Indian Military Aviation

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Indian Military Aviation

Postby Rahul M » 02 Feb 2009 01:56

vick, the super stallion ch-53 k version might be an interesting contender.

but I'm not sure what IAF wants these for, a paltry number like 4 serves no real purpose except in very very rare occasions like when the halo was used to lift the crashed bison.

aditya, upload it !

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Jagan » 02 Feb 2009 02:08

Rahul M wrote:vick, the super stallion ch-53 k version might be an interesting contender.

but I'm not sure what IAF wants these for, a paltry number like 4 serves no real purpose except in very very rare occasions like when the halo was used to lift the crashed bison.

aditya, upload it !


If they are going for only four there could be a possibility that they are being taken either as a replacement or to augment the Mi-26s. The Mi-26s themselves seem to have been sparingly used over the years.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby p_saggu » 02 Feb 2009 02:38

The Mi-26s seem to be regulars at Thoise AFB. Whenever I've seen pictures of thoise on TV there always seems to be one around. Because of the sheer payload capacity, even with the penalty of operations at such a high altitude airfield, the Mi-26's carry capacity would be substantial

WRT Thoise AFB, can't the runway be elongated a bit to the west? I understand that flights land and take off from the east only. It might allow for higher payload capacity for aircraft.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby ajay_ijn » 02 Feb 2009 09:25

Rahul M wrote:vick, the super stallion ch-53 k version might be an interesting contender.

but I'm not sure what IAF wants these for, a paltry number like 4 serves no real purpose except in very very rare occasions like when the halo was used to lift the crashed bison.

how would they lift heavy engineering vehicles to high altitude regions for construction, clearing snow, tress, landslides etc?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Feb 2009 10:58

Gentlemen,

The Chinook is a very respectable bird, but to call it equal as a replacement for the Mi-26 is to stretch its capabilities and to diminish that of the Mi-26.

The presentation put up on Aroor's blog is correct about a number of things. The Chinook does have a service ceiling of 20,000 feet. But to put things in perspective, that of the Mi-26 is 26,000 feet. The Chinook does possess around 8,000 SHP of power, but the Mi-26 possesses 22,800 SHP for the same purpose. The Chinook can lift up to 11 tonnes of cargo overall, but the Mi-26 can lift up to 20 tonnes. etc, etc...

However, one of the things that could going in favor of the Chinook is the fuel efficiency. I must emphasize the word "could" because of the uncertainty on the matter. The main reason for this uncertainty is the modified Loratev D-136 engines on the Mi-26. These engines were modified from the Loratev D-36 engines used on the An-72 'Coaler'. Now the word "modification" can mean a lot of things. My knowledge is that the combustor components remained the same as that on the Coaler. However, Mi-26 has a brochure SFC of 0.436 lb-hr/SHP at maximum power. This number of course being the same as that of the Coaler engine. This IMO is difficult to assume even if the two engines were of the same origin. A Turboshaft such as the D-136 is very different from a high bypass Turbofan such as the D-36. In reality, the numbers with me suggest a real SFC of 0.953 lb-hr/SHP at maximum power.

Keep these numbers in mind as the analysis proceeds.

Now suppose you want to ferry a single Chinook and a single Mi-26 on an expeditionary Op without tanker support. In this case, consider the Chinook. It has two internal (primary) fuel cells (one on each side of the cabin. That bulge you see in the pictures is the fuel tank) with a rough total capacity of 6200 Kg (2 x 1028 Gal tanks) of Diesel (Note: Kgs, not Liters). Then you strip the helicopter down of every unnecessary piece of cargo so that its basically a flying gas tank. An interesting note is that the Chinook is stated to carry a total of around 11 tonnes beyond its empty weight. This includes the fuel! In other words, if you were to do what I have stated above and fill both tanks to capacity, you would not be able to carry anything more than 4 tons of load at the max. Is it any wonder you don't see this in the brochure on Aroor's blog?

Anyway, so you have stripped down the Chinook except crew and filled up the two tanks. With the two T-55-GA engines running at full cruising capacity (not TO capacity), you end up with a one way ferry range of around 2,000 Km. And this is a good number!

