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A Tribute to HAL HF-24 Marut

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Arjun MBT, Apr 18, 2010.

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Could HF Marut Make its place safe in IAF if It were Upgraded?

  1. Yes If It were Upgraded with better avionics and engines

    35.7%
  2. No way,Its a 2nd gen Aircraft

    57.1%
  3. If Mig 21 Could,Even This Could have

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Well,I dont know

    7.1%
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  1. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    The Hindustan Aeronautics HF-24 Marut (Sanskrit: "Spirit of the Tempest") was an Indian fighter-bomber aircraft of the 1960s. It was India's first jet aircraft, first flying on 17 June 1961. Unusually, the wooden mock-up of the aircraft was actually flyable as an air-launched glider.


    History

    The Marut was designed by the famed German designer Kurt Tank, but never realised its full potential due to insufficient power. Although originally conceived to operate in the vicinity of Mach 2, the aircraft in fact turned out to be sub-sonic, due to the inability of the Indian government to underwrite suitably powered engine for the airframe. After the Indian Government conducted its first Nuclear tests at Pokhran, international pressure prevented the import of better engines, or at times, even spares for the Orpheus engines. This would be one of the main reasons for this aircraft's early demise. The lack of power hindered the speed of the aircraft, but with pleasant handling characteristics and good aerobatic capabilities it was well liked by its pilots.It was used in combat in the ground attack role, where its safety features such as manual controls whenever the hydraulic systems failed and twin engines were looked upon favourably and increased survivability.
    A total of 147 aircraft were built, including 18 two-seat trainers. The last examples were withdrawn from service in 1990.
    Given the limited number of Marut units, most Marut squadrons were considerably over-strength for the duration of their lives. According to Brian de Magray, at peak strength No.10 Squadron had on charge 32 Maruts, although the squadron probably did not hold a unit-establishment of more than 16. All in all, the Marut squadrons acquitted themselves very well in the 1971 war. The Marut, as an aircraft, was shown to be tough and capable. No aircraft were ever lost in air-to-air combat. However, 4 were lost to ground fire and two were lost on the ground.The Maruts were in the thick of it, right through the fighting on the western front, and the Squadrons ended the war with a total of three Vir Chakras.
    A mock up of the Hf 24 Marut can be seen in Kamla Nehru Park in the city of Pune, India

    Operational history

    In the 1971 war, some HF-24 Maruts and Hawker Hunter aircraft were used to assist the post at Battle of Longewala in the morning by the Indian Air Force and was finally able to direct with the strike aircraft being guided to the targets. They were not outfitted with night vision equipment, and so were delayed from conducting combat missions until dawn.. On December 7, 1971, SL Kishan Kumar of No. 220 Squadron, shot down a F-86 Sabre over Nayachor in Sindh, Pakistan.This was the only claim made during the war.
    In 1967, one Marut was used as a testbed for the Egyptian Brandner E-300 engine.

    Variants

    Marut Mk.1 : Single-seat ground-attack fighter.
    Marut Mk.1T : Two-seat training version.

    General characteristics

    Crew: 1
    Length: 15.87 m (52 ft 0¾ in)
    Wingspan: 9.00 m (29 ft 6¼ in)
    Height: 3.60 m (11 ft 9¾ in)
    Wing area: 28.0 m² (301 ft²)
    Empty weight: 6,195 kg (13,658 lb)
    Max takeoff weight: 10,908 kg (24,048 lb)
    Powerplant: 2× Bristol-Siddeley Orpheus Mk 703 After-burning turbojet, 32.4kN (6,275 lbf) dry, 47.2 kN (10,582 lbf) with reheat () each
    Performance
    Maximum speed: 1,112 km/h (600 kn, 691 mph) at sea level
    Stall speed: 248 km/h (133 knots, 154 mph) (flaps and landing gear down)
    Combat radius: 396 km [1] (214 nmi, 246 mi)
    Service ceiling: 13,750 m[citation needed] (45,100 ft)
    Armament
    Guns: 4× 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannon
    Hardpoints: 4 with a capacity of 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) (total)
    Rockets: 50× 2.68 in (68 mm) rockets
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  2. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  3. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  4. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  5. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  6. SpArK

    SpArK SorCeroR Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    No. 31 Squadron(Lions)
    [​IMG]



    CREST


    The squadron crest depicts a mountain lion in a crouching stance, ready to pouch on its prey. The scroll beneath is inscribed with the words "Shatru Chhidrey Prahret" which means "A KILL WITH EVERY BLOW ". The lion signifies strength, poise and valour. Its crouching stance demonstrates the squadron's ever ready preparedeness to undertake missions to destroy the enemy. Like a pride of lions, the Sqn too is committed to achieving its task with perfect blend of cohesiveness and team work. Thus the Sqn crest and motto signifies its ability to strike deep and hard into the enemy territory and cripple him with every blow.

