Indian Military Helicopters

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Austin » 21 Jul 2015 21:29

India signs up for 48 more Mi-17s
Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

http://www.janes.com/article/53110/indi ... ore-mi-17s
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will buy 48 more Mil Mi-17V-5 'Hip' medium-lift helicopters to supplement the 139 it acquired from 2008 onwards, officials confirmed on 20 July.

The IAF spokesman told IHS Jane's that the IAF had moved a proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to buy the additional Mi-17V-5s for around UDS1.1 billion.

Senior IAF officials do not anticipate delays in securing MoD approval for the twin-engine helicopters, as they are an add-on to an earlier purchase made via a government-to-government deal with Russia.

It is, however, unclear whether all or just some of the 48 Mi-17V-5s will be weaponised, as was the case with the majority of the earlier 139 platforms.

The IAF acquired 80 Mi-17V-5s in 2008 for USD1.34 billion and followed that purchase in December 2012 with an order for another 71 for USD1.53 billion. Twelve of the second batch were ordered for India's paramilitary forces.

Delivery of the Mi-17V-5s to the IAF - to replace ageing Mil Mi-8s and to augment the fleet of 90 Mi-17IVs acquired in the late 1990s - began in September 2011 and is likely to be completed by the end of 2015.

In 2014 six Mi-17V-5s were modified for the IAF's Communication Squadron to transport Indian VIPs such as the president and prime minister, after the MoD terminated the import of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters following corruption allegations.

No decision, however, has been taken on whether these six - or more-Mi-17V-5s - will be permanently seconded to transporting VIPs or whether the Special Protection Group, responsible for their security, will seek to replace them with other platforms.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 18 Aug 2015 05:48

Yenjaai plij
http://www.mid-day.com/articles/review- ... a/15203068
Review of Nitin A Gokhale's book, Beyond NJ9842: The Siachen Saga
By MiDDAY Correspondent |Posted 03-Apr-2014
957 104 82 0 0

How a stranded chopper was brought back from under the nose of the enemy, from Nitin A Gokhale’s book, Beyond NJ9842: The Siachen Saga

‘Flying here is certainly not for the faint hearted’

3rd June 1990: Two Cheetah helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are on a regular air maintenance run to the Siachen glacier. As was the routine by that time — six years into Operation Meghdoot — the first shuttles were to Amar and Sonam posts, the two highest helipads on the Siachen Glacier, located at altitudes in excess of 20,000 feet above mean sea level.

Shelling
Flt Lt B Ramesh and Flying Officer Naresh were leading the run and were supposed to land at Sonam. Flt Lt WVR Rao and Flying Officer Suresh Nair, in the second Cheetah, were scheduled to touch down at Amar, not very far from Sonam.

Rao remembers that day to be slightly warmer than usual at about 10 degrees, high for the glacier but understandable in the summer months. “At those heights, when temperature goes beyond 5 degrees, the ‘density altitude’ at Amar and Sonam is actually close to 23,000 feet, the ultimate limit at which these helicopters can and should fly. But in those conditions we could carry barely 5 kg load on the Cheetah. The rising temperature can have such an impact on the load carrying capacity of the helicopters,” he remembers. Rao and Nair landed normally at Amar but as they revved up to take off the helicopter engine ‘surged’ and the machine just sat down on the helipad.

“Amar is hardly 3000 metres from a Pakistani post located at a lower altitude. Even as we were struggling to figure out what went wrong, shelling from Pakistani post started. Remember those were pre-ceasefire days,” Rao reminisced.

Evacuation
The two pilots quickly ducked inside the bunker and sent a message to the other helicopter not to come towards Amar since shelling from the Pakistani post had begun but Flt Lt Ramesh would have none of it. He made two quick runs to Amar and evacuated Rao and Nair one by one since it is inadvisable for any one not acclimatised properly to stay at 20,000 feet for more than 15-20 minutes. “Ramesh landed on snow since the helipad was already occupied by our machine. He held the chopper on partial power, lest his helicopter too toppled over and lifted us away even as the ever present danger of the Pakistanis targeting the helicopter remained,” Rao says recalling those terrifying minutes.



Target
The pilots were back safely to the Base Camp but the problems for the Air Force were just beginning. The chopper was now stuck at Amar, a juicy target for the Pakistanis. Moreover, how does one repair a helicopter at 20,000 feet? How would the technicians get there? How long would they take to acclimatise? Normally when Army jawans get deployed at Amar or Sonam posts, they spend at least 10 days at gradually increasing altitude to get acclimatised. That luxury was however not available to the IAF technicians since the Cheetah was a sitting duck at Amar and it needed to be extracted as soon as possible.

As senior Army and Air Force officers both in Leh and Delhi put their heads together to find a quick solution to this unique problem, troops of the Sikh Light Infantry unit deployed at the Amar post overnight constructed a snow wall, a snow column really, to shield the helicopter sitting smugly on the Amar post from any Pakistani firing!

Stranded
Construction of the snow wall was just the beginning of the innovation employed to retrieve the stranded helicopter from the Amar post. A team of technicians, led by Fl Lt G Sreepal was selected and inducted into the Glacier. Because of the urgency to repair the helicopter as soon as possible, the technical team was flown to a post at 15,000 feet for initial acclimatisation. Normally the first stage acclimatisation for army soldiers begins at 9,000 feet. After three days of stay there, the technicians walked to a post that is located at 18,000 feet. Finally they reached Amar on 10 June, a week after the helicopter had soft landed on the post! At the post itself, additional facilities had to be created for the arrival of the Air Force technical crew. Meanwhile the soldiers on the post had to keep replenishing the ‘wall’ with fresh ice lest it melted away due to the strong sun, a common feature during the summer months!