Now do the same with the Mi-26. Here, you have eight internal (primary) fuel cells under the floor of the cabin supplying fuel to two immediate tanks next to the engine using pumps. The overall capacity of this system is between 7683 Kg to 9,220 Kg (although a 12,000 Kg number has been floated around from time to time, I have no idea where its coming from). Anyway, giving the benefit of doubt to the Mi-26, we assume it has a 12,000 Kg fuel capacity overall. But here the difference comes into the picture. Assume the fuel efficiency of 0.953 lb-hr/SHP at Maximum power as discussed previously (Note that the SFC varies throughout and that this is just an important data point in what is essentially a curve). The Loratev D-136 provides the power for the Mi-26 at an astonishing fuel consumption rate so that after 12 tons of fuel has been spent, the Mi-26 has still reached only around 600-700 Km from its origin!

Now, if we were to give yet another benefit of the doubt to the Mi-26 (Keep track of all the favor we are doing for the Mi-26 here) and assume the engine as designed to have Coaler fuel efficiency, we still get numbers in the range of 1000-1200 Km for a 12,000 kg fuel consumption.

In a nutshell, the Mi-26 gobbles up twice the fuel for half the range as compared to the Chinook, but in doing so also provides massive high altitude performance that would leave Chinook pilots from Afghanistan in awe. Chinook crews regularly fly to 10,000 feet altitudes with around three tonnes of cargo and have flown as high as 16,000 feet with negligible payloads when the Mi-26 has done the same altitude with far greater loads (sometimes moving into several tons!).

Which of these is more important is something that I don't have a criteria to quantify for.

But the cost of operations of the Mi-26 must certainly be very high assuming the above numbers. Perhaps that's why the IAF is keen to replace them even for helicopters that might have lesser capacity...

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 02 Feb 2009 12:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 02 Feb 2009 12:04

The Mi-26s seem to be regulars at Thoise AFB. Whenever I've seen pictures of thoise on TV there always seems to be one around. Because of the sheer payload capacity, even with the penalty of operations at such a high altitude airfield, the Mi-26's carry capacity would be substantial


It is. However, note that Thoise itself is not at a very high altitude in relative terms. 10,000 ft or so...

WRT Thoise AFB, can't the runway be elongated a bit to the west? I understand that flights land and take off from the east only. It might allow for higher payload capacity for aircraft.


Il-76s have landed at Thoise with BMPs, BRDMs and enough fuel to comfortably make the flight back to Chandigarh. Why do you think the payload capacity needs to be increased?

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Aditya G » 02 Feb 2009 13:20

Hi Vivek,

Very informative post. I get the impression that we are comparing apples with oranges. I find Mi-26 as a speciality machine in its own class. The situations like lifting crashed Mi-17, MiG-21, dozers etc may be rare but can Chinook replace Mi-26?

Do we require a 1000km radius of operations?

What was the role of featherweights during Op Falcon?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby pkudva » 02 Feb 2009 15:22

I dont think we are replacing the Mi-26,the only problem is that the maintainence cost is huge and for any maintainence activity it has to be taken to russia and only limited numbers are operating in the world.
Chinook is a good option for the IAF.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby sarang » 03 Feb 2009 20:36

ADA plans to develop medium combat aircraft with IAF

Bangalore, Feb 03: Aeronautical Development Agency, a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) lab, plans to design and develop a medium combat aircraft with "stealth features" in partnership with Indian Air Force, an ADA official said on Tuesday.

"We are working with (Indian) Air Force as to what their requirement is", ADA Director P S Subramanyam told PTI here.

"They (IAF) are also coming forward to evolve the specifications of medium combat aircraft...what we call next generation fighter aircraft," Subramanyam said.

He said it would be in the 20-tonne category, twin-engine aircraft, likely to be powered by the Kaveri-Snecma engine. "It will have stealth features," he said.

"It's going to be a joint activity (between ADA and IAF) from beginning", Subramanyam said, adding "it's good that even Air Force is also feeling that we should take up this programme".

Meanwhile, he also said the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has started flying with weapons, and integration of radars would be completed by next month.

"Once I do that, more or less system development activity (of LCA-Tejas) is completed", he added.

Bureau Report


http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-02-03/504327news.html

Are we going to add Two new FGFAs in next decade or two. :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Nitesh » 03 Feb 2009 20:47

IAF chief advice SWAC to be on alert

Indian Air Force chief F H Major on Monday advised the IAF Commanders' of South Western Air Command (SWAC) to maintain a very high level of operational preparedness keeping in mind present geopolitical situation.

Addressing Annual Commanders' Conference of SWAC in Gandhinagar, Major gave a broad overview of latest geopolitical situation prevailing around our neighbourhood to the IAF officials of SWAC, sources in IAF said.

