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Army wants its own 'mini Air Force', pitches for heavy-duty attack helicopters

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by lca-fan, May 20, 2017.

  1. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    http://m.timesofindia.com/india/arm...y-attack-helicopters/articleshow/58756733.cms

    Army wants its own 'mini Air Force', pitches for heavy-duty attack helicopters

    [​IMG]
    The Army is seeking approval for the acquisition of 11 Apache attack helicopters from the US.
    HIGHLIGHTS
    • The force wants three squadrons of heavy-duty attack helicopters, among other choppers, for its three primary "strike" corps
    • The Army believes it should have "full command and control" over "tactical air assets" for rapid deployment along with its strike corps

    NEW DELHI: The Army has now strongly revived its old quest for a "mini air force" of its own, in a move that has been bitterly opposed by the IAF in the past.

    The force wants three squadrons of heavy-duty attack helicopters, among other choppers, for its three primary "strike" corps geared for rapid armoured thrusts into enemy territory.



    For starters, the 1.3-million strong Army is seeking the government's approval for acquisition of 11 Apache attack helicopters from the US as "a follow-on contract" to the earlier Rs 13,952 crore deal inked for 22 such choppers for the IAF.

    "The procurement proposal is likely to be considered by the defence acquisitions council (DAC) in its meeting to be chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday," said a defence ministry source.

    The Army is in a hurry because the "50% repeat order option", with the same terms and conditions, can be exercised only till September 28 since the original contract was inked on that date in 2015.

    One part of that "hybrid" deal had been inked with Boeing for the choppers, while the other for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites was signed with the US government. Apart from the 22 Apaches to be delivered to IAF from July 2019 onwards, the contract also involves acquisition of 812 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire-II missiles, 245 Stinger Block I-92H missiles and 12 AN/APG-78 fire-control radars.

    Even during the procurement process for the 22 Apaches, the Army had demanded their "ownership and control" because helicopter gunships are used as the "air manoeuvre arm" of ground forces to target enemy infantry and tanks the world over.

    [​IMG]India inked Rs 8,048 crore deal for 15 Chinooks in Sept 2015. CH-47F Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter, used for long-haul troop movements, logistics and recovery operations.

    The Army believes it should have "full command and control" over "tactical air assets" for rapid deployment along with its strike corps, while the IAF should concentrate on its "larger strategic role".

    The IAF, in turn, had contended it should retain all attack and medium-lift helicopters because it would be "very expensive" if the Army duplicated efforts and resources by getting its own "little air force".

    The then UPA government had ruled that the first 22 Apaches would go to IAF to add to its two existing, but ageing, squadrons of Russian-origin Mi-25/35 attack helicopters. But it also held "future" procurements of attack helicopters would be for the Army, granting "in principle approval" to its case for raising three squadrons (13 choppers each) for the strike formations - 1 Corps (Mathura), 2 Corps (Ambala) and 21 Corps (Bhopal).

    "Army Aviation Corps, raised in 1986, has over 250 Chetak/Cheetah light choppers and Dhruv advanced light helicopters. It should also get attack helicopters now since their control by IAF is a sub-optimal arrangement," said a senior officer.

    The Army's long-term plans include three helicopter squadrons (armed/attack, reconnaissance and tactical lift) each for all its 14 corps as well as "a flight" of five fixed-wing aircraft each for its six regional or operational commands.
     
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  2. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    I think its high time all the attack helicopters should be transferred to Indian Army as helis are used on borders which is IA Domain and are not used for deep penetration which is clearly IAF Domain. This will also reduce the reaction time as it will cut of bureaucracy involved between 2 forces. IAF should only focus on Fighters and deep penetration and tactical bombing needs of IA.

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  3. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    IAF has a history of LOOTING assets of other sister services. They did that starting with IN when IN went in for aircraft carrier, then they did that with super connies in 1974 followed by maritime strike Jags. I fail to understand why IAF must hold attack helicopters in its inventory? They are always an integral part of ground forces.
     
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  4. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

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    All three services need attack helicopters.