Replacement
Now the problem of carrying a replacement engine to Amar remained. Rao remembers: “The bosses had to select an aero engine with least starting temperature. To carry it wasn’t easy. The most powerful of the available Cheetahs with least fuel consumption was earmarked for the airlift of the engine. Now came the question of fitting in the engine in the smallish Cheetah. To overcome the problem of space, the co-pilot’s seat was removed, the engine was strapped in and the co-pilot’s seat screwed in again. At the Base camp, strapping the engine to the floor was easy since there were enough helping hands to secure the aero engine. But the same task at Amar became a challenge since the pilot would have to unscrew the seat himself and would have had to remove his gloves, a dangerous thing to do in those extreme cold conditions. Moreover, flying with cockpit doors open — an extremely hazardous act at 20,000 feet plus altitude — was an additional worry since the cold gets accentuated at that height by the wind chill factor.”

Hazard
Despite the hazard, the most powerful of the available Cheetahs was readied. It was stripped to the bare minimum. “Out went the tail rotor guard, doors, passenger seats and the radio bay panels. The radio transmission set was removed and so was the battery after the engine was started; only two bottles of oxygen instead of the standard four that we normally carried. But that was not all. In order to save on weight, the helicopter carried fuel only sufficient to fly one way to Amar. It was planned that the refuelling for the return journey would be done at the post itself even when the rotors would be running and the spare engine would be offloaded,” Air Commodore Anil K Sinha, then a Squadron leader and deputy flight commander, recalls. Wing Commander Goli, the Commanding Officer and Sinha, decided to take minimum fuel for two helicopters that were to fly into Amar that morning.

Firing
As they prepared to fly to Amar, the weather closed in but Sinha and Goli went up to another helipad at Dolma, some three minutes flying time from Amar and waited. As soon as the clouds cleared, Sinha flew to Amar, delivered the tools, batteries and other essential equipment before Goli landed with the spare engine. Perhaps seeing hectic activity on the post, the Pakistanis started firing as Wing Co Goli landed with the spare engine. It was still off-loaded, refuelled even as the engine was still running.

Meanwhile at Amar, ground troops were preparing for the engine change. First they physically shifted the stranded helicopter to the very edge of the table top helipad so that the incoming helicopter with the spare engine could land and hold till the aero engine was off loaded. On 11 June, the ‘half-acclimatised’ technical crew removed the damaged engine from the stranded helicopter. Now all that they could do was to wait for the replacement engine to arrive.
The technical crew worked through the evening and night of 12 June, taking help from the Sikh LI troops to change the engine.

Now came the critical part: fly out the repaired helicopter.

Operation
It was Friday, the 13th.

Because of the myths associated with the date and day, the CO, late Wing Commander Goli was not sure if the operation should be carried out that day. But eventually all of them decided that no matter what happens, they will fly out the stranded chopper that day itself.

In fact, because it was a day of ‘Jumma,’ Pakistani troops were perhaps busy with their Friday prayers. Cleverly, the men on the post and the Air Force decided to fly out the helicopter around noon when they knew the adversary would be busy with the afternoon namaz. As Rao says: “Friday, the 13th did not prove to be unlucky for us at all!”
Squadron Leader (later Air Commodore) Sinha was designated to fly the stranded chopper back. He remembers: “Normally, when you are taking off, you have a space around the helicopter. Here there was no such luxury. The helicopter had had heavy landing after its seizure and we did not know how deep it was embedded in the soft snow. In my mind, there were many questions. Will the engine start? Will it last the flight? Will I be able to extract it and take it back to the base camp safely? As these questions swirled in my mind, I took a deep breath, started and revved the engine and took off. As we landed safely at base camp, there were impromptu celebrations!”

Gallant
Flt Lt WVR Rao and Flt Lt. B. Ramesh quickly followed up with a sortie and flew the technical crew back to the base camp.

Even today, 24 years later, the unparalleled feat plays out in the minds of those who accomplished it, as if it happened just yesterday!

Says Sinha, who went on to win a Vir Chakra for gallantry in the 1999 Kargil conflict: “That night we had a wild party at the base camps. We were doing back flips and somersaults. We were so happy and proud.” Concurs Rao, who left the Air Force in April 2012 and now flies helicopters for the Tatas in Jameshedpur: “We were almost delirious with joy. After all, how many Air Forces in the world can boast of such a deed? I remember after that long and most memorable party, my voice was so hoarse that I permanently gave up smoking!”

Selfless
The event of 13 June 1990 will also go down as one of the best example of jointmanship between the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force! Both Sinha and Rao say without the incredibly committed and selfless army soldiers on the Amar post, it would have been impossible to even think of changing the engine.

“On the first day, when the chopper sat down and we came to the base camp, the Sikh LI troops on the post, at their own initiative removed the rotors blades of the helicopter and built that snow wall to keep it out of sight of the enemy! All this without any training. But a more incredible feat was yet to come. On the day we were changing the engine, the portable crane that was airlifted to Amar for hauling the engine up (remember the helicopter engine is located above the passenger seats at a considerable height) broke into pieces because of extreme cold. These brave and extremely fit Sikh LI troops physically lifted the 182-kg engine at 23,000 feet to help us repair the helicopter,” Rao said with justifiable pride.

Rapport
Sinha added: “The rapport between us and the army soldiers on the glacier has to be seen to be believed. Without total trust in each other, we can never function as efficiently and effectively as we do all these years!”
Rao also recalls the simplicity of the soldiers. “Many a times, the troops used to say they had craving for aloo parathas. So on the days when we were coming from Leh, our wives, on a short visit to Leh, used to make them early morning and in our first flight we used to carry the aloo parathas for the troops on Amar and Sonam. The sheer joy on their faces on receiving the parathas was priceless!”

Almost every helicopter pilot who has operated on the glacier would have such a story or two to share. Some remember how eager the soldiers are to receive letters from home.

In fact a standard practice among the helicopter crew is to carry the mailbag in the very first sortie of the day since it is the lightest weight they can carry at the beginning of the day when the helicopter fuel tank is topped up full. The coordination, the camaraderie and the brotherhood of soldiers is on full display at Siachen, an emotion that civilians will never be able to fathom or understand!

The engine change and recovery of the helicopter from Amar Post is just one of the incredible feats achieved by the Siachen Pioneers, as the 114 Helicopter Unit is universally known. Established at Leh on 1 April, 1964 (this is the Golden Jubileee Year of the Unit), it has a unique distinction of being perhaps the only helicopter formation that has been deployed in an operation continuously for three decades!