    Formation of the Squadron and a short history

    Lions, one of the front line fighter Sqns of the Indian Air Force was formed on 01 Sep 1963 at Pathankot. The Sqn was raised as a part of the expansion of Air Force in the aftermath of 1962 Ops. It was designated as 31 Sqn; the unit adopted the proud and majestic LION as its insignia and has been fearlessly living up to the ideal so potrayed, ever since. The LIONS were equipped with the French Mystere jet till 1973, when they converted to the indigenous HAL HF Marut. The Sqn joined the swing wing club with the induction of Mig 23 in 1983 which it operates till date. The basic role of the squadron has remained ground attack.

    The War That Lions Fought

    1965 Ops

    In the 1965 war the Sqn was commanded by Wg Cdr WM Goodman and operated from Pathankot. The LIONS did exceptionally well in the war and destroyed tanks and other armoured vehicles in the very first strikes. The Sqn flew many missions and gave severe blow to the enemy. The Lions were awarded one MVC and VrC for their valour.

    1971 Ops

    In the 1971 war the Sqn was commanded by Wg Cdr ML Trehan and operated from Sirsa. The squadron provided extensive Close Air Support to the Indian Army. On the very first day the Lions destroyed Pak battalion HQs, four tanks and various other vehicles. The Sqn also flew reconnaissance sorties, providing the required intelligence to own forces. The LIONS were awarded three VrCs and Commendation by Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff.


    Aircrafts Operated by Squadron

    Mystere

    [​IMG]

    Inducted in 1957 following IAF's major re-equipment programme, the French Dassault Mystere IVA heralded the flight into transonic regime. In the 1965 Indo Pak conflict, the Mysteres were employed primarily in the ground attack role, in which they proved extremely effective against armoured vehicles using their 55 mm rockets. After serving the IAF loyally for 16 years they were phased out in 1973.

    Marut
    [​IMG]
    In 1964 HAL Bangalore developed the first indigenous fighter ac the HF-24 Marut. The Maruts known as the only real low flying aircraft, was a very familiar sight for the inhabitants of the deserts of Rajasthan and of course the camels too. It was also known for having the fastest cruise speed for ferry, all of 0.9 Mach!!. The Marut was phased out in 1983.


    MiG 23 BN


    [​IMG]
    The MiG 23 BN was inducted in 1981 to meet the IAF requirement of a tactical air strike ac (TASA). The first swing wing ac of the IAF, this fighter bomber is one of the fastest ac of the world at low levels. It is capable of carrying multiple loads making it a formidable strike ac.

    Period, Location & Aircraft operated by the Sqn

    Place Aircraft Year
    Pathankot Mystere Sep 63 - Jul 71
    Hindon Mystere Jul 71 - May 75
    Jodhpur Marut May 75 - Apr 83
    Halwara MiG-23 BN Apr 83 - Till date
     
  7. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    HF-Maruts Airframe Was designed in such a way that it could go at the Speed of MACH 2, But due to Our Nuke test many Countries refused to Give us engines and some parts, Thats why it had to retire early, Iam sure, It could have served the Indian Airforce even today as It was highly agile, It could have been upgraded to longer combat radius..... Iam sure It could have been a formidable fighter even today
     
  8. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I dint mean inducting buddy, I just wanted to say, it could have served long if it was upgraded
     
  9. ek_indian

    ek_indian Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    In that case, I might have agreed with you. However it is over now.
     
  10. veteran

    veteran 2nd Lieutant ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Maruts, of No.10 Squadron [Winged Daggers], flying over Rajpath in New Delhi. BD840 and BD842 (partially seen) are preproduction examples, while BD-850 was a production example. The radio mast ahead of the cockpit was the characteristic of pre-production Maruts, but was deleted from production aircraft.

    [​IMG]
    A pilot of the No.10 Squadron poses in front of his HF-24 Marut.
     
