Indian Military Helicopters

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fanne
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby fanne » 15 Oct 2020 02:06

It looks like HAL is looking for specific Navy input (some big and obvious things like - folding blades, but mostly small, not so obvious things like flat top, or better grip to go up to the engine and the likes). The later cannot be found in any book or publication. Hire as contractor, ex-Navy Helo guys - pilots, maintenance crew on ship, on land etc. and take their input on what is needed, how does your typical day looks like while servicing the helo, what all kinds of maintenance you do or have done...This will generate bunch of requirements, proactively incorporate it. I guess throw some money investment and work towards a heli that Navy cannot refuse. Ya you may loose all that money if Navy does not select it, but it is no different that LUH or ALH. If you make them, they will buy it, if not all 114, maybe another 50. As economy grows, IN is going to grow and will need more NUH. They do favor desi, why they are so pi$$ed of? HAL treated them as a sautela. Invest money to wash your past mistakes.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Aditya G » 15 Oct 2020 03:27

I can Navy debate to repeat for the IMRH as well.

ashishvikas wrote:An interesting pic of IMRH wind tunnel test under the watchful eyes of Wg Cdr Unni Pillai (Retd), Executive Director (Flight Operations-Rotary Wing), HAL. The prog is slowly and steadily picking pace. And, that'd good news on #AFDay2020 .

https://twitter.com/writetake/status/13 ... 03/photo/1

Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 15 Oct 2020 03:29

fanne, After Covid downturn and atmanirbhar Bharat, it's going to be very difficult to justify imports when local capability exists for all three services.
So LUH will be a HAL design.
Enough subsidizing foreign makers.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vips » 15 Oct 2020 18:49

HAL is also planning to make a Combat Helicopter (HCH ?) based on the IMRH.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby fanne » 15 Oct 2020 19:25

ramana wrote:fanne, After Covid downturn and atmanirbhar Bharat, it's going to be very difficult to justify imports when local capability exists for all three services.
So LUH will be a HAL design.
Enough subsidizing foreign makers.


Hopefully Sir (and you meant NUH while writing LUH) - If I may give a plan to HAL - choti muh badi baat

1.Put your own money (perhaps they are already) towards this NUH. (They have done that for LCH, HTT-40 some successful program, some unsuccessful like civilian variant of ALH, which has gone no where). So putting own money (LCH, HTT-40) or high prospect of loosing investment cannot be an argument (ALH- Civilian version)
2. Give Navy all they want...not in 2022 but sooner. Time is of essence. I am sure it is within HAL capability to do this - does need prioritization and fund from top. A push from top HAL management can do wonders (I don't know if MOD or anyone needs to be involved)
3. Give everything that Navy wants - not 90% of it is asking (the only thing not achievable is AUW - 5.8 tons vs 5 tons). If possible exceed it - Kind of what Apple does - All little things are improved and though through that it really is beyond user imagination
4. The big items are known to HAL to fix - folding blades, radar etc. That will be most costly to fix but is a known devil
5. There are many small items that Navy wants or expects. Some Navy would know- others they may not know (but expect HAL to think through) -two approaches - an joint team of Navy and HAL personnel on what it is. Also hire retired IN Heli maintenance personnel as consultant. A foreign vendor for consulting may also be a good (but doubt how much they will help and at what price).
6. Can we convince Navy for a 5.6 tons Helo over 5 tons? I am against forcing services changing their operational needs/specs, they know best unless there is some hanky/panky. In this case 5 tons does look like favoring a particular product.

We should own the middle weight helo space in India for everything - IA/IAF/IN/CG/GOVT/CIVILIAN. The lighter one is also being taken up LUH (226T - double engine is good). Soon IMRH will take over the heavy one (though MI-17Vs are good and cheap - towards what end?).

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby KSingh » 15 Oct 2020 21:03

fanne wrote:It looks like HAL is looking for specific Navy input (some big and obvious things like - folding blades, but mostly small, not so obvious things like flat top, or better grip to go up to the engine and the likes). The later cannot be found in any book or publication. Hire as contractor, ex-Navy Helo guys - pilots, maintenance crew on ship, on land etc. and take their input on what is needed, how does your typical day looks like while servicing the helo, what all kinds of maintenance you do or have done...This will generate bunch of requirements, proactively incorporate it. I guess throw some money investment and work towards a heli that Navy cannot refuse. Ya you may loose all that money if Navy does not select it, but it is no different that LUH or ALH. If you make them, they will buy it, if not all 114, maybe another 50. As economy grows, IN is going to grow and will need more NUH. They do favor desi, why they are so pi$$ed of? HAL treated them as a sautela. Invest money to wash your past mistakes.