Major advised the IAF officials "to maintain a very high level of operational preparedness at all time".

There is also a need for complete synergy between the three services (Army, Navy and the Air Force) to meet the security challenges, Major added.

Major's statement assumes significance due to the fall out of the Mumbai terror strikes.

Annual Commanders' Conference of all air force units under SWAC was inaugurated by Major at Gandhinagar. All Commanders within the geographical limits of SWAC in the
states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are attending the conference.

As per sources, Major further said that the government was committed to modernisation needs of the Air Force and all efforts are being made to put this on a fast track.

"As the Air Force capabilities are growing and in transition, the Government is taking effective steps to induct new high tech equipment, without financial constraints", Major said.

He indicated that as the Air Force is in transition, all personnel have to continuously update their knowledge and training status.
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/mu ... &type=News

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Vipul » 03 Feb 2009 21:13

First Russian Mi-171 helicopters to arrive in India by yearend.

Russia will deliver the first of the 80 Mi-171 transport helicopters to India by the end of this year, an official from Russia's state arms export agency said on Monday. The $662 million deal for the supply of 80 of these advanced helicopters was concluded last year December.

The Mi-171 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter and features more powerful turboshaft engines. The chopper can transport up to 37 fully geared soldiers in a combat sitting arrangement.

"The contract was signed in December, we have already received the down payment and hope that the first helicopter will be delivered to India before the end of the year," the deputy director of Rosoboronexport, Viktor Komardin, said.

India deploys a fleet of ageing 150 Russian-made Mi-8 and Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 03 Feb 2009 23:51

Aditya G wrote:I get the impression that we are comparing apples with oranges. I find Mi-26 as a speciality machine in its own class. The situations like lifting crashed Mi-17, MiG-21, dozers etc may be rare but can Chinook replace Mi-26?

Do we require a 1000km radius of operations?

What was the role of featherweights during Op Falcon?


Replacing the Mi-26 is probably impossible from the high altitude performance point of view. Then again, with road development etc reaching into the high mountains perhaps the daily maintenance requirement for this type of helicopter is not what it used to be in the 1980s.

Also, the 1000 Km was the radius of a one way ferry flight. In that sense its not a radius at all. A combat radius is where the helicopter actually makes it back, so in that sense you divide your ferry range by 2, that is: ~ 500 Km radius (for 12 tons of fuel!).

Now if you look at Operation Falcon as a indicator to the use of the Mi-26 in combat at high altitude, you might never want to let it go out of service at all. Deployments of entire Brigade level forces within hours accomplished in Demchok, Zimithiang (the famous Hatung-La pass of 1962 fame) etc is something that will require fleets of Chinooks or CH-53s to accomplish within the same time frame and within the same altitude regime (> 16,000 feet)

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 04 Feb 2009 02:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 04 Feb 2009 00:22

brigade in terms of troops and their light arms? I would doubt if the high amt of artillery and mortars a good brigade needs can be easily ferried in by any helicopter. and resupplying ammo is a tough task.

we really should build a lot of good roads and stop depending on super human
feats by the poor helicopter pilots.

maybe the Merlin type is more comparable to Shinook?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 02:35

Singha wrote:brigade in terms of troops and their light arms? I would doubt if the high amt of artillery and mortars a good brigade needs can be easily ferried in by any helicopter. and resupplying ammo is a tough task.


Yes, I meant getting the manpower in there. As you say, getting the assorted equipment etc would have to be done over the next few days of intensive flying. But the point is, had it been Chinooks instead of the Mi-26s, the job would have taken weeks if not being impossible completely.

maybe the Merlin type is more comparable to Chinook?


Merlin is even lower in terms of high altitude performance as compared to the Chinook (And that of the Chinook was not very great to begin with. Chinook crews talk of having reached 16,000 feet as if they have achieved the impossible. Yet Mi-26 crews fly on routine flight with good payloads to, and above these altitudes).

Of course, similar to the Chinook (and this time better than the Chinook), the Merlin has great range and more fuel efficiency. On the negative side, it cannot match the Chinook at sea level in terms of payload.

