Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

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Victor
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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 15 Feb 2014 09:12

Chinook will be used to carry M777 to mountainous areas where it is difficult or impossible to locate otherwise. This gives IA heavy 155mm firepower in areas that pakis can bring only guns of the 105mm LFG class. Chinook's load capacity is 28,000 lbs vs Mi-17's 19,000 lbs. M777+crew+100 rounds is appx 15,000 lbs. Case closed, specially at high altitude. Mi-26 is sparingly used only in special situations due to high touch maintenance requirements and it is totally unsuitable for dal-roti 24/7 combat operations unlike the Chinook. We can rest assured if the IAF could flog the Mi-26 like it does the Mi-17, it would. Regarding Chinook's 15 nos, one does not need a 1:1 ratio of gun to chopper I would think since all the M777s won't be airlifted at the same time and some will be kept in reserve. Still, it is safe to assume that if the Chinook performs well for IAF, we will get more.

From that "leaked trial report" on M777:
In the Air Portability Trials, the BAE gun scored a zero on transportability by air. Transport by cargo, Para dropping the gun and a Heli Transport in a slung mode all showed up a 'Fail'.

This is unadulterated rubbish in true paid media fashion, no doubt "leaked" by someone who doesn't want IA to get these guns (pakis, chinese, martians take your pick). Similar to many other "leaks" that have stymied so many critical purchases by causing severe lungi shivering by the Saint and his lily white chums.

* "Transport by cargo": If Americans can stuff an M777 with crew and ammo into a C-130 there is no freakin reason that we can't do the same into the C-130, C-17 or Il-76. Only if we tried to stuff it into an An-32 would the trial carry a zero. So it likely didn't happen.

* "Para dropping": if we had done a heavy drop (like we recently demonstrated with desi parachutes) it would have been all over the news. It is also zero marks because it didn't happen.

* "Heli Transport": ditto to above with the Mi-26 but phail coz didn't happen.

In short, this is a paid "leak" to make sure Aman Ki Asha continues to breathe easy and we don't get the M777 to spank the pakis with. IA generals don't get bribes either since this is a govt-to-govt deal.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby sivab » 15 Feb 2014 09:53

^^^ What is the service ceiling for Chinook when carrying a load of ~4.5tons (M777 weight)? Which mountains fall under this service ceiling? Unless one can answer these two questions its useless speculation. There is a reason why ALH can carry more load over himalayan altitudes that Chinook cannot. At low altitudes Chinook will beat the ALH in load carrying capacity several times over.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 16 Feb 2014 00:16

sivab wrote: There is a reason why ALH can carry more load over himalayan altitudes that Chinook cannot.

And what is that reason? I'm sure the Americans are eager to learn this from us.

Both ALH and CH47F have a ceiling of 20,000 ft. ALH load is 6,000 lbs and Chinook CH47F is 28,000 lbs. Which one will be able to carry 15,000 lbs (one M777 unit) the highest?

The F model Chinook was developed to handle hot-and-high conditions like Afghanistan with new engines, airframe, avionics etc. The twin rotors also give it an edge while landing and taking off with heavy loads in difficult terrain as stability due to shifting center of gravity is more forgiving than in a single rotor.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 16 Feb 2014 02:06

Victor wrote:Chinook will be used to carry M777 to mountainous areas where it is difficult or impossible to locate otherwise. This gives IA heavy 155mm firepower in areas that pakis can bring only guns of the 105mm LFG class. Chinook's load capacity is 28,000 lbs vs Mi-17's 19,000 lbs. M777+crew+100 rounds is appx 15,000 lbs. Case closed, specially at high altitude.
From that "leaked trial report" on M777:
In the Air Portability Trials, the BAE gun scored a zero on transportability by air. Transport by cargo, Para dropping the gun and a Heli Transport in a slung mode all showed up a 'Fail'.

This is unadulterated rubbish in true paid media fashion, no doubt "leaked" by someone who doesn't want IA to get these guns (pakis, chinese, martians take your pick). Similar to many other "leaks" that have stymied so many critical purchases by causing severe lungi shivering by the Saint and his lily white chums.

Not True. Actually what the leaked report says is true.

USMC's own report on payload carrying capacity says that at 10,000 feet and 75.5 F:

Code: Select all

1. Out of ground effect hover weight of CH-47F (with 0 power margin)    : 36,473 lbs (externally) and 36,768 lbs (internally)
2. Gross weight less usable fuel/cargo (with pilot, co-pilot, 3 crew)   : 30,518 lbs (externally) and 30,737 lbs (internally)
3. Therefore useable fuel/cargo                                         :  5,955 lbs (externally) and  6,031 lbs (internally)

So, clearly CH-47F cannot carry M777 (8275 lbs) internally or externally anywhere near 10,000 feet.

P.S. Actually ALH's capability to lift 1365 lbs (619 kgs) at near 20,000 feet with fuel worth 1 hour 20 minutes of flying (+40 minutes reserve) is quite phenomenal for its class.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 16 Feb 2014 02:20

Seems more like the utility of the M777 is questionable.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 16 Feb 2014 02:30

Actually, I favoured it only because it was a gun and a good one. But I would scrap that now with Kalyani showing its 155mm-39cal Ton ultralight gun (albeit on a poster now). But they have gone from paper to prototypes so quickly for the 155mm-52cal, 155mm-45cal and 105mm guns, I quite sure they can come up with this ultralight gun in 3-4 years if given a chance.

