better still, get the BMP-3 :mrgreen:. It has an anti-tank gun, fires ATGMS, and can carry infantry to boot! Who needs those bloody expensive tanks?

Nobody is arguing that a heavy attack helo like the Apache/Mi-28 is some sort of silver bullet - a be-all and end-all solution to every tactical problem out there. All I'm saying is that it is designed with a very specific role in mind, it excels in that role, and represents a capability that the IA/IAF can ill afford to do without. The LCH has been designed to do something completely different; shoehorning it into a role it hasn't been designed to carry out will be *very* difficult.


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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2013 23:56 
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We are equipping our choppers with arty guns? :-?


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 00:05 
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Simple only change the name of the thread. :rotfl:


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 03:01 
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Nice post on the choppers, rohitvats.

One thing not mentioned is the stealth factor--of all the weapons at their disposal, the Americans chose the Apache to open hostilities and kick in the door during Desert Storm. They sneaked in at low level at night to destroy critical radar sites inside Iraq from miles away--similar to blowing up India Gate while hovering over IGI Airport. Later, Apaches blew up tanks, trucks & artillery with pinpoint accuracy, unseen and unheard, and it came to such a pass that when things suddenly began to blow up around them with no enemy in sight, Iraqi soldiers threw their hands up and waved white flags even though they could not see or hear what or who they were surrendering to.

This stealth factor would be devastating against jehadis trying to sneak into remote areas at night or in bad weather. Youtube videos of Apaches taking out jehadis show they have no idea they are being targeted until it is too late. IMO, it would be a crime to park them in a hangar somewhere waiting for a tank war when they could be out there making jehadi kebab and saving Indian lives right now. The LCH, when it comes, should be capable of doing something similar. We can't afford expensive hangar queens.

Also, a single Apache is able to control several UAVs, directing their flight and weapons. I hope we are looking to take advantage of this capability.

No other weapons system has the combination of optoelectronic and navigation capability of the Apache, period. IOW, if we want this capability, there is nothing else available today or in the near future.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 03:27 
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Attack Helicopters: AirLand Battle Future's Sword of Vengence


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 05:23 
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Desi Bofors to plug gap in Army’s long-range firepower
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Desi-Bofors-to-plug-gap-in-Armys-long-range-firepower/articleshow/18841177.cms


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 06:48 
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Nice Development :D such technologies should be internalized on a time bound basis, Rifles, Field guns, Rockets, Tracked and Non Tracked combat vehicles, Bombs, Shells of all kind. Not a dime should go out of country for purchasing these comparatively simpler equipments.

It will be nice to breed engineers for defense equipment line itself, catch them young groom them well, and we will be a front line defense equipment manufacturing country.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 07:31 
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well it is nicer only because of it reduces corruptions and bureaucracy to get the weapons to forces. ToT is the way to go, but at the same time total indigenous aspects must be the core r&d and production model for the future.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2013 07:35 
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Raghuraj wrote:
It will be nice to breed engineers for defense equipment line itself, catch them young groom them well, and we will be a front line defense equipment manufacturing country.

Also Indian corporates (PSU) need to learn how to be accountable and sympathetic to defence needs and the Armed forces will have to learn to adjust to the vagaries of domestic supply. The experience cannot be guaranteed to be happy, but it is a necessary one - like a 7 foot man marrying a 4 foot 4 inch woman.

I think India the nation has suffered from the consequences of the twin issues of callousness and shoddiness among the civilian defence production companies and an utter contempt for them among many defence brass. There is no other go = they have to learn to work with each other.

I was amazed to read the story of that mortar where the army requested features that were unavailable anywhere in the world. I don't know why the PSU did not tell the army this, but they tried and failed. Only after that did the army accept that it was unavailable anywhere in the world and agreed to import mortars with lesser specs from abroad. Why didn't the army and PSU agree for lesse specs right at the beginning?

The armed forces simply have to learn to manage with what we can produce in our country. The situation reads like tough shit to me but what is the option?

A comment made to me by someone at the Nag ATGM stall in Aero India 2011 was that the 4 km range missile was working but the army now wanted 7 km because that is the standard. I don't know who was bluffing but the story sounds like the way the armed forces and PSUs hate each other and would be happy not to have to deal with each other at all. Close down PSUs and import everything. That is what we were like in 1947 anyway.


Last edited by shiv on 07 Mar 2013 07:35, edited 1 time in total.

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