Indian Military Helicopters

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nachiket
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 08 Dec 2017 23:41

Indranil wrote:Gagan sir,

The Indians did not ask for them for any engine changes. We had no interest in the heli back then. A 3500 kg heli, powered by two 250 hp engines is woefully underpowered. They knew it and decided to change the powerhouse in the late 1990s itself. After consulting with Turbomecca, they ordered the new engines in 2002. They got the engines in 2003. The Indians enter the frame in late 2004.

They could not field the heli with the new engines in the RSH competition. 'This was cited as one of the reasons by the forces for the non compliance to requirements when RSH was canceled in 2014.

Interestingly, Putin came visiting in 2014 and personally put in a word for the Kamov. The MOU to Buy and Make 226Ts in India was signed soon thereafter and cemented into place when Modi visited Moscow in 2015.

Indranil, wiki says the certification for Ka-226T with the Arrius 2G engines was done in April 2015. Why did it take them 12 years to complete certification if they received the engines in 2003 as you say?

Also, our deal was signed in Dec 2015. So it was certified then but the trials happened before that. Did they allow trials using the new engines without certification? If so ,this sort of consideration should be provided to indigenous programs too.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vivek K » 08 Dec 2017 23:50

What does India get in return for this gift (national waste) to Russia?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 09 Dec 2017 00:35

Gagan, Thanks shows how the design evolved.

VivekK, The fact that it was agreed after Putin came to town has its own implications.

Indranil, You are being like the Vedic scholars of yore by being a purist who wants the best. The best is enemy of good.

The IA, IAF have agreed to this procurement. Thh MoD has signed up and HAL is falling in line.

IA has even withdrawn the RSH requirement. This KA 226T is an IA requirement.
They need it. Quibbling over it further delays it.
Meantime the LUH is no where in horizon. it is going through trials at snails pace.

Having a bird in hand is really worth a flock of in development.

And media picks up on arguments.

HAL is build to order setup. The won't budge a millimeter and are worse than a bania seth. Look at quibbling over $15M for tooling and test equipment re-calibration on a $3B contract to upgrade the 51 Mirages. We know that 3 M2ks crashed so there are funds left over. A business decision would be to split the cots half way with the French. But these guys would rather stick the bill to IAF head for their negotiations incompetence.

In helicopters due to some visionaries they are slowly coming up with designs and should be commended.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 09 Dec 2017 00:49

ramana wrote:IA has even withdrawn the RSH requirement. This KA 226T is an IA requirement.
They need it. Quibbling over it further delays it.
Meantime the LUH is no where in horizon. it is going through trials at snails pace.

Ramana sir, its first flight was in Sep 2016. Since then there was an aerobatic display performed in Aero India and the second prototype has also flown. So snail's pace by what standards?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 09 Dec 2017 00:52

By getting to production. Recall both deejay and shiv emphasize the urgency.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 09 Dec 2017 01:14

ramana wrote:By getting to production. Recall both deejay and shiv emphasize the urgency.

I understand IAF urgency, but the LUH can't be in production 1 year after first flight. We can't say HAL is being slow in trials. There is no evidence of that.

As for Ka-226, when the Rafale deal was signed, the first jet was promised after 36 months. I haven't seen any hard dates for the Ka-226. Considering our usual timeframes in defense procurement we won't see Ka-226 in Indian colors before 2019 or later.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 09 Dec 2017 01:16

Philip wrote:News to me the the ALH is not certified internationally.

Of course, that's the only news for you, an Indian MIC failure. By the way, what is "international certification"?

Philip wrote:The Ka 's detachable cabin pods are integral to the bird unlike conv. helos.They if lifting any pod/ load would have to do it underslung.The weight of their cabins would reduce the weight of any underling payload.A Kamov could also carry an underslung load as well as the detachable cabin/pod.

Is I hr for detaching the cabin a bit long ? A report posted by another member said that it required only 2 people to detach/ attach it.