As you can see, every helicopter will have its quirk and unique ability based on the requirements of the countries that designed them. This is exactly why India needs to design its own ten-twelve ton helicopter along the lines of what HAL is thinking of. The ALH was designed this way to replace the utility helicopter need, the LCH is our custom built High altitude attack helo, and now we need a custom built medium / heavy class helicopter for the Himalayas

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Katare » 04 Feb 2009 02:57

HAL has money (profit) to take up new designs to at least roll out design-studies and may be TD-prototypes to get user interested. HAL should try to use its early success with ALH to become a world class heli designer and manufacturer in next decade.

HAL could expand its Shakti Engine joint venture with France and Avionics partnership with Israel to design and manufacture whole range of helicopters in next decade or so.

It has 3 heli designs in different phases of design/manufacture

Ligh Utility heli - ALH
Light Observation Heli -LOH
Light Attack Heli - LAH

It needs platforms for following catagegories -

Medium Utility heli (8-10 ton) - AMH
Medium Attack Heli - MAH
Navel version (Search & Rescue, Utility, Sub hunter, Radar picket)- NAMH
Heli-UAV

Unless you have whole range of products you can't win the corporate battle.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 04 Feb 2009 21:32

vivek_ahuja wrote:[
Now if you look at Operation Falcon as a indicator to the use of the Mi-26 in combat at high altitude, you might never want to let it go out of service at all. Deployments of entire Brigade level forces within hours accomplished in Demchok, Zimithiang (the famous Hatung-La pass of 1962 fame) etc is something that will require fleets of Chinooks or CH-53s to accomplish within the same time frame and within the same altitude regime (> 16,000 feet)


When was this Op Falcon? Where did the Mi-26s fly from ? where to where? They could not have been of any use at Zimithang because it is in Arunachal where the Mi-26 never operated.

I am very skeptical about the tactical benefits of the Mi-26s. Anything it can do, you can do with Mi-17s too. (considering the numbers available within the IAF).

specialist roles - i agree. but other than that the mi-26s are too few in number and serviceability to make any differences (i guess only three out of four would be up and running at any point of time).

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Jagan » 04 Feb 2009 21:38

HariC wrote: They could not have been of any use at Zimithang because it is in Arunachal where the Mi-26 never operated.


How can you be so sure?
http://armedforces.nic.in/airforce/126hf.htm

In our country, this helicopter has carried out extensive flood relief operations Ex-Tezpur in Jan 89. It also did a commendable job by laying out the roads in Anini sector in the east. Anini sector was earlier totally air maintained

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 22:07

HariC wrote:When was this Op Falcon? Where did the Mi-26s fly from ? where to where? They could not have been of any use at Zimithang because it is in Arunachal where the Mi-26 never operated.


I agree with Jagan on this one. Before sounding so sure, please read up the usual stuff on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Sino-Indian_skirmish

In Feb 1986 the army nominated a new chief, General K. Sundarji, who was determined to press the decisions taken by General Krishna Rao. In addition, Sundarji sought government permission to conduct an exercise named Operation Chequerboard to see how quickly troops based in the Assam plains could take up their positions on the Sino-Indian border. As part of the exercise, towards the end of the year, the army landed a brigade of troops at Zimithaung, south of Hathung La using its new heavy lift Mi-26 helicopters. These forces occupied the Hathung La, across the Namka Chu from Thag La. All this alarmed the Chinese forces in the region; they responded with alacrity and moved up their forces to take up positions all along the LAC. At points near this area-- Sulu La, Bum La, etc. the troops were now face to face with their Indian counterparts. This caused concerns of Sino-Indian clashes. However, the forces did not engage in combat.


I am very skeptical about the tactical benefits of the Mi-26s. Anything it can do, you can do with Mi-17s too. (considering the numbers available within the IAF).


By the same logic, you could do it with Cheetahs too. The point is, with what payload capacity and what fleet numbers and consequently what time frame? Mi-17s operate at 16,000 feet easily, but they are not designed to carry the kind or size of payload that the Mi-26 can at the same altitude. The smaller the payload, the more the number of flights required and time required to push the men in. And no, here we cannot use AN-32s etc because the locations mentioned had no runways. The Mi-26 helicopters hovered, landed and then discharged their cargo. The "helipad" at Zimithiang etc had no ALGs for rolling take-offs...

specialist roles - i agree. but other than that the mi-26s are too few in number and serviceability to make any differences (i guess only three out of four would be up and running at any point of time).


That's because the IAF never really could afford these fuel guzzlers in large numbers. They are expensive to operate. But when you accept that cost, and bring in larger numbers, the servicibility issue traditionally goes away.

Personally, I would rather have the capability at high cost rather than not have it and pretend its not needed.

