LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby abhik » 05 Nov 2013 20:50

PARS 3 LR also has a lower range reported variously at 5 km to 6 km vs the HELINA's 7+ km. Plus will likely costs a bomb, with the original customer Germany paying over $650k per unit 7 years ago.
http://www.deagel.com/Anti-Armor-Weapons-and-Missiles/Trigat-LR_a001124002.aspx
On 30 June 2006, the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), MBDA/LFK and Diehl BGT Defence signed the PARS 3 LR missile procurement contract. Valued at 380 million Euro ($450 million)

Shudder to think what it will cost after all the markups.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 05 Nov 2013 21:06

Pragnya

Germany can induct a platform in which they are a big stakeholder a lot earlier than people who are not involved in that program because it is obvious that they had a big say in PARS 3 specs and operational capabilities. In any case PARS 3 out of the box cannot be fired from ALH/LCH it needs to be integrated to our platforms and most probably like the Uran , Klubs and other missiles needs to be re-calibrated and tested in Indian conditions to be flagged as fully qualified on our choppers. HELINA during the same time period was already undergoing tests from the ALH , it is in the same weight class and has better range it's warhead is lighter by just 1 kg , has top attack capability and LOAL . So aside from a string of successful tests what else is missing ? I am not saying that HELINA will not be inducted but what I see is a clear pattern in our arms procurement system i.e. there is a very active import lobby which is quick to pounce on such opportunities and shift the entire focus from development and testing of an indigenous platform to a foreign platform . HAL will have to set aside a platform ALH/ACH for integration with PARS 3 and it is not just that a whole chain of logistics right from chai pakoras to tents and an entire bunch of babus will be assigned to this exercise which will run for at least 6 months after which jokers on both sides will sit and draft a sales agreement with offsets and other such clauses . MBDA will only start producing stuff for us when such negotiations are concluded and money paid in advance.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby pragnya » 05 Nov 2013 21:22

^^^

well said Negi sab and since 'you are in good mood' you could have topped up your comment with another of those couplet!! :)

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 05 Nov 2013 21:47

while the whales profit from MRCA or 155mm type deals, the smaller fish in the ocean too want their cut of the meat. a tatra here, a pars there, a smerch there...keeps the medium fishes happy and well fed.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Indranil » 05 Nov 2013 23:44

Negi sahab,

I am not trying to defend the purchase. I am myself against it. I was just quoting the reasons parroted till now.
Helina ready for full-range ground-based trials in Pokhran | MoD-team evaluating PARS 3 & Spike |
HAL says that the pilots' report of Helina's Rudra trials have been sent to DRDL. "These are crucial inputs that will help the DRDL to fine-tune the missile. Services want proven platforms first and hence PARS 3 and Spike were short-listed. Helina will continue as an alternate and parallel ATGM programme as we are very keen to have an indigenous missile onboard," HAL sources said.

What is extremely puzzling for me is that DRDO is completely silent on this. This could be because Helina is more than 2-3 years away from production (DRDO has been saying 2-3 years for many years now). The pictures that Rahul M provided from Tarmak are the first firing of the missile at Pokhran in 2011. We don't know what has transpired since then.

P.S. One positive does come to mind. If the PARS3 and HAL Dhruv is technically ready for deployment today, then this would allow HAL to go to the export market today against 4 to 5 years from now. When Helina becomes ready for induction, it becomes an option for the customer.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 05 Nov 2013 23:59

^ Boss I was not questioning your stance.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 00:20

Remember the revised seeker was in tests recently and cleared them. They would have been waiting to see if that works before using it for HELINA as well.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Nov 2013 00:27

^ Yeah but it is for 10km range missile employing a MMW seeker . Is there a requirement to hit targets that far ? PARS 3 does not meet them.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby abhik » 06 Nov 2013 00:30

indranilroy wrote:
Helina ready for full-range ground-based trials in Pokhran | MoD-team evaluating PARS 3 & Spike |
HAL says that the pilots' report of Helina's Rudra trials have been sent to DRDL. "These are crucial inputs that will help the DRDL to fine-tune the missile. Services want proven platforms first and hence PARS 3 and Spike were short-listed. Helina will continue as an alternate and parallel ATGM programme as we are very keen to have an indigenous missile onboard," HAL sources said.