The horns of the unicorn also have similar features. Its utility in the REAL world is questionable.

nachiket wrote:Indranil, wiki says the certification for Ka-226T with the Arrius 2G engines was done in April 2015. Why did it take them 12 years to complete certification if they received the engines in 2003 as you say?

Lack of funding and customer interest. Who is buying the 226T other than us?

ramana wrote:Indranil, You are being like the Vedic scholars of yore by being a purist who wants the best. The best is enemy of good.
...
And media picks up on arguments.

Guilty as charged.

ramana wrote:The IA, IAF have agreed to this procurement. Thh MoD has signed up and HAL is falling in line.

What's not there for HAL to fall in line. It's a windfall for them. They couldn't develop LUH in time. Instead of a punishment, they get to build the replacement! Screwdriver a few more helis and all competition from a private player was stymied. Why wouldn't it want it?

And why wouldn't it show step motherly treatment to the 226s maintenance later on. If a company had control over the success of a competing product, why wouldn't it scuttle it?
ramana wrote:IA has even withdrawn the RSH requirement. This KA 226T is an IA requirement.
They need it. Quibbling over it further delays it.

I know about the urgency of the requirement. I just don't see the urgency being reflected on the ground. From all indications, serial production of LUH will start together or before serial production of the 226s in India. The 226s will cost us more too. I will let you and time be the judge.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 09 Dec 2017 02:00

If I were to have my way:

1. I would change this order for 226Ts from the present IA/IAF to IN's requirement for 111 NUHs. The Ka-226 are more ideal for the Navy than the LUH. It has higher payload carrying capability at sea level. It has two engines which are better for sea operations. It has a smaller footprint and blade folding capability. It is safer for the deck crew with no tail rotor.
2. I would ask HAL to deliver 384 LUH's at double the speed. Decide what is reasonable ramp up time and speed, and keep punitive actions for non-adherence.

We will save both money and time on both requirements.

3. Finally, set Kamov and HAL on a path to develop small and medium versions of the Ka-92.

P.S. I have said all I wanted to say. No more on this from me.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cosmo_R » 09 Dec 2017 02:57

Vivek K wrote:What does India get in return for this gift (national waste) to Russia?


AFAIK, the satisfaction that it (gift) did not go to Boeing or Sikorsky

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Karan M » 09 Dec 2017 03:17

ramana wrote:The Rudra is hardly 'armed but toothless.'
It has those 48, 70mm rockets and the GIAT gun.

Its sad that DRDO missile development are always so late that the rest of the products march on and get held up.

HELINA is being talked for years...


So IA plans 7 squadrons for the Rudra helicopters.


OT but I did a detailed (whatever was on OS) on Indian weapons programs vs Rest of world for BRM/SRR - dropped it, because as YI Patel once said "sources and methods". My gist was this: Mission mode - aka super urgent programs succeed on these counts: highly experience/innovative teams, extensive resource support + minimal red tape, technology access, user interest. Ideally all 4. At least 3 out of 4, for a partially on time program. Taking South African programs as an example. Tacit support from Supapawas & technology access from Israel, literally blank check support from South African Govt (per their standards + full support), user interest as imports were sanctioned.. this resulted in a local, credible weapons industry able to churn out R-darters (aka South African derby) and a bunch of local firms which made everything from 155mm ammo to FLIR arrays. Later as South Africa apartheid ended, their militarized mindset/deep state collapsed and their industries had to hunt for export customers or were snapped up by MNCs, eg SAAB now owns Avitronics etc.

Compare and contrast: India - inexperienced first time teams, minimal trickle feed resourcing + red tape galore (either DPSU unions or CAG allegations all the time around the corner), technology denial all around. And yet, we commit to unrealistic deadlines & unbelievable specifications (with a tacit understanding one lets the project get cleared and second allows for imports so all iz well), user disinterest. It was/is a recipe for deliberate imports & allowed for babus to gloat on how they didnt let India get militarized etc. While of course imports went on. Now, things are changing - however slowly, but the overall system was setup for penny wise, pound foolish behavior.