JMT.

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 04 Feb 2009 22:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Shameek » 04 Feb 2009 22:25

HariC wrote:I am very skeptical about the tactical benefits of the Mi-26s. Anything it can do, you can do with Mi-17s too. (considering the numbers available within the IAF).


So if you needed to lift 'x' amount of weight which an Mi 26 can and an Mi 17 cannot, you would use 2 Mi 17's with the weight slung between them? :shock:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Aditya G » 04 Feb 2009 22:30

Feather weights must be the only unit with the aircraft despicted in such detail in the crest:

Image

http://www.indianexpress.com/ie/daily/1 ... 02009.html

Saturday, October 2, 1999

The gigantic copters that broke the altitude barrier
VIJAY MOHAN
CHANDIGARH, OCT 1: In the middle of the night, as guns spewed fire across the Line of Control in the Kargil Sector during Operation Vijay, a gigantic MI-26 heavy lift helicopter discreetly lifted off from the tarmac at the Chandigarh Air Force Station to quietly offload vital equipment somewhere in the Northern Sector.

Two strategic aspects of the sortie are that nowhere in the world have choppers the size of the MI-26 -- the world's largest -- flown to such altitude, and, as per IAF stipulations, helicopters are not allowed to fly in mountains at night.

A similar sortie was undertaken again some time later, which also went unnoticed. Though IAF officers refuse to disclose what exactly they airlifted, the load, obviously must have been heavy weapons, beyond the capability of other IAF choppers, and that which were required urgently.

After remaining virtually grounded for months for want of overhaul and spares, the IAF's MI-26 heavy lift helicopters took to the skies again this year. Sources say by June2 of the squadron's four choppers were operational. A third chopper is being prepared for ferry to Ukraine for overhaul.

MI-26s, the world's largest and heaviest rotor-wing aircraft, were inducted into the IAF between May 1986 to February 1989, and the No 126 Helicopter Flight -- The Featherweights -- was formed with a squadron strength of four choppers. The initial contract with the Soviet Union at that time, was for the supply of 10 MI-26s, with a follow-on batch of another 10 choppers.

Since its raising, the 126 Helicopter Flight has found itself undertaking more special operations than routine air maintenance or logistical support. Though the role of the MI-26s during Operation Vijay had been limited but indispensable, it is now that their tremendous power and airlift capability is being put to use. While carrying out logistic support during the operations the MI-26 had logged about 25 flying hours.

Sources say that certain heavy weapons and other equipment being positioned in the Kargil sectorwould have to be airlifted by the MI-26. Just this month, it airlifted bulldozers to that sector, in addition to transporting "several 100 tonnes" of military equipment since the war.

Back in 1991, the MI-26 set a record when, during an operational sortie, it airlifted a load of 5,000 kgs to an altitude of 16,500 feet. This apart, it has the longest helicopter ferry to its credit, when it flew across the Arabian Sea earlier this year from Jamnagar to Muscat -- a non-stop six-hour sortie. Besides, these choppers have been undertaking long ferries to Russia and CIS countries to fetch military supplies.

The versatile machines, which have a payload capacity of 20,000 kgs and can lift a load equivalent to its own weight, have also been deployed in the Southern Sector on classified missions. Among them include transporting the Agni missile. Experts also view them as a means of rapid inter-theatre redeployment of the Prithvi missile launchers.

Besides positioning Army lorries and unconventional equipment athigh altitude in the early days of its service, the MI-26 has also been used to retrieve a MiG-21 which made a belly landing in the fields adjoining the airbase in 1996 as well as a crashed MI-35 gunship before that.

Utilisation of the chopper, however, remains low on account of its massive operating costs. The estimated operational cost of the twin-engined chopper, including manpower costs, is over Rs 12 lakh per hour. As compared to this, the operating cost of the IAF's workhorse -- the AN-32 medium-lift transporter -- is Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh per hour.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby jaladipc » 04 Feb 2009 22:35

Vipul wrote:First Russian Mi-171 helicopters to arrive in India by yearend.

Russia will deliver the first of the 80 Mi-171 transport helicopters to India by the end of this year, an official from Russia's state arms export agency said on Monday. The $662 million deal for the supply of 80 of these advanced helicopters was concluded last year December.

The Mi-171 is an export version of the Mi-8 Hip helicopter and features more powerful turboshaft engines. The chopper can transport up to 37 fully geared soldiers in a combat sitting arrangement.