So the PARS 3, which is only starting to be inducted, has zero combat record and not tested in Indian conditions, is considered to be "proven platform".

What is extremely puzzling for me is that DRDO is completely silent on this.

BTW have they opposed any import in the recent past? Do they even do that anymore?

P.S. One positive does come to mind. If the PARS3 and HAL Dhruv is technically ready for deployment today, then this would allow HAL to go to the export market today against 4 to 5 years from now. When Helina becomes ready for induction, it becomes an option for the customer.

AFAIK HAL has been told to first fulfill local demand and only then pursue exports for the Dhruv.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Nov 2013 00:38

I for one cannot see any positive spin justifying PARS 3 order in case we ink it; our interest in that missile itself seems to be driven by vested interests and the likes who are responsible for current state of affairs where indigenous programs somehow always end up in so close yet so far state. That last hurdle of committing to a platform built here is somehow not being crossed due to bad apples in the entire procurement chain. When we include the financial angle it is a day light robbery of tax payer's money.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Katare » 06 Nov 2013 00:58

It would have been wonderful if we could get the HELINA introduced into service with Rudra induction but that may not happen. I think we should have faith, once the missile is ready, it'll be bought in very large numbers just like Akash and Pinaka. No point in holding Rudra hostage to Helina. New product devfelopment comes with lot of uncertinity so tying two new product development is not a wise idea. Rudra is much bigger and more improtant project for HAL/IAF than HELINA. Key is to get whatever you can inducted in services as soon as possible. Once our own plateform gets in the forces HAL/DRDO will have large influence on future upgrades/arms additions etc.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Nov 2013 01:10

^ Above argument would have been valid if HELINA was not ready , it has already been fired from ALH back in 2011 where it successfully hit a target now this is what we KNOW. WHat we do not know is why it has not been inducted . What we also know is PARS 3 is being sought as a Air to surface anti tank munition at the same time , we KNOW that on paper it is no better than HELINA . What we do not know is why is it being considered when HELINA is in it's advanced stages of development ? It's not that PARS 3 was made for IA's requirements so it follows that it's selection was done based on PPT giri only. Besides look at the jokers they hitch hike a ride to Sweden to select a missile which will be fired from a pre-selected foreign chopper (Euro copter Tiger ?) and this is what we get.

“The successful firings matched all Indian operational requirements, but an Indian delegation could not witness it due to administrative reasons,” :eek: :roll:

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Nov 2013 01:17

We need to look at the LM's F-35 , MITT's Bulava programs and Dassault's Rafale and learn from these 800lb gorillas in their respective fields how to support and persist with one's own programs . We on the other hand are so fickle minded we appear as a clueless 6 year old in a village fair. If we do not learn from these examples we will continue to import .

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Indranil » 06 Nov 2013 02:39

negi wrote:it has already been fired from ALH back in 2011 where it successfully hit a target now this is what we KNOW.

Negi sahab,

Would like to correct one thing. The test of Helina from ALH was not a guided test, so no question of it hitting a target.
"We will have guided flight tests from Rudra against a tank-size later. Integration of the Helina's Fire Control System (FCS) on Rudra is planned during the second half of 2012," sources said.


I don't think it has been done yet, otherwise we would have got a wisp of it by now.

Again, I would like to say that I don't like the reasons behind this PARS3|Spice deal. Unless, these are token purchases for know-how or bridging gaps.

(Added later, it seems that 2011 Helina test was for finding out range. click)
The field test to validate range of operation was carried out and a range of approximately 10 km was established. All the interface checks in full mission configuration were carried out and the LOAL principle was verified.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby John » 06 Nov 2013 05:40

Why not use Hellfire we are getting with Apache order for this purpose?

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 06 Nov 2013 06:24

Yeah TOI report linked by me above said it destroyed a target which is what I quoted, so looks like back in 2011 apart form actually engaging an actual target rest all tests were done. It still lands us in more or less same phase as PARS 3 which has yet to be fired from ALH and destroy a live target . 2 Rudras were handed to the IA during this Aero India it is not as if we are operating a fleet of these choppers and are waiting for HELINA to arm them and lets say even if we sign and ink the deal by Q1 2014 when will the PARS 3 integration complete and missiles start coming in ?