They are advertising the 155mm-39cal Ton ultralight gun to be just 4.5 Tons (M777 is 3.745 Tons). I would save the money given India's current situation.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 16 Feb 2014 02:35

However, I am firmly in favour of buying the Chinooks. I feel at BRF, we are always trying to find that exotic reason for buying something. C-17s for carrying Arjuns, Chinooks for carrying M777s, blah blah blah.

There is a requirement for heavy lift in the high altitudes on a day to day basis, and there is no better alternative than the CH-47 right now. Ch-47 has been proven in high and hot conditions in Afghanistan where no other helicopter could work. Get them.

And please don't repeat that Mi-26 can carry a CH-47 nonsense over and over again. I don't care about exotic things a big ass plane can do once in a while (when it is in the mood to fly). I have a feeling the IAF/IA don't either.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Austin » 16 Feb 2014 08:27

HAL Dhruv Helo Ready For Mineral Exploration

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Booth H72) and Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin helicopter equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. The dedicated aircraft was formally unveiled and named Garuda Vasudha by the country’s minister of mines, Dinsha Patel, in New Delhi last month. The Indian government is hoping to cut its oil import bill by finding such resources in its soil.

The Dhruv is fitted with four aerogeophysical sensors–time domain electromagnetic, spectrometric, magnetic, and gravimetric for an equipment cost of $10 million. It will help understand the sub-surface geology and regional tectonic set-up. “With the best and modern equipment fitted, this helicopter will help in exploration and mapping of mineral wealth in India,” Patel stated.

Capabilities include detection of oil, gas and minerals–gold, copper, thorium and other rare earth minerals–in addition to environmental and nuclear surveillance.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Austin » 16 Feb 2014 08:28

India’s SBAS to roll out soon
India’s GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (Gagan) system, jointly developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Indian Space Research Organization and Raytheon, has been awarded certification for in Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 0.1 operations. Achieved with the help of quasi-U.S. government non-profit MITRE Corporation, the certification makes it the world’s fourth SBAS system certified for operational use.

The first test flight using the system will fly an approach in mid-2014 from Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat. The aircraft is likely to be an AAI-owned Beechcraft aircraft, according to S.V Satish, general manager (ATM-Gagan), AAI. Raytheon has built 15 ground reference stations for the Gagan System, which will provide satellite-based navigation for civil aviation over Indian airspace and adjoining areas in South and Southeast Asia.

The Gagan system was installed to advance safety and improve efficiency of airlines operating in Indian skies. Aircraft equipped with satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) receivers may utilize Gagan signals in Indian airspace for en route navigation and non-precision approaches without vertical guidance, enabling them to follow more efficient flight paths through congested airspace, noise sensitive areas and difficult terrain.

“The enhanced navigation capability available through Gagan improves air travel for all parties–airlines, passengers and air traffic authorities,” said Brian Hickey, director, Raytheon Navigation and Landing Systems. “In addition to enhancing air traffic safety, the system will result in increased efficiencies and lower costs for Indian aviation.”

The reference stations have been strategically placed in India to optimize signal availability, with uplink stations, master control stations, a communication network and associated software all integrated with Geostationary Earth Orbit satellites transmitting GPS corrections in C-Band and L-Band.

Gagan provides coverage for the entire Indian Flight Information Region via broadcast signals from the Indian-built GSAT 8 and GSAT 10 satellites.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby member_23455 » 16 Feb 2014 09:59

Wow! A barrage of posts on the Chinook and the M777 - illustrating yet again why Brochuritis on BR threads tends to substitute critical thinking, and a rather bemusing lack of knowledge about warfare:

1. Brochure X, Specification Y, mentions that Chinook can't carry the M777 above 4-5,000 feet, therefore what use are they both in the MSC?

a) Because clearly anecdotal evidence that the Indian military regularly operates equipment beyond manufacturer-specified limits is hogwash, like this account on the IAF site.

http://indianairforce.nic.in/show_page.php?pg_id=72

Chetaks and Cheetahs ferried men and material to dizzy heights far above the limits set by the helicopter manufacturers


b) Show us the cold hard numbers, or begone with such PR stuff!

Umm...how about an engine change at 20,000 feet under enemy fire. I mean, how is that even possible, when no brochure in the world mentions it!

2. But what about the failed trials conducted on the M777 - I mean you can't even airdrop the thing!

a) Because clearly these evil Americans who faked the moon landings have faked this footage as well

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gXq0-A9Xxw

and this report has been doctored as well...

http://www.aetc.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?id=123297829

During the training, two C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Altus AFB airdropped an M777 Howitzer and Soldiers from Fort Bragg. After the airdrop, members of the 18th FB unloaded a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System from one of the C-17s that landed at Fort Sill. After traveling to the firing location, the soldiers fired six rockets downrange. Soldiers also assembled the airdropped Howitzer and fired 16 rounds downrange during the training.


b) Because it is sacrilege to employ basic critical thinking skills and ask "why" the air drop trials may have failed in the Indian case? Maybe it was not the M777 but the systems/people delivering the cargo? :evil:

3. BUT STILL, the question remains, there is a huge mathematical gap of 10,000 feet, between what Google Maps is telling me is the elevation of the Tibetan AOR and the 7-8,000 feet that one can assume the Chinook can carry the M777 to?

a) Because clearly Indian Military Law Section III, Subsection 2 b) states "any attempt to disassemble a weapon/field strip/or otherwise modify for ease of transport is prohibited. Any soldiers/officers doing so will be court-martialed."

