HAL Looks To Hulk-Smash IAF's Avro Replacement Effort

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Lions Of Punjab, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Lions Of Punjab

    Lions Of Punjab Regular Member

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    In case you haven't been following the Indian Air Force's effort to replace 56 Hawker-Siddley 748 Avro transport aircraft, I strongly suggest you lose no more time in doing so. It's playing out as one of the most absurdly contentious, supremely ugly competitions -- and here's the thing: it hasn't even begun yet. After several stops and starts over the last two years, the latest is that the MoD has twice deferred a decision on what to do with the single bid that's landed in response to the Buy-A-Few-Make-The-Rest-In-India tender request. Now the crux, the whole point, of the Avro replacement programme is to give India's so-far hungry but ignored private industry a chance to create aerospace capacity by competing for the lucrative project. HAL therefore was deliberately kept out of the competition. The MoD and IAF felt this made sense since HAL, a single point monopoly in all things military aviation in India, has overflowing order books, limited capacity for more, and a relationship with its prime customer that can at best be described, to borrow from Facebook, as 'complicated'. HAL's extreme irritation and opposition to a tender that explicitly excludes it from the reckoning is well known. But things just went to the next level, with the company now hiring the services of prominent former staff to help lobby against the programme, and if necessary derail the course it's currently on. Journalists , including myself, received copies of an e-mail former HAL board member R. Srinivasan, who served as Managing Director of the Helicopter Complex, has written to Minister of State in the MoD Rao Inderjit Singh and Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur specifically asking, as you'll see in a moment, pretty explicitly that the programme be canned and HAL be allowed to build the planes -- pretty much because the private sector isn't up for it. Or, as the e-mail tantalisingly ends, it points to 'strategic options' available to India ahead of President Obama's upcoming visit. I'm tempted to offer my comments on every line of the stunning letter you're about to read, but I'm going to leave you to it.

    LIVEFIST
     
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  3. archie

    archie Regular Member

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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I hope this will be an eyeopener of how DRDO operates.

    Their hands are full with backlog of orders and development of project in hand and booking delays, but they won't let anyone else enter their preserved domain.

    I would not be surprised if the usual canards fly that someone is out there trying to make money and scuttling the DRDO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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  5. power_monger

    power_monger Regular Member

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    Why is that every sin of HAL is blamed at DRDO?Why not blame HMT or even SAIL?
     
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Most Govt PSUs have become liabilities and have taken the avatar of being engines of social responsibility and ensuring jobs.

    However, when it comes to DRDO, they have a greater goal - equip India to be self reliant in the only field that can ensure they sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Self reliance in defence equipment alone can ensure that the Defence Forces can achieve the aim for which the exist. Foreign products supply cannot be guaranteed or ensured.

    And to leave the Defence Forces in a Trishanku state is most dangerous and ungenerous.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    What are the names of the private companies that have come forward to offer a replacement for the Avros?
     
  8. power_monger

    power_monger Regular Member

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    Ray - Ok fine go ahead and blame DRDO for everything.

    Pmaitra - Only Tata and Airbus JV had applied for tender.This is the problem arising not because of HAL but because of sole bidder issue for the tender.When there is only one bidder government can cancel the tender and re-put the tender by changing clauses to attract more no of bidders.Or govt need to get special approvals if they have to go ahead with single bidder.
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This might explain to some extent.

     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Let's see what the committee finds.

    My guess is that Indian private companies are not mature enough to take up such high tech projects.

    The initiative by the government is good, however.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Induction of the Avro

    The induction of the AVRO 748 aircraft type in India was the result of the drive of just one man. This is now a part of the history of the country's aviation industry. Having joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a Hawai Sepoy (Air Soldier), a rank lower than that of a Private, Harjinder Singh rose to become an Air Vice Marshal (AVM). One of his many initiatives was the construction of an aircraft at IAF Station Kanpur (UP) in early 1958. This was appropriately called Kanpur 1. AVM Harjinder Singh lost the race to introduce this as a basic flying club aircraft to the Pushpak made by Hindustan Aircraft Ltd (HAL) Bangalore. He then made Kanpur II but again lost to HAL's Krishak Mk II. The latter became the Air Observation Post aircraft for the Indian Army.