All of the animosity seems to be because of the bad experience the navy had with the hand built N-ALH MK.1 LSP airframes it’s no coincidence that the TPs and project managers from the Navy who were hands on with that early model are now in every senior positions of the service and thus directing the course of the navy’s procurement towards imports



Perhaps it will take the current batch of TPs and project managers attached to HAL as part of the ALH 16 MK.3 induction rising to senior levels for perceptions to change but I hope it doesn’t take that long, that will be 10-15 years from now.



This will likely need the defence minister to personally intervene. In the age of COVID and Atmanirbharta an imported basic utility helicopter when ALH is there is just not feasible.



Let’s be honest, HAL has matured to the level today where any design requirements (within reason) asked of them they can incorporate to satisfy the navy’s requirements. See what they are doing to the MK.3 to make it fully compliant with the navy’s NUH RFI NSQRs (removing the rear fuel tank, maritime radar, heavy High intensity strobe etc)


One thing that that LIVEFIST article touched upon is that the H145M, S-76 and KA226 are unlikely to be technically compliant with the NUH RFI leaving just the Panther in the running as a single vendor situation and then questions will be asked whether the RFI was tailored to the Panther from the outset and it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t. I mean who puts a limit on AUW? Basic weight I can understand, TOM I can understand but AUW? It has never made sense that the navy put an upper limit on AUW as the empty weight+payload are the only limiting weight (aka mission weight).


For instance the Panther and ALH actually have very similar empty weights (separated by less than 500KG) but crucially the ALH’s AUW is 30% more than the Panthers (4.5 vs 5.75T) that extra 1.25T is all extra payload the ALH is certified to carry and payload is extra fuel (more range/endurance), extra pax, extra stores, extra mission equipment etc etc. The phenomenon of obsolescence management has seen empty weights only going in one direction ( increasing) so one can say the ALH is more future proof than the Panther as systems can be added to it in the future without compromising the mission load as severely as it would on the Panther

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby basant » 15 Oct 2020 21:31

fanne wrote:... If I may give a plan to HAL - choti muh badi baat ...

I don't think asking HAL to take HTT-40 approach would be fair. Decisions such as funding from internal resources to HTT-40 and preproduction of LCH were done, IIRC, during aggressive leadership of HAL CMD Sh Suvarna Raju. The success of HTT-40 was helped significantly by the Pilatus scandal. As for LCH, they are still grounded! And again, unless I am wrong, the government has not payed the dues of HAL for products that IAF purchased running into Rs. 17,000 crore! I am not saying HAL is blameless, but in my opinion, it has done outstanding work as well in the sphere of helicopters at least.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby bharathp » 15 Oct 2020 23:42

basant wrote:
fanne wrote:... If I may give a plan to HAL - choti muh badi baat ...

I don't think asking HAL to take HTT-40 approach would be fair. Decisions such as funding from internal resources to HTT-40 and preproduction of LCH were done, IIRC, during aggressive leadership of HAL CMD Sh Suvarna Raju. The success of HTT-40 was helped significantly by the Pilatus scandal. As for LCH, they are still grounded! And again, unless I am wrong, the government has not payed the dues of HAL for products that IAF purchased running into Rs. 17,000 crore! I am not saying HAL is blameless, but in my opinion, it has done outstanding work as well in the sphere of helicopters at least.

LCH is grounded? werent they getting the LSP deal in december and already started work on it in anticipation of the said deal?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby basant » 16 Oct 2020 00:41

^^^
Oops, I meant they are still on ground, not taken for operational flying! My bad.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 16 Oct 2020 00:55

basant wrote:^^^
Oops, I meant they are still on ground, not taken for operational flying! My bad.