I mean what were people like Thimayya, Cariappa, and Sparrow doing in 1947 Kashmir Ops when they dismantled turrets of Stuart Mk-VI tanks so that they could be carried over weak bridges that could not support the weight of the whole tank.

b) How dare 70 years later someone suggest similar innovation with the M777. Disassembly is for pansies, in fact Rajnikanth can fire the M777 when it is under slung from a Chinook. :wink:

4. But the Americans have gazumped billions off us by selling us this "dream" military hardware. If so many mods and adjustments have to be made, why not spend millions on the poor Indian jawan for whom our heart bleeds?

Because the poor Indian jawan will be thanking all of us from the bottom of his heart as he has to to lug/push/manhandle a 12t and 14t system as opposed to a 4-6t one. :roll:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Pratyush » 16 Feb 2014 10:02

indranilroy wrote:However, I am firmly in favour of buying the Chinooks. I feel at BRF, we are always trying to find that exotic reason for buying something. C-17s for carrying Arjuns, Chinooks for carrying M777s, blah blah blah.

There is a requirement for heavy lift in the high altitudes on a day to day basis, and there is no better alternative than the CH-47 right now. Ch-47 has been proven in high and hot conditions in Afghanistan where no other helicopter could work. Get them.

And please don't repeat that Mi-26 can carry a CH-47 nonsense over and over again. I don't care about exotic things a big ass plane can do once in a while (when it is in the mood to fly). I have a feeling the IAF/IA don't either.



+1 to that. we neet heavy lift helo and quick. unkil at the moment is the only credible source. Mi 26 right now is more of a science project.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 16 Feb 2014 10:14

Image
Here is a map of Aruachal Pradesh which shows areas 10,000 ft and over in red. Most of AP is about 5-6,000 ft, including Seppa, Bomdila, Jang. It's pretty similar in J&K. The green circles represent the 40-mile range of the M777. Note that while the radius of the Chinook is 200 miles, any point in AP is within 100 miles of Assam and even less if we count helipads within AP. This means that a lot of the time the Chinook will not need to operate with a full fuel load.

Again, being able to position 155 howitzers at short notice in high altitude (doesn't have to be 10,000 ft plus) where the enemy can't is a huge advantage.

Regarding the "leaked" report, Here is what Anthony said about Chinook.
The Field Evaluation Trials for these helicopters conducted by IAF have found them to be compliant with all the stated Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs).

So I stand by my contention that the "leak" is rubbish though of course people are free to believe whatever they want. The IA and IAF know what they want and why.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby chackojoseph » 16 Feb 2014 10:20

Chinooks have been successfully evaluated by ASTE and it confirms to requirement.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 16 Feb 2014 12:01

RajitO,

My posts are simple if you can follow the laws of physics and not from a brochure (please do click the link to check). Chinook cannot carry the M777 internally or externally at 10,000 feet. Period. I did not say anything more or less. If you can come up with facts and figures, we can discuss. Otherwise be rest assured that I won't waste anytime on replying to your qualitative (armchair) judgments.

Victor sahab,
I will find out the OGE weight of Chinook at other altitudes. I don't agree with your assertion that Indo-China border is largely below 10,000 feet. To the contrary, Arunachal Pradesh is the best case scenario. Most of the Indo-Chinese border and Indo-Pak border in J&K is well above 10,000 feet.

click.

P.S. I found some chat with a pilot of CH-47F (same engine/blades as F) on a helicopter forum. He says max GWT OGE at 8500 feet and 10 degrees (most probably Farenheit) is 43,599 lbs. So, I would say, 8,500 feet is about as high as it can go with a M777.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby abhik » 16 Feb 2014 12:48

Victor wrote:Regarding the "leaked" report, Here is what Anthony said about Chinook.
The Field Evaluation Trials for these helicopters conducted by IAF have found them to be compliant with all the stated Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs).

So I stand by my contention that the "leak" is rubbish though of course people are free to believe whatever they want. The IA and IAF know what they want and why.
It is the M777 that failed in the various air deployment tests, not the Chinook.


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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby member_23455 » 16 Feb 2014 14:41

indranilroy wrote:RajitO,

My posts are simple if you can follow the laws of physics and not from a brochure (please do click the link to check). Chinook cannot carry the M777 internally or externally at 10,000 feet. Period. I did not say anything more or less. If you can come up with facts and figures, we can discuss. Otherwise be rest assured that I won't waste anytime on replying to your qualitative (armchair) judgments.

P.S. I found some chat with a pilot of CH-47F (same engine/blades as F) on a helicopter forum. He says max GWT OGE at 8500 feet and 10 degrees (most probably Farenheit) is 43,599 lbs. So, I would say, 8,500 feet is about as high as it can go with a M777.


And it is your and other folks obsession with facts and figures shorn of all context and qualitative input that makes you as much an armchair warrior that you presume others to be. Let's agree to disagree but self-awareness is a quality to be cultivated...no?

Excellent that you are speaking to some of the BTDT crowd, please dig a little more in the spirit of scientific inquiry not just into the laws of physics but also the laws of warfare, especially with some of the Indian aviators and they might be able to tell you how the M777 is going to be handled, or similar weapon systems, at Indian altitudes.

