Overblog
Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
Procurement: How The Indian Army Got Its Apaches

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

India, after three years of deliberation by the procurement bureaucrats and politicians, approved the purchase of 22 American AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships and 15 CH-47F transport helicopters. Such delays are not unusual for India where decades of corrupt foreign arms purchases have been exposed in the last decade and the made those still involved in those decisions extremely cautious. It usually takes external events to move decisions forward. In the case of the American helicopters the primary motivators were Russian sales to Pakistan and a feud between the Indian Army and Air Force. The Russian aspect has to do with the growing hostility of India to Russian weapons. For half a century Russia has been the major supplier of imported weapons. But since the 1990s, as India freed up the economy (from fifty years of crippling state controls) and finally reached the limit of tolerance for poor quality and support that characterized Russian weapons, India began to buy weapons from the West. Although more expensive the Western stuff was more effective, reliable and often cheaper to operate than Russian systems. Now Russia has made the situation worse by selling helicopters to Pakistan, the arch enemy of India. India seems content to let the Pakistanis have the Russian dreck while India proceeds to upgrade with Western equipment. Since 2001 India has bought over $12 billion worth of American weapons and military equipment. The U.S. is the largest source but Israel and several European defense companies are also major suppliers. The Russian arms salesmen are not amused.

 

Another factor in helicopter procurement is an ongoing feud between the Indian Army and Air Force about who controls AH-64s. The air force has long operated the helicopter gunships, arguing that these helicopters are crucial for certain air combat missions like attacking air defense radars and other helicopters. The army generals were furious over that and demanded that the government set the air force straight. The army was particularly anxious to get the 22 Indian AH-64s as soon as possible, as these are generally recognized as the best gunships currently in service anywhere. Now those helicopters are on the way and apparently the army will have them.

 

Back in late 2012 the Indian Army thought it had won a major victory over the Indian Air Force when the government agreed to transfer most attack helicopters from the air force to the army. That was supposed to mean the army gets control of over 270 armed helicopters (22 AH-64s, 179 light combat models, and 76 armed Indian made transports). The air force would continue to operate a dozen or so elderly Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships, until they retire by the end of the decade. These are export versions of the Russian Mi-24. Even then it was clear that Russia was not the preferred helicopter supplier anymore.

 

The army had long complained that air force control of the armed helicopters, which were designed to support army operations, were sometimes difficult to get from the air force in a timely manner. Another aspect of this deal was a new agreement by the air force to station some transport helicopters at army bases in Kashmir, so that there will not be a delay when transport is needed for an emergency.

 

This sort of problem between the army and air force is not unique to India and is actually quite common. It all started back in the 1920s, a decade after aircraft became a major military asset. For example, at the start of World War I (1914-18), the British Royal Navy had more aircraft than the Royal Flying Corps (which belonged to the army). But at the end of World War I, it was decided to put all aircraft under the control of the new Royal Air Force (the former Royal Flying Corps). The navy was not happy with this and just before World War II broke out, the admirals got back control of their aircraft, at least the ones that operated from ships (especially aircraft carriers).

 

The British army expanded its Army Air Corps during World War II, to gain control over artillery spotter aircraft, gliders (for parachute divisions), and a few other transports for supporting commando operations. After World War II the Army Air Corps mainly controlled the growing fleet of transport and attack helicopters. The Indian Air Force has always refused to allow the Indian Army to do the same thing after modern India was created in 1947. The Indian armed forces was long led by men who started out as members of the British Indian Army and continued to note, and often copy, British practices.

 

Thus the Indian Air force, like its British counterpart tended to keep trying to control everything that flies. British Royal Air Force generals recently demanded control of everything that flies, believing that this is more efficient. The army and navy, not to mention the experience of many other nations, said otherwise. At the very least the army needs to control its helicopters and some small transports. In Russia the army always controlled ground attack aircraft, as well as some fighters. In the United States the Marine Corps controlled its own fighters, light bombers, and helicopters. It made a difference, especially to the marines on the ground, that the marine aircraft were being flown by marines.