John Apache is for the IAF and in our country services themselves have their own turf wars (IAF's and IA's tussle on issue of operating attack choppers is well known), I won't be surprised if IA wanted a different missile just for that reason. Otherwise AGM Hellfire has pretty much similar specs as PARS 3. Again this is nothing but taking tax payer's money for granted and loads of self entitlement at display.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 06:56

negi wrote:^ Yeah but it is for 10km range missile employing a MMW seeker . Is there a requirement to hit targets that far ? PARS 3 does not meet them.


The IIR seeker was also changed to a higher resolution one with a new FPA detector from France. HELINA is pretty substantial rework of Nag, so time will be taken. Having said that, buying these 2-3 types of missiles and inducting them all, while shortchanging local option is usually the case and leads to huge logistical mess which is Indian inventory.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 07 Nov 2013 07:05

would some kind chaiwala please let us know if there is any movement on the LUH and IMRH ? I'm especially interested in the later.
both still appear in HAL releases so I guess these are both active programs.
http://www.hal-india.com/careers/CO/MT- ... d-advt.pdf

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Nov 2013 09:01

LUH fiasco is again a procurement fck up ; in any case pardon me for saying this but with ALH already available why can't we employ ALH for same purpose for which LUH is being procured ? Now I realize that for naval use case ALH might not fit on all of our warships but for the land based mission profile what prevents us from using ALH to fill in that role while HAL builds a light chopper ? I mean on land it's not too difficult for an Army as huge as ours to ensure helipads which accommodate Cheetahs be prepped a bit to accommodate ALH . Cost wise I am sure ALH is going to cost more or less the same or lesser than a completely imported Fennec. If nothing else while we wait for the LUH we need to put this to trail and see how it works because frankly speaking I simply cannot see a use case aside from say a small warship with a tiny hanger where LUH will work but ALH won't , hell ALH has seen operation in Siachin sector.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 07 Nov 2013 11:21

^^^

LOH / LUH IMO, is a replacement for the Cheetah and Chetak class Helos, respectively. The ALH is a class above both. One quick way of dealing with the LUH issue could be to reopen the Chetak line and bulid them using the ALH engine.

Don't know bout ALH.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Nov 2013 11:40

^ Well that is like saying LCA is a Mig-21 replacement but that is not exactly the case . Modern platforms are much more versatile and owing to better power/thrust to weight ratio and better fuel fraction they can pull off multiple roles. ALH is indigenous the amount of time, money and effort we will invest in getting Fennec and then getting it's logistics chain up and running in India we would have already filled in LUH gap with ALH for much lesser price and at the same time HAL would have made substantial progress on it's light chopper.

I want to know about a concrete use case for LUH which ALH cannot fulfill everything else is PPTgiri.

I have a feeling that apart from naval constraints and few very niche areas where ALH might not fit physically due to hangar constraints like on a ship rest of hoo ha around LUH is just smoke it's exactly on the lines of T-90 being chosen for replacing T-72 claiming similar silhouette (hiding behind sand dunes and such nonsensical gup) , fact is hard data and performance specs trumps everything else a good military knows how to tweak operations around a platform as long as it is capable and versatile enough and in this case ALH is much more than a LUH.

One might argue about higher lifecycle costs because of ALH being twin engined but we are only talking about say 5-7 years span because there is no reason for HAL a maker of ALH and LCH to fail us on the light chopper. As soon as we get our own light chopper we can pull out ALH on case by case basis.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Austin » 07 Nov 2013 12:01

ALH for Naval use IIRC was an issue because even when deployed on land they are exposed to marine environment and marinisation of ALH has been a problem ,On ships deployment has been a issue due to requirement of folded blade and vibration issue , Also ALH seems to lack the persistant for Naval deployment when fully armed with sensors and weapons.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 07 Nov 2013 12:13

^^^

Negi Ji,

No such case can be made, for a straight comparison.