Beyond NJ9842: The Siachen Saga by Nitin A Gokhale
Format: Hardbound with Dust Jacket
ISBN: 978-93-84052-05-8
Pages: 300
Price: R799

Extracted with permission from Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd.


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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srin » 28 Aug 2015 12:37

An update on Ka-226T. Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence selected for local manufacture. Clicky

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vipul » 28 Aug 2015 17:34

First the Frigates, then the Kilo upgrade global partnership and now the helicopter contract, looks like Chotu Reliance is in the Russian camp. Motu Reliance had hedged his bet with the French (to manufacture Dassault in India) but that did not go anywhere.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srin » 28 Aug 2015 22:18

I'd have liked us to manufacture Mi-17's - we've been procuring them in large numbers.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby suryag » 29 Aug 2015 01:15

Does the ka226 order mean curtains for the luh

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_23370 » 29 Aug 2015 01:40

If Ka 226 is produced in numbers then instead of LUH HAL should focus on MRH.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srai » 29 Aug 2015 03:18

srin wrote:I'd have liked us to manufacture Mi-17's - we've been procuring them in large numbers.

No idea why this did not happen. Apparently, IAF's BRD assembles from SDK. A Su-30MKI model of progressive indigenous manufacture would have been the way to go. But most of medium fleet has already been fulfilled; so it may not make sense anymore.

Whatever happened to HAL MLH? It would be a great time to get that project rolling now so that it can be ready when Mi-17s need to retire.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakkaji » 29 Aug 2015 06:28

suryag wrote:Does the ka226 order mean curtains for the luh



No. The plan is 200 Ka226 and 200 LUH (approx)

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakkaji » 29 Aug 2015 06:34

Make in India: Russia wants co-production of KA-226 choppers to start as soon as possible

Chemezov had earlier said on Wednesday that Rostec had expressed its commitment to work with "either of two companies - Reliance of Mr Ambani and HAL, and it is up to the Indian government to decide who to grant this project, who they feel is better suited for this. For us this is no different, we could work with either."

The company is also looking forward to negotiations towards co-production of its MI-17 choppers in India. It will be supplying more MI-17s transport aircraft to the BSF next month with at least three such choppers in final testing stages at its unit in Kazan. BSF inducted two such MI-17 choppers from Russia into its fleet last April to boost its air support missions on the border and operations in Naxal-Affected areas. The 3 new choppers are expected to be delivered next month.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vivek K » 29 Aug 2015 06:37

^^^^Beggars can demand too?? The country is not run by a certain BRF poster!!

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_23370 » 29 Aug 2015 06:39

Yes..just look at porkistan.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby bhavani » 29 Aug 2015 20:56

I don't understand our procurement these days. We keep on buying more and more transport choppers, are we building a airborne corps.
Pakis are buying AH-1Z, we are buying MI-17s, Pakis buy F-16s and we respond with uber expensive C-17. We have not bought a single attack chopper for a long time. The pakis are good at buying stuff in bits and pieces and hoarding them. For the price of less than 3 c-17's they are getting 28 AH-1Z's and a freaking 1000 hellfires

We always have big uber plans and most of them don't proceed forward.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakkaji » 30 Aug 2015 04:01

Every deal in India goes through so many gyrations: :-?

Khemkas key to deciding between HAL & Reliance in chopper contract

The Khemkas of the Sun Group will be key arbiters in the billion-dollar decision on whether Russian Helicopters would partner Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), or Anil Ambani's Reliance Group, in building 197 Kamov-226T reconnaissance and observation helicopters in India.

Nand Khemka, chairman, Sun Group, who has done successful business in Russia for decades, is advising Russian Helicopters as a board member of the company. Khemka is close to Moscow's power centres, including President Vladimir Putin. He is a member of the Russian prime minister's "Foreign Investment Advisory Council".

Business Standard learns that Khemka has assembled a team of experienced Indian experts in helicopter manufacture, who are evaluating whether it would be better to go with HAL's tried and tested record of working with Russia, or with Ambani's new company, Reliance Defence and Aerospace (RDA), which has no experience, but enjoys the advantages of the private sector.

Contacted for comments about the role played by Sun Group, Russian Helicopters declined to comment, but did not deny its involvement.

Recent media reports in the The Economic Times and The Times of India have reported that Russian Helicopters - an umbrella corporation that includes all Russian helicopter building companies - has chosen Anil Ambani's Reliance Group as its partner. In fact, no such decision has been taken.

Russian Helicopters has valid memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with both Indian entities. The MoU with HAL undertakes to partner the Indian aerospace monopoly in an earlier Indian enquiry for vendors to build 197 light helicopters in the "buy and make (Indian)" category. This required Indian vendors to bid, supported by a foreign technology partner.

Simultaneously, Russian Helicopters signed a generic MoU with RDA, under which Reliance Group is pursuing most of its defence ventures. This MoU is not directed towards any specific contract, but speaks of broad-ranging cooperation in helicopter building.

The Reliance MoU with Russian Helicopters is much like the shipbuilding MoUs that Anil Ambani's newly acquired Pipavav Shipyard has signed with Russian shipbuilders. Defence industry experts point out that while such MoUs are useful in generating a speculative media buzz, there is no certainty they would culminate in actual defence contracts.

Even as Russian Helicopters evaluates its options, advised by Sun Group experts, decision-makers in Moscow say New Delhi will have the final word on the Indian partner. Says Sergey Chemezov, Rostec CEO, who oversees Russia's high-technology industry and is a close associate of President Putin: "We expressed our commitment to work with either of two companies - Reliance of Mr Ambani and HAL, and it is up to the Indian government to decide who to grant this project, who they feel is better suited for this. For us this is no different, we could work with either."

Vadim Ligay, the deputy chief of Russian Helicopters says, while the contract is still being negotiated, "On behalf of Rostec, Russian Helicopters and Russia, I believe we are ready to work with any company that will be chosen by the Indian side."

Individuals close to the Russian evaluation indicate they are inclined towards HAL. They visualise the Bangalore-based company responsible only for assembly and final integration of the Kamov-226T, while a range of carefully chosen private sector Indian companies, identified as tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers, would build key components like the transmission, rotors, and cockpit. HAL would assemble these into a helicopter.