One of the key reasons for Brahmos & now Barak-8 JVs "success" is not just uninterrupted funding at a literal industrial scale but freedom from red tape & tech access - from both sides (either leveraging existing programs/experience or building on proven stuff). If the same model is applied to more programs along with realistic timelines & accountability, the situation will drastically improve. Allow the R&D folks - like in ATAGS to collaborate with Pvt sector not just DPSUs, allow for proper funding & freedom to put the right folks in charge. And have the users fund the programs partly and have them collaborate from day one, not just watch from the sidelines.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakkaji » 09 Dec 2017 04:54

nachiket wrote:As for Ka-226, when the Rafale deal was signed, the first jet was promised after 36 months. I haven't seen any hard dates for the Ka-226. Considering our usual timeframes in defense procurement we won't see Ka-226 in Indian colors before 2019 or later.


I recall one news report a coiple of months ago where the Russians said they will start delivering the first batch of Ka-226 made in Russia in six months after receiving the advance amount on the contract.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakkaji » 09 Dec 2017 05:23

Folks:

During Anthony's time we used to criticise his indecision. These days we seem to criticise every procurement decision.

Let us look at the bright side of the Ka-226 deal (if it happens):

1. IA/ IAF get new built helicopters to replace their Chetaks/ Cheetahs. The LUH is still a few years away (in my estimation) from entering production for squadron service, while the first batch of Ka-226 made in Russia can arrive in less than a year. As a stopgap, even though it is not the best in its class, who can argue that a new-built Ka-226 is not better than the oldest Chetaks/ Cheetahs in IA/ IAF inventory that were built 40 years ago?

2. Even though the Ka-226 is an underperformer in high-altitude areas, there are thousands of use cases in low-altitude areas that it can fulfill adequately, and certainly better than the helicopters built 40 years ago that it will be replacing.

3. The very fact that it is an underperformer, compared to the LUH, is a blessing. Imagine if a 'best in class' western helicopter was chosen in its place. The powerful 'import-pasand' lobbies would have gone into a 'kill LUH' mode, as they are trying to do the LCA by comparing it to the SEFs on offer. The Ka-226 will not be able to do Siachen duty, so the decision-makers will have no choice but to ignore the 'import-pasands' and support the LUH program.

I would have preferred the Ka-226 production partner in India to be someone from the private sector. That way, private sector would have got a good start with assembly from kits and MRO. HAL does not learn anything from this project that it does not already know. Perhaps they can rope in a private partner later to buy them out, and HAL can then go back to focus on building its own helicopters.

JMT

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Rakesh » 09 Dec 2017 05:28

Cosmo_R wrote:
Vivek K wrote:What does India get in return for this gift (national waste) to Russia?

AFAIK, the satisfaction that it (gift) did not go to Boeing or Sikorsky

Despite Sikorsky having the better product. That is assuming, we are both talking about the S-70B.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vivek K » 09 Dec 2017 05:42

I'm talking about the kamovski Admiral! That is appeasement for a so called friend.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby raghuk » 09 Dec 2017 06:54

Kakkaji wrote: HAL does not learn anything from this project that it does not already know.

JMT

Coaxial contra rotating Rotor and gear box.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Avarachan » 09 Dec 2017 11:19

Indranil wrote:If I were to have my way:

1. I would change this order for 226Ts from the present IA/IAF to IN's requirement for 111 NUHs. The Ka-226 are more ideal for the Navy than the LUH. It has higher payload carrying capability at sea level. It has two engines which are better for sea operations. It has a smaller footprint and blade folding capability. It is safer for the deck crew with no tail rotor.
2. I would ask HAL to deliver 384 LUH's at double the speed. Decide what is reasonable ramp up time and speed, and keep punitive actions for non-adherence.

We will save both money and time on both requirements.

3. Finally, set Kamov and HAL on a path to develop small and medium versions of the Ka-92.

P.S. I have said all I wanted to say. No more on this from me.


Indranil, can you write an article on this (Ka-226T vs. LUH)?

