Rohitvats: as always, an information-filled post from your end.
rohitvats wrote:For deployment in plains, IAF and IA would be looking for an out and out tank-killer - something which can take out PA armor during our attack or blunt any armor offensive by the enemy into sensitive areas like Chicken's Neck. After all, present units work with our Strike Corps or cover sensitive corridors.
As for light versus heavy - since IAF has been operating Mi-24/35 for plains, it would not have been too difficult to sell a requirement for replacement of these 'heavy' gunships with another newer 'heavy gunships'.
So this is rather interesting. If I understand you correctly, the above statements could be translated into a firepower+endurance statement.
In other words, a "heavy" attack helo would carry a lot of anti-tank missile rounds, plus have enough endurance to stick around to use them all before returning to refuel. Is that an accurate summary?
I presume, of course that we don't use the word "heavy" in the context of ballistic protection, i.e. the Apache and LCH would both be similarly protected and similarly vulnerable to similar external threats.
rohitvats wrote:Into this calculation, also add 70-80 planned number of WSI-Dhruv.
But doesn't the WSI-Dhruv fall short on the firepower count? I presume it has the endurance to hang around long enough, but it carries only about 8(?) rounds of anti-tank missiles. So that would make it a "light" attack, perhaps even lighter than the LCH. I was always under the impression that the WSI-Dhruv was more of a Special Operations thing instead of an anti-tank role. It certainly would not have the agility and survivability of the LCH against armor threats while carrying the same firepower. What am I missing here?
rohitvats wrote:Recce & Observation (R&O) flights in our case consist of Cheetah helicopters. These shall be replaced with LUH/Ka-266 when they enter service. We don't have an armed recce version or even Kiowa type with specific R&O equipment. But I've read literature where demand for these types to have capability for transmitting real time information has been presented.
- R&O is a very big category for the IA. It undertakes multiple roles from artillery observation, communication, limited troop movement, CASEVAC to ferrying senior officers. IA perspective plan calls for R&O unit for each division. And in some cases, for independent brigades as well. As present, a R&O Squadron at Corps level has its flights distributed between individual divisions in the Corps.
Another interesting point. The underlined activities you state require a bird that is not LCH. The LUH of course, fills this role perfectly.
I think the key takeaway here is that the IA does not have a clear distinction between armed-recce and R&O. So the LCH could do armed-recce, but this requirement has not been scoped yet...at least not publicly.
I am in favor of keeping the vast array of helicopter types in check, so if armed-recce will mean another helicopter type, lets just forget it altogether and focus on the R&O.
rohitvats wrote:- But AAC does not control any medium lift helicopters. They want 1 x Mi-17 type for each Corps HQ. And Chinook at Command HQ level. This spread stems from effort to build capability to lift an infantry company at Corps level, battalion at Command HQ level and a whole brigade at AHQ level.
Honestly, IMVHO, I do not understand the IAF obsession with controlling the medium and heavy helicopters. They should be Army property. The IAF should focus on fixed wing and space assets instead.
rohitvats wrote:- Apart from Apaches, both LCH and WSI-Dhruv will together hold the mantle of attack helicopters. 114 + 80 represents a very powerful punch and a capability which hitherto we did not have. This is about 18+ squadron worth of attack helicopters. Expect each of our Corps to have 1 x attack helicopter squadron. Some might have two.
- In fact, to these 114 LCH, add 65 from IAF as well.
rohitvats wrote:Hope the above helps!
Always a pleasure reading your posts.