This would ease the path for HAL, which is already awash with Indian military orders for more than 200 indigenous helicopters, including the Dhruv, the light combat helicopter, and the Indian rival to the Kamov-226T, the light utility helicopter.

Ligay of Russian Helicopters confirms that the Kamov-226T contract would include a provision for offsets, in addition to the "Make in India" aspect.

For now, Reliance Group is powering ahead with its defence initiative. On Friday, the Maharashtra government handed over 290 acres for a facility that RDA intends to build near Nagpur.

The procurement of 197 light helicopters dates back to the late-2000s and was cancelled after Eurocopter was selected as winner in circumstances that were later deemed suspicious. It was re-tendered as a competitive contract, but then, in December 2014, at an Indo-Russian summit meeting in Delhi, President Putin asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and was granted the contract on an inter-governmental basis.

In May 2015, the apex Defence Acquisition Council approved the purchase on nomination of the Kamov-226T.

The Kamov-226T is a 3.5-tonne, two-pilot, light helicopter that is specially modified with a new engine for Indian requirements, primarily high-altitude operations along the Himalayan borders. Like all Kamov helicopters, the Kamov-226T has contra-rotating rotors - or two main rotors that rotate in opposite directions. This does away with the need for a tail rotor, making the helicopter lighter, and improving manoeuvrability in the mountains.

Even as 197 Kamov-226T helicopters are built, HAL will build 187 light utility helicopters. The IAF will, thereafter, be managing a two-type fleet of light helicopters, in addition to the existing Cheetah/Cheetal helicopters until they are phased out of service.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 30 Aug 2015 10:10

bhavani wrote:I don't understand our procurement these days. We keep on buying more and more transport choppers, are we building a airborne corps.
Pakis are buying AH-1Z, we are buying MI-17s, Pakis buy F-16s and we respond with uber expensive C-17. We have not bought a single attack chopper for a long time. The pakis are good at buying stuff in bits and pieces and hoarding them. For the price of less than 3 c-17's they are getting 28 AH-1Z's and a freaking 1000 hellfires

We always have big uber plans and most of them don't proceed forward.

Bhavani, with respect may I point out that the role of logistics is underestimated in our discussions while we are always discussing the platforms with weapons. I might sound like a broken record but unless one reads how helicopters and logistics were used in wars one is tempted to think that it's the attack helos that matter most.

If look at the role of attack helos - there are fixed wing aircraft that can perform a broadly similar firepower support role, but the logistics which has turned the course of many battles and wars will never come from attack helos.

Please Google for Tangail airlift for starters.

Remember that in 1965 or advance on Lahore was held up by the Pakis blowing up a bridge on the Ichogil (DRB) canal. Contrary to that a series of absolutely heroic heliborne ops across rivers turned the Bangladesh war from mere defeat to rout for the Pakis.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 30 Aug 2015 10:27

Here is a scan of 3 pages or so of PC Lal's autobiography of how a heli air lift was used to transport men and equipment across what Pakis thought were barriers in East Pakistan in 1971
Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Shreeman » 30 Aug 2015 16:15

Wasn't the LUH supposed to have its first flight in august? Any murmors, spilt tea, or unfounded rumors?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby kvraghav » 30 Aug 2015 16:53

Chaiwala alert..some minor problem in stress test of LUH

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby uddu » 30 Aug 2015 19:51


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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby bhavani » 31 Aug 2015 00:13

shiv wrote:
bhavani wrote:I don't understand our procurement these days. We keep on buying more and more transport choppers, are we building a airborne corps.
Pakis are buying AH-1Z, we are buying MI-17s, Pakis buy F-16s and we respond with uber expensive C-17. We have not bought a single attack chopper for a long time. The pakis are good at buying stuff in bits and pieces and hoarding them. For the price of less than 3 c-17's they are getting 28 AH-1Z's and a freaking 1000 hellfires

We always have big uber plans and most of them don't proceed forward.

Bhavani, with respect may I point out that the role of logistics is underestimated in our discussions while we are always discussing the platforms with weapons. I might sound like a broken record but unless one reads how helicopters and logistics were used in wars one is tempted to think that it's the attack helos that matter most.

If look at the role of attack helos - there are fixed wing aircraft that can perform a broadly similar firepower support role, but the logistics which has turned the course of many battles and wars will never come from attack helos.

Please Google for Tangail airlift for starters.


Remember that in 1965 or advance on Lahore was held up by the Pakis blowing up a bridge on the Ichogil (DRB) canal. Contrary to that a series of absolutely heroic heliborne ops across rivers turned the Bangladesh war from mere defeat to rout for the Pakis.

Shiv sir, I understand that the logistics support provided by normal helos is very important.

But the soldiers who emerge out of these choppers would need support from attack helos. But Compared to the strength of our infantry, our overall attack helicopter strength is very low.

Let us take a few examples

Turkey - around 70, and they are building T-129 locally
Pakistan - around 80 - AH-1Z's, AH-1 Upgrades, Z-10's and are acquiring more Z-10
South Korea has 90 AH-1 and is acquiring around 40 AH-64's

Every piece of hardware has their own location and strength. It is not like we are in a quite position where attack choppers dont make any sense.

We should probably have local lines of assembly for Mi-17 and also an attack chopper.

Our total amount of deployable firepower in terms of artillery, attack choppers and MBRL's is going down and there have been no significant additions for a long time.

we could have easily acquired a assembly line for Ka-50 or Mi-28N and probably K-9 Thunder from south korea.

My point is just deploy some hardware.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby NRao » 31 Aug 2015 00:19

FYI post. Perhaps just for the numbers, if not anything else:

Jun 20, 2015 :: Dusk and Dawn of the Indian Attack Helicopters

An attack helicopter (AH) is a rotary wing platform with the primary role of engaging targets on the ground such as armored infantry or moving armored vehicles. There heavy armament can include weapons such as auto canons, heavy machine guns, unguided rockets, and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM's) like Hellfire and air to air missiles. Apart from the US and Russia, no other country is known for its large inventory of attack helicopters.