Replying to me or anyone else for that matter should be the least of your concerns if you are on this forum to learn something more.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Pratyush » 16 Feb 2014 15:21

why is the inability of the Chinooks to lift M 777 above 8k feet such a major issue. was the Chinook ever sold by the khans as being ablt to lift the gun to that hight. in the Indian context.

yes / no.

if yes, the we have a problem. if not then this is a storm in a tea cup.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Philip » 16 Feb 2014 18:57

MI-26 just a "Science project"? Was Uttarkhand a "Science project"?! The facts speak otherwise.Only the blinkered see otherwise.A new version,the MI-26T is also in production,while all earlier Mi-26s in Russian service are being upgraded.

The Mi-26 was the first factory-equipped helicopter with a single, eight-blade main lift rotor. It is capable of flight in the event of power loss by one engine (depending on aircraft mission weight) thanks to an engine load sharing system. While it is only slightly heavier than the Mi-6, the Mi-26 can lift up to 20 metric tons (44,000 lb). It is the second largest and heaviest helicopter ever constructed, after the experimental V-12. The tail rotor has about the same rotor diameter and thrust of the four-bladed MD 500 main rotor.[5]

The Mi-26's unique main gearbox is relatively light but can absorb 19,725 shp, which was accomplished using a non-planetary, split-torque design. Because Mil's normal gearbox supplier said that such a gearbox could not be designed, the Mil Design Bureau designed the VR-26 transmission itself.[6]

As of 2013, the Mi-26 still holds the FAI record of greatest mass lifted to 2,000 metres - it lifted 56,768.8 kg in 1982.

The same contract covers the manufacture of 22 brand new Mi-26T helicopters. As of January 2012, eight new-production helicopters have been delivered to operational units.
[9]


Some cases:
Indian Air Force Mi-26 crash

On 14 December 2010, an Indian Air Force Mi-26 crashed seconds after taking off from Jammu Airport, injuring all 9 passengers. The aircraft fell from an altitude of about 50 feet (15 m).[17] The Indian Institute of Flight Safety released an investigation report that stated improper fastening of the truck inside caused an imbalance of the helicopter and led to the crash. The Mi-26 had been carrying machines from Konkan Railway to Kashmir Railway project .[18][19]
Norwegian Air Force Sea King recovery

On 11 December 2012, a Westland Sea King from No. 330 Squadron RNoAF experienced "technical problems" and made an emergency landing on Mount Divgagáisá. The landing caused parts of the landing gear to break. The Sea King was prepared by removing rotor blades and fuel before it was air lifted to Banak Air Station by a Russian Mil Mi-26 on 23 December 2012.[20]
Rescue operations in Uttarakhand Floods - India 2013

Mi-26 is extensively used in the rescue operations of Uttarakhand floods affecting the northern part of India in 2013. Airlifting heavy equipment for repairing and re-establishing roads and connectivity. Further many flood affected victims were airlifted using Mi-26.
[c


There is no comparison between the Chinook and MI-26,stats speak for themselves.The MI-26 is vastly superior as the world's most capable heavylift helo.Being much larger there was also no way that it would be the lowest price between the two.The Chinook was virtually gifted the deal thanks to MMS's N-deal promises to buy loads of US milware.The Q is what primary role is the Chinook intended for? Maybe its size is ideal for certain missions where the use of the larger MI-26 would be unneccessary and the medium sized Mi-17V isn't large enough.The IAF actually may need both MI-26 and Chinooks.It would be prudent for it to upgrade the remaining 6 or so MI-26s operational just as is being done with those in Russian service,or replace them with newer MI-26Ts if their remaining lifespan is short.

As for lifting the light howitzer.No idea if the Chinook was tasked for the job or not.No problem,if the Chinook cannot do the business,just use the Mi-26s,they cam even lift a Sea King helo or a Chinook if need be!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kersi D » 16 Feb 2014 20:07

Arun Menon wrote:^Yet they were ordered. Imagine if this were a indigenous gun. Think of the indignation and hostility DRDO etc. would have faced.


:(( :(( :((

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 16 Feb 2014 20:26

Anti-India, anti-Hindu Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN/IBN7 and AAP ka Ashutosh had decided to leak an army report that says M777 couldn't be flown in an IAF plane, thrown out of a plane or carried by a helicopter. They also questioned the definiton of "inaccessible areas" given by the army as the rationale for the gun!

For one reason or another, it does not matter that the gun has in fact been flown in planes, thown out of them and carried by chopper for a long time on a routine basis in high altitudes. Inaccessible areas are places where we have no roads--95% of the border in AP and JK. We now own the same planes the Americans use for this and are in the process of getting the chopper that does the job too and instead of this being a plus for India's defense, we have some chuhas squeaking "corruption" and trying their level best to scrap the deals. To what end?

The last thing one would expect is for BR folks to jump on bandwagon too but there you have it.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 16 Feb 2014 20:42

indranilroy wrote:I don't agree with your assertion that Indo-China border is largely below 10,000 feet. To the contrary, Arunachal Pradesh is the best case scenario. Most of the Indo-Chinese border and Indo-Pak border in J&K is well above 10,000 feet.

