Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Rudra
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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Rudra » 28 Jan 2003 20:52

ATGMs are vastly more costly than rockets. they can and will be used as needs dictate. the Mi35s certainly can fire ATGMs. can anyone confirm for Mi17V ?

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vick » 28 Jan 2003 21:08

I haven't seen any Indian Mi-35s with target designators i.e. the IRST/FLIR/TV ball (usually at the nose, but doesn't have to be). The only pics I have seen of ANY Indian "attack" helos are with the rocket pods.

I understand that ATGMs are expensive but this is the parade, you're supposed to show the "good stuff" or at least the fiberglass mockup of the "good stuff."

Here is a pic challenge: Find a pic of an Indian Mi-25/35 or 17 that has the gimballed target designator and/or equipped with ATGMs.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Nandai » 28 Jan 2003 22:07

I remember reading back when the new Mi-17s were ordered that they would be equipped with the Vikhr ATGM system, a nice system indeed :)

George J

Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby George J » 28 Jan 2003 22:13

Originally posted by Vick:
Here is a pic challenge: Find a pic of an Indian Mi-25/35 or 17 that has the gimballed target designator and/or equipped with ATGMs.
I dont think i can find a pic....but would a VIDEO suffice? There is a shot of Mi-35 firing an ATGM in Aakash Yodda. It was the first time i was seeing one too, and unless there are some new fangled single rocket pod that I am not aware off, it pretty much looked like an ATGM to me. This is what happens when we have grown up on images of the Hind blasting LTTE with rockets and Mi-17 blasting tiger hill with rockets, we forget that they just might be capeable of other asset deployment too.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vick » 28 Jan 2003 22:23

I don't know much about ATGMs but I do know that they require some sort of target designator like laser, IR, TV, etc. What does the Vikhr use? Sources mention that the Vikhr is a radio command guidance. Meaning, it is not fire and forget, the operator must guide the missile to target. But what I am curious is what is the mechanism for the initial target acquisition? If it's laser then the firing a/c needs to have laser designator, etc and that is why I would like to see some sort of designator on an Indian Mi-35 or 17. GJ, I will go look at AY again and try to find the scene you're talking about.

Regarding the missile itself, it seems to be a nice little pyromaniac's delight. Tandem shape charges penetrating 900mm RHA!

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Rudra » 28 Jan 2003 23:51

now that MTA Il-214 project is underway, some AN32s will be freed up.

What is the chance of a desi AC-130 clone firing
a single 20mm 6 barrel chain gun from the side
and equipped with laser/IR decoys .

it can respond much faster than helos , fly further, more robust and carry shitload of ammo.

could have some use in J&K jungle encounters or
NE (recently a BSF and manipuri guerilla units
used mortars to pound each other on nearby hills...this is BAD. a gunship helo/AC-130 would make short work..thats what Unkil is doing)

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby debjani » 28 Jan 2003 23:52

Originally posted by George J:
Mi-17 blasting tiger hill with rockets, we forget that they just might be capeable of other asset deployment too.[/QB]
And getting shot down

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Nandai » 29 Jan 2003 01:08

The problem with Vikhr is that there seem to be 2 diffirent missiles known as Vikhr, one being more capable, and this more capable version is a laser beam-rider.

http://www.rusarm.ru/products/af/ka50_2.htm

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby JCage » 29 Jan 2003 21:59

Originally posted by Vick:
I haven't seen any Indian Mi-35s with target designators i.e. the IRST/FLIR/TV ball (usually at the nose, but doesn't have to be). The only pics I have seen of ANY Indian "attack" helos are with the rocket pods.

I understand that ATGMs are expensive but this is the parade, you're supposed to show the "good stuff" or at least the fiberglass mockup of the "good stuff."

Here is a pic challenge: Find a pic of an Indian Mi-25/35 or 17 that has the gimballed target designator and/or equipped with ATGMs.


Vick,the recent 35 pic on RDay i believe shows the Mission 24 upgrade by Israel.Check the nose of the Chopper.
The 24 adds a FLIR,NVG goggles,new Nav attack system and MFD's to the Mi-35.

BTW,all Indian Mi24/35's are already ATGM equipped.Check the BR pages and Sipri website for more!We brought large numbers of ATGM's.

The Mission 24 upgrade makes these choppers truely night capable.