I think there's a good chance the 226T procurement will be cancelled. The reason India agreed to Russia’s request for a gift was that Russia was in desperate need of assistance, amidst the West's sanctions of Russia regarding Ukraine. In any event, just as with India in 1998, Russia was more resilient than the West thought and Russia has successfully emerged from the crisis. There's no need for India to do Russia this favor as of now.

By the way, the reason India was willing to help Russia in 2014 was this. If the West succeeded in destroying Russia economically, Indian leaders were worried that India would be next. Given the history and character of the U.S., that's a sensible concern.
Last edited by Avarachan on 09 Dec 2017 12:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Austin » 09 Dec 2017 11:48

ramana wrote:By getting to production. Recall both deejay and shiv emphasize the urgency.


Also note the fact that we were going into endless loop of RFP getting cancelled after demonstration from all the vendors close to a decade , All one needed was some complains and AK/MOD cancel the RPF after demonstration by all the vendors and it happened not once but twice and nothing good was coming out of the Light Helicopter competition. Hence Modi went for G2G deal on Ka-226 to end the saga perhaps the longest one after MMRCA.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Avarachan » 09 Dec 2017 12:46

Austin wrote:
ramana wrote:By getting to production. Recall both deejay and shiv emphasize the urgency.


Also note the fact that we were going into endless loop of RFP getting cancelled after demonstration from all the vendors close to a decade , All one needed was some complains and AK/MOD cancel the RPF after demonstration by all the vendors and it happened not once but twice and nothing good was coming out of the Light Helicopter competition. Hence Modi went for G2G deal on Ka-226 to end the saga perhaps the longest one after MMRCA.


In many cases, AK Antony was stalling to allow time for indigenous alternatives to develop. I grant that this strategy was not ideal. But there was no realistic alternative.

Keep in mind that there are multiple ways for a state to be destroyed. As we all know, a country that imports weapons will be weak both strategically and economically.
Last edited by Avarachan on 09 Dec 2017 19:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ashishvikas » 09 Dec 2017 13:00

Will 200 Ka-226s to India only cost 1B$ ?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 09 Dec 2017 13:40

Avarachan sir,

I have nothing against the Ka-226. It is a coaxial heli with its set of pluses and minuses. I don't care for the pod systems. Nobody does. Kamov doesn't bother with it in any of its other designs.

I just don't think that it solves the problem of we need these helicopters urgently. If anything, we are buying 200 expensive helicopters which are maintenance heavy, and whose future growth will have to be funded by us because nobody else has bought in any sizeable number.

Also, I think, for the first time I disagree with Raghuk :D . What ToT are we getting about the coaxes? At most manufacturing ToT. Does HAL really need that as a ToT after manufacturing Dhruv's transmission. The former just has more parts, the latter is much more challenging. I don't think Kamov will part with design ToT.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Gagan » 09 Dec 2017 13:57

Just to point out that the Turbomecca Arrieus 2G1 engines on the Ka-226 are 750 shp engines each, as compared to Shakti at 1384 shp each

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Austin » 09 Dec 2017 15:57

Avarachan wrote:
Austin wrote:
Also note the fact that we were going into endless loop of RFP getting cancelled after demonstration from all the vendors close to a decade , All one needed was some complains and AK/MOD cancel the RPF after demonstration by all the vendors and it happened not once but twice and nothing good was coming out of the Light Helicopter competition. Hence Modi went for G2G deal on Ka-226 to end the saga perhaps the longest one after MMRCA.


In many cases, AK Antony was stalling to allow time for indigenous alternatives to develop. I grant that this strategy was not ideal. But there was no realistic alternative.

Keep in mind that there are multiple ways for a state to be destroyed. A country that imports weapons will be weak both strategically and economically.


Not really , He was good for nothing Defence Minister , All he wanted to do is to Do nothing and wanted be have ZERO Controversy/Scam during his tenure as DM , the best route he went was to stall all defence deal by not taking any decision.