"The contract was signed in December, we have already received the down payment and hope that the first helicopter will be delivered to India before the end of the year," the deputy director of Rosoboronexport, Viktor Komardin, said.

India deploys a fleet of ageing 150 Russian-made Mi-8 and Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters.


This is really impressive where russia stood upon its contractual obligations.
No price escalations.charging us still the 2006 ~ 8 million/chopper.
Its ofcourse the same price as of Mi-8 isnt it?

But both theoretically and in theater Mi-171 is far better than Mi-8.
Mi-8 has a capability of 24 passengers or 3000kg payload while Mi-171 has 30 and 4000kg.

Is there any follow on orders for the same? since we have 150 old ladies?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby sum » 04 Feb 2009 22:42

MI-26s, the world's largest and heaviest rotor-wing aircraft, were inducted into the IAF between May 1986 to February 1989, and the No 126 Helicopter Flight -- The Featherweights -- was formed with a squadron strength of four choppers. The initial contract with the Soviet Union at that time, was for the supply of 10 MI-26s, with a follow-on batch of another 10 choppers.

We have 20 Mi-26's now?

I always thought we had only 4-5.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 22:48

sum wrote:We have 20 Mi-26's now?

I always thought we had only 4-5.


We do have only 4.

It said the initial contract was for 20. It was later cut down to 4.

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 04 Feb 2009 22:58

vivek_ahuja wrote:
HariC wrote:When was this Op Falcon? Where did the Mi-26s fly from ? where to where? They could not have been of any use at Zimithang because it is in Arunachal where the Mi-26 never operated.


I agree with Jagan on this one. Before sounding so sure, please read up the usual stuff on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Sino-Indian_skirmish].


Okay okay my mistake on the arunachal part :oops: But honestly - wikipedia as the source ? Wiki is supposed to use other factual sources and cite them - in this case it doesnt. It could easily be the overactive imagination of some 13 year old. (or not).


By the same logic, you could do it with Cheetahs too. The point is, with what payload capacity and what fleet numbers and consequently what time frame? Mi-17s operate at 16,000 feet easily, but they are not designed to carry the kind or size of payload that the Mi-26 can at the same altitude. The smaller the payload, the more the number of flights required and time required to push the men in. And no, here we cannot use AN-32s etc because the locations mentioned had no runways. The Mi-26 helicopters hovered, landed and then discharged their cargo. The "helipad" at Zimithiang etc had no ALGs for rolling take-offs...


May i suggest something - quoting wikipedia as the source wont stand. as per wikipedia, the pakis also won the 65 and 71 war.

How many sorties would it require for an Mi-26 to fly in brigade level forces? Brigade level ~ 2400 troops at the least , 3000 as a fair estimate. at high altitude an Mi-26 will end up carrying how many 40 troops? how many sorties will it require for 3 mi-26s to ferry in 3000 troops? And you know what? There were only two Mi-26s on strength in 1986-89 period. The Mi-26s were inducted in May 86. You expect me to believe they flew 60 sorties between the both of them? very HARD to swallow because as per my source for both the years 86 and 87, the helicopters averaged 12 hours per month flying time. which was way below their projected usage. And you have to assume they were operating at full effectiveness by the time of this Operation Checkerboard at the end of 1986 when the flight was raised only in May 86. I am sure you know how fast squadrons and units 'work up' so excuse me if I dont take the report word by word

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 23:06

Aditya, that was a fantastic article you have posted. It was loaded with data. I have highlighted a few things in there:

Two strategic aspects of the sortie are that nowhere in the world have choppers the size of the MI-26 -- the world's largest -- flown to such altitude, and, as per IAF stipulations, helicopters are not allowed to fly in mountains at night.

A similar sortie was undertaken again some time later, which also went unnoticed. Though IAF officers refuse to disclose what exactly they airlifted, the load, obviously must have been heavy weapons, beyond the capability of other IAF choppers, and that which were required urgently.



After remaining virtually grounded for months for want of overhaul and spares, the IAF's MI-26 heavy lift helicopters took to the skies again this year. Sources say by June2 of the squadron's four choppers were operational.



Sources say that certain heavy weapons and other equipment being positioned in the Kargil sector would have to be airlifted by the MI-26.



Back in 1991, the MI-26 set a record when, during an operational sortie, it airlifted a load of 5,000 kgs to an altitude of 16,500 feet.


