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Indian Military Helicopters

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Gagan » 28 Mar 2017 09:57

LUH should be a helo that should be aggressively marketed, and should do well in the region and in africa.
In africa, HAL should think about setting up a maintenence depot somewhere down the line in a neutral country for servicing future HAL products, or give it to a pvt company

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Gagan » 28 Mar 2017 10:04

Viv S
I understand that everyone has gotten used to not having foreign deployments, and thinking that sudden overseas deployments are obscure.
Things are changing both in india and inthe neighbourhood and even in the region. There military conflicts going on in so many places.

India will not be an ahinsavadi nation for ever, nor will india remain a poor developing country. As a superpower, the military will turn expeditionary very soon.
Large ferry range is a very useful capability to have.

Now that it is discussed here, someone in IAF will include that for a future upgrade or in the next gen of the birds

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Singha » 28 Mar 2017 10:27

suppose we need to deploy in a peace enforcement mission to the coast of africa or the ruins of syria. good ferry range and loiter times are must have as our bases will be 1 or 2 and operating areas huge. the incremental effort of installing wet pylons and plumbing and certifying it is not much. for recce role it might be ok to have external tanks..esp at night.

the syrians have been flying convoys of Mi17 (top cover by russians) from qamishli to deir azzor at low level, using NVG to bring in men and weapons and fly out wounded. only 1 sortie has been described, but they go on in secret. on such a covert mission too, gunships escorting the CSAR component will need extra fuel. and even in typical CSAR, having a long range is a boon.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 28 Mar 2017 20:27

Just came across this Sprag clutch used in helicopter transmissions, and I believe it has an important role to play in doubling a chopper to a mobile power generator, the gas turbine can rotate at full torque without engaging the main rotor and instead engage the electrical rotor (while parked). Such a chopper that can operate at high altitudes is probably the only source of emergency power in remote areas or in emergencies such as avalanches. A twin engined LUH is under consideration for Navy I hear which seems ideal.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Surya » 28 Mar 2017 20:35

You don't just fly something across the ocean for your hypothetical deployments just because it can carry tanks

First of all it will be needed to be certified to fly such scenarios and possible what ifs.

Its hard enough to fly SU 30s and that took lot of training and practice and thinking

Large helos maybe - small attack helos doubtful

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Austin » 28 Mar 2017 22:20

HAL finalises major plan to manufacture 1000 military helicopters and over 100 planes

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... 839082.cms

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Rishi_Tri » 29 Mar 2017 02:19

Austin wrote:HAL finalises major plan to manufacture 1000 military helicopters and over 100 planes

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... 839082.cms


Interesting report this. Does not mention LUH. Might be convenient or accidental omission.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 29 Mar 2017 03:50

vasu raya wrote: A twin engined LUH is under consideration for Navy I hear which seems ideal.

What would be the advantage of a twin-engined LUH over the Dhruv?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Khalsa » 29 Mar 2017 03:58

@singha
valid point and thats where a Mil-17 will surpass the others.
I think LuH fills a part of the spectrum which is not unlit at the moment but is operationally and economically unviable to sustain with Dhruvs and Mil-17s.

The Ka 226 deal stuttering is the best thing ever.
I hope Russians continue to play hard ball, toughen up even more, continue the sh1tty after sales service.
And above all give shitty experience of Vikramaditya over and over.

This will lead to us doing more G2G deals of Akula and S400.
We need to start making our own bread and butter.

I don't mind the occasional caviar.

More Power to LUH, Dhruv and Cousins, IMRH, LCH

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 29 Mar 2017 05:55

nachiket wrote:What would be the advantage of a twin-engined LUH over the Dhruv?


As is, the LUH can fly high altitude, the second engine, if at all it is real, gives it a lot of reserve power to feed to sensors or ancillaries (which was my stated use case) or lifting more cargo even if for shorter distances. Compared to Dhruv it has lesser empty weight.

Here is a weird bird operating in Afghanistan that is comparable to LUH and they claim higher cargo capability, maybe its the intersecting rotors that had them go unmanned on it.

Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 29 Mar 2017 07:27

For Dhruv, there was the training module called HATSOFF where pilots gain hours, in such an environment why can't a prototype design, the full fledged Digital Mock UP be used to do refinements vs. the final frozen design?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 29 Mar 2017 09:37

You cannot have a heli with very good high altitude performance, but low TWR. At sea level, Dhruvs and LUH can't even use all the available engine power. They are limited by their transmission.

