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Old 26th November 2020, 17:31   #301
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Indian Navy inducts two Sea guardian (Predator B) on lease. The two drones, flying with Indian Navy logo, are under the full operational control of the force and it will have exclusive access to all the information that the drone will capture.
Also, must be said that such an arrangement requires enormous amounts of trust between the two parties, not just from the Indian side but from the American side as well. All the defence purchases aside, Id say this is probably the most important development in Indo-US defence relations in recent times. Perhaps this could open way for KC-46 tankers being leased given that the Air Force is considering that route (though the A330 MRTT probably makes more sense for a purchase).
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if the USAF is steering clear of the KC-46, keeping whatever units they have essentially as glorified training platforms and not fielding them operationally for the foreseeable future, it's clear to say the programme is a stinker. We should avoid it. If India can get US concessions to allow the Israeli's to sell refurbed airframes as boom equipped tankers, it would be far more sensible. And like you said, the A330 MRTT has been the sensible elephant in the room, one that I also argued would've made a sensible choice for the executive airlift mission (instead of the 777's - but I concede that it was making the best of an Air India order that would've sat idle).

Coming back to the Predator drones, there's an interesting reason why the US and more specifically General Dynamics are so keen to sell. Essentially General Dynamics complete their Pentagon orderbook for their drones within the next year or two IIRC. That's a twenty year gravy train coming to a close for General Dynamics as the Pentagon won't commit to any more orders and as usual with a US defence contractor there are states with jobs at stake and votes in play for their respective Senators. Hence the relaxing of attitudes towards selling these.

What this means for India is that now more than ever, there's a good chance of acquiring Predator series drones, especially given the fact that the US has become more proactive in arms sales to counter China. Much like the Apache, it's one of those American platforms where the hyperbole isn't unwarranted because it has extensive operational history to back it up. Should be an excellent force multiplier in the IOR.

I Am intrigued by these new leasing agreements and how they pan out for defence acquisitions. Is this the first practical or big ticket instance of it being applied since being implemented?
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Old 26th November 2020, 18:14   #302
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While the Indian Army and Air Force have inducted later versions of ALH (Mk-III utility, and weaponized Mk-IV “Rudra”) in large numbers, the IN and ICG have thus far operated only older Mk-I variant with conventional cockpit and Turbomeca (now Safran Helicopter Engines) TM 333 2B2 turboshaft engines.

The customized Mk-III under delivery features a full glass cockpit with HAL’s Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS), more powerful “Shakti” (Safran Ardiden 1H1) engines, and a host of new systems integrated by HAL’s Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWRDC). Two “green” helicopters were handed over to RWRDC by HAL’s Helicopter Division in June 2018 for system integration. The work was completed briskly by HAL in under two years before Covid-19 lockdowns put the brakes on field trials.

These helicopters (yet to be christened with a unique Indian name) come with latest-generation avionics and role equipment. The helicopters are primarily meant for use in a shore-based role. However, HAL is confident that the rotors will be ready to embark ships should the need arise

The selection of systems and customization was done primarily in consultation with ICG. For its coastal security role, the aircraft has a nose-mounted surveillance radar with 270-degree coverage that can detect, classify and track multiple marine targets; it has synthetic-aperture radar, inverse synthetic-aperture radar, and moving target indication classification functions, including weather mode. There is also a multi-spectral electro-optic (EO) pod for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and range finding with stowable control grip on copilot side.

Other features include a removable medical intensive care unit for the air ambulance role; high-intensity searchlight, loudhailer, 12.7-mm cabin-mounted machine gun (with provisions on the left side), traffic alert and collision avoidance system, V/UHF communication system with data modem, IFF Mk-XII with Mode S transponder, automatic identification system, automatic deployable emergency location transmitter, solid state digital video recorder, pressure refueling system, 360-degree search-and-rescue homer with coverage from 110-410 MHz, electrical rescue winch with rescue basket for double-lift (250 kilograms/550 pounds), control grip (winchman mini-stick) in cabin for air-sea rescue, and upgraded IADS and automatic flight control system software.