This is true. Flying from Leh to DBO, you could either fly over the 20,000 feet peaks for a distance of ~100Km or go through the shyok valley at around 18,000-19,000 feet altitudes for a overall one way distance of 250 Km.

The following is the chart I had put up in the "War in Tibet" thread and at the time I had pointed out the need for more data to validate the charts. Now, consider the altitude of 20,000 feet in the chart for a range of 100 Km and see the payload projected. :)

Image

Image


This apart, it has the longest helicopter ferry to its credit, when it flew across the Arabian Sea earlier this year from Jamnagar to Muscat.


The flying distance from Jamnagar to Muscat is around the same number that we were talking about for a 12,000 kg fuel payload on the Mi-26. That is, around 1200 Km.

Besides positioning Army lorries and unconventional equipment at high altitude in the early days of its service


Utilisation of the chopper, however, remains low on account of its massive operating costs. The estimated operational cost of the twin-engined chopper, including manpower costs, is over Rs 12 lakh per hour.


Finally, at Rs 12 Lakh/ hour, the fuel consumption rate also validates one of the assertions I was making a couple of days ago that the D-136 turboshaft is not the same fuel efficiency as the D-36 Coaler Fuel efficiency.

Overall, a very nice set of validations.

Thanks, Aditya.

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Jagan » 04 Feb 2009 23:07

Aditya G wrote:Feather weights must be the only unit with the aircraft despicted in such detail in the crest:

Image


we have to look a bit deep to find others

102 Squadron had the foxbat in their crest - which is of the same detail as the Mi-26. However the MiG-25 is superimposed by the Garuda emblem. But you can make out the foxbat in the background.

The TETTRAs have the ac crest that they are related to

ImageImageImage

You will see what appears to be a MiG-21 in the Signal Unit Crests
Image
and a Gnat in an RSU crest
Image

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 04 Feb 2009 23:09

vivek_ahuja wrote:Aditya, that was a fantastic article you have posted. It was loaded with data. I have highlighted a few things in there:

-Vivek


I am glad you noticed it now :mrgreen: that was the same article I posted long time back to make my point about how payload gets decreased during the flight to DBO and about the costs and restrictions
Last edited by HariC on 04 Feb 2009 23:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 04 Feb 2009 23:11

Jagan wrote:

102 Squadron had the foxbat in their crest - which is of the same detail as the Mi-26. However the MiG-25 is superimposed by the Garuda emblem. But you can make out the foxbat in the background.


cant see the 102 crest in your post

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Jagan » 04 Feb 2009 23:17

HariC wrote:[
cant see the 102 crest in your post


because i didnt post any! - I dont have it online yet.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 23:18

HariC wrote:But honestly - wikipedia as the source ? Wiki is supposed to use other factual sources and cite them - in this case it doesnt. It could easily be the overactive imagination of some 13 year old. (or not).


Come on, I didn't mean Wiki is not the "only" source, of course! :)

Here's another link with tidbits of info:

http://www.indiatodaygroup.com/itoday/2 ... /obit.html

Anyway the point is that you are missing what I am trying to say. If we have a lack of numbers, that's not the Mi-26's problem, now is it?

Fact remains that the Mi-26 is in fact very potent at high altitude for the payload it carries. Its also very expensive to use. If a force is on the defensive, it won't need many of the Mi-26 types. If you want to be on the offensive in the Tibetan region from the Indian side, there is no alternative to having a Mi-26 or a similar type (though I have yet to see another helicopter that matches its high altitude performance).

A Mi-17 at around 17,000 to 18,000 feet lifts half a ton. The Mi-26 lifts four in one go. You want to use ten Mi-17s for the job, then that's fine. But don't pull the Mi-26 down because of it. Fuel efficiency is one thing, but so is the time factor.

JMT and all that.

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 04 Feb 2009 23:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 23:21

HariC wrote:I am glad you noticed it now :mrgreen: that was the same article I posted long time back to make my point about how payload gets decreased during the flight to DBO and about the costs and restrictions


And I guess we were having the same argument there, weren't we? My, my... :lol:

Anyway, the reason I was thanking Aditya is because I have been able to do more work on the Mi-26 costs etc in the meantime and I was talking about it on this thread a couple of days ago. In fact, the posts are further above on this page itself.

I am very absent minded, you see!

