Aircraft Carrier Based AWACS for Indian Navy Importance

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by indian_sukhoi, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    Aircraft Carrier Based AWACS – A NECESSITY?

    The nature of airborne threat to Indian Navy surface combatants has undergone a significant change lately. At the turn of the millennium the optimum airborne threat was exemplified by enemy strike and Long Range Maritime Patrol/Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMP/ASW) platforms armed with deadly accurate anti-ship missiles like AGM-84 Harpoon and Exocet AM39. The situation has altered significantly during past few years because of rampant violation of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), in respect to cruise and ballistic missile technology in the Asian continent. These developments have necessitated the preferable tactics of destroying the attacking missile platform well before the missile is released to ensure a decent chance of survival of the defending vessels. Capabilities for execution of “outer-air battles” have assumed priority and an aircraft carrier based Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) platform to fulfill the role of the primary sensor, has become obligatory in these concepts. Fixed-wing AWACS platforms have superior coverage of airspace and more importantly have the ability to guide and control ship-borne fighters towards their targets, both in air defence and strike missions, an attribute lacking in the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) helicopter platforms.

    The most successful aircraft carrier based AWACS platform is represented by Northrop Grumman E-2C ‘Hawkeye’, which in E-2A variant gained operational status aboard the CVA-63 USS Kitty Hawk. Operating off the coast of Vietnam in autumn 1965 in support of United States Navy (USN) F-4 Phantoms and F-8 Crusaders, they performed an armed Combat Air Patrol (CAP) role to cover strike elements. Subsequently Hawkeye platforms started to control strike missions, guiding USN strike packages of F-4 Phantoms and A-6 Intruders around high ground and defensive concentrations, and warning them of enemy interceptors in the vicinity.

    However the primary role of the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft is to operate as an all-weather AWACS platform to the naval task force capable of area and on-station search. From an operating altitude of 25,000 to 30,000-ft, the Hawkeye warns the naval task force of approaching air threats and provides threat identification and positional data to interceptors. Secondary roles include strike command and control, surveillance, guidance of search and rescue missions including support for anti highjack operations and as a relay to extend the range of communications between the airborne platforms and the Combat Information Centre (CIC) of the parent aircraft carrier.

    The E-2C with the APS-120 radar made its operational debut with “unit” VAW-123 aboard USS Saratoga bound for the Mediterranean Sea in September 1974. This version was first to acquire a decent “overland” capability. Hawkeye is usually the first “unit” to leave the aircraft carrier deck after commencement of air operations. At on-station search mode the E-2C flies at a height of around 25,000 to 30,000-feet at a distance of 370-km from the parent carrier initiating a constant orbit, gaining altitude steadily as the fuel burns off. The flaps are set at 10-degrees deflection to provide the optimum 3-degrees radar-scanning attitude. Thanks to the new Allison T56A-427 engines, the E-2C can cruise on station for more than four hours.

    During the 1990s the then recently introduced APS-138 advanced radar processing system enabled detection, identification and tracking both over land and sea in excess of 450-km and with expanded computer memory was able to accomplish triangulation automatically. Advanced passive detection enabled “silent” recognition and classification of hostile electronic emissions at ranges well in excess of the onboard radar. A pair of Litton L-304 computers handled data processing. Data inputs or request for information were made either by means of an alphanumeric keyboard or by a light-pen which is usually used to “hook” a specific USN F-14 Tomcat interceptor to a specific target by feeding relevant target information to the interceptor weapons control system by means of a data-link.

    The developing tactical situations were presented by means of the Hazeltine APA-172 control indicator group to the “mission control room” located in the rear fuselage directly beneath the radome and included the “trio” of Combat Information Centre Officer, Air Control Officer and the Radar Operator on identical crew stations of 10-inch diameter main radar display screens, providing data pertaining to target tracks and 5-inch alphanumeric auxiliary display. Independent control at each station enabled crewmembers to select relevant information and data to be presented including target symbols, velocity vectors, and disposition of friendly fighter forces, surface task groups and waypoints.

