The Indian Navy's Helicopters and purchases plans

Abingdonboy

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Can anyone fathom what this govt is thinking?

I do not object to the MH60 or govt-govt route (seems this is the only way deals can progress these days as the babudom is stronger than ever) but it seems to me the larger picture is either being ignored or dismissed and the govt is chasing the headlines- I hope I am wrong.


If this was like the SPIKE deal where the larger deal was called off so drdo’s MPATGM was given time to mature I would cheer but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this move is to buy time for the IMRH to be ready and the NMRH RFP hasn’t even been issued.


24 helos changes nothing. Maybe- MAYBE- 8 frontline warships can be catered for by these 24 helos (with 4 ashore for training and a further 4 under maintenance). By 2025 (a year after these are all likely to be delivered) the IN would’ve added 10 more frigates/destroyers with 2 hangers each, not to mention another aircraft carrier, not to mention the induction of some LHDs (could be signed around 2020).

Either buy up enough to justify local production and requirements met or don’t buy any st all. This is ANOTHER case of too little too late by this govt. they don’t solve any problem really and just create bigger ones down the road (having such a tiny fleet of helos will only cause logistical and training issues in the long term). This deal will meet only about 20% of the IN’s ever growing NMRH requirements.


It’s a repeat of the 36 Rafale deal- just kicking the problem down the road by a few months.
 
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Ashwin

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Defence Ministry may invite private companies to bid for Rs 21,000 crore naval chopper deal
 

Ankit Kumar

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I hope Ka-226/H145 fails the technical stage and the final stage is between Panther/S76/B429 with Panther winning the final contract. Airbus helicopters will be the most reliable and flexible foreign vendor to build up a private partner in this sector.

The requirement of NUH as quoted in French Media when Modi signed for Rafale was 139. Seems it was 111 for Navy and 28 for ICG. The ICG too needs to replace its Chetaks now.
Similarly NMRH is a requirement of both NAVY and CG.

How serious we take the defence of our nation can be seen from this mess. There should ideally be a common procurement in cases like these.

And yes, Airbus winning NMRH with EC725, NUH with Panther and MMPA for IN and ICG with C295. Ideal.
 
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Ashwin

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Indian Navy may finalise $2 billion MH60R Seahawk multirole naval helicopters deal later this year

Indian Navy is expected to conclude contract with the US-based aerospace giant Lockheed Martin for 24 MH60R Seahawk multirole naval helicopters by October this year. The Indian Navy $2 billion deal under the US Foreign Military Sales the programme, is not only to replace the fleet of Sea King Mk 42B/C and Ka-28 helicopters but with its capabilities will help in countering the aggressiveness of China in the Indian Ocean region.

Once the contract is signed the delivery is expected to start by 2020 and to be completed in 48 months later, these machines are designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers. India has a major requirement for anti-submarine hunter helicopters for more than a decade now.

Highly placed sources have indicated to Financial Express Online that, a Letter of Agreement (LOA) is expected next month from the US Government. And the US-based company headed by Dr Vivek Lall, currently Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, is also expected to offer 30 per cent in offsets as part of this contract to enable the Indian industry to grow their capability.

The Indian government last November sent the Letter of Request to the US Government for 24 Lockheed helicopters for around $ 2 billion. According to sources, this is one of the most significant milestones in the India-US defence trade. In the years there has been an upward swing in defence relations and military trade between the two countries, with the Trump administration opening up America’s high-tech military hardware for India’s defence needs.

According to sources, there is a requirement of at least 123 helicopters for the Indian Navy. The contract will be signed for 24 machines manufactured in the US and later Indian side has plans to manufacture these locally.:unsure:Lockheed Martin’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter which is considered the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, are currently deployed with the US Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones.

Once this deal is finalised the military trade between the two countries is expected to touch $20 billion.
 