    IAF need them for SEAD/DEAD. Apache is a very good SEAD/DEAD asset as it carries heavy firepower, could fly just meters above ground, use terrain and vegetation as cover, and is highly survivable.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
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  5. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    And that is exactly the domain of IA. Tell me, does IAF works on ground or sends troops or is involved in battlefield one on one fight like IA does? NO. Then why does it it needs Attack Helis? Can attack helicopter be used 100-200 kms inside enemy territory? NO. These attack choppers clearly assist moving ground forces clearing enemy bunkers and hiding troops & tanks and are not of any use for heavy or precision bombing like we saw in Kargil. Army's SEAD/DEAD involves all these and hence attack helis should come under IA.

    SEAD/DEAD for IAF is clearing ENEMY RADARS, Surface to Air Missiles, Armament & Fuel Dumps, and High Altitude precision Bombing like IAF has done in KARGIL war. Can choppers take these thing out? NO.
     
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  6. zebra7

    zebra7 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    LOL talking about the attack hellicopter, which is most effective against the armoured columns, and is more suitable for the tactical air support.

    SEAD is the suppression of Air defence, that needs to target the Radar installation including Awaacs , communication equipments and networking networks.

    DEAD means the Distruction of the Air Defence , means to distroy the Missiles, their launchers, replenishments vehicles.

    But I agree with your statement of "All three services need ATTACH helicopters" but replace the attach word with the transport, support, and recce.
     
  7. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    IAF should be the lone nodal agency to provide aviation services to Army and CAPFs. [Naval Aviation should remain separate]

    I bat for aviation units of BSF, ITBP, etc and Army Aviation being merged into IAF.
     
  8. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Army should maintain their own attack helicopter fleets.
    We know our bureacracy .
     
  9. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Yup. SEAD/DEAD against ground radars. That is one of the job of Attack Helicopters (at least APACHE). It was also one of the reasons that IAF gave for needing Apache.

    http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/gulf-war-20th-apache-raid/
    http://mackenzieproductions.com/Apache_Attack.html
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  10. zebra7

    zebra7 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pls give me the range of the Weapon (A2G) Missile used for that. Now consider that distance, and consider the the range of the short range SAM with IR sensor.
    Low altitude flying could mask your detection, but not so close, also after the induction of the AWAACs and 3D and 4D Radar, it is not possible for those fighter planes to reach so close to the target. Second the first step of the SEAD is to locate, search, and analyse the frequecy/wavelenght coupled with the SAR acquasition, which needs altitude. A dedicated SEAD Mission by Rafale F3R or SU 30MKI can fire ARM and do SAR mapping simultaneously, including the Jamming with Noise Jammers. The idea is make the system blind followed by the DEAD Mission, to distroy the Missile sites. Now consider the range of the ARM fired from the fixed wing aircraft, and the the PGM like Spice 250, you will know, that they could be fired from the safe distance from our own airspace.

    BTW in the future war, the first wave of the attack for the DEAD would be by the barrage of Brahmos-Land based. And for SEAD IAF have Haroop.
     
  11. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Absolutely not, the way forward, which most elite militaries are embracing, is handing over the majority of attack helicopters/gunships to the Army. It makes absolutely no sense to keep these with the IAF, but instead of solving this problem logically, it has turned into a turf war and inter services pissing contest.

    Nobody is asking for the Army to be given fighter jets, but it's practically common sense that these assets are for the Army and should therefore be with the Army.
     
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  12. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    Russian Armed Forces ?
     
  13. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Most elite militaries either gave helicopter assets/are working towards giving helicopter assets to their Armies, or they have incredibly high level of synergy between services like the Israelis.

    Russia single handedly does not disprove this point, and frankly, there are a lot of militaries that I would prefer India to follow or learn from than the Russians.
     
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  14. Luttapi

    Luttapi FULL MEMBER

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    China just launched z 19 E attack helicopters. The army mobility will increase with this new induction..It weighs just 4125 kilos and here we are debating whether IA should have a military air wing. 1053779435.jpg
     
  15. IndianHulk

    IndianHulk FULL MEMBER

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