  11. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    yeah, over is over..... but it was a legend, not even one went down in an air battle
     
  12. veteran

    veteran 2nd Lieutant ELITE MEMBER

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    The time it was in development phase in early 60's,the government of India was trying to achieve some level in being independent from those BRITISH planes(western block).then suddenly we were engaged by PAKISTAN in two bloody war's.at that time the government had so many problem's that the program which was nearing completion could not be funded properly.(mid-late six-tees).after 1971 war it became evident that IAF was looking for a potent fighter.MIG-21 did fit in the role very well.and once MIG-21 were commissioned in huge number's the MARUT program fell apart(the funding was minimized)funds were diverted to get more MIG-21's.1971 war actually was a wake up call for IAF to get rid of SUB-SONIC interceptors(HUNTERS).at that time our economy was not that great to allow us to go for both the options(MARUT program and MIG-21's).hence MARUT can never be developed up to its potential.
    [​IMG]
    rowds throng the first Marut Prototype BR462 at HAL airport in Bangalore on the day of its first flight.
     
  13. Devianz

    Devianz 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    MiG-21 is legendary. Its still used in airforces around the world because its that good a platform. Though its time to send them to the graveyard as well.
     
  14. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Obsolete planes pulled their weight in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War

    Fifty years ago, India brought into service its first domestically built jet fighter, the HF-24 Marut — indeed, the first operational jet fighter designed and produced by an Asian country besides Russia. Unfortunately, the HF-24 project was hampered by over-ambitious goals, poor government oversight and underpowered jet engines, producing a disappointing subsonic light attack plane — foreshadowing some of the difficulties that would plague today’s Tejas fighter.

    [​IMG]

    And yet, the Marut went on to win a major victory for India during its brief combat career.

    By the 1950s, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, or HAL, had developed a few propeller planes and had experience license-building British Vampire jets. In 1956, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru authorized the domestic development of a Mach 2 multi-role jet fighter with a range of 500 miles, with the expansion of the Indian aeronautics sector a major objective.

    This represented an enormously ambitious project for HAL. New Delhi recruited top talent in the form of Kurt Tank, designer of the legendary Focke-Wulf 190 — the best German single-engine fighter of World War II. Even with Tank onboard, HAL had to massively ramp up its design staff twelvefold and expand its facilities to accommodate a project of this scale.


    By 1959 Kurt had already produced a full-scale X-241 glider mockup of the plane, and a flying prototype followed in 1961. However, his swept-wing twin-engine design counted upon an uprated Bristol BOr.12 Orpheus afterburning turbojet that could produce 8,150 pounds of thrust.

    Unfortunately, New Delhi was unwilling to invest 13 million pounds for Bristol to develop the engine, so the HAL team spent years fruitlessly shopping for an alternative in the Soviet Union, Europe and the United States, only for shifting political winds to nix the deal at every turn.

    In the end, HAL was forced to make do with non-afterburning Orpheus 703 turbojets, which generated only 4,850 pounds of thrust. As a result, what was intended to be a Mach 2 fighter could only barely attain Mach 1, and even then only at high altitudes.


    The HF-24 Marut was already obsolete by the time it entered service in 1967, unable to keep up with Indian MiG-21s or Pakistani F-104 Starfighters. Vastly disappointed, the Indian Air Force ditched planned-for radar and air-to-air missile capabilities, and relegated the jet to light attack duties.

    Only 147 HF-24s were procured, including 18 two-seat trainer variants. These equipped the Indian Air Force’s No. 10 Flying Dagger, No. 31 Lions and No. 220 Desert Tigers squadrons — leaving each 16-plane squadron with an unusually large surplus of redundant aircraft. To add insult to injury, it cost more to produce each Marut domestically than it did to buy more capable fighters abroad.

    [​IMG]HF-24s. Photo via GlobalSecurity.org
    At least as a bomber, the Marut could carry up to 4,000 pounds of unguided bombs and 100 68-millimeter rockets, in addition to the heavy firepower of its four 30-millimeter cannons — though the recoil from firing all four guns at once proved so great that they sometimes popped the canopy-ejection switch, and led one test plane to fatally crash. The Marut otherwise had relatively precise controls and good low-speed handling.

    Four years later, just as the first two Marut squadrons were beginning to overcome the type’s teething problems, India and Pakistan were on a collision course for war over Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan. The underperforming fighter bombers were about to star in one of the most famous air-to-ground actions of the war.