 

Another problem with a unified air force is that it becomes, quite naturally, air force centric. This is understandable and the air force proceeds to develop strategies, and tactics, that emphasize looking at military matters from an air force viewpoint. Before World War II this led to the doctrine of strategic bombardment. This was supposed to be a decisive weapon but it wasn't. When nuclear weapons came along the air force believed that it finally had a way to make strategic bombardment decisive. But it didn't, as ballistic missiles (another form of artillery) became the key delivery system for nukes. Nuclear weapons were so destructive that they became more of a threat than a weapon that you could use. In fact the very existence of nukes resulted in them not being used again since the first two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. The fact of the matter is that wars are still ultimately won by the ground forces. As the army likes to point out, the ultimate air superiority weapon is your infantry occupying the enemy air bases. Everyone else (the navy and air force) is there to support the infantry in actually winning the war.

Partager cet article

Repost0
24 mars 2015 2 24 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter - photo US Army

US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter - photo US Army

 

18 Mar 2015 By: Dan Parsons - FG

 

Washington DC - Competition for the US Army’s improved turbine engine programme (ITEP) is shaping up to be a head-to-head match-up between single-spool and double-spool turboshaft powerplant designs.

The army is set issue a request for proposals for preliminary design review in May. Both a Pratt & Whitney/Honeywell team General Electric Aviation are expected to compete, although other engine manufacturers also could bid for the work. General Electric builds the T700 engine that ITEP will replace in army helicopters, and ITEP should be a drop-in replacement for the T700 in the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.

The programme goal is to develop a 3,000shp engine that also achieves a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the T700.

Mike Sousa, advanced turboshaft programme manager at GE, says “the fundamental competitive difference is two-spool core versus one-spool”. A single-spool engine, which the T700 is, is simpler than a double spool and the technology is well understood and readily available, Sousa says.

 

Read more

Partager cet article

Repost0
21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 17:45
Dutch Apaches strike Mali rebels

 

21 January 2015 by defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Dutch AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with the United Nations carried out air strikes on Tuareg rebel forces in northern Mali on Tuesday, the first such engagement by Dutch forces serving in the UN mission in Mali.

 

The U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, said it was responding to heavy weapons fire directed at its peacekeepers in the town of Tabankort. It said the helicopters only destroyed a rebel vehicle after firing warning shots that were ignored.

 

A spokesman for the MNLA Tuareg separatist rebels, who are involved in peace talks with the Malian government in Algeria, denied warning shots had been fired and said five fighters had been killed and several others wounded.

 

U.N. peacekeepers have deployed across northern Mali to help the weak Bamako government secure desert zones that were occupied by a mix of rebels and al Qaeda-linked Islamists in 2012 until a French military intervention two years ago.

 

The incident highlights how Mali's north is still awash with various armed groups and is likely to complicate the last round of U.N.-backed peace talks due to take place next month between the government and the rebel factions that are involved.

 

The U.N. mission had been for days seeking to end a standoff over Tabankort, a desert town that the MNLA had surrounded and where there are rival pro-government militia fighters, as well as a contingent of U.N. peacekeepers protecting civilians.

 

"These actions were taken in line with our mandate which authorizes MINUSMA to use force to protect civilians, its personnel and its positions from attack or imminent danger," the mission said in a statement.

 

The U.N. mission did not give a toll and it said clashes were still taking place on Tuesday evening.

 

Some 450 Special Forces troops, intelligence operatives and four Apache helicopter gunships from the Netherlands have been deployed in northern Mali as part of a force of up to 12,000 men.

 

U.N. troops mostly help Mali's army occupy key towns while French soldiers hunt down resurgent Islamist militants. However, the Dutch contingent is tasked with intelligence gathering and has the force's only attack helicopters.

 

MNLA spokesman Moussa Ag Acharatoumane said cooperation with U.N. peacekeepers would be suspended as a result of the clash.

 

"There was no negotiation. There was no warning," he told Reuters. "That was an error, and bombing our positions was also a very serious political error."

 

A resident in the town of Kidal, an MNLA stronghold, said the bodies of five rebels had arrived and were being buried on Tuesday evening.

 

The Dutch contingent in Mali is mainly involved in conducting reconnaissance and gathering intelligence, serving, as it were, as the 'eyes and ears' of the mission. The Dutch contribution chiefly consists of, Special Operations Forces; intelligence personnel; Apache attack helicopters; Chinook transport helicopters (from October 2014); and police trainers. The first two Apaches arrived in Mali in May last year.

