Hari Nair wrote:
ramana wrote:Hari Nair What is needed for that please?
The work content for Hellfire integration should not be too much.
As I had posted earlier, each weapon usually comes with its own set of unique Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), even though the missile may be compatible to slap onto the LCH weapon pylon. Some amount of re-cabling is required for those LRUs. IIRC, the Hellfire comes in two versions - laser & RF guided. If RF, then some additional LRUs, etc need integration.
Some flight trials to confirm separation characteristics and of course, firing trials from the LCH will be required.
As other forum members had already pointed out, the need of the hour is to take that decision! The rest will follow.
Wanted to share some thoughts here.
India is an electoral democracy and unfortunately military hardware like helicopters dont give votes. Similarly before postal ballots, soldiers too didnt get to vote.
What this means is military spending is least priority for any Govt given that such spending has no Return of Investment during elections. There may be announcements by leaders but this is the harsh reality.
This leads to only emergency military spending based on "Acceptance of Necessity" and not planned spending. Even in emergency spending, foreign vendors like Dassault, Boeing, Rosoboronexport will be paid first because of 1. Need of their diplomatic support in UN, etc and 2. these companies will bring their Govt's pressure on GoI.
As a result, less money and priority remains for indigenous equipment.
Typically emergency military spending is done when the enemy is breathing down our neck. At that point of time, the user (IAF or AAC) will want a fully integrated machine. There is no time remaining to integrate weapons, even if the work is very less. And emergency decisions will typically veer towards fully integrated helicopters like Apache or Mi-25/35.
What would help is if HAL proactively gives pre-integrated weapons along with its platforms investing its own money rather than waiting for users to specify.
Secondly, whenever integrating a weapon, the supplier will offer a lot of support. However when integration is complete, the supplier will immediately jack up the prices. This again creates barriers for rapid induction.
Going by media reports, it looks like FZ is doing some hanky panky by raising prices for rockets given that they are the only rocket integrated with Rudra and LCH. Same with Nexter for 20mm gun ammunition.
Solution to this is integrating two competitive weapons. This will ensure user can play one supplier against the other. Competition between the two will keep prices down.
Hellfire and Spike are the top ATGM's in the market. BAe & FZ for rockets. IN has purchased BAe APKWS, so it'll be a useful addition to Rudra & LCH. Mistral & Stinger for anti UAV and anti helicopter operations. And possibly a US gun in addition to Nexter to prevent Nexter from extorting a high price for the 20 mm ammunition.
We Indians have a bad habit of giving unsolicited advice, so I tender my apologies in advance for the same
However I strongly believe this will greatly improve and accelerate HAL orders from its customers.
This will also help in competitive export opportunities. Many Eastern European nations need Western compatible equipment but cannot afford. Same in South America, South Asia and other geographies. HAL can commercially fill those lucrative niches.
We also have a very supportive Union Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar who is a BTech from IIT Kanpur. Based on my observations, he has taken some very good decisions. I am sure he will be supportive of HAL efforts.