What does that mean? We recently saw pictures of all three prototypes being flown in Ladakh. And you can't really fly them operationally before they are inducted into the IAF. The Air Force is still patiently waiting on the MoD to sign that contract.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby basant » 16 Oct 2020 01:03

^^^
I was referring to the production helos. You may recollect DM Rajnath visiting them sometime back during his visit to HAL.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby fanne » 16 Oct 2020 02:06

I understand the AUW (All up weight) argument - It is like saying in a competition, minimum marks to qualify is say 60% (which is all right, one can understand), but if you get sat 95+/100 you are disqualified (hard to justify). If you do not need AUW over 5T, don't load ALH over 5T. The only argument against is that the Heli is not optimized for 5T (against say Panther, that cannot go over 5T even if it wanted) and may consume more fuel/space etc. compare to Panther.
Perhaps Covid and AtmaNirbhar Bharat may force the hand for NUH. But HAL, please step up.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby raghuk » 16 Oct 2020 15:45

tsarkar wrote:
raghuk wrote:The engine cowling opens downwards to become a platform for maintenance personnel to stand and work in the field. It is the same for the LUH too, because access to the UCS and TX system is a critical aspect of DI and we cannot expect elaborate facilities in the field, so cowlings are designed to carry the weight of one or sometimes 2 people.

In the picture attached with post it is possible that the guy was just too lazy to open the cowling or that the work involved was minor, which didn't need the opening of the cowling.

Further, all these cowlings come with quick release fastners to enable easy access.

Given all these, I'm very sure the NUH will have no problems in meeting the Navy's requirements with respect to folding time and access to the bolts. Cheers!

Raghu, thanks for the input. If HAL does a HTT-40 with NUH, I promise you a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label to celebrate :D Its not a joke, it’s a gentleman’s word

Being done sir. You better get that bottle ready, I'll share it with all the good folks involved ;)

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 16 Oct 2020 19:30

raghuk wrote:
tsarkar wrote:Raghu, thanks for the input. If HAL does a HTT-40 with NUH, I promise you a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label to celebrate :D Its not a joke, it’s a gentleman’s word

Being done sir. You better get that bottle ready, I'll share it with all the good folks involved ;)

Eagerly waiting for that day.

More than the bottle, it will be the immense faith and respect you will earn from your customers for being responsive to their needs that will be priceless.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 16 Oct 2020 19:47

Raghunathgb wrote:HAL is expected to have orders of LCH and LUH and also kamov 226 if it finalises.

None of those orders have been placed. And lines for all 3 have to be established. So there will be a production gap. The NUH can fill that production gap for HAL because the ALH Dhruv line is still open.

Raghunathgb wrote:Increase the AUW to 5.75 ton to be eligible in the tender.

I don't think anyone will hold the 0.75 if the other must have criteria are met.

For more orders,

the other thing HAL needs to do is to work with Army HQ and establish the Dhruv as a replacement for the BMP-2 like the Huey in Vietnam and Mi-8/17 in Afghanistan.

1. The Dhruv goes places where the BMP-2 cant
2. The Dhruv can shuttle multiple sections like the Meghna Lift in 1971 in multiple trips that BMP-2 cant or will take excessive time.

The Dhruv represents a quantum leap in battlefield mobility over the BMP-2.

It was battlefield mobility in crossing the Meghna using helicopters that won the Indian Army its greatest victory in capturing Dhaka and the Pakistan Army's unconditional surrender.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby KSingh » 16 Oct 2020 20:11

basant wrote:^^^
I was referring to the production helos. You may recollect DM Rajnath visiting them sometime back during his visit to HAL.

That's not strictly true either, HAL has gone ahead and began finalising the LSP airframes we recently just saw the first LSP airframe have its ground run so it should be flying soon along with the rest of the LSP batch

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 47296?s=20


Pathetic state of affairs that HAL has gone to such lengths that NO foreign (or private) OEM would do and it's still waiting for a contract and upfront payment for these LCH LSP, I don't know what planet service HQs/MoD is on. If not for HAL's initiative these helos wouldn't be delivered before 2023/4 (assuming they stick to the latest December deadline to sign the deal), instead they can likely be handed over in H1 2021, the 6 Army AH-64Es are still only going to land in India in 2023.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby KSingh » 16 Oct 2020 20:16

tsarkar wrote:
Raghunathgb wrote:
the other thing HAL needs to do is to work with Army HQ and establish the Dhruv as a replacement for the BMP-2 like the Huey in Vietnam and Mi-8/17 in Afghanistan.