    Frustrated by these two failures AVM Harjinder Singh decided to think big and make a DC-3 (Dakota) replacement. He considered only three candidate aircraft. These were the Handley Page Herald, F-27 Fokker Friendship and the AVRO 748. The first was given up, as it did not seem to find favour anywhere. The F-27 was examined carefully. Its construction required bonding methods, which would have meant air-conditioned hangars. On that one count alone, it was also rejected. This left the AVRO 748 as the sole contender. The AVM's keenness to start producing the aircraft within the Air Force was very great. As a result, its Operational Requirement was a virtual reproduction of its sales brochure. After quick contractual agreements in 1959-60, major assemblies and parts began to be airlifted from Chadderton (Manchester) and Woodford Airfield (Cheshire) to a newly raised IAF unit, Aircraft Manufacturing Depot at Chakeri, Kanpur. The first AVRO 748 assembled in India was ready just a few weeks after the second prototype made its maiden flight at AV Roe & Co at Woodford. It thus became only the third AVRO 748 to take to the air. The production of a transport aircraft by a user air force for its own use must be a very rare case

    The Avro's service in India

    The 748 during its service with the Indian Airlines has had a very distinguished safety record. A total of three fatal crashes occurred in commercial service of almost three decades. The first aircraft flew into mountains when the IA pilot on a commercial flight descended through cloud, based entirely on his estimated position, without using any navigation aids. He had decided that he knew exactly where he was. The second accident occurred during an instructional flight at IA's training centre at Hyderabad. An instructor and his pupil were killed. After this crash, checks were introduced to ensure that pilots were not inebriated before flight. The third IA aircraft crashed on a clear night while on an ILS approach into Bombay hitting the ground 28 nautical miles short of the runway. All three crashes were almost certainly entirely due to pilot error. Other accidents were non-fatal.

    The Indian Air Force currently owns around 60 AVRO 748s. The majority of these are used for communication, carriage of freight and courier duties, especially within the areas of responsibility of various IAF Commands. Seven aircraft were specially equipped for training navigators and four for signals training. All these till recently were engaged in their allotted jobs. Eighteen aircraft were made into pilot trainers. The mod involved only the duplication of the nose wheel steering tiller for the instructor seated on the right. Pilots were trained on these at Yelahanka Air Force Base just north of Bangalore. This base has recently come on the international map with air shows being held at it once every two years. The next one is due in February 2007. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation acquired two aircraft mainly for calibration of navigation and approach facilities at civil airfields. One aircraft was used by the National Remote Sensing Agency for geological exploration and the paramilitary Border Security Force used one aircraft for communications.

    Unfortunately, the 748 was never meant to be a military transport. At the request of IAF, its door was enlarged to enable larger cargo items to be loaded and to allow para dropping without hitting the tail plane. However, to load a jeep in it, a 30-ft long ramp was required. The jeep would drive in and insert its front wheels into the aircraft. Then it had to be manually lifted and turned to get it in. Unloading it was just as difficult. Para dropping of troops or cargo even from the aircraft with the enlarged door was considered too dangerous with the risk of hitting the tail plane. The aircraft's performance at hot and high airfields was hopelessly inadequate. Eventually IAF acquired the tail-loading An-32s which were powered specifically for IAF's need for operating in the Himalayas.

    The IAF has had four fatal crashes of the 748. The first occurred at Leh killing all 28 persons on board. At Yelahanka during an instructional sortie, the right engine of another aircraft seemed to lose power. It veered to the right, resumed its original take-off heading and then hit the ground and caught fire. The possibility that the engine was feathered either automatically or by the crew and that the aircraft was overloaded cannot be ruled out. The instructor, a pilot of the Navy, the pupil and 28 joyriding pilot officers from Jalahalli were killed. The next crash resulted from fatigue failure of the support of the right engine's jet pipe. It dipped down and damaged the fuel pipeline leading to fire and fracture of the right wing. The relevant mod to prevent such an occurrence may not have been implemented on the doomed aircraft. The crew and an Air Force band perished in this accident. One IAF 748 loaned to Defence R&D Organisation had been modified for establishing airborne early warning technologies. Its radome separated from the support pylons and sliced off the top half of fin and rudder. All eight occupants of the aircraft were killed.

    During certification of the 748, the weight-altitude-temperature (WAT) curves were limited mainly by the second segment climb. This concerns the climb after take-off with the undercarriage up, engines continuing at maximum power and flaps still at take-off setting. The aircraft (at V2) must have a climb gradient of 2.4% or else its all-up-weight must be reduced till this requirement is met. However for safety, manuals are based on a gradient of only 1.8%. Surprisingly, in all the years of AVRO 748's service in India there has never been a single accident due to poor performance in the second segment climb. At one time IA pilots had complained about this facet of the aircraft's performance. Under the leadership of Dr Satish Dhawan, Director Indian Space Research Organisation, much investigation was carried out, including ferrying the aircraft to Woodford for trials and back. While the IA fleet was declared to be safe, Rolls Royce undertook some enhancement of power on the Dart engines.