 

Troops from the Dutch Commando Corps and the Marine Corps, working in three teams, make up the operational core in the field. They have various types of vehicles at their disposal, including lightly armoured Bushmasters; Mercedes Benz tactical wheeled vehicles; Fennek tactical wheeled reconnaissance vehicles; and quad bikes.

 

The main task of the three Chinook helicopters is medical evacuation. The Dutch Chinooks have been fully deployed since October 2014. Until the arrival of the Chinooks, Dutch units only operated at distance from their base in Gao on condition that the French Operation Serval was able to guarantee medical evacuation.

Partager cet article

Repost0
12 mars 2014 3 12 /03 /mars /2014 18:20
LM Receives $14 M for Upgrades to The Apache's Targeting and Pilotage System

 

Mar 11, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] received a $14 million contract in 2013 from the U.S. Army to design, integrate and qualify a High Reliability Turret for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

 

The High Reliability Turret is the interface between the M-TADS/PNVS and the Apache airframe. It improves target track performance and minimizes the effects of aircraft vibration on the system. The turret also improves M-TADS/PNVS reliability and maintainability, as well as reducing the operations and support costs of the existing turret assembly. It will potentially save the U.S. Army more than $500 million in operation and support costs over the life of the system.

 

Read more

Partager cet article

Repost0
14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 11:20
NightVista

NightVista

13 June 2013 army-technology.com

 

Intevac Photonics has been awarded a contract for production and delivery of night-vision cameras for installation onboard the US Army's AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

 

Awarded by the US Army's PM Apache Office, the $27m contract involves supply of more than 500 NightVista M611 cameras as part of the Apache helicopter's pilot night-vision sensor (PNVS) programme.

 

Intevac Photonics executive vice-president and general manager Drew Brugal said the contract represented a direct result of the successful development work carried out by the company with the army over the past year.

 

"This demonstrates the ongoing success in the fielding of our core EBAPS sensor technology for key US military platforms and applications, and our ability to deliver system-level night-vision products," Brugal said.

 

Based on Intevac's patented Electron Bombarded Active Pixel Sensor (EBAPS) design for extreme low-light level detection, NightVista M611 is a small footprint digital image intensified (DI2) cameras and sensor module designed for daylight, low light or night imaging missions.

 

Fitted with 60 Hz frame rate and ISIE 11 sensor, the camera builds on the features of the E3010C camera by offering higher frame rate, higher resolution and additional capabilities, including snapshot shutter and enhanced image processing capabilities.

 

Powered by two GE T700-701D engines, AH-64 Apache is primarily used for distributed operations, deep precision strikes against relocatable targets, and also for providing armed reconnaissance when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions.

 

The Boeing-built helicopters are also in service with several nations worldwide, including the UK, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Greece, Kuwait, Egypt and UAE.

 

The performance period and delivery schedule have not been disclosed by the company.

Partager cet article

Repost0
14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 07:30
LONGBOW Receives $90 M Contract for Saudi Arabia Apache Radar Systems

Jun 13, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin

 

The LONGBOW Limited Liability Company, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Northrop Grumman Corporation [NYSE: NOC], received a $90.6 million contract to provide Saudi Arabia with LONGBOW Fire Control Radars (FCRs) for the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter.

 

The contract award includes AH-64E LONGBOW FCRs, spares and support for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command. The contract also includes LONGBOW FCRs for the Saudi Arabia National Guard and LONGBOW Mast Mounted Assemblies for the U.S. Army.

 

“Saudi Arabia is emerging as one of the largest international users of the LONGBOW systems,” said Mike Taylor, LONGBOW LLC president and director of LONGBOW programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The AH-64E LONGBOW FCR's new Radar Electronics Unit provides greater processing power and provision for significant growth while reducing weight and maintenance costs.”

 

“The LONGBOW FCR team values our ability to provide Saudi Arabia with a product that will promote greater regional security while providing warfighters with the highest level of protection,” said Mike Galletti, director of the Tactical Sensor Solutions-Aviation business unit for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division.

 

Since 1998, the LONGBOW FCR has provided Apache aircrews with target detection, location, classification and prioritization. In all weather, over multiple terrains and through any battlefield obscurant, the radar allows automatic and rapid multi-target engagement.

Partager cet article

Repost0

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

Categories