Such an array of systems was hitherto seen only on heavier, multi-role helicopters of the Indian Navy. For instance, no light helicopter in the IN’s inventory ever featured a glass cockpit, surveillance radar or EO pod. The helicopter bears a “fully loaded” look. The maximum certificated all-up weight has been revised to 5,750 kg (12,675 lb.) from the earlier Mk-I variant of IN and ICG that weighed in at 5,500 kg (12,125 lb.).

Folded dimensions, a cumbersome blade-folding procedure, performance and maintainability issues plagued afloat exploitation of the eight limited-series production ALH Mk-I in naval inventory since their induction in 2003. The ICG holds four ALH Mk-I in its inventory, again with no integral ship flight.

Six of the 16 naval Mk-III ALH are to be equipped with an indigenous low frequency dunking sonar (LFDS) developed by Kochi-based Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory. The sonar’s units are being produced by state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited with a host of sub-vendors downstream. Earlier this decade, the navy had offered a Mk-I naval ALH as test bed for developmental trials of the LFDS (this author was fortunate to participate in ground and flight trials of the LFDS).

Sources indicate that the IN views the coastal security ALH and Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) programs differently. Seamless deck interface and a seagoing, light multi-role helicopter under 4.5 tonnes drives the navy’s flagship NUH program, sought to be delivered through a strategic partnership between an Indian OEM and foreign partner under the “Make in India” initiative.

HAL hopes to deliver five coastal security ALH Dhruv Mk-III helicopters by the end of November 2020, another nine by March 2021, and the balance 18 helicopters by September 2021 — a tough task given HAL’s order book and the changed situation post-Covid.
Source

I am really amazed at the versatility of the ALH platform (similar to the Sikorsky S-70 albeit a smaller). This seems like an overarching multi-role helicopter with a mix of abilities - I'm assuming SAR + ASW + AEW + Surface Ship tracking. So, according to this article, this helicopter get its own name (like the HAL Rudra is differentiated from the Dhruv).

As much as we like to bash HAL (and other allied PSUs), they really deserve a pat on the back for the ALH platform, it really gives the Indian military a lot of autonomy in specifying helicopters to their needs from the ground up.

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if the USAF is steering clear of the KC-46, We should avoid it. If India can get US concessions to allow the Israeli's to sell refurbed airframes as boom equipped tankers, it would be far more sensible. And like you said, the A330 MRTT has been the sensible elephant in the room,
Agree with you. It seems the Indian military establishment finally came to their senses that when you can't afford new, better buy used or lease rather than not have the capability at all.

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Coming back to the Predator drones, there's an interesting reason why the US and more specifically General Dynamics are so keen to sell. Essentially General Dynamics complete their Pentagon orderbook for their drones within the next year or two IIRC. That's a twenty year gravy train coming to a close for General Dynamics
Agree and I believe the replacement for the Reapers - the Avenger drones (Predator-C) hasn't been signed off for purchase by the Americans yet though there was a lot of chatter than the IAF was considering purchasing upto 100 of these (tough call given the current economic conditions). Perhaps an Indian order could solidify that program (like the P-8i which was inducted at the same time as the P-8A)

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I Am intrigued by these new leasing agreements and how they pan out for defence acquisitions. Is this the first practical or big ticket instance of it being applied since being implemented?
IIRC there weren't many instances of leases by the Indian military in recent times (offcourse, my knowledge is limited to the past decade given my age). The only instance I know of, was the lease of INS Chakra from the Russians for which we have no idea what the terms of the arrangement were. For example, can it be used in combat? Or is it just for training? Keep in mind that its a Nuclear attack sub, not a ballistic missile sub, so its not just meant to lurch around in the seven-seas.

Last edited by dragracer567 : 26th November 2020 at 18:30.
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Old 27th November 2020, 13:00   #303
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

Came across this sad news today.