It does not matter at what altitude the border is. Please look at my map again and the green circles. All the black areas are below 10,000 feet. What matters is that the M777 can be placed in enough places to obliterate the border regardless of altitude. Bofors pounded Tiger Hill at 17,000 feet from Kargil at 8,000 ft and this was possible because a road (NH1) made it possible to tow the gun there. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had no road? Didn't Kargil happen to neutralize this very advantage? We want to make it possible to hammer the crap out of the entire border regardless of whether there are roads or not and the M777 and Chinook are the means of doing that. Hence the khujli from expected sources. Let's not help them.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Victor » 16 Feb 2014 20:57

Philip wrote:The MI-26 is vastly superior as the world's most capable heavylift helo.Being much larger there was also no way that it would be the lowest price between the two.The Chinook was virtually gifted the deal thanks to MMS's N-deal promises to buy loads of US milware.

There is an alternative explanation: the Mi-26 is a very specialized and expensive chopper to fly and maintain (Rolls Royce) while the Chinook is a cheap pickup truck that can be flogged hard. We need both. Moreover, my understanding is that the Chinook is more stable than single-rotor choppers in windy mountain valleys where dangerous gusts and updrafts are the norm. These are precisely the valleys that will allow the M777 to get within range of the border.
Last edited by Victor on 16 Feb 2014 21:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby NRao » 16 Feb 2014 20:59

The question is, if there are problems, can they be overcome.

IF at all the IA/IAF/IN have shown us *anything*, it is innovation at teh 11.99th hour. No leader has helped, no reporter has helped, not even teh dedicated scientist has been able to help (for a variety of reasons). Yet, the Services have "overcome" problems - that even the vendor has not claimed their products could do/perform.

So, despite citations (and they are very, very valid resources), the question boils down to can the Indian Services do what they want to do with what has been provided to them?

IMVVVHO, the answer is yes.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby NRao » 16 Feb 2014 21:28

Fro BR itself:

The Mi-26 was procured to meet the Heavy Lift requirements of the IAF. A requirement of six helicopters was projected and the first two Helicopters were procured at a cost of Rs 18 Cr each in May 1986. No. 126 Helicopter Flight was raised the same month to operate the type. The Flight has a Unit Establishment of 18 Officers, 142 airmen and 28 NCs(E) and four Helicopters. The other two helicopters were procured and inducted in February 1989 at a cost of approx Rs 22.71 Cr each. Due to low utilisation, the plan to procure two more helicopters was dropped. For the total fleet of four helicopters, twelve engines were procured.

Serviceability of the Helicopter suffered in the 90s, at one point of time in 1995-96, as many as three of the four helicopters remaining on ground. Serviceability gradually fell in the mid 90s from a high of 61% down to 40%. The helicopters also remained underutilized. Against a projected utilization rate of 50 hours per month per helicopter, the average utilization hovered around 11 to 22 hours per month.

The first two Helicopters procured in 1986 were due for an overhaul in 1990. The two helicopters were ferried to Russia for overhaul in June 1991 and were returned in August 1993.

The fourth Helicopter came up for overhaul in October 1996 and was given an extension of an year after maintenance by the Base Repair Depot. However the helicopter suffered some damage after one of the undercarriage struts failed in August 1997. The damaged helicopter was subsequently overhauled by the manufacturer in January 2003 at a cost of Rs 16.8 Crores.

During the Kargil Operations, two Mi-26s logged about 25 hours airlifting heavy equipment and guns to the Kargil area.

In July 2005, a Helicopter of the unit landing at Rampur in Himachal Pradesh was damaged after the rotor got entangled in high tension electrical cables. The aircraft was being used in helilifting heavy road building equipment in the area.

One Mi-26 (Z3076) was written off after it crashed at Jammu airport on 14 Dec 2010. It was involved in the heavy lift of tunneling equipment for the Northern Railways. The crew escaped with injuries. This was the first and till date the only major airframe loss for the Mi-26 in nearly 25 years of service.


On the flip side:

The Mi-26s have been utilised in the sky-crane role over the years.

- Feb 89, MI-26 helicopter undertook the only of its kind underslung operation taking Pontoon bridge form Ludhiana to Sirhind canal.
- Early 1999, a crashed MiG-21 was airlifted by the Unit to Chandigarh.
- 21 Nov 2001, the Mi-8 which crashed in the Rann of Kutch was helilifted by the Mi-26s to Bhuj.
- 2002, a MiG-21 Bison which crashed in the fields near Ambala was airlifted by the Unit to Ambala Air Force Station.
- In Jul 2002 the Mi-26 recovered the first civilian aircraft (Beechcraft), which had met with an accident at Kangra airfield. Another first was achieved as the unit flew the longest ever underslung flight (3:15 hrs).
- 22 Feb 2006 - An Mi-26 flown by the CO, Wg Cdr Sushil Ghera, airlifted an Mi-17 that forcelanded in a river bed a few days earlier to Chandigarh Air Force Station.
-Sept 2007 - Mi-17 1V airlifted from Bandipore to Awantipura
-In 2010, the helicopter was actively used to lift heavy equipment for the Katra-Quazigand Railway project providing rail connectivity to the Srinagar Valley.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby rohitvats » 16 Feb 2014 21:53

RajitO wrote: And it is your and other folks obsession with facts and figures shorn of all context and qualitative input that makes you as much an armchair warrior that you presume others to be. Let's agree to disagree but self-awareness is a quality to be cultivated...no?

Excellent that you are speaking to some of the BTDT crowd, please dig a little more in the spirit of scientific inquiry not just into the laws of physics but also the laws of warfare, especially with some of the Indian aviators and they might be able to tell you how the M777 is going to be handled, or similar weapon systems, at Indian altitudes. Replying to me or anyone else for that matter should be the least of your concerns if you are on this forum to learn something more.