As regards the Mi17-V---
1.FLIR and Laser Target designation system-check the pod at the side of the nose for visual confrimation.NVG goggles and display systems suited for the same.
2.New nav system with display screen,GPS oriented
3.Vikhr Missiles-Not the Tandem warhead one but a new HEAT -Blast warhead one.
4.Better performance at Kargil-esque heights,.....

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Div » 29 Jan 2003 22:06

IIRC, the Isreali Peak upgrade for the Mi-17 also takes it to a whole new level. I recall some talk about it here at BR a couple of years ago; anything going on with it?

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vick » 29 Jan 2003 22:23

Nitin, good eye in spotting the "thing" on the nose of the 35 in this picture. But, in this picture there also seems to be a "thing" on the nose next to the gun. That pic, I believe, is from the IPKF days.

What makes you think that "thing" in the RD parade is any different from the IPKF era pic?

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Div » 29 Jan 2003 22:26

Vick, the RD one looks 'smaller and rounder' ;) Kinda like the one on the Peak Mi-17 I posted above.

George J

Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby George J » 29 Jan 2003 22:40

Originally posted by Vick:
Nitin, good eye in spotting the "thing" on the nose of the 35 in this picture. But, in this picture there also seems to be a "thing" on the nose next to the gun. That pic, I believe, is from the IPKF days.
Look at the BR pic gallery on the Mi-25/35. Especially this one: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Images/Current/Helicopters/Mi-25a.jpg

The contention is NOT that the Hind could NOT fire an ATGM before upgrades. I think it could do that even before the upgrades. The upgrades only improved its performance envelops and defenses.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vick » 29 Jan 2003 22:56

Div, gjman :)

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Rudra » 30 Jan 2003 00:56

opposing helos are best dealth with by nimble Dhruvs than a lumbering -35. But with just 15-20 AH1s nobody is losing much sleep one would think.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Surya » 04 Feb 2003 04:55

Rudra - The Mi 35 can fly fast and straight - So if the target has already been identified and the MI 35 does not need to do any searching then it can zoom in and fire and be gone before the jihadi elements can turntheir MANPADS around. The trick is to provide the MI 35 that info and not use it to loiter and search for the targets

So a Dhruv with Mast mounted sensors could lead a few MI 35s . :D

But the question is when will we get to that capability

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Ashutosh » 04 Feb 2003 06:41

The Russian Army has allegedly decided to return all their helicopters back to the Russian AirForce - as claimed in one article. This is being done because of budgetary constraints.

I would like the IAF to give all their choppers to the IA. No use making the IAF spend precious time and money for playing cat-and-mouse games.

IAF should look more at dominating the skies far and wide.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Jagan » 04 Feb 2003 08:39

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
opposing helos are best dealth with by nimble Dhruvs than a lumbering -35. But with just 15-20 AH1s nobody is losing much sleep one would think.
Rudra,

There is also the question of crew survivability. Put the armor plating, bullet proof windscreens, and armored nacelles for the engines and the nimble dhruv might end up becoming a lumbering dhruv. The Mi-35 can take lot of small arms AA fire and survive.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Raman » 06 Feb 2003 05:18

(Cross posted)
India unveils combat helicopter prototype

The helicopter is also fitted with 20mm guns, cluster bombs, grenade launchers and anti-radiation missiles.

V Krishnaswamy, chief of the Indian Air Force said the helicopter was optimised for combat. "It is also capable of shooting down a combat aircraft and these are the ones which will escort all our attack helicopters in the future. It is a very capable machine for counter-insurgency," Krishnaswamy said.

"At this weight and size there is no helicopter in the world which can match us. We have a winner," he said.
The above quote gives some insight on how armed helicopters might be used in the Indian context. The anti-air role is especially interesting.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Guest » 06 Feb 2003 06:09

The above quote gives some insight on how armed helicopters might be used in the Indian context. The anti-air role is especially interesting.
Are they talking about the LAH. This picture from a previous monitor has a caption saying that the helo in the background is the LAH.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE4-5/rajloh.jpg

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby davidn » 06 Feb 2003 07:51

If the LAH/(LCH?) has reached 'prototype' stage, then is there an actual unit on display at aero india or is it still just in scale model display?

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vick » 06 Feb 2003 08:30

The article posted by Rajesh also mentions that the LCH will be capable of launching AAMs, ATGMs, and more significantly ARMs. It seems that the IAF wants to give the LCH a SEAD role, ala DS-1 and the Apaches. Hmmmm.... Any comments by the pundits?

