IAF sets a world record with Uttarakhand rescue

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Neil, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has claimed a world aviation record by airlifting close to 20,000 civilians in 2,140 missions during the 15-day Operation Raahat to rescue victims of flash floods in Uttarakhand.
    The first phase of operation Raahat ended officially on Tuesday, after which the IAF claimed that it was the biggest heliborne rescue operation of airlifting civilians in peace time anywhere in the world.
    The gigantic effort was completed in 15 days, during which around 45 aircraft of different types were involved. The operation was also marred by a tragic accident involving a Mif-17V5 helicopter, in which the 20 people on board were killed.


    The phase 2 of operation Raahat - focusing on supplying relief to the villagers - will begin almost simultaneously as around 8 to 10 helicopters are staying back in the region.
    While the first phase was limited to pulling out stranded pilgrims and bring them to safety, the effort now will be concentrated on sending relief and rehabilitation help. The focus of phase 2 will begin with Pithoragarh and Dharchula in the Kumaon Himalayas, where many villages are cut off.
    According to the assessment of the state administration, at least 4,000 villages in the disaster zone spanning from Kedarnath, Badrinath, Pithoragarh to Dharchula have been affected by the catastrophe.
    The IAF has left most Advanced Light Helicopters in the region as they were best suited to operate in narrow valleys surrounded by high mountains. The requirement for relief operations would be indicated by the state administration. A large quantity of relief material has reached the state from all over the country and problems are being faced to move it to the disaster zone as road connectivity still remains broken.


    The IAF helicopters could play a major role in dispatching this material to victims. At its peak, the IAF used 36 helicopters of various types backed by heavy fixed-wing aircraft. The mainstay of IAF's helicopter effort was the Mi-17IV/V5, the latest acquisition, and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters. It also utilised its lone Mi-26 helicopter and Cheetah light helicopters.
    The C- 130J special aircraft were utilised for daily weather reconnaissance sortie and also for forming a fuel bridge to the disaster zone.


    [​IMG]


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahom...nishing-2-140-missions.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I hope IAF will publish a complete report on this operation so other forces and agencies can profit from lessons learned.
     
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  4. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    So by looking at this India can easily mobilize more than 100000 solders to any border with just 36 helicopters & by road. This proves India has the best logistics & planning division.

    If IAF & IA can evacuate 108653 civilians in such whether conditions we can certainly do more with moving the solders to border.

    Bravo IAF & IA.
     
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  5. mahesh

    mahesh Regular Member

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    this would give china a picture of our IAF strengths and weakness to perform in high mountain terrain and it's climate.
     
  6. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    You have captured the essence with this simple post. Great stuff.

    One nitpick though, C-130 and Il-76 also used, as well as pvt. helos.

    The statement of our capability could be on lines of " With about 20 % of our Air Transport capability (total choppers used approx. 50 (Mil-17 + ALH Dhruv) + 2 x IL-76/ C-130 J) , we can move about 5 divisions strength of soldiers to anywhere within our borders."

    Hope I got that right...

     
  7. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    add 15 Chinooks to the scenario and it gets pretty impressive...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  8. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    May be this is one of the reason why our infrastructure is bad in India china border areas.
     
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Well put.

    I would also add the Mil-26, of which we must procure more. They came handy during a previous mobilization against PRC, in 1987. Read about Operation Chequerboard.
     
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  10. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    this surely shows much of iaf and ia capability but one should know that this is not only validation of mass mobilization capacity of the force but also one should ponder over the depreciation of the assets that took place while undergoing such operations and also one fateful attrition of newly inducted Mi helicopter along with many soldiers and air warriors.
     
  11. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    yes it encourages a slower pace on the ground tenders for foreign jetfighters and the associated "leakages"

    being a woman you would believe me in saying that we shouldnt reveal too much - they might get out of control
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  12. Immanuel

    Immanuel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indeed incredible feats, 15 Chinooks or even more should be ordered, I would say about 60-75 would be a great number. I think all Cheetah/cheetal helos should be withdrawn and replaced with LUH. The 197 Helo deal should be the first order for LUH with more ordered later on. We could certainly order another 200+ Dhruv in MK-4. The V-22 whould be ordered for SF units. More orders for C-130J (go from 12 to 50) and more C-17 (10 to 30/40)

    I think With C-17s, we will have all the more ability to quickly transport Brahmos 1/2, Prahaar, Nirbhay, Pinaka 1/2 and other deadly weapons very quickly where required.
     