The naval requirement for double engines has nothing to do with power and everything to do with redundancy. However, I think it was Safran which recently started suggesting that the failure rates of modern engines has gone down to a point where going for two engines for redundancy is no longer required.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Philip » 29 Mar 2017 10:38

The LUH deal will through though,HAL has been selected as the local manufacturer.The first 60 will be built in Russia.With the recent crash ioof yet another Chetak,now being called "flying coffins",the IA and services are desperate for new light helos to replace the antique birds which are crashing with increased regularity.

There is also a naval variant of the KA-226 which may find favour with the In after trials. In the Indian context,two engines for any naval bird (plus tropicalisation) would be preferable,since we operate in tropical conditions,v.diff. from the cold weather of Europe,Some small warships cannot operate Dhruv.Dhruv is being acquired for utility purposes,what the In really need are the 100+ SW birds asap,the majority of which can be built in India by HAL.The eventual amt. could even reach around 200 in years to come.

PS: KA-226s mentioned in the HAL future prod. list.HAL is one share that will appreciate hugely,with so many helo types,plus aircraft upgrades,LCAs,etc.,etc. in the order book. It must be one of the most envied aerospace cos. globally,just look at the list of what it is manufacturing,upgrading,etc. for both aircraft and helos.
Last edited by Philip on 29 Mar 2017 11:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby JayS » 29 Mar 2017 11:30

vasu raya wrote:
nachiket wrote:What would be the advantage of a twin-engined LUH over the Dhruv?


As is, the LUH can fly high altitude, the second engine, if at all it is real, gives it a lot of reserve power to feed to sensors or ancillaries (which was my stated use case) or lifting more cargo even if for shorter distances. Compared to Dhruv it has lesser empty weight.

Here is a weird bird operating in Afghanistan that is comparable to LUH and they claim higher cargo capability, maybe its the intersecting rotors that had them go unmanned on it.

Image


Intersecting contra-rotating rotors are for eliminating the tail rotor.


IMO, if IN wants a two engine LUH, HAL should just build it. Anyway its highly unlikely that a Naval Heli would be flown in Siachen. So HAL can tune twin engine LUH for sea conditions only. May be two smaller engines instead of single engine or perhaps derated engines of existing type to gain much better reliability and life.
Last edited by JayS on 29 Mar 2017 11:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ashishvikas » 29 Mar 2017 11:31


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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sankum » 29 Mar 2017 12:50

It is ASW version of Dhruv for IN with associated sensors and weapons and therefore Rs8000 Cr. Bye-bye sea hawk unless Sea King 42B are retired.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2017 14:08

Some of these in cg use will replace the dauphins i think. They used to prowl with searchlights off mumbai coast at night in mid 90s for sure

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srai » 29 Mar 2017 18:34

ashishvikas wrote:Rs 8,000 Cr for just 32 Dhruvs :?:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/nare ... 14372.html


That's around $1.2 billion dollars (or an average unit price of $37 million). Seems quite high. Wiki lists the price/unit at around $6 million.

In any case, a deal would include costs associated with naval customization, multi-base infrastructure, and lifecycle support for x-years. I would think the deal would be worth at least around Rs. 3000 Cr. ($500 million @ $15 million avg/unit).

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Mar 2017 20:48

Wonder if these can operate from IN ships.... The need is desperate

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 29 Mar 2017 22:41

Indranil wrote:You cannot have a heli with very good high altitude performance, but low TWR. At sea level, Dhruvs and LUH can't even use all the available engine power. They are limited by their transmission.

Exactly what I thought. The Dhruv isn't short on power. If it can lift a meaningful load to 21000 ft, the Navy should be fine with it.

The naval requirement for double engines has nothing to do with power and everything to do with redundancy. However, I think it was Safran which recently started suggesting that the failure rates of modern engines has gone down to a point where going for two engines for redundancy is no longer required.

If it is redundancy they need, the Dhruv already has it. So why ask for a new twin engined LUH which will be smaller and less capable than the Dhruv?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sohamn » 29 Mar 2017 22:59

I would like to know if they want to use it as coastal helicopters or do they want to base it on ships? And if ships, then have they gone around the blade folding/retracting problem?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 29 Mar 2017 23:32

Blade retracting is behind now, the question of endurance for an ASW mission is still open.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 30 Mar 2017 00:08

ASW is a completely different requirement from utility helicopters. One cannot expect utility helicopters with an AUW of around 4000 kgs to perform ASW operations!