    Presently the radome houses the AN/APA-171 antenna supplied by Randtron Systems. The Lockheed Martin AN/APS-145 radar is capable of tracking more than 2,000 targets and controlling the interception of 40 hostile targets. One radar sweep covers 6 million cubic miles. The radar's total radiation aperture control antenna reduces sidelobes and is sufficiently robust against Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). Now it is capable of detecting hostile airborne targets at ranges greater than 550-km. Even cruise missiles with Radar Cross Section (RCS) of 1-metre square or less can be detected at around 185-km. This serves as a critical advantage as even hostile submarines are likely to make attack with sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles, thus ASW screening becomes analogous to air defence and the “presence” of incoming cruise missiles often will serve as a warning of the impending attack. The latest mission computers are equipped with an enhanced high-speed parallel processor. The Lockheed Martin AN/UYQ-70 advanced display system and computer peripherals provide the operators with multi-colour displays, map overlays, zoom facilities and auxiliary data displays.

    Northrop Grumman, meanwhile expressed their eagerness to sell six “next-generation standard” E-2C Hawkeye 2000 AWACS aircraft to the Indian Navy which in “USN colours” made its first operational deployment in 2003 aboard USS Nimitz in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hawkeye 2000 features a smaller and lighter Raytheon Mission Computer Upgrade (MCU) based on open architecture commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, with increased memory and faster processing. More importantly Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC) consists of processor, data distribution system and antenna and to enable Hawkeye 2000 to perform real-time battle management, fusing and distributing information from sources such as satellite and ship-borne radar. Also included in the “package” are Lockheed Martin Advanced Control Indicator Set (ACIS), Satellite Communications (SATCOM) and pristine navigation and flight control systems.

    In response to the projected sale of Hawkeye 2000, the Indian Navy would do well to redesign the flight-deck of its 37,500-tons Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAR) under construction at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), Kochi to incorporate a Conventional Take-Off Landing (CTOL) capability with steam catapults. With IAR construction at an initial stage incorporation of CTOL capability will not be a much demanding proposition considering the dimensions of the flight deck and American assistance is perhaps available because of emerging strategic and business equations. Hawkeye 2000 platforms will be ideally complemented by Indian Air Force PHALCONS. Hawkeye meanwhile remains well within its development cycle with research proceeding on the next-generation, E-2E Advanced Hawkeye, to be fitted with a sophisticated next-generation solid-state, electronically steered Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) radar, Theatre Missile Defence (TBM) capabilities, multi-sensor integration and a Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems tactical cockpit.

    Aircraft carrier based Hawkeye 2000 will prove to be invaluable in enabling Indian Navy MiG-29K/KUBs to establish local air superiority in open oceans even within the range of enemy fighter and strike aircraft and will be instrumental in intercepting and destroying enemy strike and Long Range Maritime Patrol/Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMP/ASW) platforms at great distances effectively debarring them from conducting LRMP/ASW and anti-shipping operations and engaging incoming cruise missiles. For interception of cruise missiles a possible further development of the MiG-29KUB platform with even more powerful radar, preferably an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) type, alongside encrypted TKS-2/R-098 Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) will permit networking of multiple MiG-29KUB platforms effectively providing additional Airborne Early Warning (AEW) coverage of respective sectors alongside vectoring appropriate fighters in pursuit. Exercising a significant proportion of MiG-29KUB option will also enhance operational capabilities in sphere of electronic warfare and long-range interdiction. MiG-29K/KUB flight and navigation system built on an open architecture principle around MIL-STD-1553B standard Databus will enable integration of diverse weapons and sensors conceptually including “outer-air battles” specific types like the 150-km range European MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) alongside the “monster” Indo-Russian R-172.

    WHAT
     
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  3. John

    John Guest

    150km range Meteor, a bit over stated, Meteor has max range of 100km. E-2D the new one is a better choice if we have to go for it but The V-22 Osprey AEW could be better, if integrated with similar avionics the V-22 is better, can take off from our carriers without the need for steam catapults.
     
  4. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

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    I Started this topic to bring up the Importance of having AWACS for Indian Navy. The Navy is desperately wants to keep an "Eye in the Sky" to protect its Fleet.
    How will the Indian navy gonna tackle need of AEW importance??