  13. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Off topic:

    If India can achieve this feat, china having both good infrastructure & airborne transportation who many can they deploy in Indo-china border.
     
  14. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    From BR Forums, I believe we r still ahead of China in Air Transport.

    Road and Rail, however we lag behind.

    But you are right, bulk of transport in China is comfortably by road and rail. Air transport more like an emergency dash to reinforce beleaguered areas.

     
  15. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    It Seems in the '80s, we were overwhelmingly ahead of China in Air Transport.

    Today, 2013, near parity, with slight advantage for us. They got here by multiple sources -

    > deal with Russia for upto 30 IL-76s, I believe.
    > Improvement on their Shaanxi Y-9 plane (reverse engineered AN-12 transport)
    > Mil-17 helo local assembly
    >Local Frelon heavy chopper .
    > Future Y-20 Heavy transport has been tested.

    For India, we have been same level as 1980s.
    > 105 AN-32
    >17 IL-7
    >100 + Mi-8 / Mi-17
    >4 nos. Mi-26

    Just saying.
     
  16. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    IIRC, Chinooks are much preferred over the Mi-26 in the mountainous regions. Reason is the much larger ground pressure, downwash and rotor sweep of Mil-26 which severely restricts landing options.

    Livefist: Boeing presentation to IAF comparing Chinook with Mi-26

     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Much preferred for what? Tactical operations or strategic operations? Read the thread that you have quoted. That Boeing presentation is, well, a presentation, and there are loopholes. Please read the thread. Chinook is not a heavy lifter. It is being bandied that way.
     
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  18. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Mi-26 is highly useful, but being a maintenance nightmare with limited spare support has been out of favour with IAF, when it comes to further addition to the fleet.
     
  19. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    As of now, I can assure you, this is not the reason, by along shot. Though, this was one of the reasons in 60's, 70's & 80's.
     
  20. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some feats of the Mi-26s which have been utilized in sky-crane role by IAF (Source:BR)

    - Feb 89, MI-26 helicopter undertook the only of its kind underslung operation taking Pontoon bridge form Ludhiana to Sirhind canal.
    - Early 1999, a crashed MiG-21 was airlifted by the Unit to Chandigarh.
    - 21 Nov 2001, the Mi-8 which crashed in the Rann of Kutch was helilifted by the Mi-26s to Bhuj.
    - 2002, a MiG-21 Bison which crashed in the fields near Ambala was airlifted by the Unit to Ambala Air Force Station.
    - In Jul 2002 the Mi-26 recovered the first civilian aircraft (Beechcraft), which had met with an accident at Kangra airfield. Another first was achieved as the unit flew the longest ever underslung flight (3:15 hrs).
    - 22 Feb 2006 - An Mi-26 flown by the CO, Wg Cdr Sushil Ghera, airlifted an Mi-17 that forcelanded in a river bed a few days earlier to Chandigarh Air Force Station.
    -Sept 2007 - Mi-17 1V airlifted from Bandipore to Awantipura
    -In 2010, the helicopter was actively used to lift heavy equipment for the Katra-Quazigand Railway project providing rail connectivity to the Srinagar Valley.

    You would find this most interesting:

    https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&r...DQSb72ewGoEOtmivLEcvNBg&bvm=bv.48705608,d.bmk

    How, Chinook too has some tricks up it's sleeve. can airlift an Apache gunship. Watch below:

    https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&r...vN9YPPAOy_T5iIjMEi3foww&bvm=bv.48705608,d.bmk

    *******************************************************************************************************************************************************
    However, CH-47 with much shorter legs (1/3rd the range) & half the payload is the choice of IAF for its heavy lift chopper.

    Reasons: lower costs (initial direct acquisition cost as well life-cycle costs), logistics support, aerial battlefield recovery and special operations support capability. The contract negotiation with Def. Ministry is already underway.

    IAF counts on fixed-wing assets for strategic airlift capability.

    The Chinook is a done deal. There would be no additions to Mi-26 fleet & it would be gradually phased out.
     
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  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    @TrueSpirit, it seems like that Mil-26 will be slowly phased out. I have never understood why the Indian Mil-26 helos had a spare problem, which is real, while the Russian ones are always up and running. The CH-47 was chosen after the initial requirement of a heavy lift chopper was slashed so as to be within the lifting capability of the CH-47. Acquiring this helo as a so called "heavy-lifter" has more to do with diplomacy than hard numbers, methinks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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