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The Indian Navy's helicopter plans and purchases

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Agent_47, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Project 75I delay can be attributed to "strategic partner' clause in DPP. Here we have no clear explanation for delay its been 2-3 years in negotiation stage.

    IN should make clear how many helicopters they need for ship operations. They might need 100+ in number from either S70 class or 12+ ton class. Make up mind and request for licence production. Indecision will make things only worse.

    @Abingdonboy @Ankit Kumar 001 Airbus H225M was selected by Kuwait. 30 for $1.1 billion, Its a reasonable price.
     
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  2. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    139 Naval Light Utility helicopters.
    123 Naval Multirole Helicopters.
    50+ Ship Based Helicopter UAV (or maybe Chetak conversions ) for surveillance, etc.And the bad thing is negotiations are on between Israel and our Public sector companies. So I don't have much hope here.

    The 139 and 123 numbers I believe is correct as of today which can be relied the most . And seriously the delay is getting heavy and unexplained too.

    On P75I , I feel we should give it up. The way forward should be few more 636M , 12 Scorpenes , then going for our own SSK design as a joint effort (like we are doing in ATAGS project ) , rest buy all 3 Akulas lying in Russian Shipyards for lack of funds , build the incomplete hull too. And then move to our SSN project.

    Over 1 billion USD for a SSK when we can get Akulas at that price seems unexplained to me.
     
  3. R!CK

    R!CK 2nd Lieutant Technical Analyst

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    Correct and atleast one of this project will make serious break through next year, I'm not very confident about both same in FY. I'd bet on the NMRH project, personally.

    Ok here's the most important part everyone missed, every Submarine deal we had in the past was poorly negotiated. Maybe they sufficed for that period, but for today's technology its not enough. I can guarantee you that if we had the expertise to make SSK ourselves, IN would have done it long time ago. P75I is honestly our first ever ToT based Submarine program and hopefully our last. The actualcussion was to order 10 submarine's as P75I so that it is economical for a shipyard to head for maximum indigenisation. However it was later agreed that P75 model of 6 boats and a later addition of 4 boats based on the progress on P76 is a better way ahead. This doesn't mean P75I can't be a scorpene based boat, there is a possibility that P75I will be an improved Scorpene with VLS and greater ToT. P75I honestly will be our best negotiated submarine deal in history and will seriously influence P76 indigenous program.

    Now before people pull the "If we can build an SSBN, why not an SSK?" argument, let me just hint that our first SSBN had some manuals written in a language other than English. Hope that helps.

    Good Day all!
     
  4. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    What do you think about numbers? I think 50+ CH-47Fs as a minimum for IAF.
    Would need a serious commitment from IN (that is not exactly forthcoming as of now), the IN just aren't making the right noises and this off the shelf 16 unit order is taking a god damn age.

    I think here the H225M has a much better chance; the ICG have already selected it, the IAF is looking at it for their CSAR needs, the IA is said to have shown interest and the IN is obviously looking at it (for 12 ton NMRH role, up against the S-92).

    What needs to happen is something that has never happened, the services looking at their common requriements and the MoD iniating a combined order for multiple services. I don't see this kind of foresight existing at any level within the MoD as of now sadly.

    That's a VERY good deal, the IN is going to get 16 S-70B for that price (obviously apples and oranges though considering the S-70Bs are configured for ASW role and are packed with top-notch kit not to mention are coming through FMS so the USG is taking their cut. I'm sure India could get a good deal out of the French).

    How do you think this figure breaks down between 10 and 12 ton NMRHs? 70-30 split?

    Won't be Chetak based, IAI-DRDO were said to be exploring the ALH for this role thanks to its digital flight controls but I haven't seen any further updates so likely this project is DOA.

    S-70B? H225M? If it is for just the 16 S-70B deal I'm going to be very underwhelmed, this order was unsufficent at the time it was intiated but today 16/24 units won't even make a dent in the IN's massive and ever growing requirements.

    I don't know what the IN/MoD are playing at but they are acting as complete fools where the rotary wing is concerned. Heads need to roll but they never will.
     
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  5. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    The EC725 will be true replacement for Sea King , and considering that we are looking to beef up our amphibious forces too, these will be very fine component for LHD/LPD fleet.

    I feel the mix should be limited to sub 4 Ton helicopter , decent number of Dhruvs to operate from OPVs and shore , and then 1 medium weight helicopter. And some Ka31s. Or may be V22s.
     
