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Old 29th May 2015, 18:21   #46
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Happy to attempt to answer your other questions.
Hi Narayan,

Coming up with my next question, I am not sure whether this would be relevant, but I have somehow gained confidence in writing this up here.

6. Long Range Strategic Bombers : You would be wondering why this question here at the Naval Air Arm thread. Thats simple because; we still do not have a dedicated INDIAN AIR FORCE thread as yet and also, as far as I understand the probable long range bombers in our current inventory are with the Navy - yes I am talking about Tu-142 ASW Aircraft.

This question may be a bit vague but still I would try to simplify. We do have a handful of Tu-142 which in our inventory is an ASW aircraft where the Russians have another version of the same the famous "Bear" aircraft which is designated as a long range Bomber. Interestingly the Wikipedia page also talks about four Tu-22Ms being leased to India on 2001. "During 2001, four Tu-22M aircraft were leased to India for maritime reconnaissance and strike purposes" Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M
Though no other article talks about these Bombers in India, I have read in a blog about these being stationed somewhere in Port Blair.
So even if we have Tu-22Ms they would be with the navy (somehow I feel so) .
The above is just the background from where my question comes from.

Being a regional power, with a very hostile neighborhood and lot of Maritime and Land assets to protect, shouldn't we have Long Range Bombers in the Fleet. China has a pretty neat inventory of those (Tu22ms, H-6), luckily the Russians still have not sold them the famous Tupolev BlackJacks. For me these long range bombers are poised at maintaining peace and projecting power. As our Prime Minister mentioned soon after he got into his seat, "our Military needs to be strong to maintain peace in the region."
What is your take on this ?
Do you think that we can use our Tu142s as Bombers if needed, they just finished their mid life upgrades.? Do you know anything about the Tu22Ms transferred to us?Shouldnt we look at buying a few of them for our arsenal?

*Apologies for my long question.

Last edited by peterjim13 : 29th May 2015 at 18:24. Reason: Shortening the text
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Old 29th May 2015, 22:53   #47
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Suggest TBHP to have one forum for Indian Military vehicles :-)
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Old 30th May 2015, 00:10   #48
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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post
Hi Narayan,

Coming up with my next question, I am not sure whether this would be relevant, but I have somehow gained confidence in writing this up here.

6. Long Range Strategic Bombers :
This question may be a bit vague but still I would try to simplify. We do have a handful of Tu-142 which in our inventor.....

So even if we have Tu-22Ms they would be with the navy (somehow I feel so) .
The above is just the background from where my question comes from.

Being a regional power, with a very hostile neighborhood and lot of Maritime and Land assets to protect, shouldn't we have Long Range Bombers in the Fleet. China has a pretty neat inventory of those (Tu22ms, H-6),
What is your take on this ?......
Do you think that we can use our Tu142s as Bombers if needed, they just finished their mid life upgrades.? Do you know anything about the Tu22Ms transferred to us?Shouldnt we look at buying a few of them for our arsenal?

*Apologies for my long question.

Hi, though the question is for Narayan Ji I am taking a dig at answering these.
Long range bombers, or to better put it Non-stealth long range bombers are only useful in situations where we have complete air dominance and don't expect any AA resistance from the ground. The TU-142 though fast for a prop is still slower than most AA (anti air) missiles considering reaction time. It also presents a large radar signature which will light up long before the aircraft has a chance to cross over. Yep they can probably launch standoff missiles ( 300-1000 km range cruise missiles) but again, it is a single purpose aircraft in that sense. The S300 system ( China has this) can take this lumbering aircraft down at extremely long ranges.

To be effective such aircraft will be protected by a flight of air defence aircraft which are an additional load. The Tu22 while an excellent bird has probably been superseded by the Su-35 which carries a decent payload and has good manoeuvrability and speed. The Indian Su30 carries a payload comparable to the Tu22 ( and we are testing it with the air launched BrahMos soon) at a good range while also having the ability to fight for itself.
From a long range perspective the Su30 is a very long ranged aircraft ( 3000 kms on internal fuel IIRC)

Even the U.S. During op desert storm brought in the b52's only after they had achieved air dominance.
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Old 30th May 2015, 12:16   #49
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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post

6. Long Range Strategic Bombers : You would be wondering why this question here at the Naval Air Arm thread. Thats simple because; we still do not have a dedicated INDIAN AIR FORCE thread as yet and ...