It was only when Parrikar came that LCA induction into IAF made serious progress ( it was all but languishing during AK tenure ) and MKI made to 65 % availability ( compared to 45 % in UPA tenure ) plus host of many other deals , He could have easily taken decision on Tejas and MKI much earlier but he do any thing at all.

He should probably get the title of worst defence minister India had since 1991

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby chola » 09 Dec 2017 18:00

Appreciate Indranil’s posts on the KA-226 and LUH very much.

The following really resonates:
What's not there for HAL to fall in line. It's a windfall for them. They couldn't develop LUH in time. Instead of a punishment, they get to build the replacement! Screwdriver a few more helis and all competition from a private player was stymied. Why wouldn't it want it?

And why wouldn't it show step motherly treatment to the 226s maintenance later on. If a company had control over the success of a competing product, why wouldn't it scuttle it?


Yes, why doesn’t HAL favor its own progeny and fight tooth and nail to maximize its future? Perhaps the fear of losing screwdriver giri of the Kamov to a private sector firm was enough for it to fall in line. Very sobering thought. We do not have a champion for our domestic offspring, not even the mother organization.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 10 Dec 2017 10:38

No price of failure is very highl in India. Hence the urge for foreign assembly.

HAL also has the same people as us..

HAL is developing LUH from own resources. Hence only two units

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Rishi_Tri » 10 Dec 2017 20:15

Any news on LCH?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 10 Dec 2017 20:26

ramana wrote:No price of failure is very highl in India. Hence the urge for foreign assembly.

This comment is probably much more insightful and wise than appears on the surface. It seems counter intuitive given that we keep saying that HAL has no accountability. But in fact this is an Indian trait where responsibility is outsourced to someone who cannot be punished by fellow Indians while Indian entities hide behind the skirt of the foreign entity.

This is the reason why "foreign experts" are invited when VVVIPs fall sick in India. Foreign experts were sought for Jayalalith - not because they were needed but because Indians doctors who were perfectly competent and would have been able to deal with her will get punished for failure - so they call an outsider. This is part of our culture. This is also why Rajnikant was taken to Singapore. Even Vajpayee had a surgeon come from abroad IIRC for a routine operation

When things go wrong HAL can point fingers at MiG, Sukhoi, BAe or IAF and bureaucrats in charge of the company are blameless.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vasu raya » 10 Dec 2017 21:54

some niche use cases specific to Ka-226,

a) Lots of time chopper landing is a challenge during rescue efforts due to adverse weather as seen in Uttarakhand floods, and instead of winching up one person at a time using a side mounted winch, one can winch up more people using a center mounted winch, once winched up and closer to the fuselage, the swaying motion then isn't as giddying as with underslung cargo.

b) Make a leap of design to a gyrocopter, aerospace folks can discuss this better
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXjI81SuSKY

c) In extreme altitudes like Siachen where one needs to drop off a oversized genset so rescuers can use power tools retrieving people trapped in avalanches in the mountains, the chopper modded to generate power from its engines while disengaging the main rotors would be useful, a shaft driving the generator pod (derivative of the mod in (b)) is probably more powerful than any genset separately hauled as payload.

d) Firefigting in the upper floors of a high rise, one could develop a pod with an impeller to spray with a supply hose running down to connect to a fire fighter pumping water, all this equipment is independent of the Chopper both in development and use

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 11 Dec 2017 09:23

^^^ What have you been reading or thinking before posting the above?

1. One makes no sense.
2. Two makes no sense.
3. There is no such pod. And even if it did. You are sacrificing a helicopter for a generator?
4. No such pod exists. And even if it did, what is the weight of a hose filled with water. And how safe is a heli tethered to ground using such a hose. There are much better ways of fighting fire in high rises. You are putting the cart in front of the horse.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby shiv » 11 Dec 2017 09:35

Indranil wrote:^^^ What have you been reading or thinking before posting the above?

1. One makes no sense.
2. Two makes no sense.
3. There is no such pod. And even if it did. You are sacrificing a helicopter for a generator?
4. No such pod exists. And even if it did, what is the weight of a hose filled with water. And how safe is a heli tethered to ground using such a hose. There are much better ways of fighting fire in high rises. You are putting the cart in front of the horse.