You need to go a bit easy on the preaching part...if you don't agree with people's argument(s), please provide a counter POV than giving sermons.

As to the 'Laws of Warfare' thing and associated argument - none of them will survive if they violate the laws of Physics. Even the Cheetah and Chetak flying in the rarefied atmosphere of Siachen do not violate Laws of Physics - though they're flying at the very edge of the envelope as these laws would've predicted - and hence, the margin for error is next to nothing.

Having said that - linking the purchase of CH-47 Chinook with M777 is a red-herring. Simple as that. Since you're talking about laws of warfare, how does the ratio of 15 Chinook and 145 M777 match-up? When there are indications that these guns will be distributed across different divisions @ 1 per division under Eastern Command. So, unless the Chinooks are based with Eastern Air Command and east of Guwahati and tasked from the word go to assist in movement of these guns, there is simply no synergy in purchase of Chinook and M777.

Now, if you ask me, the purchase of Chinook and M777 stand on their own merit and the two are not related in terms of acquisition plan. Here are my thoughts on the same:

1. I have a feeling that the requirement for Ultra-Light Weight Howitzer (ULWH) emerged after IA saw the development in this field around the glove. However, it seems that some latched onto this requirement from IA and tried to manipulate the deal in a specific manner. And this could not have happened without the collusion of decision makes in AHQ. And I will pen down the data points for my opinion below. Please be advised that I'm not commenting on the usefulness of the gun. Any weight saved in mountain warfare is manna from heaven and I'll any day take a 'light' 155/39 caliber gun over 105mm gun.

2. Coming to my assertion - General V.K. Singh in his autobiography (page-305) says that when they examined the GSQR for the ULWH, they found that it was drawn to suit Singapore Technologies Pegasus gun to letter T. It was made in a manner so as to ensure only Pegasus emerges as a winner.

3. It is a different matter that Singapore Technologies ran into trouble with MOD and the gun was out of race - IA then recommended to look at M777 which Americans were willing to sell and was available under FMS route.

4. Now, this is where things got a bit murky and may explain why we had leaked report(s) about M777 failing IA GSQR and some tests and all. General V.K. Singh writes that Defense Secretary insisted that M777 meet the same GSQR as was made for Pegasus gun. He states that DG Artillery and DCOAS told the Defense Secretary that the stipulated conditions (for Pegasus gun) had NO OPERATIONAL meaning under Indian conditions but Defense Secretary said and I quote, 'We'll give you deviations at the appropriate time'.

5. So, it is not hard to understand that reports about M777 having failed the tests were released because someone was clearly batting for Pegasus (where money was to be made) and wanted to scuttle M777 - where there is no scope of skimming at the top. I would not be surprised if M777 acquisition was delayed so that attendant increase in acquisition cost would render the purchase nonviable.

6. Given that Pegasus weighs 5.4 tonnes, comes with limited self-propelled capability through APU (speed 12 km/h) and has semi-automatic loading mechanism, it would not be hard to understand that M777 would have 'FAILED' on these parameters.

7. However, given the weight of Pegasus and considering that it was the first choice - I don't think anyone was even thinking of carrying this gun as under-slung load in a Chinook.

8. And the fact that IA recommended M777 further gives weight to conclusion that for its weight class, APU was not considered as a definite requirement. The weight saving with the caliber would be the main advantage. As it is, the Pegasus and M777 were not designed keeping in mind requirement of mountain warfare. Americans designed M777 for their expeditionary warfare requirement.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby shiv » 17 Feb 2014 07:27

Just a data point, On my Youtube channel - which has been up for about 7 years or so - among the least viewed and least popular videos is one about what the transport command of the IAF does. That branch of the IAF is least romantic. We have expended hundreds of thousands of posts about war war and war and are generally disinterested in the peacetime logistics activity of the IAF. Even if Chinooks were able to carry M 777s to 20,000 feet - two at a time that activity would constitute less than 0.01% of the job that those helos would be required to do, Helicopters such as the Chinook or any other helo are bought because of their overall capability of serving a diverse variety of roles reliably and regularly in conditions that vary from 50 deg C to -50 deg C, from sea level to 15,000 feet, with reliability required in monsoon water and desert sandstorms and Himalayan whiteouts. The one, single specific, ability to carry M777 to 15,000 feet might not be a priority role for the IAF.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Austin » 17 Feb 2014 09:10

Indian air force Kirans to fly on, as IJT wait continues
India’s defence ministry has announced that delays in the entry to service of the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT) will require the Indian air force to continue flying its ageing Kiran Mk 1 trainers until 2017-2018.

In a statement, the ministry says the decision to extend the use of the Kiran was “due to repeated revisions in the timeline set for the initial operational clearance [IOC] of IJT, and also considering the present state of the project regarding induction of the IJT in the Indian air force”. The total technical life of the existing type will be extended to reach the new retirement schedule, it adds

Designed and developed by HAL as a replacement for the Kiran, the HJT-36 Sitara has experienced repeated delays, but senior HAL officials have said they are confident of IOC status being obtained this year.

Weapons trials have already been completed and stall testing is currently under way, following which spin trials will begin. BAE Systems has been helping HAL to resolve issues related to the IJT’s stall- and spin-related handling qualities.