  6. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    The 10 ton S-70B has been designed to have the same "footprint" as the Sea King so can operate from any ship that can currently house the Sea King (ie most of the IN's surface fleet) whilst the H225M (EC-725) is quite a bit larger and heavier so will probably only be able to operate from the larger vessels (destroyers, Carriers and LHD/LPD). For the LHD/LPD the H225M is ideal, the S-70B would be a highly impractical troop/utility transport.

    The IN is intent on operating 2, a 10 and a 12 ton NMRH.
     
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  7. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    If we see our corvettes and Talwar class good enough with Panthers , then around 40-50 S70 , and ~80-120 EC725.
     
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  8. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    This is the reason i bet more on S70B its a perfect size to carryout any missions. Also, USN and other naves are moving to MH-60 Romio that means transfer of production line and MRO is possible. Far better offer than F-16, This will make everyone happy.

    You are missing the fact that IN already selected S70B.

    Correction, 4-5 ton, 9-10 ton and 12-13 ton :agree:

    IN does not intent operate Dhruvs and LUH from ships but good numbers will be used for shore based SAR/utility roles.

    That project is closed. Chetak is not modern and reliable enough for conversion. IN is now looking for small UAVs like RQ-21 Blackjack
     
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  9. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    These are the maximum possible numbers that Prasun Sengupta outlined (as far as I remember). This was, of course, years ago -

    45 x CH-47F Chinook
    65 x or more AH-64E Apache Guardian
    44 x S-70B-2 Seahawk
    32 x NMRH (H225M or CH-148 Cyclone) initially at least

    I never conversed with him about the lighter NMRH categories (Panther etc.), but 24 x Dhruvs are already confirmed (8 in service, 16 more ordered).

    However, it does appear that the scenario is changing...if we include the required fleet for DDGs, carriers, LHDs etc. it's likely that the 12-ton NMRH numbers will be above 50. Airbus-Mahindra deal will help. Nearly 100 Apaches are also likely ultimately (and Tata subsidiaries already produce major components for it).

    And then there's the potential for V-22 Osprey variants to serve as Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft, and possibly as AEW platforms flying off the LHDs.

    Only light at the end of this tunnel is it turns out we'll be ordering a much bigger fleet of Seahawks, with a local production line/offset-based manufacturing.

    If we're looking at a common vertical lift platform for ALL Special Forces units (will be extremely useful later on if we form a SOCOM), I'm good with either Black Hawk or H225M platforms. Only thing is that whichever chopper is bought needs to have a high readiness rating, no maintenance/spares issues, and should be highly customizable (like a specialized variant for high-altitude ops). Both options are good enough and a local production line (either with Tata or Mahindra) should address all the logistical questions.

    There is no VTOL UAV project being pursued by anyone in India right now AFAIK (other than tiny quadcopters etc.).
     
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  10. Gessler

    Gessler Mod MODERATOR

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    Anyone have a hard-on for the new CH-53K King Stallion? :tongue:

    [​IMG]

    That aside...I've been thinking, we are procuring new-build Mi-17v-5s and they will easily last at least 15 years. So we're actually looking at their replacement in service starting near the 2030s. At that point, I think it'd be very backward of us to pursue a project like the IMRH (in the form that it's CG models depicted it as - basically an extended Dhruv with some AgustaWestland DNA thrown in). I think a far better plan will be to open negotiations with the US to undertake joint development/funding of a truly next-gen medium-lift transport helicopter (under the Future Vertical Lift framework). The DTTI agreement has to be taken forward anyway...and by that time, I'm sure our defense spending will be big enough to afford such choppers in the hundreds (especially with local production). Need to pursue concepts like the new Sikorsky SB-1 Defiant -

    [​IMG]

    But something for the more immediate future: Someone in the MoD needs to consider incorporating the AVX Corp.'s rotor/push-prop concepts as a possible conversion kit for our HAL LUH (as originally suggested by Prasun Sengupta) -

    [​IMG]

    @PARIKRAMA @Abingdonboy @randomradio @MilSpec What do y'all think?
     
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  11. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    That's for damn sure.

    Yes for their 10 ton NMRH but they have a seperate requirement for 12 ton NMRH, the H225M never went up against the S-70B orginally, it was a S-70B vs NH-90 fight.

    Says who bro?

    For such roles the H225M makes more sense.
     
  12. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    Such a beast and brimming with advanced avonics that will ensure she is a real force multiplier (biggest setback of older CH-53 was mechanical downtime/issues)

    Spot on. I've been saying for a while that the IMRH is a replacement for the IAF's Mi-17V5s and thus why HAL aren't exactly rushing to make it a reality. The only thing that would change this would be if the IA seriously started looking at their on medium utility helo requirements and apparently they are according to Airbus Mil (so in fact this might be taken care of by the H225M).