Indian military is having around 390 helicopters with it but only 30 out of them are attack helicopters and rest are the utility and transport helicopters. The reason behind this can be understood by the fact that the Indian Air Force (IAF) maintains a fleet of around 250 ground attack aircrafts which more or less serves the same basic purpose of giving close air support to the ground troops. Traditionally India is not known for the love of attack helicopters. Even back in those days, India was using Mil MI-4 and Bell 47G-2 which were utility helicopters for troop movement and rescue operations.

The Need

As of now, Indian Air Force deploys around 20 Mil Mi-35, 7 HAL Rudra and 3 HAL Light combat Helicopters (prototypes). It was the Kargil war of 1999 which fueled the need for helicopters that can operate at such high-altitude conditions with ease. Restricted maneuverability of Mil Mi-35 with high payloads led India to the develop the HAL Light Combat Helicopter and HAL Rudra for multi-role high-altitude combat operations and this can be used by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army's Aviation Corps.

On 26 May 2009, the Indian Ministry of Defense invited bids for 22 combat helicopters and 15 heavy-lift helicopters in a deal worth US$2 billion. In 2011, the American AH 64-D Apache Block3 had emerged as the winner ahead of the Russian Mi-28N defense deal for 22 Attack Helicopter and CH47-F Chinook won it for the heavy lift category. IAF is planning to deploy indigenously developed HAL Light Combat Helicopter for its combat operations along with the AH64-D Apache, however the HAL-LCA is in the nascent stage of development and the AH64-D's are yet to be delivered.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is considered as the best attack helicopter which creates havoc in the battlefield. The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin turbo shaft attack helicopter with a powerful anti-armour weapon system. The Apache is equipped with state of the art electronic technology and fire control systems. The Apache can be loaded with 16 AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles, 76 70mm folding-fin aerial rockets or a combination of both - in addition to 1,200 30mm rounds for its M230 automatic cannon. There can be the use of fixed and rotary wing aircraft in operations against insurgents and this weapon system can be a force multiplier with the IAF in these special missions. Some experts are however opposing the requirement for the attack helicopters quoting that India has thousands of miles of mountainous borders to defend and attack helicopters are bound to be under-utilized in the mountains with their full payload. Another concern is that the heavy firing of the daytime at low levels can bring down any attack helicopter even with the best armour platings. With their height ceilings and limited weapon systems, attack helicopters can perform their best in the plains but it is the mountains where it has to face the severest test as a credible force multiplier. Lessons from Vietnam remind that more than 5000 helicopters were lost against a not so powerful enemy. However, technology and weaponry has moved far ahead since then.

The indigenous development

Whatever the debate is, Indian military knows the best. After the Kargil war, India is engaged in developing a rotary weapons platform and has successfully produced the HAL Rudra, which is an armed version of HAL Dhruv. Rudra is equipped with Forward Looking Infra Red and Thermal Imaging Sights Interface, a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket pods, ATGM's and Air-to-Air Missiles. Total 27 are there, 20 with army aviation corps and 7 with IAF.

In 2006, HAL announced its plan to design and build LCH. The Indian Air Force is to acquire 65 LCHs and Indian Army is to acquire 114 LCHs. It surpasses the Boeing AH 64-D Apache in terms of range(700kms) and service ceiling(6500mts), however when it comes to the terms of weapon system, it is more like the Eurocopter Tiger and AW 129 Mangusta. Given its service ceilings and range it is well suited for the mountainous terrains with the prospects of further developments. India will go for the full scale production of the HAL LCH's only after 2016 and the prototypes are being tested now. These improvements in the Indian defense manufacturing sector not only fits the "Make in India" program but also takes us a step closer towards the self-sufficiency in defense procurements

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Viv S » 31 Aug 2015 01:54

bhavani wrote:Turkey - around 70, and they are building T-129 locally
Pakistan - around 80 - AH-1Z's, AH-1 Upgrades, Z-10's and are acquiring more Z-10


Turkey - 47 (37 AH-1 + 9 T-129s) - <all AH-1s to be retired + 50 more T-129s to be delivered>
Pakistan - 53 (50 AH-1 + 3 Z-10) - <4 Mi-35s ordered + 15 AH-1Zs proposed>
___________________________________________________________________________

India - 47 (20 Mi-35 + 27 Rudra) - <180 LCHs to be ordered + 40 Rudras>

The IA/IAF's attack helicopter fleet will be more than sufficient going into the future. Even the Apaches are entirely unnecessary.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby bhavani » 31 Aug 2015 04:31

Viv S wrote:
bhavani wrote:Turkey - around 70, and they are building T-129 locally
Pakistan - around 80 - AH-1Z's, AH-1 Upgrades, Z-10's and are acquiring more Z-10


Turkey - 47 (37 AH-1 + 9 T-129s) - <all AH-1s to be retired + 50 more T-129s to be delivered>
Pakistan - 53 (50 AH-1 + 3 Z-10) - <4 Mi-35s ordered + 15 AH-1Zs proposed>
___________________________________________________________________________

India - 47 (20 Mi-35 + 27 Rudra) - <180 LCHs to be ordered + 40 Rudras>

The IA/IAF's attack helicopter fleet will be more than sufficient going into the future. Even the Apaches are entirely unnecessary.


What are the timelines for induction of LCH's? Are the 27 Rudra's deployed already? I will be more than happy when i see the LCH's in deployment.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_22605 » 31 Aug 2015 04:45

kvraghav wrote:Chaiwala alert..some minor problem in stress test of LUH

What is a stress test?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 31 Aug 2015 05:21

bhavani wrote:we could have easily acquired a assembly line for Ka-50 or Mi-28N and probably K-9 Thunder from south korea.

My point is just deploy some hardware.

Fair enough. That's an opinion. But I don't think the IAF has ever "just acquired hardware" without making sure that it fits well into maintenance, training and war fighting/operations doctrines of the IAF. Only the IAF is interested in the latter. All arms suppliers are only interested in making money, not in anyone's security. But advertisements will always claim great capabilities and profound love for Indian security.