Navy is looking for something smaller and cheaper to operate than the Dhruv. LUH does fit the bill and HAL did showcase LUH with folded blades at AI-15. However,I don't know if the blades can fold on the heli's own power or not. Let's see whether the Navy will bend its twin engine requirement to accommodate this helicopter. Afterall, Chetaks served the Navy well on a single engine!

I don't favour the KA-226. Why should we bankroll Kamov when their own govt. is not? I can only see one use of it over LUH. It has to go to HAL, because only they are in a position to reverse engineer the twin-rotor. That will be a great learning. All through AI'17, the Army guys kept singing praises of the S-97.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 30 Mar 2017 00:10

rohitvats wrote:Time to evolve LCH into various configuration, something like the Eurocopter Tiger. Some of these configurations may make the chopper a bit heavier than present form but add more value for operations in plains.

Could you elaborate more? I have some questions too. If they are similar, I can join both of them together and see if may be Raghu or Hari Nair sir will reply.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 30 Mar 2017 03:53

The day they make the LUH unmanned, a single engine will be accepted with no qualms, and I believe they have good data links upto 200km radius based on Rustom, that radius maybe is sufficient for a ASW sweep around a ship. Meghdoot is Meghdoot even in maritime domain.

Ka-226 with its interchangeable cabin has a unique feature.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 30 Mar 2017 05:31

Going from manned to unmanned doesn't change the capability of an aircraft that drastically. IN found Dhruv's payload insufficient for ASuW operations. Asking an helicopter of half the payload to do the same work? Well ...

Also, the quick-change cabin replacement of KA-226 looks good on brochures, but here are no takers for the same. All modern utility helicopters are multirole, that is their interiors can be relaid in a matter of minutes to hours. There is no great advantage in maintaining separate pods for each role. Because in reality helicopters don't change roles on an hourly basis.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srai » 30 Mar 2017 06:07

The Royal Navy seems to be fine using AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat for ASW roles. Similar to ALH dimensions.

Code: Select all

                      Dhruv                     AW159
General characteristics

Crew:                2 pilots                    2 pilots
Length:              15.9 m (52 ft 2 in)         15.24 m (50 ft 0 in)
Height:              4.98 m (16 ft 4 in)         3.73 m (12 ft 3 in)
Empty weight:        2,502 kg (5,516 lb)         3,300 kg (7,275 lb)
Max takeoff weight:  5,500 kg (12,125 lb)        6,000 kg (13,228 lb)
Powerplant:          2 × HAL Shakti Turboshaft,  2 × LHTEC CTS800-4N turboshaft,
                     899 kW (1,206 hp) each      1,015 kW (1,361 hp) each
Main rotor diameter: 13.20 m (43 ft 4 in)        12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)

Performance

Maximum speed:       295 km/h (183 mph; 159 kn)   311 km/h (193 mph; 168 kn)
Range:               640 km (398 mi; 346 nmi)     777 km (483 mi; 420 nmi)
Endurance:           3h 42m                       2 hr 15 min (4 hr 30 min with auxiliary fuel tanks)



Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by srai on 30 Mar 2017 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby srai » 30 Mar 2017 06:24

ALH & LUH blade folding:

Image
Image
Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 30 Mar 2017 11:15

And that brings me around to my favourite discussion topic on the ALH. Does anybody know the actual capability of the transmission system on the Mk3 onwards?

This is what I know
Transmission ratings (two engines) 1,280 kW (1,716 shp) for 30 minutes for T-O and 1,156 kW (1,550 shp) maximum continuous; OEI ratings 800 kW (1,073 shp) for 30 seconds (super contingency), 700 kW (939 shp) for 21/2 minutes.

If this is correct, I contend that an uprated transmission will enable the Dhruv to take higher payloads at sea level. For comparison, AW 159s transmission is rated at: Max continuous power 1604 kW (2151 shp), Intercontingency OEI 938 kW (1258 shp), Max contingency OEI 1016 kW (1363 shp).

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vaibhav.n » 30 Mar 2017 12:49

The IA's Army Design Bureau is looking to improve the reliability of the MGB via domestic suppliers right now. It lists the power output for the MGB.

METALLURGY FOR HELICOPTER MAIN GEAR BOX
1. Short Title. Metallurgy for Helicopter Main Gear Box (MGB).
2. User Directorate (s). Director General of Army Aviation.
3. Type of Problem. Poorly Solved.
4. What is the Problem (Need).
(a) Statement of Problem: The gearboxes of Advance Light Helicopter(ALH) are plagued by issues of poor metallurgy which is causing premature failures. There is a requirement to improve the metallurgy to prevent frequent chipping and premature failures of MGBs of ALH.