This question may be a bit vague but still I would try to simplify. We do have a handful of Tu-142 which in our inventory is an ASW aircraft where the Russians have another version of the same the famous "Bear" aircraft which is designated as a long range Bomber. Interestingly the Wikipedia page also talks about four Tu-22Ms being leased to India on 2001. "During 2001, four Tu-22M aircraft were leased to India for maritime reconnaissance and strike purposes" Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M
The above is just the background from where my question comes from.

Being a regional power, with a very hostile neighborhood and lot of Maritime and Land assets to protect, shouldn't we have Long Range Bombers in the Fleet. China has a pretty neat inventory of those (Tu22ms, H-6), luckily the Russians still have not sold them the famous Tupolev BlackJacks. For me these long range bombers are poised at maintaining peace and projecting power. What is your take on this ?
Do you think that we can use our Tu142s as Bombers if needed, they just finished their mid life upgrades.? Do you know anything about the Tu22Ms transferred to us? Shouldn't we look at buying a few of them for our arsenal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
Long range bombers, or to better put it Non-stealth long range bombers are only useful in situations where we have complete air dominance and don't expect any AA resistance from the ground. The Indian Su30 carries a payload comparable to the Tu22 ( and we are testing it with the air launched BrahMos soon) at a good range while also having the ability to fight for itself.
From a long range perspective the Su30 is a very long ranged aircraft ( 3000 kms on internal fuel IIRC)


Dear Peter, Thank you for your questions. Writing about the IAF in a thread on Indian Naval Aviation is the ultimate sacrilege in the eyes of every IAF officer!! I showed this thread to three colleagues of mine who are ex-IAF and work for my company and they have assured me I'll have to stand the whole team a round of drinks & lunch if I answer your question on this thread. So here goes.

You also have an answer from torquecurve who is seriously knowledgeable about aviation and always gives detailed well thought through answers. Torquecurve happy to see you back on Team BHP.

As there are many questions in your post I am answering one per paragraph.


Tupolev Tu-22M: The wikipedia sentence on India having leased 4 Tu-22Ms is incorrect. In the 1994 there was talk that the IAF could purchase a squadron of Tu-22Ms to serve as a strategic deterrent bomber. But nothing came of it as the IAF decided it was better served by having more aircraft of fewer types and with multi-role capabilities and that was where the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fitted in. The Tu-22M was a cold war supersonic medium range bomber mainly meant for nuclear bombing but also capable of conventional bombing. It was a swing wing aircraft and designed for the stress of lo-lo-lo flying. A good solid machine for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s because it carries cruise missiles and can fly low and fast. The wikipedia reference states a book titled 'Significance of Indo-Russian Relations in the 21st century'. Co-incidentally I read this book a few years ago. It was a collection of essays. The reference made therein was that India had considered leasing Tu-22Ms and if it had gone down that road then maybe…..etc etc. Unfortunately whoever wrote that piece in wikipedia wrote it as a confirmed act rather than the passing evaluation it was.


Tupolev Tu-142M: The Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft's bomber equivalent is known as the Tu-95. It was designed in the 1950s to fly far to drop an atom bomb. To do so it was propeller driven with swept wings and indeed was the longest ranged aircraft military aircraft ever. Problem with the Tu-95 Bear was that it could fly far only if it flew high and that in this day of radars and SAMs is lethal. We would not benefit if we bought a squadron of Tu-95s to serve as bombers. The Tu-95 production stopped in the 1970s. The Russians have kept a few in service due to their long range of 11,000 to 12,500kms with a useful payload hi-hi-hi. Today they carry long range cruise missiles but can equally carry a bomb load of 15,000 kgs of iron bombs that can still be of good use against non-state trouble makers or smaller nations. Very much like the Americans using the venerable B-52 53 years after the last rolled out from Boeing's plant. Aircraft such as the Boeing B-52 & Tu-95 can only be used, as torque curve says, where there is little or no air defense or complete air superiority has been achieved. The same applies to the Chinese H-6.


