Indian Coast Guard Set To Get EC725 cougar helicopter

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by WolfPack86, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Exclusive: Sharper claws for Coast Guard as 30 advanced copters set for induction
    In addition to the ALH Dhruv, what has also progressed is the acquisition of 14 medium lift helicopters.
    When terrorists struck Mumbai in the later hours of November 26, 2008, a dumbfounded security set up wandered around seeking answers about the infiltration of the ten Pakistani gunmen. It was a Coast Guard Chetak helicopter which flew over Mumbai's skyline to track down the now-infamous fishing vessel Kuber which was hijacked and used as a means of entry.

    Back then, the planners in the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) asked the government to arm it with more helicopters which could perform better. They said it would enhance their capabilities to monitor the seas manifold. Nothing came of it.

    NEWER, MORE POWERFUL, VERSATILE COPTERS


    If things go as planned, the Coast Guard looks set to ride the air with newer, more powerful and versatile helicopters. The ICG, which has the mandate to save lives at sea as well as maintain a vigil along the country's maritime borders and exclusive economic zones (EEZ), is on the cusp of signing the dotted line in two separate cases for helicopter acquisition. Cases to procure at least 30 advanced helicopters of the type never been used before have fructified near- simultaneously for the ICG, revealed a top Ministry of Defence (MoD) officer who did not wish to identify himself.

    The first involves procuring 16 self-made Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a MoD Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). While the ICG had procured four these copters earlier as well, they were Mk I version and this time they are looking at an advanced MkIII version which promises a glass cockpit, enhanced performance, better interior among other things. Powered by Shakti engine (Indian name for Ardiden 1H1 engine co-developed by HAL and French firm Turbomeca), the 5.5 ton aircraft can do speeds up to 300 kmph. Feedback received from those who've flown the helicopter has been overwhelmingly positive. A source revealed that the cost is likely to be in the range of Rs 90 crore a piece.

    "While the field evaluation and negotiations over cost have both been concluded, the Coast Guard is working with the navy to arrange for the funds for this procurement. Navy is also interested in the same procuring 16 MkIII ALH Dhruv helicopters and the case was pursued jointly from the very start," explained a source. The proposal will soon be placed before the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) the apex body for clearing procurement above Rs 1000 crore for it approval.

    MEDIUM LIFT HELICOPTERS

    In addition to the ALH Dhruv, what has also progressed is the acquisition of 14 medium lift helicopters. The MoD had found the EC725 of France-based Airbus Helicopters the most suitable bidder last year. The aircraft marketed as H225M falls in the 11 ton category and is a twin engine helicopter which can carry up to 30 passengers. While it is meant for shore-based flying the aircraft can also have its rotor blades folded so as to fit into the hangar on board a ship. It was revealed that the entire set of trials and negotiations with the firm had also been completed and the matter was in the 'final stage'. "The office of the Director General of Acquisition had certain queries and those are being answered," explained a source.
    The consolidated contract value of these acquisitions is over Rs 5000 crore spread over years," a source explained.

    Interestingly, the H225M/EC725 is the military variant of EC225, the helicopter which had emerged the most suitable in the initial process of the VVIP helicopter procurement case back in 2003. The case was called off, however, as the EC225 then owned by Eurocopter was found to be the only vendor available and the government wanted more participants. The subsequent, tainted acquisition process saw the selection of AgustaWestland AW101 copter.

    At present, the ICG is in a precarious position as its main workhorse, fleet of 20 Chetak helicopters is being pushed to its limits. Single engine helicopters, Chetaks have been a part of India's armed forces since 1965. "In reality, rules forbid a single engine copter to undertake flying over sea but we are doing it as there is no option," revealed a source. With a top speed of 185kmph and endurance of under three hours, the Chetak can't possibly fly too deep at sea. Such has been the crunch that despite having the space on board ships in the form of hangars, the ICG has nixed the very concept of integral flying - having dedicated copters assigned to ships.