(b) Evolution of the Problem: ALH is an indigenously designed and developed helicopter. The main gear box has also been designed and
manufactured by HAL. Its function is to convert the engine input of high RPM & low torque to an output of low RPM & high torque. MGB further transmits torque to main rotors and tail gear box through associated gear train. Post induction of ALH, the MGB chip warning alarm was frequently reported which indicated chipping of metal inside MGB. Detailed laboratory analysis of metallic chips confirmed that chips were from the MGB gears. The designed power output of ALH MGB is 568 x 2 KW for sustained operations and peak power permitted is 800 KW for 30 seconds. The metallurgy of the MGB is not able to sustain the power output for which it was designed.

Main Gear Box (ALH)
(c) How it is Being Overcome. The problem has not been overcome fully. As an interim solution following measures have been undertaken:-

(i) Enhanced Checks for MGB.
(aa) One-time check of entire fleet post detection of failures.
(ab) Institutionalising additional checks based on nature of failure.
(ac) Increasing the frequency of periodic servicing checks.

(ii) Design Improvement:
(aa) Optimisation of Transmission System.
(ab) Removing the auxiliary gear box.
(iii) Improvements in metallurgy.

(d) Any Innovations to Locally Overcome the Problem. Nil

5. Who has the Problem: The problem is being faced by pilots and maintenance staff of the ALH fleet. The MGB is prematurely failing inspite of being exploited within the OEM specified operational envelope of torque and power.

6. Why it is Important to Solve: Component / Material failure is a major safety hazard for helicopters. By solving the problem the safety, serviceability & availability of helicopters for operational and training task will substantially increase. It will also drastically reduce the meantime between failures and aircraft on ground (AOG) state of the fleet.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sankum » 30 Mar 2017 15:21

A version of ALH with stretched fuselage, uprated transmission allowing higher MTOW and payload while keeping the overall dimensions nearly same can be built for low altitude operations.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Singha » 30 Mar 2017 16:40

imo we should look at a futuristic concept of shoals of super-dvora and pauk sized unmanned electric battery powered craft that would use a mix of diesel and solar to charge its batteries and use passive sonar to cover vast inshore areas ... using satcom dome to connect to manned and unmanned air platforms which would launch addl sonobuoys and LWTs ...

a manned ship could control a large shoal of these to enlarge its ASW zone and refuel them mid sea with a automated procedure like UAV in future will feed off tankers.

if not mass depployment the building blocks of this should be developed and improved on a small scale with an eye to future.

risking billion $ warships against LO SSKs packing 50knot HWT salvos is a non-VFM game. it has to be unmanned, pervasive and cheap on the water + few more expensive manned and unmanned aerial platforms to do the data crunching and target engagement. manned ships can fire LR asroc type or HWT weapons but should keep out of harms way.

even medium sized simple ships like Rotterdam class LPHD could do a mothership and C3I node role for this sea control mission.

my spider sense tells me this is what Cheen will do to push US and japani subs out of the brown and green water belt in SCS, ECS and YS

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby JayS » 30 Mar 2017 18:40

Singha wrote:imo we should look at a futuristic concept of shoals of super-dvora and pauk sized unmanned electric battery powered craft that would use a mix of diesel and solar to charge its batteries and use passive sonar to cover vast inshore areas ... using satcom dome to connect to manned and unmanned air platforms which would launch addl sonobuoys and LWTs ...

a manned ship could control a large shoal of these to enlarge its ASW zone and refuel them mid sea with a automated procedure like UAV in future will feed off tankers.

if not mass depployment the building blocks of this should be developed and improved on a small scale with an eye to future.

risking billion $ warships against LO SSKs packing 50knot HWT salvos is a non-VFM game. it has to be unmanned, pervasive and cheap on the water + few more expensive manned and unmanned aerial platforms to do the data crunching and target engagement. manned ships can fire LR asroc type or HWT weapons but should keep out of harms way.

even medium sized simple ships like Rotterdam class LPHD could do a mothership and C3I node role for this sea control mission.

my spider sense tells me this is what Cheen will do to push US and japani subs out of the brown and green water belt in SCS, ECS and YS


OT but DRDO working on Underwater unmanned autonomous vehicle as well. That could be of some use here...? Obviously it a magnitude more complex to build autonomous underwater vehicle than a unmanned surface ship, but we could think of an integrated system with all of these together being the building blocks.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ashishvikas » 30 Mar 2017 22:45