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Cybaru » 06 Feb 2003 08:57

Cool the ALH project is going the right way! They are using the design team well hopefully. One good step at a time.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby shiv » 25 Apr 2003 14:02

http://slate.msn.com/id/2081906/


Military analysis.
Chop the Chopper
The Army's Apache attack-helicopter had a bad war.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2003, at 3:42 PM PT

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is gearing up for his next war?not with the Syrians or the North Koreans but with the hidebound generals of the U.S. Army. These are the generals who criticized Rumsfeld's battle plan while Gulf War II was still raging and who beat back his efforts, over the past few years, to "transform" the Army into a lighter, lither fighting force. With Rumsfeld's star rising and the generals' tarnished, he can be expected to mount a new offensive on their bureaucratic turf at the first opportunity.

He might want to start by junking the Army's attack helicopter. The current version, the AH-64D Apache Longbow, is in many ways a vast improvement over earlier models, but it is still too dangerous to the pilots who fly it and not dangerous enough to the enemy it's designed to attack.

The U.S. Army's only disastrous operation in Gulf War II (at least the only one we know about) took place on March 24, when 33 Apache helicopters were ordered to move out ahead of the 3rd Infantry Division and to attack an Iraqi Republican Guard regiment in the suburbs of Karbala. Meeting heavy fire from small arms and shoulder-mounted rocket-propelled grenades, the Apaches flew back to base, 30 of them shot up, several disablingly so. One helicopter was shot down in the encounter, and its two crewmen were taken prisoner.

After that incident, Apaches were used more cautiously?on reconnaissance missions or for firing at small groups of armored vehicles. Rarely if ever did they penetrate far beyond the front line of battle, out in front of U.S. ground troops or without the escort of fixed-wing aircraft flying far overhead.

Shortly afterward, when a speech by Saddam Hussein was broadcast over Iraqi television, some armchair commentators observed that the speech was probably live, or at least very recent, because he referred to the downing of an Apache. In fact, that proved nothing. If one thing could have been predicted before the war started, it was that an Apache would be shot down.

Last year, during the Afghanistan war, seven Apaches were flown in to attack Taliban fighters as part of Operation Anaconda. They all got shot up, again by RPGs and machine-gun fire. None crashed, but five were so damaged they were declared "non-mission-capable"?in other words, unable to go back into combat without extensive repair?after the first day.

In the 1999 air war over Kosovo, 24 Apache helicopters were transported to the allied base in Albania. Their arrival was anticipated by many officers and analysts as a turning point in the war. Yet, within days, two choppers crashed during training exercises. Commanders decided not to send any of them into battle; the risk of losing them to Serbian surface-to-air missiles was considered too great.

Attack helicopters have always been troublesome. The U.S. Army lost over 5,000 helicopters in the Vietnam War. (Nor is this a uniquely American problem: The Soviets lost hundreds of Hind helicopters to mujahideen firing shoulder-launched Stinger missiles during their Afghan venture.)

This sorry chronicle raises the question: Why did the Army build helicopters in the first place?

It all goes back to the end of World War II, when the Air Force became an independent service of the armed forces. (Before and during the war, air forces were a branch of the Army.) In its first few years of independence, the Air Force became involved in tumultuous budget battles with the other services. Finally, in April 1948, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal called a meeting with the service chiefs in Key West, Fla., where they divvied up "roles and missions." The emerging document was called the Key West Agreement. An informal understanding that grew out of the accord was that the Air Force (and, to an extent, the Navy) would have a monopoly on fixed-wing combat planes.

The Key West Agreement specified that one mission of the Air Force would be close air support for Army troops on the battlefield. However, it soon became clear that the Air Force generals?enamored of the A-bomb and then the H-bomb?had no interest in this task. To their minds, the next war would be a nuclear war. Armies would play no serious role, so why divert airplanes to giving them cover?

The Army realized it would have to provide its own air support. Blocked from building its own fixed-wing planes, it built rotary-wing planes (or, in civilian parlance, helicopters). And it built thousands of them.

During the Vietnam War, the Air Force's reluctance?at times refusal?to provide close air support became a grave problem. Congressional hearings were held on the lack of any airplane dedicated to that mission. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara briefly brought a wing of the Navy's late-'40s A-1 fighter bombers out of mothballs to take up some of the slack.

Finally, the Army got bold and began research and development on a hybrid aircraft, a bizarre-looking fixed-wing helicopter called the Cheyenne.