1. The Dhruv goes places where the BMP-2 cant
2. The Dhruv can shuttle multiple sections like the Meghna Lift in 1971 in multiple trips that BMP-2 cant or will take excessive time.

The Dhruv represents a quantum leap in battlefield mobility over the BMP-2.

It was battlefield mobility in crossing the Meghna using helicopters that won the Indian Army its greatest victory in capturing Dhaka and the Pakistan Army's unconditional surrender.

That would take the IA to propose moving to an air cav strategy, they are said to have tested this out in a limited fashion but not much news after this and we certainly didn't see a spate of new ALH orders from the ALH since.

Perhaps the IA is waiting for the IMRH to become a reality before they fully adopt the air cav strategy.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Vivek K » 16 Oct 2020 20:57

KSingh - totally agree. HAL has gone further than any foreign vendor but will still only get mocked by the forces. Maybe that is why it should be privatized. But privatization will not solve Indian's lust for imports. No industry can survive or improve itself without orders. So because of its treatment by IAF, HAL cannot be privatized as no one will buy it. I think if HAL is sold overseas and production moved to Europe or North America, Indians may finally like the LCA.

In any event, the LCA program will die just like the Marut program and in 2050 India will embark on a new program to catch up with the world in Aviation. IAF will order more Rafales and there will be no money left for LCAs in the post COVID economy. Time to wind up the LCA program and get the Acquisitions thread active again.

Indians are the only group that cheer sending their jobs overseas. All others take pride in their products and fight hard to keep their jobs local.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ks_sachin » 17 Oct 2020 03:14

KSingh wrote:
tsarkar wrote:

That would take the IA to propose moving to an air cav strategy, they are said to have tested this out in a limited fashion but not much news after this and we certainly didn't see a spate of new ALH orders from the ALH since.

Perhaps the IA is waiting for the IMRH to become a reality before they fully adopt the air cav strategy.


Cost?

Are we talking about replacing about 50 odd mech batallions?

How feasible in today's manpad rich Env?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 17 Oct 2020 06:29

Grp Capt Hari Nair,
What ATGMs are compatible witht he El Ops D-Compass pod?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 17 Oct 2020 06:33

Yes I meant NUH.

HAL does not have own money to develop a weapons system.
GOI needs to give the money for that effort.
For example:
US model is govt gives Development contract. And that engages the forces to be part of the development team. Here we have catalog mentality

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 17 Oct 2020 11:33

ks_sachin wrote:Cost? Are we talking about replacing about 50 odd mech batallions?

Good point. Obviously from a financial perspective cant be a big bang rip & replace. The way forward is buying new helicopters incrementally while retiring old ICVs.

In J&K the Dhruv is providing significant operational mobility. Like one one where the ice ledge broke and paras fell near the terrorists. They were inserted by Dhruv.

Most importantly it offers speed and flexibility in the mountains where no other form of transport would work.

ks_sachin wrote:How feasible in today's manpad rich Env?

Another good question. Obviously its a running battle between defences and aircraft but the aircraft can always zoom out of range and come in from another direction. Plus flares and DIRCM help.

An ICV too faces RPG and ATGM threats that are denser than MANPADs. Active countermeasures are not widely available. And nor are they able to exit and enter by choice like an aircraft or helicopter would.

Check out the sheer number of AAC bases and flights here that have silently grown over the last two decades. The Dhruv has enabled that

https://www.scramble.nl/planning/orbats ... india-army

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sankum » 17 Oct 2020 15:16

Future helicopter fleet of IA.
LUH: 259
Dhruv : 107
Rudra: 78
LCH: 97
IMRH: 100
Apache: 39
Total: 680

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sankum » 17 Oct 2020 15:23

Future helicopter fleet of IAF
LUH: 125
Dhruv: 60
Rudra: 16
Apache: 22
LCH: 65
Chinook: 15
Mi26: 3
Mi17: 220+ ( In future 200 IMRH)
Total: 526