HAL plans to launch manufacturing of a limited series production batch of 12 aircraft as soon as IOC has been achieved. The Indian air force has a stated requirement for this initial number, plus 73 series production examples.

Meanwhile, HAL has selected the engine for its in-development HTT-40 basic trainer, and says design and development activities should be completed in 2015. Deliveries are expected to commence from 2017.

The Indian air force has a total requirement for 106 basic trainers, and already has 75 PC-7 Mk IIs on order from Pilatus, with the option to order 37 more by next year. The service, which has so far received 26 of the type, has made it clear that it would prefer to have its entire fleet centred on the Swiss type. An earlier statement released by India’s defence ministry says the air force “has expressed reservations over acquiring the HTT-40”.


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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vic » 17 Feb 2014 09:16

Re Indranil,

Can you give estimate of underslung load carrying capability of Mi-26, Mi-416, CH-47 and ALH at 5000, 10,000 and 15,000 feet?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vic » 17 Feb 2014 09:18

shiv wrote:Just a data point, On my Youtube channel - which has been up for about 7 years or so - among the least viewed and least popular videos is one about what the transport command of the IAF does. That branch of the IAF is least romantic. We have expended hundreds of thousands of posts about war war and war and are generally disinterested in the peacetime logistics activity of the IAF. Even if Chinooks were able to carry M 777s to 20,000 feet - two at a time that activity would constitute less than 0.01% of the job that those helos would be required to do, Helicopters such as the Chinook or any other helo are bought because of their overall capability of serving a diverse variety of roles reliably and regularly in conditions that vary from 50 deg C to -50 deg C, from sea level to 15,000 feet, with reliability required in monsoon water and desert sandstorms and Himalayan whiteouts. The one, single specific, ability to carry M777 to 15,000 feet might not be a priority role for the IAF.


I think you are right but the issue is what special things Chinook can do which Mi-17Vs cannot? Considering that Chinooks are 3 times the cost of Mi-17Vs.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 17 Feb 2014 11:35

vic wrote:Re Indranil,

Can you give estimate of underslung load carrying capability of Mi-26, Mi-416, CH-47 and ALH at 5000, 10,000 and 15,000 feet?


It is greatly variable based on ambient temperature and weather conditions.

Mi-26 when in the mood can lift really lot of things. It has all kinds of heavy lift records. Mind you these are records, In regular use, you could knock off 2000-5000 kgs from that to account for stripping off of things, having enough fuel etc. It is believed that the actual maximum payload that can be carried by Mi-26 (other than fuel) is about 13 Tons.
21,000 feet: 10,000 kgs
18,373 feet: 15,000 kgs
15,091 feet: 20,000 kgs
13,451 feet: 25,000 kgs (note that this is higher than its max payload at sea level by 5000 kgs :-) )

On the other hand I can give you very realistic payload capability of the Chinook. Excluding pilot/co-pilot, meaningful payload is
4,000 feet: above 10,000 kgs (including fuel) I know from personal conversations with pilots that it has lifted 21000 lbs of concrete slabs in Afghanistan.
10,000 feet: above 3,000 kgs

ALH seems to be wonderfully at high altitude. In operation Rahat, it outdid the Mi-17s in payload and safely maneuvering the terrain and rough weather. It could land where the Bell-407 couldn't go.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Indranil » 17 Feb 2014 11:41

vic wrote:
shiv wrote:Just a data point, On my Youtube channel - which has been up for about 7 years or so - among the least viewed and least popular videos is one about what the transport command of the IAF does. That branch of the IAF is least romantic. We have expended hundreds of thousands of posts about war war and war and are generally disinterested in the peacetime logistics activity of the IAF. Even if Chinooks were able to carry M 777s to 20,000 feet - two at a time that activity would constitute less than 0.01% of the job that those helos would be required to do, Helicopters such as the Chinook or any other helo are bought because of their overall capability of serving a diverse variety of roles reliably and regularly in conditions that vary from 50 deg C to -50 deg C, from sea level to 15,000 feet, with reliability required in monsoon water and desert sandstorms and Himalayan whiteouts. The one, single specific, ability to carry M777 to 15,000 feet might not be a priority role for the IAF.


I think you are right but the issue is what special things Chinook can do which Mi-17Vs cannot? Considering that Chinooks are 3 times the cost of Mi-17Vs.


The Chinooks will be an excellent buy for us. Without a tail rotor it can safely negotiate altitudes way better than the Mi-17s. It will truly increase our high-lift capability. Just don't try to justify it by saying it gets us the exotic capability of transporting the M-777 to really far flung posts at high altitudes.

P.S. I am actually with you in not liking the M777 procurement. I would rather give Kalyani group a chance to come up with the 4.5 T ultralight 155mm-39 cal gun. It is not much heavier than the M777, and I presume it will be much lighter on the pocket, which is already strained for capital expenditure.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby symontk » 17 Feb 2014 13:13

Went out for lunch

1. Saw a Jagaur coming to land at 12.30PM
2. Saw a IJT coming to land at 1.30PM

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Rahul M » 17 Feb 2014 13:22

Victor wrote:Image
Here is a map of Aruachal Pradesh which shows areas 10,000 ft and over in red. Most of AP is about 5-6,000 ft, including Seppa, Bomdila, Jang. It's pretty similar in J&K. The green circles represent the 40-mile range of the M777. Note that while the radius of the Chinook is 200 miles, any point in AP is within 100 miles of Assam and even less if we count helipads within AP. This means that a lot of the time the Chinook will not need to operate with a full fuel load.