But, perhaps a case can be made on the same lines that make the IA operate about 70000 Stallions 4*4, but onlee about 7000+ 6*6 are owned by them.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Nov 2013 13:12

^ It's not a correct analogy because firstly procured numbers of certain platform cannot be used to argue a case about whether it can be replaced by another in any case 4*4 existed before the 6*6 version, we have capacity to produce both in house (ashok leyland) and there is obviously a cost difference . ALH vs an imported chopper is a different case primarily because even though ALH is a medium sized chopper it has been made for Indian conditions a smaller chopper imported from WEST via our procurement channel will cost as much as ALH produced in India . ALH is ready and available , deal for Fennec or whatever the LUH candidate is will have to be negotiated, inked and only then choppers will start rolling out.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby rohitvats » 07 Nov 2013 19:15

negi wrote:<SNIP>I want to know about a concrete use case for LUH which ALH cannot fulfill everything else is PPTgiri.<SNIP>


negi - To address the questions raised by you in totality, we need to look at factors at play here and see how they add up. Please bear with me:

Deal Overview:

Total requirement - 384 units.
IAF and IA share - 125 and 259
Buy and Make - 64/61 and 132/127

The ticket size started with USD 750 Mn and progressed to USD 900 Mn. USD 1 bn to 1.5 bn is the number quoted in the press that I've seen while searching for this post.

1. As far as the role goes, the LUH is meant for Reconnaissance & Observation (R&O) role - which is quite different from the kind of roles which ALH performs in the Indian Army. Historically, when in IAF service, these R&O flights (constituting nine Squadrons) were used in Air Observation role and these were transferred to IA when AAC came about in mid-80s. Each IA Corps had 1 x Squadron of these birds. Each Squadron had 2 x R&O Flights + 1 x Reserve Flight. These R&O flights were allotted to sub-ordinate formations as per requirement.

2. Induction of ALH into IA led to formation Utility Helicopter flight (UH Flight) which were separate from R&O Flights- And herein lies the difference. The role envisaged for LUH and ALH were and are different. Even the future plan which calls for equipping each Corps with Aviation Brigade is envisaged to have 1 x Gunship Squadron + 1 x Utility Helicopter Squadron + 1 x R&O Squadron.

3. Further, I don't think Indian Army is replacing the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters in existing squadrons with Dhruv helicopters. It has raised fresh Squadrons for inducting the ALH into service.

Interestingly, while Army Aviation Corps (AAC) earlier used the 600 series for numbering (659, 660, 661 Squadron etc) the Squadrons, AAC has used the 200 series for new Squadrons with ALH - 201, 202 (one featured in NDTV-Soaring Gideon), 203 and 204. On a side note, the first Squadron equipped with Rudra has been christened 301 Squadron - so, expect 300 series for this helicopter type.

4. IA is looking for replacing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters with something in their weight class - which can do the R&O role as well as liaison duties. For example, IA maintains a Squadron equipped with ALH as well 666 R&O Squadron with smaller helicopters in Leh. There is no evidence to suggest IA (or IAF) intend to equip their R&O/Liaison Squadrons with heavier ALH.

And the order book for ALH between IA and IAF stands in excess of INR 7,000 crore.

5. All the above is a clear indication that IA does not envisage using ALH for R&O roles for which it wants a smaller helicopter. ALH is meant for specific role and its presence is going to increase manifold in the IA service.

6. Cost - This TOI article (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-09/india/40468014_1_medium-lift-helicopters-cheetah-chetak-choppers) puts the price of ALH at 47 Crore - assuming the deal for outright purchase of 197 LUH is pegged at INR 5,500 Crore (USD 1.0 bn@INR 55), the per unit rate for LUH translates into INR 28 Crore - 60% of the price for HAL manufactured ALH.

As rest of the 187 choppers are going to be made by HAL, one can expect the cost for balance LUH to be lesser than this per unit number.

7. And don't forget, IA needed these choppers as of yesterday. Even after considering the time for negotiations+contract signing+manufacture of first lot, these are likely to come up quicker than ALH manufactured in-house. For a simple reason that HAL order book is full with servicing the requirement of IA and IAF. In case of IA, ALH being inducted are for new squadrons. The requirement for LUH is separate and therefore, the production run and absorption for ALH cannot be sequential.

The capacity is 36 ALH per annum which will keep HAL busy for another 10-years to fulfill the current requirement. So, unless HAL puts another assembly line with higher production run, even the ALH will not come earlier.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 07 Nov 2013 19:30

to add to that cost argument, take running costs into consideration into a/c as well.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Nov 2013 21:21

Thanks for that detailed reply Rohit . Going by our procurement history and the pattern the figure of 28 crore per LUH is based on estimated deal size which by the way is not yet inked in fact we don't even know if it will be Fennec . However I will concede the point on cost because what you have posted is the data which we have right NOW. Point about COST taken, fair enough.