By 2040 combined Mi17/IMRH fleet may be 320+ and total fleet 620+
Last edited by sankum on 17 Oct 2020 15:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby sankum » 17 Oct 2020 15:51

Ground armoured forces will remain as it is.
Helicopter mobile forces will be supplement.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby KSingh » 17 Oct 2020 19:04

sankum wrote:Future helicopter fleet of IAF
LUH: 125
Dhruv: 60
Rudra: 16
Apache: 22
LCH: 65
Chinook: 15
Mi26: 3
Mi17: 220+ ( In future 200 IMRH)
Total: 526

By 2040 combined Mi17/IMRH fleet may be 320+ and total fleet 620+

As AAC expands the justification for the IAF having such a large helicopter fleet is becoming negated


At this point without fail they are inducting IDENTICAL types and in comparable quantities, the dual Apache fleet is just the cherry on top.


The IAF's remit is strategic, the AAC (like US army aviation) is about serving the soldier on the ground and meeting the needs of battlefield commanders. As such 100s of Mi-17s /IMRH with the IAF makes NO sense whatsoever, better for all medium lift helos to be transferred to the AAC, a consolidated IMRH fleet of 300-400 under AAC will utterly transform the very nature of India's war fighting capabilities.


The Apache question was settled when MoD acquiesced to the toddler like protests of IA and IAF HQs and like any bad parent let both children have their own toys. There was *some* justification to the IAF's request for Apaches for the DEAD/SEAD role but really it's feeble at best and the biggest absurdity is that like the Mi-35s they replace when they are deployed in-theatre they will be under the C&C of the army anyway.


IAF should maintain only strategic helo assets like specialist CSAR/SAR birds (so the Rudra can stay, a few modified IMRH also and if they really need the some LCH for escorts) and a fleet of LUHs for utility/vip movement transport seems fair but beyond that their vast holdings of rotary wing assets seems entirely redundant going forward. The vast majority of the current IAF Chetaks/Cheetah/Mi-17s are employed in directly supporting the army anyway.


The Chinooks make sense to retain with the IAF also although in due course the army will need their own heavy lift assets.



It probably doesn't make sense to transfer over existing assets at this point, just let them "age out" aka retire and not be replaced meanwhile the AAC raises their own units in parallel. The Cheetaks/Cheetahs will all be gone within the next 7-10 years anyway, the Mi-17s have another 10-15 years of life left in them minimum so let the IMRH be a 100% army project and the 17s drawn out of service gradually.


+ obviously VVIP airlift will still be a IAF responsibility so they will have the IMRH for that role and also for CSAR where they can work with HAL to create a specialist version aka HH-60G.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 20 Oct 2020 20:02

KSingh Do you want IAF to be merged into IA!

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Jaeger » 21 Oct 2020 02:06

I totally back KSingh here. IA should be sole custodian of helos. IAF can have for CSAR/SpecOps etc. IMVHO, of course.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby fanne » 21 Oct 2020 04:19

One another way to look at it is this - IAF has lost it's CAS assets (Mig 27) and there is no replacement in sight. The platform it has can do CAS but most likely they will be used for interdiction, strategic bombing, theater level tactical bombing (massing of troops and vehicle). They have themselves made it clear through repeated and numerous publication that they don't want to be extended artillery for IA, it's too risky, besides IA can fulfill these through various means like artillery (but artillery is a area weapon, with Excalibur or other smart munitions it has some limited choices)...
BUT
IA will face tactical situation where small band of enemy is few meters to kilometers away and greatly impending IA war objective. Of course IA men can charge and will charge at the enemy (WW1) style, these obstacles are best taken care by airborne units - either CAS airplanes or Helis. Since IA cannot have CAS planes, at least let them have attack helicopter so that they can take care of these tactical, very close, enemies. I think the kind of war we are going to fight, we need some CAS airplanes. It's ok for US (it has A-10, still not retired) or Russia (SU25) (or even China) to not have one, they are mostly fighting expeditionary war, where enemy is far, will be subdued first and later the main force will move in. Plus they still maintain big Combat Heli presence for this reason.
IA needs CAS. Either they should get adequate Heli or IAF have dedicated CAS planes (which btw would be the most risky job in IAF, but hey it will be equally or perhaps more riskier for the IA folks).


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