Xian H-6: The Chinese Xian H-6 is a derivative of a 1952 Tupolev design Tu-16. In its time the Tu-16 was a bomber. The Russians stopped using it as a bomber sometime in the early 1980s. The Chinese in their own practical way developed it into many variants for naval recce, launching anti-ship missiles, traditional bombers, launcher of early generation air to surface missiles, re-fuelling tankers and as the main Chinese nuclear bomb carrier and so on. It continues in their service mainly on their eastern seaboard and southern borders as it could still be effective against smaller nations they are trying to bully these days. The Xian H-6 was not designed for fast lo-lo flying needed to penetrate below the radar. The stresses on both airframe and engines in lo-lo fast flying are so much greater and different from flying sub-sonic at high altitudes that you can't convert a H-6 type of machine to make it fly low and fast regularly any more than you can convert a Tata trailer truck to race like a BMW 3. The British tried it with their Valiant bombers in the 1960s and had to pre-maturely retire the fleet as most aircraft had developed cracks in the wing spars. The H-6s flying characteristics are akin to a regional airliner. Its chances of successfully penetrating Indian airspace are, in my opinion, remote.


The real bombers of today are the lo-lo strike aircraft such as the Su-30MKI or the American twin seat F-15E or the European Tornado MRCA. They are no longer called bombers because they are multi-role machines capable of strike/ fighter/ recce roles, carry their munitions on external hardpoints and not inside the fuselage like traditional bombers of yesterday and have the ability to maneuver and dog fight their way through.

Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-panavia.jpg
Panavia Tornado of Germany. Capable of a 9000 kgs weapon load, 1400 kmph on the deck and 2400 kmph at high altitude without external stores, and a lo-lo-lo strike radius of 1000+ kms and upto 1300 kms with a moderate but useful load.


Coming to your last question - our Tu-142s are used as recce, patrol and ASW platforms for which their slow long range flying is most ideally suited. It can carry 9000 kgs of weapon payload but comprising of torpedoes and missiles and not necessarily bombs. If we used them as long range bombers it would have to be in a situation of complete air superiority and establishing that 10,000 kms away is a huge huge challenge - and that's where carriers come in. With even some minimal high altitude air defense the Tu-142 will be at risk of getting shot down. Over swathes of ocean flying at say 5000', in war, the Tu-142's of the Indian navy must watch for enemy warships equipped with SAMs and stay out of their range and continue with its mission - ASW, Recce, Forward Air Control etc. Think of the Tu-142M like the jawans that guard the border. They have to be there even if there is no conflict in order to ensure that trouble makers think three times before getting up to mischief.

If we had to strike an adversary 1000 kms away it would be most effective to use the Sepecat Jaguars or the Sukhoi Su-30s in some combination of lo-lo-hi flying. At 1000 kms radius weapon payload would be moderate but with today's guided weapons still very effective. Hope this helps.


Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-iafjaguar1w.jpg
Sepecat Jaguar of the IAF. Capable of 4500 kgs of ordnance, Mach 1.6 at altitude; strike radius of 900 kms + lo-lo-lo; carries its self defence missiles over the wing. After the Mig-21 the Jaguar is my favourite IAF machine.

Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-f15i_raam.jpg
F-15E of the Israeli Air Force - strike radius lo-lo-lo over 1200 kms; top speed 2600+ kmph at altitude; weapon payload 10500 kgs. When the Iranians worry that Israel will engage in a pre-emptive strike against their nuclear facilities it this machine they worry about.

Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-su30mki.jpg
Su-30MKI with Brahmos on the centreline - our most potent deep penetration strike solution presently (refer to torquecurve's post)

........time to treat the team to lunch & drinks
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Old 1st June 2015, 13:24   #50
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Dear Peter, Thank you for your questions. Writing about the IAF in a thread on Indian Naval Aviation is the ultimate sacrilege in the eyes of every IAF officer!! I showed this thread to three colleagues of mine who are ex-IAF and work for my company and they have assured me I'll have to stand the whole team a round of drinks & lunch if I answer your question on this thread. So here goes.
Oh my god.

I never thought such a post from my end would put you in this deep trouble.
Buy them more drinks and lunch and ask them to start a new thread on IAF, I have questions for them too :P

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
You also have an answer from torquecurve who is seriously knowledgeable about aviation and always gives detailed well thought through answers. Torquecurve happy to see you back on Team BHP.
Sure noted, I shall get in touch with him too. Would be more than happy to have you both answer these questions and I think should have very meaningful discussions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

As there are many questions in your post I am answering one per paragraph.

Tupolev Tu-22M:

Tupolev Tu-142M:

Xian H-6:

The real bombers of today are the lo-lo strike aircraft such as the Su-30MKI or the American twin seat F-15E or the European Tornado MRCA. They are no longer called bombers because they are multi-role machines capable of strike/ fighter/ recce roles, carry their munitions on external hardpoints and not inside the fuselage like traditional bombers of yesterday and have the ability to maneuver and dog fight their way through.