So let's say we can only buy 1.6 Fennecs for a cost of 1 ALH (using Shanghai math ).

Now I am not saying that we buy say 200 or so ALHs instead of 384 LUH(say Fennecs) . All I am saying (in earlier posts) is LUH deal will take time and HAL should be able to get us a light chopper in 4-5 years timeframe (going by LCH development timeframe) so we can on priority basis fill in as many LUH vacancies with ALH , you see my question about operational aspects of LUH are still not answered i.e. is there a specific function which LUH can do more effectively for which ALH is ill suited ?

Yes I do realize the point about operating costs and as I pointed out in my earlier post, I only proposed that it be used for LUH specific roles only until our light chopper arrives on to the scene. We can then relieve the ALH from such duties.

The issue with HAL's inability to produce ALH or any other platform in desired numbers in reasonable time is a genuine and unfortunate one because there can be nothing more frustating than having an ability to develop a weapons platform but not mass produce it in desired numbers and this is a chicken and egg problem i.e. HAL till date has never been swamped with orders for an indigenous platform ALH is the first one in that scale, god willing LCH and LCA will follow but today if we buy a LUH or any platform saying it is needed as of yesterday then when will we be able to change things as far as going indigenous is concerned ?

We need to take hard decisions to reverse the tide of imports it has to start somewhere and I see LUH as one such potential case thanks to ALH. For rapid mass production obviously we need to crack and whip and get more assembly lines because at the end of the day what is the point in investing billions on R&D if we are going to import a foreign platform because we could not produce the domestic one in desired numbers ?

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby negi » 07 Nov 2013 21:41

This probably needs to go to R&D in MIL thread but I have wanted to say this for some time, must be obvious to a lot of folks here already but what the heck.

When we do a COST analysis or comparison between a foreign platform vs the one produced in house apart from jingoistic feelings around being self reliant what we also need to account for is the fact that we are creating jobs, skilled manpower and a lot of secondary business by placing an order for a hi-tech piece of machinery like LCA, ALH etc etc. This is something which is difficult to quantify and account for in the cost analysis and comparison exercise between a foreign and desi platform. One could argue we get that by offsets or ToT clause from a foreign platform and rightly so but then one would note that in each of those cases we end up paying a whole lot more for that platform in question.

HAL which is as of now the sole producer/manufacturer of all indigenous things that fly has it's hands full , now look at Dassault (Rafale), Boeing (C-17) and EF consortium those guys would die to be in HALs place I mean an order book that is more than full is a good problem to have in aviation business , this is an opportunity and not a challenge which unfortunately in our case we make it look like one.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 07 Nov 2013 22:13

just to clarify, my post was in support of the LUH category of helos, not for fennec per se.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 08 Nov 2013 12:34

Rohit,

As you will very well know, the IA seeks the LUH Class to perform this:

There is a requirement for a dedicated Reconnaissance and Observation unit for every division to cater for reconnaissance of commanders, direction of artillery fire and casualty evacuation from inaccessible areas.


In my opinion the very Recce role is antiquated, one can safely assume, the first two in the intended Recce & Observation (R&O) role is or would be primarily now handed by the formation level SATA Bty and Regts to perform formation wide RSTA with their unmanned assets.

That leaves a primary role one could envision for a LUH class of aircraft could be used for is Cargo, Casualty evacuation and Communication and ferry sorties. In that light, the Dhruv can as an interim solution can do the same as envisioned for the LUH plus having decent Troop Transport capabilities albeit at an increased cost.

If the IA's own projection is correct, the lone HAL line will take decades to even fulfill initial projections of 8 ALH Squadrons for the IA alone. We can have a situation where HAL does the final assembly, and a private company builds the aircraft superstructure to ramp up production in the short run.

Interestingly, ALH Flights are also badged after the Squadron now unlike previously. For eg:

Lt Col Chowrira Nanaiah Nanjappa, 2041 Utility Helicopter Flight
Lt Col Nitin Bhatia, 2042 Utility Helicopter Flight
Nb Sub Rajendra Singh Rana, 2041 Utility Helicopter Flight

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 08 Nov 2013 14:58

Rohit, thanks for a very detailed post. I have this question with a very limited focus in terms of R&O. What is sought to be done by these machines that cannot be done by a Drone & at a lower cost.