    Aircraft Manufacturing Depot later became a part of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in October 1964. The 748 acquired numerous prefixes starting from AVRO to HS (for Hawker Siddley) and BAe (for British Aerospace). Now that Woodford is known as the AVRO Division of BAE SYSTEMS, the aircraft can perhaps again be called the AVRO 748. The aircraft has done well for more than 45 years. It is a survivor and so is its name.


    AVRO 748 in India - more than four decades on - Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava [www.bharat-rakshak.com]
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Having lived most of my life in the Nehruvian socialist India, initially I was enamoured by the model.

    However, the developing abject lethargy, inefficiency and populism orientation of these 'temples' of 'progressive' India made one wonder thereafter if social responsibility of the Govt outweighed visible progress and national health.

    It is a truism that private industry is there to make profits and so the price of any item will be high. But then, the corruption that infests the public enterprises makes their items nearly as expensive.

    Yet, the solace lies in the fact, the the private industry is profit oriented, hence timeframes and QRs will be met; and thus inefficiency and slippages will not be as alarming as public enterprises.

    And like it or not, the private industry will have scientists, engineers and technocrats of the same genre as the DRDO, who will be profit and result oriented and not take the job as a permanent security till retirement and so will have fire in their loins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
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  13. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think there is nothing wrong in building "new" Avros based on the same old design but with better engines and avionics.

    China still builds version of An-12. Honestly I like An-12. Nothing wrong in keeping a successful design.

    The Avro replacement project should be converted to Avro build project.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The issue that makes me a trifle queasy is that the service ceiling is 25,000 ft / 7,620 m while An 32's Service Ceiling is 9.500 m 31.168 ft.

    As a transport aircraft the service ceiling matters, especially since most of the sorties are aimed for HAA support.

    I have flown in both types of aircraft and they are good.
     
  15. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The service ceiling of 25000 feet is adequate for a turbo-prop. The payload can be increased by better engine. Modern digital instruments can make the plane safe to fly.

    I would advise building new Avros with modern avionics and new uprated Western engines.

    The technology for this aircraft already exists in the country except the avionics and the engine technology. The engine can be given to private sector if a party is interested.
     
  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    What is the purpose of Avros when their are AN-32s ?



    Avro are only used for minor communication and VIP transport duties ..

    It is important that Government must hand IAF AVROs to BSF air wing, Who can upgrade it according to their needs ..
     
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  17. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Avro has a role, that is why IAF is asking for a replacement.

    It is likely that GOI will spend 2B USD without IAF justifying the need.

    India is a big country and communication is a very important role. IAF mostly acts like an airline, shuttling people from here to there.

    An-32 consumes more fuel and is more maintenance intensive.
     
  18. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    No edit button anymore. Cannot edit my post.
     
  19. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I didnt understand one thing why should bid be cancelled when only one bidder has come .is it gov fault that only company can full fill requirements.if that company fulfills that requirement then gov must award that bid to that particular company
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A good question.

    I agree with you.

    Actually, the more type of aircraft you have, the greater is the logistic backup and maintenance nightmare.

    Avro Max take-off load, 73,8OO lb; landing or 33112.2 kgs.

    AN 32 maximum take-off weight is 27,000kg or 59524.8 lbs.

    The difference is 6112 kgs, which is 13475 lbs.

    While the Avro has a better load capacity, the AN 32 has a better and higher service ceiling.

    As the operational areas where the aircraft will be used is basically in the High Altitudes, it is obvious that AN 32 is a better choice.

    Having a plethora of aircraft adds to the logistic (logistic is a word that is loosely used and has become fashionable when one means 'administrative') problems, like training separate sets of pilots for different types of aircraft, upgrading of each type of pilots, separate maintenance facilities at the airfield as also at the overhaul Base, separate spares and inventory and so on.

    At the production and manufacturing establish of each type of aircraft taking it that it is under licence production, separate sets of assembly lines and duplication of personnel for supervision, testing and manufacture and despatch.

    Therefore, given the 'logistic' issues and the area where the aircraft will operate, AN 32 is a better bet.

    For communication flights the Govt has aircraft beyond the Avro, which in any case, is being phased out.

    Movement of troops is done bu IL 76 and not Avro. And leave parties from Kashmir and NE are ferried by IL 76 (turns out be be cost effective compared to Avro) and quite often sent through chartered aircraft ex Air India.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
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  21. PaliwalWarrior

    PaliwalWarrior Regular Member

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    the title is misleading

    when the DefMin askes questions to IAF reagding

    what is current role of Avro ? what is it currently ebing used as ?

    what is the load profile of avro & load profile of replacement aircrats ?

    what is the airframe life remaining for avro ? why cant new engines sufice ?

    when such question are asked of the IAF and IAF is not able to really answer them then our focus should be on IAF guys and thier intentions and not bash HAL DRDO saying they are killing provate cos entry in defence aviation sector
    @Ray ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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