Govt must take call on choppers fast

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, May 15, 2013.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Despite a process that began nearly a decade ago, the Army has not been able to finalise a replacement for the Advanced Light Helicopter.
    After two aborted attempts, a third tender to procure 197 replacement choppers is too pending

    While there were miraculously no casualties in the chopper crash on the Siachen glacier Monday, the crash of the first Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) in the sector is an urgent wake-up call for modernisation of the Army's aviation wing.

    The indigenous ALH was performing the most common duty that Army choppers undertake daily on the tough glacier — maintenance of food, medical and equipment supplies to troops who occupy impossible positions along the Saltoro ridge, often above 20,000 feet.

    For the past 40 years, this job has been done by the hardy Cheetah helicopters. But with most of these choppers exceeding their airframe life limits, the ALH has been pressed into duty. However the ALH is simply not designed for such extreme missions, which require a specialised and lighter chopper.

    Despite a process that began nearly a decade ago, the Army has not been able to finalise a replacement. After two aborted attempts, a third tender to procure 197 replacement choppers is too pending. While the extensive trials ended in 2010, the Defence Ministry is yet to take a call on opening the commercial bids for the tender that has thrown up two possible winners — Russia's Kamov 226 and Eurocopter AS 550 Fennec. The replacement seems to be stuck due to corruption allegations against the third contender — AgustaWestland.

    While the Army has rightly sought a CBI probe, the ministry should not let the matter slow down this much-needed modernisation process, especially as AgustaWestland has already been ejected from the competition.

    The need of the hour is to take a call — either to select a winner or withdraw the tender. The ministry needs to be held accountable given that the current phase of indecision that has lasted for a year and a half can and sadly will cost lives.

    And if the call is to dispose of the tender, serious consideration should be given to involving the Indian private defence sector in the next round. After all, the numbers required, which could well exceed 500, would be more suitable for a 'Make Indian' category contract that a private player can get in collaboration with a global vendor. Defence PSU HAL, which was entrusted in 2009 with a contract for 187 helicopters to replace the Cheetah fleet, has not shown much progress.

    - See more at: Govt must take call on choppers fast - Indian Express
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    No casualties, and I see this as a positive thing. Even the Ecuadorian Dhruv that crashed had no casualties. That tells me something about this helicopter is right.

    We should simply ramp up the production of these helos. This is a good piece of work done by HAL, and for a helicopter to function well in Siachen, the crash notwithstanding, is a good sign.
     
  4. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Not a very well researched article and not entirely correct.

    Author should have referred DFI or any other worthy sites as this has been debated earlier.

    I am no expert on this, but listing out some points for those who haven't gone through the discussions on the same

    LUH deal ( Fennec/ kamov) of 197 helos is not for replacement for ALH.

    ALH is well suited for flying to these heights.

    Its economics that is pushing Army for smaller payload helicopter.

    As a stop gap measure Army has ordered 20+ cheetal

    LUH (HAL) development is well underway but there are small delays but again these are outside the 197 helicopters tendered for.

    Yes, Govt. needs to expedite the tender not because ALH Dhruv cannot do the work but because there is urgent need for replacement of Cheetah/Cheetal helicopter by a helicopter in its weight class.
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Anybody with more information on this point please

     
  6. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last edited: May 15, 2013
    Kunal Biswas and sob like this.
  7. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Then what is this idiot posting in the Indian Express? Seems like paid news by some vested interests.

    IA should buy this in bulk immediately to replace the ageing Cheetah Helicopters
     
  8. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Dhruv is design for these altitudes, Indian express before shows some great articles regarding army convoys to bashing National industry..

    And there were some positive reports for face saving effort..
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Those foreign light helicopter preform worst than Dhruv..

    I have given some spes before too..
     

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