Cause any future battlefield will be R&O, dominated, and having cheap and expendable options in this arena will help, the armed forces tremendously.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 08 Nov 2013 16:00

as vaibhav.n explained, the recon role is already being taken over by drones. but there's still a host of functions that need a proper manned helo, the amount of little jobs like flying people in and out and carrying boxes of spares etc that a field force runs up is quite high. you can't do that with UAVs.
you can of course use dhruvs or larger helo's but is it ideal ? say a comms system is malfunctioning at a field unit. you need to send 2 specialists and their toolboxes to repair it. the LUH is ideal for this type of roles. if you use the dhruv, not only will you get double the fuel cost, you are tying down a precious asset that can be used to transport a full section of armed troops somewhere else. IOW, sub-optimal utilization of resources.

==============
@vaibhav.n
>> Interestingly, ALH Flights are also badged after the Squadron now unlike previously.
so, 2041 is A flight of 204 sqn ?
does it mean these flight are self sufficient units now, that can be attached to field units w/o requiring continuous support from the mother sqn ?

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby rohitvats » 08 Nov 2013 16:23

@Rahul M: Drom what I understand ( and BR section on AAC also says so), this was always the case. The flights were meant to be able to function as self sustaining units to maximum extent.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Rahul M » 08 Nov 2013 16:41

thx, which is the lowest level formation that merits a flight ? div ? or is it still held by corps HQ and distributed on temporary needs basis ?

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 08 Nov 2013 16:54

Rahul,

Yes looks like it, 2041 flight would signify as A Flight for 204 Army Aviation Squadron.

As Rohit stated, Flights have a very robust Detachment to allow them to function fairly independently. Each Flight of 5 Helicopters has an Aviation Support Platoon and every Army Aviation Squadron has a Maintenance Flight.

http://sainiksamachar.nic.in/englisharchives/2010/sep16-10/h5.htm


The Corps of EME took over the maintenance responsibility of helicopters from Air Force in 1989 and today provides effective engineering support to the entire fleet of the Army Aviation. The maintenance of aviation assets is carried out in well defined echelons.
The first line maintenance is performed at the Daily Servicing Section (DSS) which is integral to the operational flights and the second line maintenance is handled by the Maintenance Flight which forms a part of the Army Aviation Squadron.

The third line and fourth line maintenance is performed by HAL with limited third line activities being undertaken by the Aviation Depot Maintenance Flight Workshop (ADMFW) of the Corps of EME.

The process of establishing facilities for overhaul of rotables at 515 Army Base Workshop (ABW) is underway. This ABW would form the backbone of aviation maintenance support in the mid term with the establishment of depot level maintenance facilities akin to those with HAL.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Sancho » 09 Nov 2013 10:36

negi wrote:John Apache is for the IAF and in our country services themselves have their own turf wars (IAF's and IA's tussle on issue of operating attack choppers is well known), I won't be surprised if IA wanted a different missile just for that reason. Otherwise AGM Hellfire has pretty much similar specs as PARS 3. Again this is nothing but taking tax payer's money for granted and loads of self entitlement at display.


That what are MoD and FM for? Do you really want to say, that there is not a single reasonable person in these ministries, that would A pressure the forces to more common weapons and systems to ease operations and reduce costs. Or B, that would say it's not logical to use an ATGM that not a single other combat helicopter uses, instead of an indigenously ATGM, that also is unproven so far?

Even with a little bit of sense, one can understand that Rudra and LCH, maybe even the Apaches should use a weapon pack, that is as common as possible, since they all use them in the same roles. Integrating Hellfire as a stopgap solution to Rudra or even LCH would had made as much sense as using SPIKE versions, which are widely used, proven and cost-effective. Infact, Rudra could even use twin launchers of SPIKE NLOS, with ranges over 25Km compared to the 7-8Km most normal ATGMs offer. So even performance wise, a far better solution would had been possible, which brings the question on what basis IA would select PARS 3?
The common factor in all competitions is that the L1 is selected, but PARS most likely is far more expensive (even than SPIKE NLOS) and when it won't offer much advantages over SPIKE ER or even NLOS in technical terms either, one could get suspicious about IA's reasons right?

Even if the services are fighting each other, it's on MoD to provide rules and guidelines, just like it is on FM to cancel not effective and expensive deals!