:D
OK to spark off a fun (or angry!!) discussion here is stuff from a Ka 226 brochure/paid site
https://defencyclopedia.com/2015/05/22/ ... -in-india/
  • The tail rotor is eliminated and hence complex mechanisms and wiring for it are eliminated.
  • The tail can be made shorter as there is no rotor.
  • Absence of tail rotor results in significant savings of power because a tail rotor is useful only to stabilize a helicopter which is automatically done by co-axial rotors
  • Presence of 2 rotors on the same axis provides greater lift than a single rotor and enables increased payload for the same engine power
  • Helicopters using coaxial rotors are generally more compact with a slight increase in overall height. And their compact nature facilitates easy storage especially on ships.
  • Co-axial rotors impart exceptional stability while hovering which is very vital during troop insertions and cargo delivery.


Disadvantages:
The design also has a few disadvantages like increased mechanical complexity in areas like the rotor hub. And due to the presence of a larger number of parts, they are said to be more prone to faults and failure. But Kamov has long perfected the co-axial design and is not affected by these issues. However other helicopter manufacturers which are treading into the co-axial design domain may face these issues


The choice of using various cabin modules, allow it to be used for various missions, including cargo & passenger transportation, construction, patrol, medevac, firefighting, search & rescue and evacuation operations. Such flexibility is generally only offered by heavy helicopters.


India uses a majority of its light helicopter fleet in the harsh and cold environment of the Himalayas. Injuries and illnesses are common among the soldiers deployed at that altitude. To evacuate them, India uses a fleet of Cheetah helicopters which have just enough space for 2 men to sit behind the pilots. This is a big drawback while transporting injured troops who are on stretchers. The Ka-226T solves this problem as its cabin has a rear opening door which allows them to accommodate 2 stretchers side by side. This will be a game changer as the casualties can be evacuated quickly and comfortably from the highest operating regions in the Himalayas.

The Cheetah can lift a max external sling load of 1 ton and the Ka-226T can lift 1.5 tons. There’s not a huge margin of difference over here at first glance, but there’s a massive difference which isn’t visible in photos. The Cheetah can just barely lift the 1 ton external load which in turn makes the helicopter sluggish and puts maximum strain on the airframe. It usually never lifts such loads and regular payloads don’t cross 300-400 kg. But the Ka-226T’s co-axial rotors provide excellent power and when external loads need to be slung around, the rear cabin is detached which turns the helo into a mini sky-crane. It can lift 1.5 ton loads with ease and it will still handle smoothly and retain its max service ceiling. This is invaluable in India’s mountain regions where supplies have to be airlifted to troops and in regions like the Siachen glacier and other areas where helicopters hardly have space to land. The Ka-226T triples the current capability which will allow the Indian Army to lift more supplies in one sortie to higher altitudes.


The Indian Forces also use these light helicopters extensively in the desert for transport and communication duties. The army gets their orders in a sealed package rather than an electronic broadcast to avoid interception. Chetak and Cheetah helicopters have performed all the required duties in these harsh conditions, but being single engined helos, they are susceptible to failure in extreme conditions. The Ka-226T being a twin engined helo offers additional safety and since the cabin can be removed when not needed, the 2 pilots can perform the communication duties without the need to lug around additional weight. The cabins with their 7 man capacity will be of great help while inserting troops and evacuating them and this frees up heavier helicopters like Dhruv and Mi-17 for other duties.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby chola » 11 Dec 2017 13:24

What kind? Multi-role, so probably high end medium or heavy. My bet is on the SeaHawk.