    Explained a Coast Guard officer who is at present commanding a ship, "When a ship moves to patrol, having a helicopter on board can help it monitor a much larger area. It simply expands the reach by leaps and bounds". The government, he said, should finally act.
    WHAT THE ALH DHRUV MkIII BRINGS TO ICG?

    1. Range - 640km

    2. Endurance - 4 hours

    3. Can carry - 14 personnel

    4. Maximum Take Off Weight - 5500kg

    5. More powerful SHAKTI engine from TM3332B2 engine

    6. Glass cockpit from the earlier conventional one

    7. Health & Usage Monitoring System

    8. Infra Red suppressor to minimise chances of being hit by missile

    9. Electro-optical pods for enhanced surveillance

    WHAT H225M BRINGS TO ICG?

    1. Range - 1300km (with additional fuel tank and no extra passengers)

    2. Has been utilised in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Libya among others

    3. Boasts of 95 per cent rate of availability

    4. Air to Air refuelling to enhance range

    5. Maximum speed of 324kmph

    6. Twin-engine Turbomeca Makila 2A1
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/...anced-copters-set-for-induction/1/709885.html

     
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  3. aditya g

    aditya g Regular Member

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    ICGS should stick to procuring more ALH Dhruv instead of buying small numbers of exotic european maal. I am guessing ALH may half the price of a EC225 ... or less? While it has lower range, you can compensate it by deploying from ships as well as more onshore locations.
     
  4. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    EC725 designed for the most demanding missions. A combat proven multi-role helicopter, introduced in 2005, the EC725 has seen combat service worldwide, including in Afghanistan.

    EC725 has operated from ships and ashore. It is a truly multi-purpose, versatile military asset.

     
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  5. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  6. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC-725 Helicopter
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  7. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
  8. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
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  9. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
  10. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
  11. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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  12. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
  13. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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  14. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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    EuroCopter EC- 725 Helicopter
     
  15. WolfPack86

    WolfPack86 Senior Member Senior Member

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  16. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Actually your points are vaild, ALH is good enough for ICG missions, their primary must be survelliance, SAR and EVAC missions, the ALH fits well in all the above,

    It's the Navy who wants such Helicopters since its patrol zones are much larger and mission envelope is also quite bigger
     
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  17. aditya g

    aditya g Regular Member

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    Unfortunately, our broken procurement system cannot combine the 2 requirements and hold one competition. ICG requirements should be subsumed within the overall Naval requirement. Let them simply order units of what Navy orders.

    Let me put that aside for a moment. If at all we had to buy a chopper, why not Sikorsky S92? A machine which is already substantially "Made in India":

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    Tata Advanced systems assembly line:

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  18. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    @aditya g okay GoI will select the S 92, if we chooses Sikorsky, it can fit many naval requirements, like S 70 and this S 92

    But problem is corrupted system works based on Bribe and Kickbacks only
     
  19. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    Sure, other countries are Angels.:angel:
     
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  20. charlie

    charlie Regular Member

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    Well it would have been better if Coast guard selected S70 instead of EC 725. There would have better opportunity to localize more components of S70. But again different agency different requirements you can't blame the government on this.

    If Coast Guard feels satisfied with EC725 and they are getting a better deal then Sikorsky what can the government do ?
     
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  21. abingdonboy

    abingdonboy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The ICG's area of responsibility is vast and they require long range SAR assets, the ALH just doesn't delvier the same performance:





    There is a reason why tiny nations like Ireland, UK, Greece etc all deploy 12 ton helos for maritime SAR.

    The H225M will be made in India with Mahindra if it is ordered in enough numbers, if the GoI/MoD was smart they would combine the IAF, IN and ICG requirements and go for a large H225M order from the outset to kickstart the Make in India's defence component ASAP, as it stands all users will conduct their own procurement processes at their own pace and the benefits of going for a bulk buy will be lost.

    That doesn't factor into these things these days.
     
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