    As for the other tech you have proposed, it is mostly experimental right now and even the US is not pushing it into service anytime soon. I'm sure HAL will be exploring any such advancements in time.
     
  13. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Please stop taking PSK seriously. Anyone can makeup numbers from some outline information. His chances are always 50:50.

    Chinook : 15+6.
    Apache : 1 more sq for IAF, 2-3 sq for IA. (Which is confirmed)
    S-70B : minimum 60 (44 as follow on to the first 16 S70B)
    For 12+ ton we don't know because there was no RFIs. What we know is in 9ton to 13ton IN need around 125 ship born helicopters.
    Panthers : 100 (because there is a RFI for 4-5ton multi role utility helicopter)

    Dhruv and LUH will be used for shore operations. Where is the extra requirement for more apaches ?

    I know that and we don't know the 12ton+ heli required numbers or specifications now.

    http://www.news18.com/blogs/india/s...icopter-plans-and-purchases-10879-748238.html
     
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  14. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Any decent sized surface warship in today's navy has the capability to host at least one navalized helicopter if not more. The steady accretion in the Indian Navy's (IN's) surface fleet therefore naturally also means that there is a need to augment the number of ship-borne helicopters in its inventory. Besides, the Navy in any case has ever expanding roles and responsibilities which translate into requirements for greater rotary capability.

    To that end, IN has been looking to bring in new utility and multirole helicopters in order to both replace legacy units as well as increase the overall number of such machines under its ambit while simultaneously introducing new technology. It would therefore be worthwhile to take a closer look at the status of various helicopter tenders issued by the IN as well as the opportunities for domestic industry therein.

    The Navy has actually been running a competition for 16 naval multirole helicopters (NMRH) since 2011 with the request for information (RFI) being issued in July that year. The two down-selected contenders in the fray are a maritime variant of the European-built NH90 known as the NATO frigate helicopter (NFH) from NH Industries and an export variant of the US-made SH-60 Seahawk from Sikorsky called the S-70B. Despite the trials for the $1.2 billion contract with the winning bidder required to deliver all helicopters within 46 months of contract signing in three phases were completed in 2011 itself, this tender has actually been delayed more than once with the latest slippage happening in mid-2013 when the Ministry of Defence (MOD) asked both finalists to extend the validity of their bids by another six months in July 2013.

    Problems started in early 2012 itself with this particular tender when in a letter to the MOD, NH Industries claimed that competitor Sikorsky's entry may not actually be technically compliant with certain parameters laid down in the Navy's request for proposal (RFP) unless the S-70B helicopter had been granted waivers for the same. IN however stated in the media that NH Industries was looking to mislead MOD and cause delays by raising unreasonable concerns. As far as IN is concerned both helicopters have met naval staff qualitative requirements (NSQRs) for a multi-role chopper with its primary missions consisting of anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface warfare(ASuW) and secondary roles such as search and rescue (SAR), transport, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) etc.

    The cut throat competition probably arose on account of the fact that the RFP also stipulated that IN would have the option of placing orders for another 44 helicopters, on completion of the contract for the initial 16. Furthermore it was widely expected throughout 2012 that a follow on tender for another 75 units would be issued that year.

    Finally, in early 2013, IN issued a global RFI for more NMRH which probably went further than what most expected given that it was for 123 units , making it the largest such tender for multirole helicopters anywhere in the world. The stakes naturally are higher than ever before now.

    The latest postponement of the opening of commercial bids for the initial tender however means that even if the contract were to be sewn up within this fiscal i.e 2013-14 the first helicopter cannot be delivered before 2015-16 at the earliest.

    Moreover, a global RFP worth 6-8 billion U.S dollars to follow the new RFI for 123 NMRH in the 9 to 12.5-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) class is likely to be issued which is attracting interest from a wider set of contenders including Lockheed Martin with its MH-60R/S (which shares its airframe with the S-70B), Eurocopter with its EC 725 Caracal and Russian Helicopters with Kamov products and perhaps even AgustaWestland with one of the navalized variants of the AW-101 Merlin.

    One of the other reasons why the initial 16 unit contract may be delayed relates to the contenders being reluctant to discharge offset obligations in their entirety. However this is a little strange, at least in the case of Sikorsky which is already getting complete S-92 helicopter cabins built in India by Tata Advanced Systems Limited which involves the local manufacture of some 5000 components. What is more, it was believed that given the degree of commonality between the S-92 and the S-70, the latter was always a front runner for the NMRH contract.