With even some minimal high altitude air defense the Tu-142 will be at risk of getting shot down.

If we had to strike an adversary 1000 kms away it would be most effective to use the Sepecat Jaguars or the Sukhoi Su-30s in some combination of lo-lo-hi flying. At 1000 kms radius weapon payload would be moderate but with today's guided weapons still very effective. Hope this helps.

........time to treat the team to lunch & drinks
Thank you for your time and effort Narayan. appreciate it.

Thanks for clarifying my queries and should tell you that they even answered my next probable question here.

So correct me if I am wrong in the below conclusion of your response.

"Its just that we do not need long range large bombers like Tu22, X-6, Tu95 etc, but for taking out strategic enemy installations we have the right guys for the job (Su30MKI & Jaguars) which are infact more effective than those big bombers"

Again so for US (B-1, B-52) , Russia (Tu-90, Tu-22, tu95) & China 9X-6) these long range bombers are more like power projection and also hitting low defended targets across the globe as they have multiple nations to deal with in a war unlike India. Am I correct here too ?
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Old 1st June 2015, 18:42   #51
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So correct me if I am wrong in the below conclusion of your response.

"Its just that we do not need long range large bombers like Tu22, X-6, Tu95 etc, but for taking out strategic enemy installations we have the right guys for the job (Su30MKI & Jaguars) which are infact more effective than those big bombers"

Again so for US (B-1, B-52) , Russia (Tu-90, Tu-22, tu95) & China 9X-6) these long range bombers are more like power projection and also hitting low defended targets across the globe as they have multiple nations to deal with in a war unlike India. Am I correct here too ?
Peterjim13, Your conclusion is correct on both counts. One point if I may add. The Tu-95, Xian H-6 and Boeing B-52 are in one bucket of 1950s vintage designs with airliner style wings. See the 4 photos below - the wings of these three aircraft are like the Boeing 707 the leading jet airliner of the late 1950s and 1960s - moderately swept, moderate chord (depth of the wing from front to back at the wing root), moderately thick and long wing spans. These are design characteristics for high altitude - high speed cruising and gentle maneuvers (relative to a fighter). These 3 aircraft could not penetrate a well defended alert airspace. At 36,000' they would be picked up 250 to 450 kms away.


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Russian Tupolev Tu-95


Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-x2-b52.gif
American Boeing B-52


Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-x3-tu16.gif
Chinese Xian H-6


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Boeing 707 four engine commercial airliner




The other two Tupolev Tu-22M and Rockwell B-1 Lancer are in a different bucket altogether having been designed in the 1970s for high transonic flight at low altitudes, sustained low altitude flying in dense air and ability to make a supersonic dash at higher altitudes if needed. Both have swing wings for low speed- spread wing heavy take offs and high speed swept wing dashes. Note the much longer chord at the wing root of both aircraft and both have thinner wings than the first three. I won't go in here into aspect ratios, thickness-chord ratios etc.


Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-x4-tu22m.gif
Russian Tupolev Tu-22M


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American Rockwell B-1

In terms of aerodynamic performance the Su-30MKI would be a much more formidable adversary than a Tu-22M or B-1; in terms of range the two older bombers would be far ahead; in terms of electronic defenses hard to say as the Russians and Americans put their best equipment into such aircrafts. Hope you enjoy this.

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Old 2nd June 2015, 07:31   #52
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IMO a strategic bomber has lost significance in the ballistic missile age. Especially for strategic targets hosted deep within cities like say a terror camp within urban areas.
A missile system such as Agni with ranges between 1000km and 5000 km (some say unofficially >8000km) will be far more potent and not to mention cheaper than maintaining a fleet of strategic long range bombers. Also the missile systems need no maintenance, training and can be stored discreetly for long periods of time.
With our current missile technology and ranges from 5000 to 8000 odd kms, all of China, all of Europe, Japan and large parts of Russia are within striking distance. If push comes to shove, our PSLV and GSLV rocket systems can easily be reconfigured to hit anyone, anywhere around the world.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 12:08   #53
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Peterjim13, Your conclusion is correct on both counts. One point if I may add. The Tu-95, Xian H-6 and Boeing B-52 are in one bucket of 1950s vintage designs with airliner style wings.
In terms of aerodynamic performance the Su-30MKI would be a much more formidable adversary than a Tu-22M or B-1; in terms of range the two older bombers would be far ahead; in terms of electronic defenses hard to say as the Russians and Americans put their best equipment into such aircrafts. Hope you enjoy this.
Thats one detailed - to the point answer.