    The Indian Navy was looking for Carrier borne aircraft from a long time, but didn't had any luck.
    For an Aircraft Carrier Group,....Early warning radars like AWACS plays a effective role in engaging enemy Aircrafts, missiles and other. The Indian Navy is naked without a effective AWACS to covering for the Fleet. In wordern warfare,......Force multipliers will play a key role. India’s most potent force multiplier, Phalcon AWACS, is capable of tracking down incoming missiles.

    Remember PN already has Air launched Anti-Ship missiles with a effective platform. P3-Orion with Harpoon can detect the ships and launch missile from 100+ range. The Present Radars in IN Warships can detect Aircraft but not the missiles. The Anti-Ships can be detected at 30km radius, The Barak missile may not have sufficient time to counter it.
    A Carrier borne AEW can prevent any kind of attack on our Warships even before they launched.




    IF anyone have any update source on AWACS procurment then plz posted it in this topic.

    Cheers,
     
  5. venom

    venom DFI Technocrat

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    As per the IN doctorine AWAC is not needed.Ka-31 is used for the purpose.An Ship based Awacs normally has a range of 300-350 kms.
    The Primary objectives of IN naval arm are-
    1. To protect the fleet from enemy air strike.
    Detection of threats is by Ship radars & then fighters are scrambled to intercept them.The shipborne radars have a range of around 250-300 kms against fighter sized targets which provides ample time to react.In case of IN,Awacs are mostly needed for strike which is a secondary objective.At Present INS Virat can carry a max of 20 aircrafts which are suitable for defenceive support but lack the power needed for offensive role.Even INS Vikramaditaya can carry a max of 22-24 aircrafts.
    2. To attact enemy vessels.
    Mig-29K's Zhuk-ME radar Can detect ships at 270-300 kms & IAF's Su-30MKI's Bars can detect ships at 350-400 kms.So there is no need for Awacs for this role.

    Secondary Objectives-
    1. Attact & destruction of enemy's merchant navy fleet & ports in order force a blockade.
     
  6. John

    John Guest

    Su-30mki isn't based too close to coastal regions, the only aircraft that could pull off full-scale awacs roles from our carriers are the V-22 AEW/ASW.
     
  7. venom

    venom DFI Technocrat

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    Pune..........?
     
  8. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    Having a shipborne AEW platform like the E-2 Hawkeye would really take the IN's CBG operational capability to a whole new level. However it would obviously not be transferrable platform considering the two planned carriers are not CATOBAR capable. Finances permitting, maybe a third carrier could be fitted with catapults (if one is built at all). Either way in the near future there seems to be no opportunities for a ship borne AEW aircraft.

    Also, there is no point in obtaining this aircraft for land based operations. It just makes more sense to get a full blown AWAC with longer range and overall capability.
     
  9. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    E-2 Halkeye require catapult assisted take-of. It is too heavy to take of on its own so it can't be used on our ADS. We have Ka-31 based AEW and IN seems to be happy about it. MKI requires less then 20 minutes to come to mumbai from pune so they can be called for marine duty. Elta 2048/38 are also good air-search radar to counter PN threat. I am looking forward for DRDO AEW&C to be used on ADS.
     
  10. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    That is why I suggest an AEW platform on the V22 Osprey if it is possible. It would be more versatile.
     
  11. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    For the areas where i expect the future naval fleets with the aircraft carriers to operate, the indian navy will have to utilize several number of long ranged AEW planes with good range, multiple crews and air to air refuling to provide the fleets with a AEW coverage, its a bit more expensive and complicated than the ship based options however it is worth the money if we are not going to have a ship based fixed wing AEW coverage.

    I suppose these would be a primary requriement for the AEW/AWAC acquisition for the navy.

    The current AEW helicopters will be good at detecting low flying missiles under the ship radar horizon however they will not be able to fly too far away from the ship and detect incoming threats more than 500-800 kms away from the ships, that is the tremendous advantage that USN and Marine nationale (french navy) have over every other naval forces.

    Indian Navy has intercepted PN maritime patrol planes with harriers launched from the sea, Ocean is a immense place, maritime patrol planes have to fly high to survey an large area and use their radar, which makes them suceptible to detection by active and passive means well beyond the range they need to be at to launch their missiles. While the anti air missiles do not have the range to intercept these planes, the planes from aircraft carriers can, and this would be a primary goal for the aircraft carriers with the indian navy, something they will train for the most.