This is on top of the 123 NMRH tender it seems.

http://m.indiatoday.in/story/indian-navy-multi-role-chopper-purchase/1/1106989.html


Indian navy to boost its firepower, to purchase 24 multi-role choppers

AJIT KUMAR DUBEY | NEW DELHI | SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017

In a desperate bid to buy multi-role helicopters, the Indian Navy is moving a proposal worth over `12,000 crore to buy 24 of these choppers which would be deployed for anti-submarine warfare as well as operations by its Marine Commando (MARCOS) special forces.


chola
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby chola » 11 Dec 2017 13:26

The KA-226’s pod is sounding more like gimmick than anything really useful.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 12 Dec 2017 01:34

Hakeem,

I did not read the whole article, but just the quotes you put in here. It has some facts, some errors and some willful omissions.

1. The article is carefully placed, KA-226T vs the Cheetah. That would be true if Ka-226s started coming in 2011 or even now. The Ka-226Ts will come at the same time as the LUH. So, we should compare Ka-226Ts with the LUHs. Funny thing is If KA-226Ts would be coming some other factory, I would say yes we are multiplying throughput. But, it is not. Wherever HAL manufactures the Ka-226Ts, it could be manufacturing LUH, with much more indigenous content and much lesser price.

2. There are very few panaceas in aerodynamics. When there is one, everybody takes it. For example, we don't know of any other way to generate lift more efficiently than using an aerofoil. So, everybody uses it. On the other hand, that there are few coax helicopters, even after 80 years of their existence. In fact, Kamov's latest heli is NOT a coax. That should tell you something.

The advantage and disadvantages of coax helicopters are well known. Two most dominant advantages are capability for higher speeds and lack of the tail rotor. The 226T doesn't use the first advantage (which is very OK). Regarding the second advantage, not having to drive a separate tail rotor provides a 10-15% power savings. That is often stated, what is left out is the weight gain in the main rotor system. To give you some perspective, IA/IAF's requirement for LUH is to be able to lift 75 kgs at 21,000 feet*. Now imagine that my heli was heavier by 100 kgs, my payload capacity just became 0 in spite of my power advantage. In fact, we know for a fact that in the RSH competition, none of the entrants managed IA/IAF's altitude requirements. If my gut feeling is correct LUH will be lift somewhere between 150-200 kgs at 21,000 feet.

3. The 226's external hook payload is 1050 kgs, not 1500 kgs(The underslung payload of the military version is indeed 1500 kgs). Underslung is okay for short hops. But, they place enormous restrictions on the helis movement. The thin margins make it very difficult to send a helicopter higher than 10,000 feet with underslung payloads, that too in mountainous regions. That's why you see Mi-17s carrying supplies inside them and dropping them one by one, undertaking the "risk" of entanglement with the tail rotor instead of carrying them outside in a big bag and dropping it with a larger parachute.

4. Having two engines is a plus and a minus. It is a plus in environments where engine failures are more likely, for example in the sandy deserts or in the salty seas. But the price is again weight. At altitude, a hundred kgs is all it takes

5. HAL also sent out tender about a year ago for a two -stretcher version for the LUH. It has two large sliding doors for entry instead of the back door in the Ka-226T. However, I will still say that the KA-226 has the advantage here in ease of loading patients.

6. One obvious omission is the maneuverability of the Ka-226T at high altitudes. At low speeds, coaxial helicopters have to wait for the torques on the huge rotors to change to effect yaw moments. This makes it extremely sluggish at hover, take off and landing, especially at high altitudes.

7. I don't care for the pods. I don't know of anybody outside Kamov who does. Kamov themselves don't care for it any other heli! The only thing that I like about it, is the ability to go podless. That increases payload at any given altitude. Although, I don't know if that increases service or hover ceilings.

8. It is true that Kamov has cracked the design of coaxial power systems. But they do have almost twice the number of moving parts. It will be more maintenance heavy. There is no two ways about that.

9. LUH will pay for high altitude performance with lower performance at sea level. Ka-226 will beat it there.

10. The silver lining here is that 226 was chosen instead of the Fennec. The latter would have been an absolute laggard in every aspect.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 12 Dec 2017 01:57

So Indranil the KA 226T is better than the Fennec which the trials proved. And LUH is nowhere coming.
And it was chosen after Putin made his requests.
So I think the KA 226T is not such a bad decision.

it gets IA their helicopter, gets GOI some goodwill.