Thanks so much. I shall try to keep my coming questions more specific and I will now include only questions specific to naval air arm here.

I hope the dinner and drinks went well with your ex-IAF friends
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Old 7th June 2015, 10:51   #54
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Thanks so much. I shall try to keep my coming questions more specific and I will now include only questions specific to naval air arm here.
Always pleased to answer your questions. Feel free to send them. Others on Team BHP also add their contributions making it richer. If you have questions on the Air Force or related aircraft you could put them into the Marut thread here -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...t-fighter.html


Maybe we should have a thread on the IAF. I have pondered on it but am not sure what to write on - history, 1965, 1971 or aircraft or make it a periodic serial!


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Historic photo below of INS Vikrant as she was in mid-1950s 70% complete and laid up at Harland & Wolff, Belfast before the IN purchased her. At time of this photo she was HMS Hercules. After our purchase she was rebuilt to a modern design with the angled flight deck, steam catapult, landing mirror sights and radars.

Best regards,
Narayan
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Old 13th June 2015, 12:16   #55
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A nice video with old time footage. Covers INS Vikrant's journey over most of its 3 odd decades of service. Hope you enjoy it.
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Old 14th June 2015, 08:39   #56
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Video link to the first flight of the second Naval Prototype of the Tejas LCA. I do hope with all my heart that the Navy works with the ADA and HAL to put the bird into service instead of dragging out the development phase endlessly (like the IAF may have done? - I don't know enough on the IAF point of view so wont comment). The Americans, French, Russians et al develop an aircraft to 85% perfectness put it into squadron service and then keep perfecting the last mile with inputs from the pilots and engineers of the user Air Force. Aircraft are such complex beasts today that without in-service feedback loops you will be hard pressed to discover the faults and areas of improvements. The Tejas has its detractors and critics and I am not one of them. It is a beautiful aircraft and deserves to be in squadron service to make it truly useful. The British flew the Harrier jump jet prototype in 1967 and put it into limited squadron service in 1969. The Harrier was an especially difficult machine to fly especially in the take-off and landing phases involving the transition from forward flight to stationery hover. But both the RAF (Royal Air Force) and the US Marine Corp said the only way to perfect this machine with swiveling jet nozzles is to start using it and work with the manufacturer-designer (Hawker) and iron out issues one by one. If they had not followed this route the Harrier may not have entered service till 1980 when the definitive Sea Harrier FRS got to the squadrons.

Look forward to your views and comments.
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Old 15th June 2015, 13:18   #57
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A nice video with old time footage. Covers INS Vikrant's journey over most of its 3 odd decades of service. Hope you enjoy it.
The Video is a great creation and has a story to tell. Salute INS Vikrant and those men on board.

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The British flew the Harrier jump jet prototype in 1967 and put it into limited squadron service in 1969. The Harrier was an especially difficult machine to fly especially in the take-off and landing phases involving the transition from forward flight to stationery hover.

If they had not followed this route the Harrier may not have entered service till 1980 when the definitive Sea Harrier FRS got to the squadrons.

Look forward to your views and comments.
Narayan, thanks for quoting the Harrier example here. And for me, it fits really well in the LCA - NP scenario. I think our Navy's commitment to this has been far more than that of Air Force. LCA Navy has the right infrastructure in place like the Shore Based Testing Facility and its good attitude towards LCA.

In a scenario where HAL and Navy works together to bring up this new fighter, there is nothing better for LCA Navy.

But I think, though IAF has not been very positive about Tejas, its challenges are far more than compared to the Naval Air Arm. We need new and advanced fighters in great numbers and good combinations to fill the roles, it is quite natural to look at options like Gripen to replace the MIG-21s as a ready made option as the Tejas is taking longer to get inducted.

Again to note is the newly added AESA Radar to the MK-1 version of LCA. It will surely give a boost to the Electronic Warfare Capabilities and also help in working well in a much stronger Networked Warfare.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 15th June 2015 at 13:23. Reason: Removing Youtube URLs from quoted posts.
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Old 28th June 2015, 08:16   #58
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Simple narration link on the new INS Vikrant under construction. The statement it is 90% complete should refer to structural completion only. Hope you enjoy it.
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Old 29th June 2015, 14:35   #59
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Happy to attempt to answer your other questions.
Hi Narayan,

Sorry to have kept you waiting, and if you were expecting some solid questions; sorry to disappoint you. Though I had some set of questions, all of them have been answered by your detailed thread and the way you answer my questions. They have equipped me in answering my doubts pretty well. And I should say that your thread has now become a good handbook on our Naval Air Arm and its carriers.