McNamara killed the Cheyenne before it got off the ground, but meanwhile, an Air Force general named Richard Yudkin was furious about the Army's maneuver. He saw it as an infringement of the Key West Agreement and a raid on the Air Force's share of the budget. In response, he initiated the Air Force's very first dedicated close-air-support attack plane called the A-X, which grew into the A-10.

Yudkin was a bit of a rebel within the Air Force. The establishment generals (who, by the early '70s, were still dominated by the nuclear-bomber crowd) hated the idea of the A-X for the same reason they hated the close-air-support mission: It had nothing to do with the Air Force's bigger, more glamorous roles. Yudkin couldn't even get the Air Force R & D directorate to work on the project, so he set up his own staff to do it.

The A-10 rolled onto the tarmac in 1976. The brass still hated the thing. It survived only because of pork-barrel politics?it was built by Fairchild Industries in Bethpage, Long Island, home district of Rep. Joseph Addabbo, who was chairman of the House appropriations' defense subcommittee. The plan was to build 850 of the planes. By 1986, when Addabbo died, Fairchild had built just 627, and the program came to a crashing halt. No more A-10s were ordered, and 197 of those in existence were transferred to the Air National Guard and allowed to rot.

When the first Gulf War was being planned in 1990, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, the chief of U.S. Central Command, had to fight the Air Force to send over a mere 174 A-10s for his use. Yet in the course of the war, those A-10s knocked out roughly half of the 1,700 Iraqi tanks that were destroyed from the air, as well as several hundred armored personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery guns. They also conducted search and rescue operations, blew up roads and bridges, and hunted for Scuds.

Even the Air Force brass had to admit the planes had done a good job, and they kept them in the fleet. (They had planned on replacing all of them with modified F-16s.) Though the statistics aren't yet in, the A-10s seemed to do well in Gulf War II, especially now that the Army, Air Force, and Marines are more inclined to coordinate their battle plans.

The A-10 is an unsightly, lumbering beast of a plane. (It's commonly called the Warthog.) It flies low and slow, but its cockpit is made of titanium; it can be shot up very badly, all over, and still not crash. It was the only plane that the Desert Storm air commanders dared fly at under 15,000 feet. Its GAU-8 gun can fire 3,900 rounds of 30 mm armor-piercing ammo per minute. It can also fire Maverick air-to-ground missiles.

So here's a suggestion for Donald Rumsfeld: Deep-six the Apache, and restart the A-10.


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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Rudra » 25 Apr 2003 20:17

even the IOWAS can be brought back because most
conflicts are near the shore.

armed with 200 VLS tomahawks and those huge guns
quite a bit of mayhem is certain.

(ducks into cave again)

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Nandai » 25 Apr 2003 21:12

Go for it Rummie, restart the manufacture of the A-10, that would be great, and they arent ugly, they are purdy, big, chubby and purdy, just like a cow :)

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby davidn » 26 Apr 2003 18:00

lol I know how you feel Nandai. The A-10 is my baby too, oh for a few dozen of them chopping up the Paki's in the Thar *sighs with pleasure* :D

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Vicky » 27 Apr 2003 00:07

:D

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby bhavani » 27 Apr 2003 04:55

i have some questions. All the battles in which Apache or A-10 proved thier worth were highly one-sided. the APache when faced with some stiff some stiff resistance was a complete failure. If America goes to a war with a country like North korea or China, they would meet the highest concentration of air-defences and one has to really doubt the capabilty of Armed choppers in Carrying out any significant Tasks. Please dont Blast me. I am not doubting choppers capability but consider a war between China and US, in case of IRAQ the 36 out of the 37 returned, in China not even 10 will return. Now each individual soldier is more armed than ever. take note of the holdings of SA-16, SA-13 And other shoulder range missiles in china, India, pakistan, north korea and nearly all countries now are also deploying systems like OSA-Ak, Tunguskha,pantsyr-s1, crotale-2000, Star Streak. These are far more capable than Zu-23-4 and similar systems. i think these Advanced new generation choppers till now did not fight with a capable enemy. if there were huge loss of choppers like Hueys in the battle fileds of Vietnam there will be similar losses of Apaches and other choppers in any comparable battle of present times. Any time i feel that the faster option of close support fighters is better for the hazardous battle field support role and tasks like like taking out SAM sites, Destroying command centers. Dont you guys think that about 60 Su-25TM will be better than a fleet of pure attack choppers for IAF. i feel that choppers are better for supplying and Medvac and transport roles and MI-35 and variants will be best as it is heavily armed and can carry some troops to midst of battle field. These are just my opinions

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby davidn » 27 Apr 2003 06:56

bharvani,

I agree with many things you say. I think that the Americans have become far too optimistic in their tactics. Their feeling of invincibility is what led to those apaches being chopped up.