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 04 Feb 2009 23:24

See thats the problem vivek

The india today article mentions

Sundarji's place in history will probably rest on the lesser-known Operation Falcon. Spooked by the Chinese occupation of Sumdorong Chu in 1986, Sundarji used the air force's new air-lift capability to land a brigade in Zimithang, north of Tawang. Indian forces took up positions on the Hathung La ridge, across the Namka Chu river, t


Add an over excited wiki mind, some five hour energy shots and air force's new air-lift capability becomes Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters in the wikipedia article ignoring the fact that the air-lift capability can mean Il-76s, Mi-17s or An-32s. Yes Il-76s and An-32s to move a brigade to the nearest airfield and then by chopper to zimthang.

So now we can safely cross Op Falcon (if thats what it was called) of the list of Mi-26 ops - no?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Singha » 04 Feb 2009 23:29

checking the kazan helicopter site, the Mi26 is out of production and
I dont think anything else of its obese size exists in the world market.

perhaps the way fwd as you say is design our own heli and get a european or russian 3-engined powerplant into it in a size thats 1.5x that of the Mi17 but with merlinish level of avionics and fuel economy while retaining the Mi17s ceiling. it should be sized to carry internally 2 x 105mm towed guns, its crew, some ammo and one more 105mm or ammo load slung underneath on a hook.

and we need the MTA yesterday not in 10 years of shambolic foot dragging.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 23:33

HariC wrote:So now we can safely cross Op Falcon of the list of Mi-26 ops - no?


Well, some aspects of my info I obviously cannot disclose, now can I? I cannot quote someone here without his permission, so you will have to excuse me on that score. All I can do is point you towards some open source stuff to form your own opinion, of course.

So I must leave it at this: Did the IAF's transport fleet other than the Mi-26 play a role? Most definitely. Did other choppers play a role? Definitely. Did the Mi-26 play no role at all? No.

Part of what it did was show what it was capable of. How one interprets that is naturally one's own prerogative.

Some of what it did is in the public source, but as you say, its in a medium that's so often wrong that when it might be right, nobody is sure! :)

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Feb 2009 23:37

Singha wrote:perhaps the way fwd as you say is design our own heli and get a european or russian 3-engined powerplant into it in a size thats 1.5x that of the Mi17 but with merlinish level of avionics and fuel economy while retaining the Mi17s ceiling. it should be sized to carry internally 2 x 105mm towed guns, its crew, some ammo and one more 105mm or ammo load slung underneath on a hook.


That's the very challenging part. The world's best helicopter designers would not look at such a project because its of no use anywhere else in the world (except perhaps a few south American countries). In this case, we have to do it ourselves. The sooner we realize it, the better.

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby HariC » 05 Feb 2009 01:15

Vivek, I fully understand you have your sources and you cant disclose them. But at somepoint you will have to question them and get more answers to make the information more credible.. yes they may shut up and give you no further inputs, but thats a risk you have to take. Right now, I believe that your sources told you. but I am skeptical about the accuracy of such information.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby samsher » 05 Feb 2009 03:16

Jagan wrote:
Aditya G wrote:Feather weights must be the only unit with the aircraft despicted in such detail in the crest:

Image


we have to look a bit deep to find others

102 Squadron had the foxbat in their crest - which is of the same detail as the Mi-26. However the MiG-25 is superimposed by the Garuda emblem. But you can make out the foxbat in the background.

The TETTRAs have the ac crest that they are related to

ImageImageImage

You will see what appears to be a MiG-21 in the Signal Unit Crests
Image
and a Gnat in an RSU crest
Image


A little off topic here - does anyone know where one can get stickers of IAF Sqn patches / type patches? are these available somewhere on the "internets"?

Thanks

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Aditya G » 05 Feb 2009 08:02

So can we conclude that Mi-26 has its own role, and should not be compared to Chinook?

I would still like to compare Mi-17 with Chinook though :)

Jagan, none of those units actually fly the aircraft do they? :wink:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Jagan » 05 Feb 2009 18:26

Aditya G wrote:

Jagan, none of those units actually fly the aircraft do they? :wink:


Ofcourse they dont or they arent doing it now! (102).

One thing to note however - that many of these maybe 'unofficial crests'. For the crest to be official - it has to be approved by the president and the heraldry / heraldic committee. The Mi-26 unit crest looks a bit non-standard so we cant say till we here about it or see the 'patta'.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation

Postby Nayak » 05 Feb 2009 19:46

I am uploading for reference the capability displayed by IAF in moving T-72s to LEH.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Image


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