All those US purchases are: just give the money and take the crippled systems and shut up.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Gagan » 12 Dec 2017 02:31

Indranil wrote:6. One obvious omission is the maneuverability of the Ka-226T at high altitudes. At low speeds, coaxial helicopters have to wait for the torques of the huge rotors to change to effect yaw moments. This makes it extremely sluggish at hover, take off and landing, especially at high altitudes.

I've posted this video a few pages ago. But this does not seem to be a very sluggish bird. This is the civilian Ka-26 version, much weaker engine, being used for crop dusting with a specialized tank and aerosol spray system in place of the pod.
Please watch 3:00 onwards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGVdyMXfwTM

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Karan M » 12 Dec 2017 03:50

ramana wrote:So Indranil the KA 226T is better than the Fennec which the trials proved. And LUH is nowhere coming.
And it was chosen after Putin made his requests.
So I think the KA 226T is not such a bad decision.


1st flight in Sep 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZKDfx8dMcw

Aero India display
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvS2umChkjY

2nd proto in May 2017, design frozen this year
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ht-437520/

What Indranil is saying is neither of the competitors (Fennec or Ka-226) can actually meet the requirement of a proper Cheetah replacement. If that is the case, why are we buying them? Perhaps best to buy more Mi-17s instead, at least they work well. IAF needs more medium lift choppers and HALs medium lift program is far out.

Deejay, did the up-engined Cheetah program fail? Perhaps some new airframes could get IA some time before LUH is fully ready.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Karan M » 12 Dec 2017 04:03

Lt Gen Pawar notes the situation with Cheetah and Chetak is they need to be replaced, no ifs and buts, yesterday.
http://bharatshakti.in/light-helicopter ... -prevails/
Ex Head of Army Aviation Corps.

I say take the darn Ka-226 if it meets IA requirements, and be done with it. LUH certification will take at least 2 more years. And then 1-2 years more to stabilize production.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Rishi_Tri » 12 Dec 2017 04:47

Karan M wrote:Lt Gen Pawar notes the situation with Cheetah and Chetak is they need to be replaced, no ifs and buts, yesterday.
http://bharatshakti.in/light-helicopter ... -prevails/
Ex Head of Army Aviation Corps.

I say take the darn Ka-226 if it meets IA requirements, and be done with it. LUH certification will take at least 2 more years. And then 1-2 years more to stabilize production.


If Army has done with Cheetahs.. Chetaks for four decades.. they can do so for another 2-3 years.. LUH is flying for more than one year now.. another year and half and it could be on limited production.. a wait for 2 years or so.. will eliminate this dependence on Kamovs.. forever.. open up global defense market in this class.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cybaru » 12 Dec 2017 04:51

Karan M wrote:
ramana wrote:Perhaps best to buy more Mi-17s instead, at least they work well. IAF needs more medium lift choppers and HALs medium lift program is far out.

Deejay, did the up-engined Cheetah program fail? Perhaps some new airframes could get IA some time before LUH is fully ready.



Hehe, full circle again.. A year ago we were here! Some esteemed posters disagreed! :)

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cybaru » 12 Dec 2017 04:54

What would make sense is a a KA-226 based pilotless ASW drone. You can pack a few of those on a ship along with one medium sized chopper instead of two medium sized choppers. HAL and Kamov should do a joint venture.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Indranil » 12 Dec 2017 05:13

Gagan sir,

Thank you for the video. I stand by what I said about the slow response of coaxial helicopters to yaw inputs. Google will give you many links. In tail rotors, you change the AoA of the blades. It is near instantaneous and the tail gives it a long moment arm. On the coaxial, yaw is achieved through differential torque, i.e. by changing the collective on the rotors. The response to collective input is much slower . However, there is the advantage of providing yaw moment in both directions, which is not possible through all tail rotors.

That is why the coaxial helicopters still have large rudders. They help in directional stability and help in steering. But that is only useful when you have good forward speed.


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