I haven't done any recent comparisons but I don't think the Ka-50 or Mi 28 are capable of fighting at Kargil like heights. Recall how useless our M-35s were, while it was Mi 17s that were ready to go at those altitudes. It appears that the LCH will be capable of operating at useful altitudes for India. Apparently the Apache too is capable of being usefully deployed operationally at high altitude.

About Pakistani acquisitions the less said the better. Here is Air Commodore Sajad Haider on Pakistani arms acquisitions:
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Books ... alcon.html
Haider tops off his book with an expose of the extreme corruption that has gripped Pakistan. The first hint of kickbacks to middlemen in Pakistan comes early on in the book when a wealthy Pakistani middleman was present for the trials of Hispano-Suiza rockets by the PAF in the late 1950s. But Haider singles out the Zia ul Haq regime and the period after that for its extreme corruption where kickbacks were “received on every commercial deal” (page 388). A US $ 890 million deal with France for Submarines was inflated to US$ 1.2 billion for the kickbacks. In a later deal shoulder fired Mistral SAMs were hurriedly acquired on the pretext that an Indian and Israeli attack was imminent on the Kahuta nuclear complex, despite the fact that such missiles would be useless in the event of such an attack.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Shreeman » 31 Aug 2015 06:30

raghuk wrote:
kvraghav wrote:Chaiwala alert..some minor problem in stress test of LUH

What is a stress test?


The stress tests would have been on the GTV. But there is zero news/information on integration on the TDs, state/progress. Come to think of it neither has the LCH shown up on any radar in a while. Or new delivery of dhruvs. Just the 48 Mi17s. Is the helicopter division going HTT/IJT route or is this the new secrecy regime?

Re. numbers, the enemy X has items Y type of chess math thinking is an entirely backward concept. You only do this IF you can only import Y to feed the exporter factories and stave off war. These quotes of XAH1z+YZ10 etc are madarassa math as we have seen from every middle east conflict.

The only reasonable approach for an india sized country is to set its priorities -- two front war, X nos of equipment Y per formation, Z in reserve and then go about making them in some finite time frame. Actually deploying them gives the political leadership the confidence to then propose bolder goals.

The Mi17s were far from ideal in 9899. They could function as poor mans dumb rocket gunships. But if they actually had an intgrated gunsuit, load, time on station and ability to put down two feet then the mosquito class wouldnt rule the landscape. The 17 is a great logistical tool, but only needed because road, rail, air infrastructure arent catching up. Imports of 17s arent doing much to add actual capability.

At some point, someone will have to make the jugaad approach with homemade engine+airframe, even rotary, the first and only option. They were made for the heights and the deserts and the rotors fold now. Something needs to break the 1xxx count manufactured barrier. Why not dhruv+rudra+lch? Yes, it will carry half the load of 17, but think of the simpler homemade supply chain. The savings there can surely pay for petrol in these low price days.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_22605 » 31 Aug 2015 06:56

Sorry there is no such thing. Stress is measured in all the ground tests and there are hundreds of such tests. The GTV is not a platform to measure stresses(though it is monitored as one if the parameters) and if you leave your fatigue test to be done on GTV then you're well prepared for a catastrophe. Stress failure or fatigue failure happens during all destructive tests as that is the aim of the test to generate the SN curve. The news about stress test is BS to say the least.
On the LCH you will hear soon and its a positive news.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Shreeman » 31 Aug 2015 07:28

raghuk wrote:Sorry there is no such thing. Stress is measured in all the ground tests and there are hundreds of such tests. The GTV is not a platform to measure stresses(though it is monitored as one if the parameters) and if you leave your fatigue test to be done on GTV then you're well prepared for a catastrophe. Stress failure or fatigue failure happens during all destructive tests as that is the aim of the test to generate the SN curve. The news about stress test is BS to say the least.
On the LCH you will hear soon and its a positive news.


Fair enough. One assumed this related to a composite airframe load test -- combining the load tests than can be done on the ground, after integration. The GTV is a better vehicle to test manufacturing quality than TDs especially if you expect fatigue or failure within design ranges. GTV was off its rig long time ago, so if this were a disclosable shortcoming one expected to hear it earlier. Presumably quality control or part level testing is mature enough, or there is some testing done given the entirely new airframe, but not at a system level.

Monitoring is one thing, non-destructive post integration tests are another. Destructive testing is unlikely to be a part unless they do hard landing/crashworthyness by dropping it from 10 floors high. Dont suppose they would so that here. And this is not even a combat craft, there is part commonality with dhruv at some level. So it ought to get off the ground without serious delays. Obviously, just like dhruv the usual vibration damping, weight and power issues will resolve only with time. Wonder whats keeping it on the ground.

This thread can use the good neuj, people are getting impatient.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 31 Aug 2015 07:29

LCH was in the news a few days ago - I think it was in Rajasthan - TD 3 IIRC

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Shreeman » 31 Aug 2015 07:39

^^^ June -- http://www.janes.com/article/52644/indi ... ser-to-ioc

that was a while ago. They have probably covered ladakh by now. I do wish they would get over this approach of sequential sea, monsoon, hot, cold, hot and high, cold and low, warm and wet business and do these with different protoypes in parallel. Dont build 2TDs and then wait for it to rain.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_20067 » 31 Aug 2015 07:40

shiv wrote:LCH was in the news a few days ago - I think it was in Rajasthan - TD 3 IIRC


http://www.janes.com/article/52644/indi ... ser-to-ioc

Image

India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) moved a step closer to obtaining initial operational clearance (IOC) after successfully completing hot weather trials in Jodhpur on 26 June.

Test flights were carried out in temperatures of 39 to 42º C in the Rajasthan desert, according to T Suvarna Raju, chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which is developing the platform.

"These were done with the involvement of customer pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army Aviation Corps (AAC)," he said.

Representatives from the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness and the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance also witnessed the week-long trials featuring the third LCH prototype (TD-3).

Both organisations are involved in securing the LCH's IOC - expected later this year - and subsequent full operational clearance. IOC was supposed to be gained in 2012.

HAL officials said the twin-engine 5.8-tonne LCH would enter limited series production by the year-end to eventually fulfil the AAC's order for 114 helicopters and the IAF's for 65 platforms.