Again, being able to position 155 howitzers at short notice in high altitude (doesn't have to be 10,000 ft plus) where the enemy can't is a huge advantage.

Regarding the "leaked" report, Here is what Anthony said about Chinook.
The Field Evaluation Trials for these helicopters conducted by IAF have found them to be compliant with all the stated Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs).

So I stand by my contention that the "leak" is rubbish though of course people are free to believe whatever they want. The IA and IAF know what they want and why.


oh dear ! who on earth is going to deploy at seppa or bomdila and why, 100's of km from the border ?
as for jang, it is a satellite town of tawang and for a helo to reach there it needs to cross the sela pass (13k feet +). virtually ALL possible deployment areas in AP are in the region of 10-17,000 feet.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby vic » 17 Feb 2014 15:52

Sometime back, vivek made a chart of load carrying capacity of Dhruv, Mi-17 vis a vis altitude. It would seem that above 10,000 feet Chinook does not being much to table vs Mi-17. And above 15,000 feet ALH shines.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Philip » 17 Feb 2014 17:22

A point in Q.Are we going to induct the guns only when the balloon goes up as at Kargil? When faced with swarms of Chinese invading us,will we have time enough to induct the guns,or do they need to be located well in advance at predetermined bases/strong points.Local redeploying could be done with the helo fleet in a crisis.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby sattili » 17 Feb 2014 18:10

indranilroy wrote:Mi-26 when in the mood can lift really lot of things. It has all kinds of heavy lift records. Mind you these are records, In regular use, you could knock off 2000-5000 kgs from that to account for stripping off of things, having enough fuel etc. It is believed that the actual maximum payload that can be carried by Mi-26 (other than fuel) is about 13 Tons.

@Indranil - with due respect, Mi-26 did not operate based on fits and moods. Agreed its serviceability is poor, however it did move the mud when the critical situation required. I can quote from my personal experience - in 1995 when the ONGC well in KG basin (Pasarlapudi) had a blowout. ONGC didn't have the heavy water pumps and generators required to maintain high pressure water umbrella anywhere near. Mi-26 airlifted the heavy equipment all the way from Nagpur to the blowout site to be immediately put to use. I vividly remember news items in Telugu newspapers how important it was get those pumps direct to the blowout site and no other helicopter in the world can do it. Since then ONGC has built a base complex in my hometown and staging such equipment there.

Let me quote from the official release on the 26th Anniversary of featherweights and highlight few points (http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=82106)
Featherweights Celebrate 26th Anniversary

126 Helicopter flight, christened ‘Featherweights’ was raised at Chandigarh on 15 May 1986.The unit was established to fly the Mi-26 helicopter, the largest and heaviest helicopter in the world, a very formidable machine capable of versatile roles. The flight lives by the motto ‘Aaptsu Mitram’ which means a friend who is always around to help when tragedy strikes. The ‘Bhim’ of the Indian Airforce has till date flown almost 8000 hours carrying 13559 tons of load.

The flight has the unique distinction of operating the world’s heaviest helicopter in the highest and coldest battlefield in the world, the Siachen Glacier. The flight has undertaken flood relief operations in different parts of the country as well as relief operations during the Orissa Supercyclone of 1999. The flight played a major role in avoiding a Bhopal like gas tragedy at Paradeep Phosphates Ltd where the Ammonia gas tanks needed to be cooled at the earliest to prevent the gas from leaking out. The flight airlifted heavy duty generators which were used to cool the storage tanks thus avoiding a major disaster. The flight was also actively involved in the Kargil war wherein it performed numerous missions by day and night.

Another unique feature of the Mi-26 helicopter is its ability to carry very heavy (weighing upto 20 tons) and odd shaped loads slung under its belly. The flight has played a major role by airlifting various aircraft - fighters, helicopters and even a civilian passenger plane. Featherweights have played another big role in nation building by transporting heavy loads of the Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd which was entrusted with the task of laying the railway line between Jammu and Banihal. The flight also regularly undertakes air maintenance sorties to the highest Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) at an elevation of 15,500 feet above mean sea level. The flight was instrumental in making the ALG at DBO fit for use by the fixed wing transport aircraft by airlifting heavy machinery like dozers and rollers to DBO.

We were excited to see C-130 making a landing in DBO, however credit should go to Mi-26 for lifting those dozers and earthmovers which were behind the scenes made it possible. Mi-26 does this job routinely.

The flight also played an important role in the revival and reopening of Vijaynagar ALG in the North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. All sorts of heavy machinery and construction material were transported in the Mi-26 to make the ALG fit for landing. The flight has been closely associated with various projects of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Another such instance, I have seen pictures in Vayu magazine about AN-32 landing at Vijayanagar. But no picture of Mi-26 lugging those bulldozers and earthmovers :(

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Rahul M » 17 Feb 2014 19:06

>> Agreed its serviceability is poor

I believe he means the same thing by 'when in mood' i.e when it is available. the Mi-26 was also instrumental in air-lifting a full brigade to jimithang during the 1987 confrontation with PLA. but none of its abilities mask its weaknesses either.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Singha » 17 Feb 2014 19:23

Thats why i see the ch53k as more of a replacement. I seen a film of german army ch53 airlifting eqpt and sandbags during a flood situation to shore up a dike.


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