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India’s Light Utility Helicopter Program Faces Delays

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Industry' started by Manmohan Yadav, Feb 5, 2013.

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  1. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    BANGALORE, India — India’s $2 billion light utility helicopter (LUH) program, which has been in the procurement stage since 2009, faces delays due to “technical reasons,” India’s Air Force chief said.

    Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne told Defense News that the “project is presently delayed due to some technical reasons.” Browne however added, “We are pursuing the Buy (Global) route to cater for the immediate shortages.”

    Kamov of Russia and Eurocopter of France are competing to sell 197 LUHs to India.

    The flight trials of the competing helicopters were completed last year and all sides are waiting on a selection of the final vendor.

    Browne did not give details on the technical problems, but Indian Air Force sources said there are issues with thrust of the engines of both the competitors.

    In 2009, bids were sent to Eurocopter, Kamov and Italy’s AgustaWestland. AgustaWestland was eliminated before the flight trials on technical grounds.

    The 2009 LUH tender was itself a repeat of an earlier tender. The first time around, the program was canceled after Bell Helicopters of the U.S. complained of a lack of transparency in the procurement program.

    Eurocopter emerged as the winner in the competition in 2007; the competition was canceled in 2008.

    The Indian Air Force and Indian Army need the LUHs to replace aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which are being used to ferry troops and rations to battlefield locations on higher reaches.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Its all for the good. Cancel this tender.

    Just upgrade the existing Cheetahs and Chetaks until indigenous LUH is ready. Thats the best & cheapest way forward,
    it would also help improve our indigenous aviation industry.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    yes, OR use Modified Dhruv instead

    Dhruv is an excellent platform.
    carrying capacity is about 2.5 Tonnes
     
  4. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Carrying capacity of 2.5 Tonnes is more than
    Global average for Light Utility Helicopters

    So HAL Dhruv is the best for it
     
  5. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Dhruv is beyond the requirement. If ALH is what we needed, then this tender would never be floated in the first place, because Dhruv was already available and in production when the RFPs were issued.

    Besides, HAL has embarked development of a single-engine LUH now, which clearly states that Dhruvs won't be sought to fulfill the requirement for Reconnaisance/Surviellance Helos (RSH), which is the baisc requirement for which these new 3-ton LUHs are being sought. Dhruv is a bigger 5-ton bird.

    IAF/AAC are looking to place additional orders for new-build Cheetahs from HAL to replace the older batches in service, these will continue to be in service for atleast 5 more years when HAL LUH will be ready for induction.
     
  6. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Any Idea why they want to use a Heli lighter than Dhruv ?
    Its excellent and light aswell
     
  7. Lock786

    Lock786 FULL MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    This is the HAL's LUH, must be a copy of some German light helicopter. Seems like HAL wasn't able to produce it on the assembly line.
     
  8. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    That is the Light Observation Helicopter (LOH), a cancelled project.

    This is LUH -

    [​IMG]

    Show me where it says its a German design? Fool. Try to buy design from Germany and build your own helo, then talk
    about source of design.
     
  9. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    As I said, the requirement is basically for Recon/Surviellance Helos (RSH), at high altitudes, a
    lighter helo is better. Thats why Dhruv was unable to replace Cheetah is RSH role till date,
    eventhough Dhruv's overall performace is considered 'better' than Cheetah.

    What we need now is an advanced Dhruv-like (but not Dhruv) helo of much lighter weight to replace
    Cheetah/Chetak, which are obviously getting old.

    There is a generation leap in question here, Cheetah is a good high-altitude performer, but its
    tech is a generation behind Dhruv. We need a helo in Cheetah's weight category, but using Dhruv's
    level of technology. Hope you understand now.
     
  10. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    But the point is....HAL has an assemble line for planes....now....
     
  11. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    WHat 'delays'. As with many other projects, HAL has never been serious about pursuing this. They just saw the possibility of a plum contract and threw their hat in. When it's clear the contract can go to other companies, their lack of commitment comes out.
     
  12. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Tell Khangrace govt. to motivated HAL to improve on their shambling efficiency. After all khangrace is the one to have
    'initiated' HAL...and then forgot all about it.
     
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