They said this number was expected to increase, as the Indian Army planned to deploy LCH squadrons to all its 13 corps and a handful of independent formations for anti-tank operations, close air support, and battlefield surveillance.

The LCH is also being configured for anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel warfare.

HAL claimed the LCH's flight-testing in Jodhpur included a temperature survey of its engine bay and hydraulic system and overall handling qualities, especially of loads at low speeds, when its engines are deprived of oxygen in searing hot temperatures.

The LCH's 800 hp PM-33B Shakti engines have been developed jointly by HAL and France's Turbomeca.

Shakti engines also power the HAL-designed Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Rudra, its weaponised variant, both of which are in service with the IAF and the AAC.

The LCH, which made its maiden test flight in May 2010, successfully completed cold weather flight trials in India's Himalayan region of Ladakh in February.

Operating from a helipad at 4,600 m, it started on its internal batteries after an overnight stopover or 'soak' in temperatures of -18º C. After that, it operated successfully at altitudes of 6,500 m, its required service ceiling.

Officials said the LCH is scheduled to return to Ladakh over the next few weeks for 'hot and high' trials.

These will seek to validate the helicopter's ability to operate in mountainous conditions where oxygen, normally in short supply due to the altitude, is further reduced in high summer temperatures.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby member_22605 » 31 Aug 2015 09:09

Shreeman wrote:
raghuk wrote:Sorry there is no such thing. Stress is measured in all the ground tests and there are hundreds of such tests. The GTV is not a platform to measure stresses(though it is monitored as one if the parameters) and if you leave your fatigue test to be done on GTV then you're well prepared for a catastrophe. Stress failure or fatigue failure happens during all destructive tests as that is the aim of the test to generate the SN curve. The news about stress test is BS to say the least.
On the LCH you will hear soon and its a positive news.


Fair enough. One assumed this related to a composite airframe load test -- combining the load tests than can be done on the ground, after integration. The GTV is a better vehicle to test manufacturing quality than TDs especially if you expect fatigue or failure within design ranges. GTV was off its rig long time ago, so if this were a disclosable shortcoming one expected to hear it earlier. Presumably quality control or part level testing is mature enough, or there is some testing done given the entirely new airframe, but not at a system level.

Monitoring is one thing, non-destructive post integration tests are another. Destructive testing is unlikely to be a part unless they do hard landing/crashworthyness by dropping it from 10 floors high. Dont suppose they would so that here. And this is not even a combat craft, there is part commonality with dhruv at some level. So it ought to get off the ground without serious delays. Obviously, just like dhruv the usual vibration damping, weight and power issues will resolve only with time. Wonder whats keeping it on the ground.

This thread can use the good neuj, people are getting impatient.

In helicopter design the structure is the last thing that you worry about unlike maybe a fixed wing. I repeat the GTV is for a completely different purpose its mainly for checking the dynamics of the aircraft.
Every component of the helicopter is thoroughly tested on ground before it goes on the vehicle these include even screws bolts nuts and locking pins.
There are very few parts which are common between ALH and LUH as it is fundamentally a very different aircraft.
Cheers

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby deejay » 31 Aug 2015 09:25

Viv S wrote:...

India - 47 (20 Mi-35 + 27 Rudra) - <180 LCHs to be ordered + 40 Rudras>

The IA/IAF's attack helicopter fleet will be more than sufficient going into the future. Even the Apaches are entirely unnecessary.


The attack helicopter fleet is actually a very small force presently and does not permit multiple theater operations because of platform limitations.

If one studies how the IA is scaling up its attack helicopter fleet, it will be an eye opener for those who considered the present force level adequate. The LCH and the Rudra are together filling in the numbers.

The Apache's when they come will 1 to 1 replace the Mi 25's / 35's and not add numbers.

Infact, the Mi 17 till now is being used in combat and transport role. The original Mi 8 and Mi 17 can be fitted with 192, 57 mm rockets and a lot of practice in this configuration takes place including range firing.

The newer Mi 17's can be fitted with around 80 (I am forgetting the exact number), 80 mm rockets. Apart from these front guns etc are available for combat role and each Mi 17 can be in a short time convert from a freighter to a combat platform.

What force level Turkey keeps and what force levels Pakistan keeps does not always augurs what India needs. Presently both sqns of attack helicopters are located in the Western theater and they have undertaken UN duties too but always avoid high altitude.

The IAF may be okay with lower number of attack helicopters but not the Indian Army.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 31 Aug 2015 19:09

It will be interesting to see how the army intends to use its attack helicopter fleet.

In all previous wars, CAS has been provided by the air force. As per PC Lal's autobiography, the system of army-air force coordination had not been worked out well in 1965. That apart the army initially did not ask for air support especially in Chhamb in 1965 where the army was being forced to retreat. They eventually asked for support and the air force started with 4 Vampires, three of which were shot down. But things got better after the IAF got its act together and used Mysteres and Hunters with Gnat top cover. The IAF did play a great role in hitting Paki ground forces in Chhamb and Akhnoor. But in 1965 the army was not forthcoming about its plans so that the IAF could set aside assets.

This got much better by 1971. Measures were out in place to support the army and this worked extremely well in the East over Bangladesh where army air force coordination really kicked ass.

In the Wast it was less so. When India's pants were down with Pakistan attacking Longewala, the Army was mounting an assault further up North in Rajasthan and I don't think the Air Force knew anything about this. Then when Pakis were spotted at Longewala the army high command did not actually believe it at first. It was not until the Pakis stopped for the night and turned back to let the tail catch up did the army accept that they would be fuked at short notice at Longewala. That was very nearly a disaster for India.

Even so the Air Force had, in some areas an open offer of 40 sorties for Army support in the west. These often went underutilized. There was one situation in which the Indian army was expected (by the air force) to advance and the AF was ready for CAS, but they did not advance (because of certain other issues) but the army felt that they had a minefield in front of them. They asked for air support to strafe the minefield. PC Lal points out that strafing minefields is no way of clearing them and such a request constituted the worst possible waste of precious air resources in the middle of war. The Air Force did actually strafe those minefields and did not set off a single mine. In any case such an attack could not have been used to declare the minefield safe apart from putting pilots needlessly at risk and tying up fighters that could be used elsewhere. Lal points out that there perhaps should have been an Air Force coordinator from the flying branch with the army rather than a non flying offcer because the former would have been able to advise the army on the uselessness of such an exercise.