So my queries on hardware may not be that worth sharing, I do have some strategic questions on the navy too. For the benefit of fellow bhpians (If it helps) and of course for me. Noting down the last set of questions below.

> US-2 ShinMaywa - Amphibious Aircraft : The aircraft has been on the news for quite some time with our Prime Minister and Defence Minister visiting Japan; Navy showing interest; Japan lifting their embargo; first probable defence export from Japan etc etc.

From what I understand the application would largely for the Cost Guard, and with its STOL capability the application would be more on the SAR, Reconnaissance operations and may also work well at Andamans and Lakshadweep for support there. Meanwhile I assume they may also become handy on supporting our fleet deep in the sea.- Is my understanding right here.

Could please bring in your perspective of a probable buy of 12 such Aircrafts for the Indian Navy/Coast Guard. If your time permits, can you add similar platforms which we have used before. (Short Sealand one of the first Naval Air Arm Air Craft was Amphibious on the Wiki, though the wiki page doesnt have much details.)
*Apologies for the long question again.

> Integrated Command at Andaman & Nicobar Islands : Topic strictly not for people like me to comment on, I suspect a lot of political thinking on this. I am refraining from my comments on this, simply because I don't think I am qualified enough to make a comment on a strategic command at a public avenue.

Could you please add some valuable thoughts on this, the need of such an integrated command? Can we have something similar in Lakshadweep ? Couldnt the Navy alone handle this with its set of Aircrafts, Vessels, Hardware for surveillance and off course brave soldiers ?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 1st July 2015, 14:57   #60
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Hi Narayan,

> US-2 ShinMaywa - Amphibious Aircraft : The aircraft has been on the news for quite some time with our Prime Minister and Defence Minister visiting Japan; Navy showing interest; Japan lifting their embargo; first probable defence export from Japan etc etc.
If your time permits, can you add similar platforms which we have used before. (Short Sealand one of the first Naval Air Arm Air Craft was Amphibious on the Wiki, though the wiki page doesnt have much details.)
*Apologies for the long question again.
Dear Peter, The Shin Meiwa US-2 would be our ideal long range search & rescue patrol aircraft. Various international maritime treaties spell out the search & rescue zones of each nation. India's zones are shown in the chart below. As you can see it extends to Mauritius to the West the whole of the Bay of Bengal to the East. It is our zone of responsibility and care where search & rescue go - all 4.6 million sq kms of it.
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A fast flying seaplane with long legs is the best answer. The Shin Meiwa US-2 is the only one in production today. The US-2 will, I believe, open up a soft door with Japan to build strategic bridges on military co-operation. Japan by its constitution ,as you would know, cannot sell military material overseas. So these would have to come as pure SAR machines maybe operated by the Coastguard.

The US-2 was developed from the PS-1/US-1. It has more powerful engines and longer legs. It is the only propeller driven aircraft I know of that has boundary layer control. Boundary layer control involves blowing fast air over the wing surface and the flaps to amongst other things reduce the stall speed and improve low speed-low altitude control & stability. This unique combination of props + large straight wings with leading edge slats + boundary layer control give this large aircraft the ability to fly slow and low for hours which is just what you need for search & rescue. Its ability to fly high and fast (about 500 kmph) to the search area make it infinitely better than any helicopter not to mention range. Leading edge slats are where the leading edge of the wing droops down a bit to improve lift, reduce stall speed and enhance the ability to fly at slow speeds.

Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers-z2-us2.jpg
US-2 showing its amphibious capability. It can land & take-off from water or a hard air strip. Top speed -; range - ; Powered by 4 Rolls Royce AE2100 engines each developing ~4500 shp; can rescue 32 at a time including 12 on stretchers. Could do more in a pinch. A most well built aircraft like the Toyota Fortuner.

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We have not operated amphibians since the Shorts Sealand went out in the early/mid 1960s. Shorts Sealand had a modest production run of only 25 of which we purchased 10! I do not have any other data on this aircraft in my books. Even my earliest book The Observers Book of Aircraft 1955 (which was the 3rd edition of this series) has only a 1/3rd page devoted to the Sealand with little data beyond Wikipedia. Our only other amphibious aircraft was the rotary wing Westland Sea King.

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