    Knowing war was imminent, Pakistan hoped to capture territory along the West Pakistan border in a preemptive strike on Dec. 3, 1971 to compensate for the weak position of its forces in East Pakistan. One thrust on the first day of the war was aimed at Jaisalmer and eventually Jodhpur — but held as its first target the isolated border outpost of Longewala, located in the middle of the Thar desert.

    The Pakistani force constituted two infantry brigades and armored battalions totaling to more than 2,000 infantry and 45 Type 59 tanks, Chinese copies of the Soviet T-54/55. At Longewala, they faced only the 120 men of “A” Company of the 23rd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment.

    The outpost boasted only a single 106-millimeter recoilless anti-tank gun mounted on a jeep, a few mortars and medium machine guns, and a camel-riding squad of the border patrol. By any normal tactical calculus, there was no way the defenders should have held out for long.

    However, as the Pakistani troops began to advance at half past midnight without the benefit of tactical reconnaissance, the tanks bogged down in the thick sand dunes around the outpost. The defenders, situated on a rocky outcrop 100 feet high, waited until the struggling tanks had crept up to short range and then opened fire, destroying 12 of them with their the lone recoilless gun and old World War II-era PIAT anti-tank projectors.

    The Pakistani return fire inflicted only two fatalities. The attack ground to a halt as the Pakistani infantry encountered what they believed to be a minefield behind a row of barbed wire — which hours later was discovered not to exist.

    A renewed offensive was being organized at the break of dawn when the Marut jets of 10 Squadron, reinforced by four Hawker Hunters, descended on the battlefield, unleashing T-10 rockets and spitting 30-millimeter cannon shells at the bogged-down armor in what was described as a “turkey shoot.” By the afternoon, the attack planes had destroyed an additional 22 tanks and at least 100 more vehicles, bringing what should have been an overwhelming assault smashing to a halt.

    [​IMG]HF-24 in Bangalore. Photo via Wikimedia
    This outcome is particularly remarkable as the Indian aircraft did not benefit from the specialized guided anti-tank missiles that give modern ground-attack planes high lethality against tanks. Indian ground forces counterattacked by noon, sending the Pakistani force into full retreat, setting the tone for the remainder of the war on the Western front.

    The Marut remained in the thick of the action throughout the 13-day war, strafing airfields, bombing ammunition dumps, and hitting tanks and artillery on the front lines — flying over 200 sorties and suffering three losses to ground fire. A fourth Marut was destroyed on the ground while taxiing on the runway at Uttarlai by a strafing Pakistani Air Force F-104 Starfighter.

    Nonetheless, the HF-24s boasted a high serviceability rate and proved quite tough, with several of the jets managing to return to base on just one engine after the other was shot up. Major Bakshi of 220 Squadron even scored an air-to-air kill in his Marut on Dec. 7 when he pounced upon a Pakistani F-86 Sabre, a Korean War-era jet fighter.

    After the conflict, there were several proposals to improve the HF-24 by installing more-powerful engines — the Marut Mark 1R and 2 — but the Indian Air Force had little interest in investing further in the Marut when it could acquire faster and heavier-lifting Su-7, MiG-23 and MiG-27 fighter-bombers from the Soviet Union.

    The HF-24 began to be phased out of Indian squadrons in the 1980s, with the last aircraft being retired from 31 Squadron in 1990. Many of the airframes had only seen very limited use. Now the homemade jets serve on, only as monuments throughout India.

    There are a couple of lessons to be drawn from the story of the Marut. The first regards how poor planning and a lack of direction can cripple even a promising project. Bureaucracy and corruption have caused many Indian defense projects to drag out so long that the systems being acquired are obsolete by the time the red tape has been overcome.

    However, the main problem underlying the Marut program remains hardly unique to India. Quite simply, acquiring or building powerful jet engines remains a major stumbling block even for nations that command considerable financial resources, such as China. This explains New Delhi’s continuing interest today in acquiring new jet engine technology from the United States and Russia.

    The other lesson is that effective application can be more important than maximizing technical merits. The Marut may have been a mediocre fighter, but at Longewala, the attack jet’s abilities were called upon exactly where they were need, when they were needed and in a situation where they could have maximum impact. Many technically superior weapons are never employed under such favorable circumstances.

    Thus, India’s Marut jet fighter, though considered a failed design, more than pulled its weight in an actual combat.

    https://warisboring.com/indias-awful-hf-24-jet-fighter-proved-itself-in-combat/
     
    Hellfire, sangos, Sancho and 2 others like this.
  15. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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