    Another aspect is that unlike the USN, INs aircraft carriers are not supposed to perfom major land attack roles unassisted, half way around the world.

    To be a truly blue water global navy they will need fleets that can operate independently, however i doubt that is a goal for the next 10-15 years.
     
  12. venom

    venom DFI Technocrat

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    Indian Navy should concentrate on dominating The IOR[Indian Ocean Region] & for tat role Awac Is not that important...
     
  13. John

    John Guest

    Too far for quick reaction roles. V-22 Osprey AEW/ASW is gr8, would be ideal for awacs roles and we do need long range detection because the sea is the best way for PAk and more importantly China to employ its long range cruise missiles and in such cases the longer the detection range the better and quicker the response. SH is the only aircraft known to have the capability to destroy incoming cruise missiles. Plus if IN goes for AEGIS SM-2/3 interceptors on some of its ships, we'll need very long range detection as well for anti ballistic capabilities.
     
  14. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    We have the Kashtan ADS for missiles and the new ships can engage missiles with the Barak as well, along with the Kashtan.


    The Osprey has had LOTS AND LOTS OF PROBLEMS and the project had almost become canceled twice.
    It would not be wise to operate such an aircraft.
     
  15. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    All this and more only after 2022. We will need larger carriers for AWACS.
     
  16. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    With India shifting increasingly towards the west, its well imaginable by the time the larger carriers enter design phase, we will have access to several of the latest technologies, like the advanced catapult systems under development, the generator and power distribution systems, advanced versions of the E-2D hawkeye AEW (the D version with the AESA), F-35 would be well into its production phase by then.
     
  17. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I would prefer designing our own systems by then. AEGIS like systems, nuclear reactors, our own AWACS, our own version of N-MCA or N-FGFA etc. How long do you still want to depend on others?
     
  18. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    It’s not so much as depending on others as it is the god damn expenses of these systems.

    France is a nation with a renowned fiercely independent policy, it still went to USA for a lot of technology on its current carrier the CdG, the catapults along with some other parts on that carrier are made and serviced in USA.

    Obviously we would prefer a indigenous system, however at realistic expenses.

    For an example if we plan to build an expeditionary fleet (a third fleet if you may), exclusive development of a separate AEW/AWAC for the aircraft carrier component of this fleet (2 carriers one serviceable at all times) would be exceptionally expensive as we will have a requirement of 4-6 planes.

    Another example: the development of a sea based heavy lift helicopter for the amphibious element of this fleet will be very expensive.

    A N-MCA/FGFA might be a very possible option as we will develop the land based versions for the AF, the only requirement would be of time, a aircraft carrier without aircrafts is just a large ship with helicopters.
     
  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    2022 is a long time. I don't want to say whatever we are saying now 13 years later too. Doing things at home costs a lot, but gets cheaper in the long run.

    France is not aspiring to be a great power. France is not being threatened by a foreign power, so it can afford to be lax. Also, France has recently voiced its commitments to NATO, again.

    The Navy is looking for 30 P-8 like aircraft by 2020. Expense will not be a problem by 2020.

    Indian Navy to buy 100 fighters: Admiral Arun Prakash | India Defence

    I guess you are looking at the immediate future.
     
  20. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I think the Osprey is a good option. Already the forces have expressed interest in it. It takes away the need of a catapult which is a high maintanence system.

    The MKI with it's 8000 mms range can be called in from Pune if required.
     
  21. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    Right, sure, in the long run, the long run in naval affairs is 2050.

    And we have to build up to it, not waste money building that capability now.


    Look around France is a great power, far ahead of us in military technology, we will be lucky to be at the same level in a 2025 scenario.

    Perhaps looking at the mountain of trouble we have in constructing the scorpene submarines would be a simple example.
    So you will launch a P-8 like aircraft from a aircraft carrier, what aircraft carrier would this be a 5,00,000 ton aircraft carrier?

    None of the aircrafts indian navy, airforce or army is going to purchase in by 2022 is fit for the role of a carrier based AEW/AWAC plane which will have to be stored in the hangers of the aircraft carrier, repaired in the hanger, and launch from the aircraft carrier.
     

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