The attack helo will have the advantage of being able to provide quicker suppression fire, because unlike the plane, it can hover and maneuver in compartively tiny turning circles. It also does not need developed airstrips, and is a lot more 'deployable'.

The Apache and other attack helo's I think should always only be used for CAS, recon, light patrols etc. Major action should certainly have ground troops and tanks there to divert the enemies attention. Not for singlehandedly destroying a Republican guard division. No doubt it is easier to shoot down a chopper when all you have to worry about is threats from the air. If however you also have to worry about ground fire, tanks, mortars, arty etc. it will make that job a lot harder.

I think the attack helo has its place, the american ego is just letting it down.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby srai » 27 Apr 2003 09:08


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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Cybaru » 27 Apr 2003 10:06

The reason that helicopters played a significant role in GulfWar I was due to the fact that all radar units were already done in.

It was all clear and at nights that apache's preyed on thier targets. When have you seen a picture of apache attacking a target in day time.
Kind of made it difficult for hand holding monkeys to take them out using manpads. Not tooo mention the iraqi army at that point din't really care.

As for su-25 or su-39 they seem to be at the end of the line and sukhoi is getting ready to get su-32/34 out there to replace them. Now you don;t really need a su-32/34 to do the job, the su-30mki, is good enough to fit into that role. I sincerly hope our IAF comrades see it that way and move to expand the Su30MKI role from just Air dominace to CAS as well.

In reality .. more than the platform, one needs versatile weapons to make that happen. Cheap Milan-2's if they can be air launched would be worth every penny. One needs to get a little innobative in the indian context. Its not a lot of money too lose even if you do go wrong and you could carry lots of those 44 pound missiles. Not only do you have the luxury of having a wizzo choosing and firing on targets, you have a reliable cheap platform (yes compared to a bloody 100 million f-15E) to shoot it from.

Damn I wish someone listened.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby shiv » 27 Apr 2003 12:13

Originally posted by cy_baru:
Cheap Milan-2's if they can be air launched would be worth every penny. One needs to get a little innobative in the indian context. Its not a lot of money too lose even if you do go wrong and you could carry lots of those 44 pound missiles. Not only do you have the luxury of having a wizzo choosing and firing on targets, you have a reliable cheap platform (yes compared to a bloody 100 million f-15E) to shoot it from.

Damn I wish someone listened.
You mean like the first photo in the link below?

http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/2839/helos.html

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Cybaru » 27 Apr 2003 12:33

yeah .. The art of CAS, sukhoi launched from 14000/15000 feet or higher, out of range of pom pom's or ack acks.

If they can't touch you, one can rule the sky. One doesnt need stealth to work without impunity as long as one lives by the rules. No radar's, no SA'2s and cortales are useless at that height.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby shiv » 27 Apr 2003 12:41

Originally posted by cy_baru:
yeah .. but sukhoi launched from 14000/15000 feet or higher, out of range or pom pom's or ack acks
By cybaru this thread is about helicopters :whine: :whine:

Anyhow - have a little thnik about your suggestion and see if it fits in with the price/tech criteria you speak of in an earlier post. Let me post some points to address

1)Minimum speed for a Sukhoi to fly at 15000 feet
2)Range of a typical ATGM
3)If the ATGM is wire guided, can the Sukhoi carry it
4)If it is not wire guided, what guidance does it need
5)Wuld an ATGM be needed at all
6)Why not an LGB?
7)Cost/tech for an LGB?
8)IFF and target recognition issues for a plane flying at 15,000 feet at speed as assessed in question 1 above.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Cybaru » 27 Apr 2003 12:43

:)

Okay sire.. I shall leave the heli thread alone!

Will open another thread once I have something to put up.

The reason I bring it up in this thread as I feel, that helicopters are good in support roles, to travel with armoured and artillery divisions, COIN, medvac and transport.

They are too soft too penetrate deep into enemy territory all alone or even in pairs.

All tank hunting over enemy territory should be left to something more capable.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby shiv » 27 Apr 2003 13:23

Originally posted by cy_baru:


They are too soft too penetrate deep into enemy territory all alone or even in pairs.
All tank hunting over enemy territory should be left to something more capable.
One more point.