PC Lal points out that in 1965 the Indian army under Gen Chaudhuri behaved like the Paki army in talking about itself as the lead force and that the Air Force and Navy were at the service of the army

While it was never that bad in 1971, Manekshaw was apparently never very forthcoming about the Army's plans which put a spoke in the Air Force's ability to help. On the other hand he always wanted to know what the Navy and Air Firce were doing which they shared. Manekshaw also once made the statement "I will order my air force to take out the intruders" or some such thing as if he, as army chief, controlled all forces, which he did not.

With the army having a little air force of attack helos of its own I wonder if they will be even less communicative about what they are doing in a future war and finally call for help in a desperate situation. There is only so much that attack helos can do. Ultimately logistics lines can only be hit by the air forces and if the air force does not know what the army is doing then it would be a disaster
Last edited by shiv on 01 Sep 2015 06:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Anurag » 31 Aug 2015 19:16

Prithwiraj wrote:
shiv wrote:LCH was in the news a few days ago - I think it was in Rajasthan - TD 3 IIRC


http://www.janes.com/article/52644/indi ... ser-to-ioc

Image

India's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) moved a step closer to obtaining initial operational clearance (IOC) after successfully completing hot weather trials in Jodhpur on 26 June.

Test flights were carried out in temperatures of 39 to 42º C in the Rajasthan desert, according to T Suvarna Raju, chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which is developing the platform.

"These were done with the involvement of customer pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army Aviation Corps (AAC)," he said.

Representatives from the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness and the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance also witnessed the week-long trials featuring the third LCH prototype (TD-3).

Both organisations are involved in securing the LCH's IOC - expected later this year - and subsequent full operational clearance. IOC was supposed to be gained in 2012.

HAL officials said the twin-engine 5.8-tonne LCH would enter limited series production by the year-end to eventually fulfil the AAC's order for 114 helicopters and the IAF's for 65 platforms.

They said this number was expected to increase, as the Indian Army planned to deploy LCH squadrons to all its 13 corps and a handful of independent formations for anti-tank operations, close air support, and battlefield surveillance.

The LCH is also being configured for anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel warfare.

HAL claimed the LCH's flight-testing in Jodhpur included a temperature survey of its engine bay and hydraulic system and overall handling qualities, especially of loads at low speeds, when its engines are deprived of oxygen in searing hot temperatures.

The LCH's 800 hp PM-33B Shakti engines have been developed jointly by HAL and France's Turbomeca.

Shakti engines also power the HAL-designed Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Rudra, its weaponised variant, both of which are in service with the IAF and the AAC.

The LCH, which made its maiden test flight in May 2010, successfully completed cold weather flight trials in India's Himalayan region of Ladakh in February.

Operating from a helipad at 4,600 m, it started on its internal batteries after an overnight stopover or 'soak' in temperatures of -18º C. After that, it operated successfully at altitudes of 6,500 m, its required service ceiling.

Officials said the LCH is scheduled to return to Ladakh over the next few weeks for 'hot and high' trials.

These will seek to validate the helicopter's ability to operate in mountainous conditions where oxygen, normally in short supply due to the altitude, is further reduced in high summer temperatures.


I hope they can get the rotors to be fold-able. That was one of the limitations for the Navy to reject the Dhruv in mass numbers. Would be great to see a Naval LCH operating from future LHDs.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srai » 31 Aug 2015 21:07

deejay wrote:...

The IAF may be okay with lower number of attack helicopters but not the Indian Army.


Just curious. How is the IAF planning to use its 65 LCH vs 114+ LCH of the IA? It seems the IA is planing to add LCH to all its 13 Corps. At some point, I would think the IAF's 65 LCH would be reallocated to ACC to avoid duplication of assets.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Sid » 31 Aug 2015 22:23

srai wrote:
deejay wrote:...

The IAF may be okay with lower number of attack helicopters but not the Indian Army.


Just curious. How is the IAF planning to use its 65 LCH vs 114+ LCH of the IA? It seems the IA is planing to add LCH to all its 13 Corps. At some point, I would think the IAF's 65 LCH would be reallocated to ACC to avoid duplication of assets.


I was wondering the same thing on other discussion thread. Add another 33 Apaches to the list and problem becomes even more confusing?

My assumption is that IA assets will be used mostly for CAS/tactical interdiction while IAF assets will be used mostly for SEAD/strategic interdiction.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby deejay » 01 Sep 2015 08:55

srai wrote:
deejay wrote:...

The IAF may be okay with lower number of attack helicopters but not the Indian Army.


Just curious. How is the IAF planning to use its 65 LCH vs 114+ LCH of the IA? It seems the IA is planing to add LCH to all its 13 Corps. At some point, I would think the IAF's 65 LCH would be reallocated to ACC to avoid duplication of assets.


In the same way as the IA perhaps. Platforms will have the same capabilities irrespective of Service they belong to.

Which "Service" owns the asset is another debate and I have no arguments on that.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Singha » 01 Sep 2015 10:04

i would add the data point that all the major european armies - UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy without exception have the army operate the attack helicopter inventory. the AF has some utility, transport and CSAR but no tigre, apache, mangusta etc in any of the AFs over there.

we already know the situation with usa army.

even the russian army seems to do the same.

india is probably unique among the major militaries where the air force wants to own and operate attack helicopters and owns most of the transport fleet as well.

pakistan army aviation corps owns all their gunships and utility choppers too. same for china, which anyway likes to ape the usa system.

we are truly alone in pandering to this anomaly.

and why is a gunship helicopter needed for SEAD ? SEAD is done with appropriately equipped a/c armed with ARMs none of which is true for the apache or hinds. they have no mission eqpt for sead and no arm. sure they could go in close and shoot up a site with rockets and missiles but why ? doing it from 50km away is so much safer.


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