    Meanwhile, IN is also looking around for an upgrade partner for its existing fleet of 30 odd Agusta Westland Sea King helicopters. The situation in this arena is also a little tricky because a 2008 proposal to bring on board Israeli companies for the upgrade package was vehemently opposed by AgustaWestland and it remains to be seen how the Navy plans to execute the upgrade this time around.

    As such the proposed upgrade package mainly includes new composite main rotor blades, five AMLCD cockpit Displays (two primary flight displays and three multi-function displays), an automatic flight control system (AFCS), twin AHRS for providing aircraft attitude and heading information to the cockpit display and AFCS. It is understood that IN is seeking an almost similar upgrade package for some six Kamov Ka-25 helicopters as well. As an aside, the integration of DRDO's SV-2000 radar with some Kamov units is also being carried out.

    Beyond the NMRH tender, IN is of course also looking to replace its current holding of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters with a new naval utility helicopter (NUH). The procurement process for NUH actually began even before the NMRH competition with the RFI being issued way back in 2010. Since then this project has seen another RFI being issued in 2011 followed by a RFP in 2012 for 56 NUH (with 28 additional options) at a total cost of around a billion US dollars. The latest RFP specifies that in addition to 56 choppers, three simulators, 28 spare engines and associated equipment are to be delivered within eight years of contract signature.

    Moreover, as per the RFP, NUH can have a MTOW of 4.5 tons, should be capable of being armed 70mm rocket launchers, 12.7mm guns, lightweight torpedoes as well as depth charges. It must have 'a modern airframe design, proven fuel-efficient engines and fully-integrated advanced avionics'.

    NUH will be used for both shore-based and offshore operations by IN and should be able to operate from ship decks in all-weather day and night conditions. Interestingly IN also wants the NUH to be able to operate from surfaces covered by snow, sleet, sand, water and slush.

    Now the 2012 RFP had been issued to all global majors with NUH contenders being Eurocopter's AS565 MBe Panther, Agusta Westland's AW-109LUH, and offerings from US-based Bell and Kamov of Russia.

    However, the AgustaWestland scandal has probably had an impact on this tender since MOD stated in April 2013 that only two companies had responded to the RFP and one of them was AgustaWestland with the other being Eurocopter. If AgustaWestland ends up being blacklisted over the VVIP helicopters scam then IN may be left with a veritable single vendor situation which may lead to the whole process being scrapped and re-tendered.

    Meanwhile, even as the Navy explores international options, it has again begun inducting more home grown helicopters as well. In November 2013, IN inaugurated its first Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv unit, INAS 322, shore-based in Kochi under the Western Naval command which besides conducting SAR operations will also be used for heli-borne insertions and armed patrol with night vision devices. In fact the Dhruv has been cleared for night time SAR as well. The rekindling of IN interest in the Dhruv probably stems from heightened requirements in the arena of low intensity maritime operations and coastal security post 26/11. Further delays in the NUH tender is also bringing HAL's own light utility helicopter (LUH) project into play whose development will be completed by 2015.

    HAL probably could expect more from the Navy if it moves forward quicker on the Indian Multirole Helicopter (IMRH) project. The IMRH as the name implies is a project to build a domestic multirole helicopter in the 12 ton MTOW category with a maximum speed of 275kmh, maximum payload of 3.5 tons at sea level , 500 km range at sea level and service ceiling of 6500 metres. Interestingly the very same companies that are responding to the NMRH tender are also those who are in talks with HAL for collaborative purposes on the IMRH.

    For instance, Sikorsky may be open to co- producing up to 400 multi-role helicopters with HAL if one of its designs were to be chosen as the basis for developing IMRH, which could garner orders of more than 300 units from the services alone by 2030. The IN with its stated aim of fielding 200 ships by that time is likely to be a major customer for IMRH.

    In the years to come, it is quite clear that IN will continue to grow into a very substantial air force in its own right and rotary requirements will become bigger than what they are projected to be even now. Given the level of spend being envisaged it is important that India's domestic aerospace sector identifies the right strategy to capitalize on IN's rotary plans.

    http://www.news18.com/blogs/india/s...icopter-plans-and-purchases-10879-748238.html

    New sticky
     
  15. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    I thought so but sadly it turns out the follow on clause is for only 8 units (don't ask me why) so the current deal is for only 16-24 units MAXIMUM :fuu::fuu:

    The IA is going to be India's largest Apache operator.
     

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