Tanks deep within enemy terriotory are harmless to us.

Tanks are offensive weapons and occur near borders. Recall hat if we penetrate deep within enemy territory and we find tanks ina defensive role there - they are still "close to the border" but the border has been pushed into enemy territory. So by definition the area in which you find tanks and anti-tank aircraft are areas where two opposing militaries are facing each other - and by definition notfar from friendly teritory even if it is technically deep in enemy territory.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Rajit » 27 Apr 2003 14:20

The Mi-25/ 35 still has no mast mounted sensors..so it is very exposed during an attack. Also with the Thar being one of the major AO of these "troop carrying" gunships with their huge size are sure to be a liability.

We need a pure attack helicopter in the Cobra/ Apache / Tiger II mould.....

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby Nandai » 27 Apr 2003 14:45

Cy, the Su-32 is not intended as a replacement for the Su-25, but for the Su-24. I doubt the russkies will replace their Su-25s anytime soon as they seem to have been quite pleased with their performance in Chechnya, the Su-25 is a good CAS aircraft, not as great as the A-10 though, but it will get the job done.

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Re: Role of armed helicopters in army operations

Postby AJames » 27 Apr 2003 16:24

I think all this talk about the Apache and armed helicopters having failed is premature. As for Apaches being shot up in Karbala, only one was actually lost and that seems to have been due to mechanical failure. I think the Apache was used in the wrong way the same way British Tornados were shot down in the first gulf war when they flew over Iraqi runways to drop runway denial munitions. The only that Iraqis could shoot enemy aircraft was to lay down a layer of anti-aircraft fire and hope an aircraft flew into it. The British obliged by doing just that. It was the wrong tactic for the scenario. It doesn't mean the aircraft or the tactic is useless for other scenarios. The attack helicopter isn't a tank, and can't take the kind of punishment a tank can and it shouldn't be used in a scenario where it is exposed to that kind of fire.

With regard to the losses in attack helicopters that the Russians suffered in Afganistan, the losses were small until the stinger AAM was introduced. The solution is lower IR/radar signature and better flares/chaff. Another thing you have to consider is what would the losses have been and the resources required if you had to achieve the same thing without attack helicopters. The answer is very much higher losses and massive ground forced would have been required to do the same interdiction with ground forces and high altitude bombing.

In the 1973 war, the Israelis suffered huge casualties in terms of tank and aircraft losses due to wire guided anti-tank and radar guided AAM weapons. Is anybody suggesting that tanks and aircraft should have been scrapped at that time.

The C130 Spectre type of gunship would be good at taking out groups of terrorists in Kashmir, but it is also vulnerable to ground AAA and AAMs, and it has to get within range of these to use it's gun. The US doesn't use it in hostile airspace for that reason. Another problem would be that it has to circle the position being attacked. For border engagements in Kashmir, this may require overflying Pak territory or bring itself within range of Pak air defences. Also the C130 is a sitting duck if enemy fighters show up.

As regards the A10 and Su25, they have disadvantages over helicopters in that they can't get as close to targets as helicopters, so they may not be able to target tanks that are hidden by trees or terain. They may also be more vulnerable to AAA and AAMs. A helicopter can hide behind terrain, pop up to engage tanks, vehicles or vehicle mounted AAA with fire and forget anti-tank missiles, and pop down again. Even if the enemy vehicles get off an AAM, when the helicopter pops down, the AAM loses it's target. The same can't be said for the helicopter's missile which will find it's target. Hence the helicopter has the same advantage over ground forces as aircraft with anti-ship missiles have over ships (provided the terrain is suitable and the situation is such that ground forces cannot anticipate the helicopters beforehand and so cannot pre-position small infantry detachments to lie in wait and ambush the helicopters with hand held AAMs close to where they might pop down). Of the two, the Su25 is better in my opinion. This is because it can run on kerosene, which makes operating from a forward base a lot easier - just lank on a strip of road and fill up in a gas station or commandeer civilian tankers. It is also highly maneuverable unlike the A10 according to US pilots who have flown it and unlike the A10 isn't a sitting duck in air to air engagements with fighters.

One last think, the Mi24 Hind is overweight at any altitude higher than sea level and was unsuitable for Afganistan. It is even more unsuitable for Kashmir which is at even higher altitude. What is required for Kashmir is a lightly armoured attack helicopter with good high altitude capability and low IR/radar signature for protection instead.


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