IAF to have mid-air refuelling capability on all combat aircraft..

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by bhramos, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    New Delhi: In a major step to increase its operational reach, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided that all its aircraft and helicopters meant for combat and combat support will henceforth have the capability for mid-air refuelling.

    Disclosing this, the IAF vice chief, Air Marshal D.C. Kumaria, said at the Fifth National Seminar on Aerospace Technologies (N-SAT.5) recently that the decision applies to all its current and future acquisitions - whether combat jets, transport aircraft, helicopters or other assets.

    Only aircraft with this capability will be considered for acquisition in future, he observed adding that technology and strategic requirements have evolved over time and that the IAF decision is in line with the current thinking in military aviation worldwide.

    The N-SAT series on military aviation is held by India Strategic defence magazine (..:: India Strategic ::.. Home Page: The authoritative monthly on Defence and Strategic Affairs.) annually. It lays emphasis on a building technological edge for the Indian armed forces, and significantly, most participants agreed that if an air force was not thinking of 20 years hence, then it is already behind the times.

    Air Marshal Kumaria pointed out that in the late 1970s, for instance, the IAF actually sought removal of aerial refuelling plumbing from the Anglo-French Jaguar aircraft even though they were meant for a deep penetration strike role. Today, whether it is the long-range aircraft or helicopters, aerial refuelling capability is a key requirement.

    It may be noted that IAF's current acquisition line includes Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules, Boeing C-17 Globemaster, Embraer 145 for electronic radars, AgustaWestland's VIP role AW 101 helicopters, new AWACS and mid-air refuellers (Airbus Military MRTT or Russian IL 78), Rafale fighter jets, and Boeing's Chinook and Apache helicopters.

    The last four items are under various stages of procurement.

    The existing Mirage 2000s, Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs and Jaguars already have this capability while on the Mig 29s, its plumbing will be activated during upgrades for mid-air refuelling.

    According to defence analyst Air Marshal (retired) Ashok Goel, the inflight refuelling capability is standard worldwide now and it would, in fact, cost more to remove it than to have it while acquiring and inducting new aircraft.

    All NATO and US aerial assets, for instance, are equipped with mid-air or in-flight refuelling capability and in the Gulf and Afghanistan operations, aircraft were able to conduct multi-mission strikes during single flights.

    "This in-flight refuelling capability," Air Marshal Goel told India Strategic, "literally has far-reaching implications, enabling modern aircraft to cover long distances 360 degrees."

    Thanks to the IAF's Il-78 mid-air refuellers, its Su-30 combat aircraft have gone up to the US in 2008 to take part in the multi-national Red Flag exercise, and will again do so in 2013, he said.

    It may be noted that mid-air refuelling capability will also be on board army and navy combat assets as the Chiefs of Staff Committee already has a tri-Service agreement on common parameters for same and similar systems needed by them.

    The committee is currently headed by the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, and he is on record as having said that there are no differences between the three Services on acquiring common systems with same or similar requirements.

    Army sources also told India Strategic that it will follow IAF's Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs) while going in for the Apache combat helicopters.

    Indian Air Force to have mid-air refuelling capability on all combat aircraft | NDTV.com
     
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  3. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Also soon on Major Transport aircraft's such as C-17s & C-130 ..
     
  4. abingdonboy

    abingdonboy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The C-17s and the P-8Is delivered to India will come with Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installations (UARRSI) as such the IAF/IN will have no way of refuelling them unless they get a Boom refuelling system,


    I do have reasons to doubt this news as it is usually only specialised a/c (other than fighters who have IFR as standard fight these days) that have AAR capability such as AWACS, Spec-ops transports etc and this goes doubly for rotary wing a/c. Not even the US has all of its a/c fitted out for IFR. The only helos that need AAR capability are ones that have specialised roles like Spec op support such as the CV-22 or HH-60G etc. it simply is not needed.

    And surely either way the IAF needs to dramatically scale up its AAR fleet? 12 simply isn't enough for the hundreds of AAR capable a/c in use in India.
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Not necessarily, reminding this that all Aircraft purchased for US are custom made for India..

    Its known that India operate IL-78MKI, Its design will change accordingly..


     
  6. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    good news, so what IAF basically doing is extending its reach and acquiring more force multipliers. :thumb:
     
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  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Andamans & TAR sector & IOR & SCS ..

     
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