Link

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MiG-29K trainer aircraft of the Indian Navy has been lost over the Arabian Sea on Thursday evening. The Navy said one pilot has been rescued while a search by air and surface units are in progress for the second pilot.
The incident took place at around 5 pm in the Arabian Sea, it said, adding that a high-level inquiry has been ordered to investigate the matter.

"A MiG-29K trainer aircraft operating at sea met with an accident at about 1700 hrs on 26 November. One pilot has been recovered and search by air and surface units in progress for the second pilot. An inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident," the Indian Navy said.

The Indian Navy has a fleet of over 40 MiG-29K fighter aircraft based out of Goa and also operated from the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
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Old 1st December 2020, 17:43   #304
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

INS Vikrant completes basin trials.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news...-basin-trials/

An important milestone has been completed. Basin trials are running the ship's machinery while keeping it stationery in calm waters/a wet dock. Next step will be various trials at sea.

Artists rendition of Vikrant II. I'm referring to the ship as Vikrant II to distinguish it for now on this thread from the original Vikrant.
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Old 1st December 2020, 20:41   #305
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

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INS Vikrant completes basin trials.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news...-basin-trials/

An important milestone has been completed. Basin trials are running the ship's machinery while keeping it stationery in calm waters/a wet dock. Next step will be various trials at sea.

Artists rendition of Vikrant II. I'm referring to the ship as Vikrant II to distinguish it for now on this thread from the original Vikrant.
Ah nice to see a rendering of Vikrant 2. I wonder what the blue outlined jets are meant to represent. Is that just a tentative representation of the Naval LCA?

Sounds like the last photo I'd posted must've been when she headed out for her basin trials. Looking forward to seeing more of it in the coming year. Imagine the timeline should have her ready for full sea trials by the end of next year hopefully with commissioning mid-late 2022 (?)
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Old 4th December 2020, 13:05   #306
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Here's the first MH-60R Seahawk for the Indian Navy - IN751. I suppose "Navy/Nao Sena" titles on the tail boom are yet to be painted.
It is due for delivery to the Navy this month.
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Last edited by skanchan95 : 4th December 2020 at 13:07.
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Old 4th December 2020, 16:46   #307
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

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Here's the first MH-60R Seahawk for the Indian Navy - IN751. I suppose "Navy/Nao Sena" titles on the tail boom are yet to be painted.
It is due for delivery to the Navy this month.
Attachment 2089051
Good stuff! I happened to see it on my instagram feed this morning. Guessing this is the first of the 24 on order yes? Imagine it'll make it's way over by middle of next year.

I really hope India stumps for Kongsbergs Naval Strike Missile (NSM). It's a potent thing that has most NATO forces excited to integrate it, so the hype seems justified. I think Australia are looking to integrate the NSM or its air launched cousin (the JSM being outfitted for the F-35 and other combat aircraft) on their P-8s. Sounds like if India want to add more yet more punch to our Poseidons, that's a path worth exploring.
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Old 4th December 2020, 18:29   #308
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Default Re: Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers

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Good stuff! I happened to see it on my instagram feed this morning. Guessing this is the first of the 24 on order yes? Imagine it'll make it's way over by middle of next year.
Yes, first of 24. But this one is among three airframes that have been diverted from Sikorsky's US Navy production lot. So three MH-60Rs are coming in before the year end apparently.
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Old 4th December 2020, 18:34   #309
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This is the biggest jump in our rotary wing ASW capabilities since the Westland Seakings were ordered in 1969 and joined in late 1971. These machines and their subsequent marks are very long lasting assets. Expect them to be at the core of our rotary wing ASW force for the next 30 to 40 years. Fly Navy.
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Old 4th December 2020, 20:58   #310
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The Indian Navy released this is excellent video to commemorate the Navy day. Of interest to this thread, they also show glimpses of the P8I missions in the Himalayas between 6:53 mins and 7:34 mins.

Other glimpses shown include the operations conducted by the Navy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malabar exercises and others.