In a first, HAL assures 75% availability of Dhruv fleet
Ajai Shukla

http://wap.business-standard.com/articl ... 194_1.html

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Aditya G » 31 Mar 2017 01:06

Singha wrote:Some of these in cg use will replace the dauphins i think. They used to prowl with searchlights off mumbai coast at night in mid 90s for sure


There are no dauphins in ICG. You are probably talking about these:

Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Austin » 31 Mar 2017 10:26

Picture of first Ka-226T for Russian Coast Guard with blades folding rotor system

http://bmpd.livejournal.com/2520739.html

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Viv S » 31 Mar 2017 10:51

In a first, HAL assures 75 per cent availability of Dhruv fleet through a "performance based logistics" contract

In 2013, during the Uttarakhand floods, an embattled army and air force conducted relentless rescue operations for two weeks with 22 Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), flying more than 1,000 sorties to save thousands of lives.

Elsewhere, the Dhruv’s robust Shakti engine, optimized for high altitude flying operations, services the Indian Army’s daunting, 20,000 feet-high pickets on the Himalayan border, including the Siachen Glacier sector.

Yet, the Indian military has one problem with this high-performance, indigenous machine that will form the bulk of its light chopper fleet in the coming decades. It is that only six-seven out of 10 Dhruvs are available to fly at any moment.

That “fleet availability” figure of 60-70 per cent is set to improve. On Thursday, the Dhruv’s manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), signed a contract with the defence ministry (MoD) that binds HAL to ensure a Dhruv availability of at least 75 per cent for the next five years.

The MoD says this unprecedented "performance based logistics" (PBL) contract relates to 32 Dhruv choppers being bought for Rs 8,000 crore for the navy and the Coast Guard. It will also extend to an impending contract for 41 more Dhruvs for the army.

This is the first time an Indian manufacturer is guaranteeing the performance of a weapons platform to a buyer through a PBL contract. HAL is charging roughly half the purchase price of each helicopter for providing the services, maintenance, spare parts and inspections needed to keep 75 per cent of the contracted fleet fly-worthy at all times.

“PBL is the purchase of logistics support as an integrated, affordable, performance package designed to optimize system readiness and meet performance goals for the product through long-term support arrangements with clear lines of authority and responsibility”, said HAL chief, T Suvarna Raju.

Calling PBL a “preferred acquisition strategy for defence acquisitions”, the MoD said today: “PBL ensures the availability of products to the customer while the responsibility gets transferred to the contractor. The PBL envisages rewards or penalties based on the performance [of the fleet]”.

While this is the first indigenous PBL contract, India has similar contracts in place for foreign aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster III and the Rafale fighter.

Now this PBL contract will expand HAL’s maintenance responsibility substantially. The Dhruv currently operates off 15 aviation bases, which will go up to 40 bases by the time the new order is executed.

On a visit to HAL, Bengaluru in January, Business Standard learnt that HAL would set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub in the north and another in the east, from where repair teams could react to maintenance requests from aviation bases in their vicinities.

The Dhruv is the military’s primary light helicopter. This year, HAL will complete delivery of an earlier contract for 159 Dhruvs, of which 83 are utility versions and 76 are an armed version called the Rudra.

Production capacity is being ramped up for the new contract for 73 Dhruvs (Army: 41; Navy: 16, Coast Guard: 16). In addition to production at Bengaluru, a new plant will come up at Kanpur to build Dhruvs.

In the past, HAL, under pressure to build and deliver Dhruv helicopters, had not focused adequately on maintenance and spares, say aviation analysts. The low availability this caused eroded customer confidence in an otherwise superb machine.

At one stage, the secretary in charge of defence production was monitoring the spare parts position for Dhruvs in the MoD every month. The PBL contract will henceforth put the onus squarely on the manufacturer, HAL.

Viv S
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Viv S » 31 Mar 2017 10:56

^
I was racking my brains trying to figure out why the latest Dhruv contract was priced at a whopping $40 mil each.

With half the purchase price earmarked towards the support, the resultant unit cost comes to ~$20 mil which makes sense.

Anyone know what the service period for the PBL contract is?

Manish_P
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Manish_P » 31 Mar 2017 11:15

Viv S wrote:^
I was racking my brains trying to figure out why the latest Dhruv contract was priced at a whopping $40 mil each.

With half the purchase price earmarked towards the support, the resultant unit cost comes to ~$20 mil which makes sense.

Anyone know what the service period for the PBL contract is?


The jingo in me habors a faint hope that it might be towards some black project :twisted:

jamwal
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby jamwal » 31 Mar 2017 11:33

Like this

Image


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