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby VinodTK » 11 Nov 2013 06:18

0 FIPB clears Tata, Westland proposal to assemble choppers
The FIPB has approved a proposal to assemble upgraded version of a military and civil helicopter in collaboration with the Augusta Westland, a firm which is facing corruption inquiry in India. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in its meeting on September 19 approved the proposal of Indian Rotorcraft, which is a joint venture between Tata Sons (74 per cent) and Augusta Westland (26 per cent). As per the proposal the Indian Rotorcraft will assemble AW119Kx helicopters, an upgraded version of AW119Ke chopper. The company expects to commence production from March 2014. The issue of corruption charges on Augusta Westland's parent company Finmeccanica came up during the FIPB meeting and it was observed that "the issue which was being investigated related to helicopter model AW101 and not this proposal", sources said.

The board, according to sources, observed in its minutes that "the law will take its own course and the current FIPB consideration is without prejudice to any existing or future civil or criminal proceedings against the foreign investor or its parent". The proposal will now be placed before the Finance Minister for a final nod. The Defence Ministry had issued a final show cause notice to Augusta Westland for violating the terms of the contract on October 21 and asked the Anglo Italian firm to explain why "all or any action as prescribed, including cancellation of the contract, should not be taken against them for violating the terms of the pre-integrity pact and the contract for procurement of 12 VVIP choppers". The Attorney General has already given his opinion to the Defence Ministry that there was breach of contractual obligations and the integrity pact by the firm. The government has already frozen the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF after allegations that Rs 360 crore was paid as bribe in which two top officials of the company were accused.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Vipul » 14 Nov 2013 18:14

HAL developing light choppers for high-altitude operations.

Indian aerospace major HAL is developing an indigenous light utility helicopter to ferry troops and supplies in high altitude areas such as Siachen Glacier as a programme to procure 197 such choppers from foreign sellers is delayed in view of a CBI probe.

The programme for developing the three-tonne helicopter is in the 'design freeze' stage after consultations with the armed forces headquarters, including the Army and Air Force. The machine is expected to be ready by 2015.

"The LUH programme is progressing well and the project has achieved 'design freeze' following the concurrence from armed forces headquarters. The first ground test vehicle is being readied for factory tests," Hindustan Aeronautics Limited officials said here.

The single-engine chopper would be powered by a French engine, which has been chosen by the country's only aerospace company through a tendering process.

Asked whether they would be able to meet the scheduled timeline of 2015, HAL officials said, "We are confident about adhering to the timeline specified by the government."

The need for developing an indigenous light chopper was felt by HAL soon after Kargil War where Indian and Pakistani troops were engaged in a limited conflict for over 40 days at altitudes of above 10,000 feet.

Earlier, the plan was to supply 384 light choppers to the Army and IAF of which 197 were to be procured from foreign vendors while the remaining were to be produced by HAL.But, at the moment, the plan to procure 197 choppers from abroad is stuck due to various reasons. The first tender to procure the choppers was scrapped by Defence Minister AK Antony after some wrongdoing was detected in them.

The second tender has been stuck for over a year now after the government ordered a CBI probe into allegations that a Brigadier had sought a bribe of around Rs 25 crore for helping a particular vendor in the case.

These choppers are mainly deployed in high-altitude areas in Ladakh to provide supplies to Indian troops deployed there at heights of between 10,000-23,000 feet.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Philip » 14 Nov 2013 21:06

From a recent media report,only the prototype may arrive in 2015.The engine has reportedly just been selected.It will take several years before the desi light helo is in production and the services will be up the creek unless the current contest is settled soon.One can't understand why the AW helo scandal has to impinge upon the light helo contest where the contenders are the French and Russians.

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Re: LCH and other Helicopters Discussion Thread

Postby Indranil » 15 Nov 2013 00:23

Philip ji,

By years do you mean 4 (2017). If yes, I agree. If no, I don't. Almost nothing on this project has slipped on time. All technical details have been overcome and frozen. Yet it has not slipped it's deadlines by much. The rest is production of the GTV and the prototypes work on which has finished earlier than normal.

Even if we order the foreign maal in 1 years time (highly unlikely), we will get the helos from them at about the same time. Instead if HAL is told from the get go that they are to build at twice the speed, they can set up the line accordingly. They have experience with this as they have the supply chain ready with the Dhruv experience. However, you might rightly point to the reports that Dhruv production rate is not as hunky-dory as it is often made out to be.


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