Also, what is the aircraft shown in Indian Navy colours from 15:17 TO 15:20?


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Old 4th December 2020, 21:17   #311
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Also, what is the aircraft shown in Indian Navy colours from 15:17 TO 15:20?
F/A-15F Sea Strike Eagle .

Seriously though it is probably some 3D artist over imagining things and it is a silly mistake. The Super Hornet would have been more apt.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 4th December 2020 at 21:19.
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Old 5th December 2020, 21:33   #312
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In a couple of years the Indian Navy would have in its armoury 12 P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft + 24 MH-60R Seahawk ASW ship borne helicopters + 10 Sea Guardian MQ-9 drones for long endurance surveillance. That is a three pronged ASW punch plus surveillance over the oceans punch. Our ASW capability would never have been stronger even when compared to the technology of the time. 2 of the MQ-9 drones are in service {acquire on lease} while an eventual total of 10 are on order. I am quite sure more of all three will be ordered. As far as the IN goes we are squarely in the USN camp now where our equipment goes.

The MQ-9 has an effective patrol endurance of 30 to 40 hours. It is not known if the Sea Guardian carries a weapons fit or only sensors & communication links. Its base model does have a payload of ~2200 lbs so two light ASW 324mm torpedoes could be lifted but at cost of endurance.

It is an interesting observation that the most potent weapon against a submarine is an aircraft. One of the most potent weapons against an aircraft at sea is a SAM fired from a ship. The most potent weapon against a ship is a submarine!

Encouraging to see the IN getting bigger and more modern.

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Old 5th December 2020, 22:00   #313
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In a couple of years the Indian Navy would have in its armoury 12 P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft + 24 MH-60R Seahawk ASW ship borne helicopters + 10 Sea Guardian MQ-9 drones for long endurance surveillance. That is a three pronged ASW punch plus surveillance over the oceans punch. Our ASW capability would never have been stronger even when compared to the technology of the time. 2 of the MQ-9 drones are in service {acquire on lease} while an eventual total of 10 are on order. I am quite sure more of all three will be ordered. As far as the IN goes we are squarely in the USN camp now where our equipment goes.

The MQ-9 has an effective patrol endurance of 30 to 40 hours. It is not known if the Sea Guardian carries a weapons fit or only sensors & communication links. Its base model does have a payload of ~2200 lbs so two light ASW 324mm torpedoes could be lifted but at cost of endurance.

It is an interesting observation that the most potent weapon against a submarine is an aircraft. One of the most potent weapons against an aircraft at sea is a SAM fired from a ship. The most potent weapon against a ship is a submarine!

Encouraging to see the IN getting bigger and more modern.
I believe 4 Kamov Ka-27 are still to be delivered to the Indian Navy to serve on new INS Viraat and some frigates which will also be used in ASW roles.

Source: Ka-27/28 and Ka-29 Helix

Let us not forget our Mother Russia just because we got some expensive Yankee toys

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Old 8th December 2020, 16:39   #314
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The body of Commander Nishant Singh, the pilot of the ill fated MiG 29K based on INS Vikramaditya, has been found 70 metres under the surface. May his soul RIP.

Missing pilot's body found on seabed off Goa coast
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Old 9th December 2020, 13:04   #315
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US Navy to appoint first woman captain to command a nuclear powered carrier

https://www.businessinsider.in/defen...w/79616407.cms

Captain Amy Bauernschmidt will become the commanding officer of a carrier in fiscal year 2022 {ie July'21 to June'22}. This will be the first time in naval history of any Navy that a woman officer will be in command of not only a carrier but of any large naval vessel. A remarkable moment for womanhood.

Captain Bauernschmidt previously made history by becoming the first woman to be selected as an executive officer aboard the carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln. Capt. Bauernschmidt, a helicopter pilot, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1994, the same year that the US Congress changed the law to allow women to serve aboard combat vessels. She has also commanded the 25,000 tonne amphibious ship USS San Diego.

My compliments to her and best wishes for a successful tenure.
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