Gautam

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According to sources, there is a requirement of at least 123 helicopters for the Indian Navy. The contract will be signed for 24 machines manufactured in the US and later Indian side has plans to manufacture these locally
So, the Navy plans on making the MH60R Seahawk the standard for the whole fleet ? That would make sense logistically, training and maintenance wise. The MH60R Seahawk is a excellent helo, just get it over with I say.
 

Ashwin

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So, the Navy plans on making the MH60R Seahawk the standard for the whole fleet ? That would make sense logistically, training and maintenance wise. The MH60R Seahawk is a excellent helo, just get it over with I say.
Not really. MH-60R is very very expensive and all those advantages you listed nullifies it. 24+ MMRH import would be stop-gap until IMRH matures.
 

Gautam

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24+ MMRH import would be stop-gap until IMRH matures.
IMRH maturing is still quite some time away. Surely HAL has expertise in helos, but that thing isn't even a proper prototype yet, let alone flying. Naval helicopters are almost always working in demanding environments. Hal neither has experience in making helos of the IMRH weight class nor has a lot to speak about in terms of Naval helos. I don't think I can be very optimistic about IMRH's timelines. I could change my mind the moment I see a flying prototype:D. When is that likely to happen ?
 

randomradio

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So, the Navy plans on making the MH60R Seahawk the standard for the whole fleet ? That would make sense logistically, training and maintenance wise. The MH60R Seahawk is a excellent helo, just get it over with I say.

MH60R is being bought as stop gap until the tender starts delivering helicopters. This is exactly like Rafale GTG + MMRCA. We are buying a few helicopters for now, but the main requirement will come from the tender.
 
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Ashwin

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IMRH maturing is still quite some time away. Surely HAL has expertise in helos, but that thing isn't even a proper prototype yet, let alone flying. Naval helicopters are almost always working in demanding environments. Hal neither has experience in making helos of the IMRH weight class nor has a lot to speak about in terms of Naval helos. I don't think I can be very optimistic about IMRH's timelines. I could change my mind the moment I see a flying prototype:D. When is that likely to happen ?
Full import is not going to happen. NUH already cleared for license production under SP. IMRH will soon get CCS clearance for development funds.
 
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randomradio

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For Which AoN not given while DAC cleared NUH. There are so many wishlist RFIs which were never cleared.

Yeah to import ~250 helos $15+ billion. Yeah rite.

The DAC approval for NMRH will come around the time the contract for 24 is signed.

HAL's IMRH is more than a decade away from a naval variant.
 

Ankit Kumar

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Logically we should simply had contracted Airbus for NUH (Panther) for Navy+Coast Guard, NMRH (EC725) for Navy+Coast Guard and MPA (C295) for Navy and Coast Guard.
 

Ankit Kumar

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And much of the 123 NMRH will be used from the 4 planned LHDs, and S70 platform simply isn't enough for that role. We need something like EC725 or AW101 for that role.
 

randomradio

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And much of the 123 NMRH will be used from the 4 planned LHDs, and S70 platform simply isn't enough for that role. We need something like EC725 or AW101 for that role.

S-70 family is more than enough for the LHDs and the capital ships.

And 123 is only the initial numbers anyway. There will also be the 24 we are buying, and follow-on options after the 123.

The LHDs in particular will need LCH and something like the CH-53K also. Plus there will also be the NUH.
 

Ankit Kumar

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S-70 family is more than enough for the LHDs and the capital ships.

And 123 is only the initial numbers anyway. There will also be the 24 we are buying, and follow-on options after the 123.

The LHDs in particular will need LCH and something like the CH-53K also. Plus there will also be the NUH.
There's a huge difference between a S70 platform vs a H225M or AW101. The payload capacity is almost double.

For helicopters to operate from destroyers/frigates for ASW and SAR roles, MH60 is fine.

But for LHDs, 5 S70s operating at once from the flight deck, vs 5 H225M. Thats a very very big difference.

A Mistral can easily operate 4-5 , 12 ton class heli, but operating a 30 ton CH53, thats not possible without extra strengthening of the flight deck.

The proper mix should have been ~80 MH60 class , and ~50 helos in 12 ton category.
 
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