HELICOPTERS: CONSOLIDATION APPROACH NEEDED FOR PRODUCTION IN INDIA RATHER THAN IMPORT Indian defence forces presently have a fleet of over 650 helicopters, approximately 300 with the Indian Air Force (IAF), 180 with the Indian Army (IA) and another 150 with the Indian Navy (IN) including Indian Coast Guard. The Alouette and Lama helicopters, called Chetak or Cheetah have been the prime machines ever since the 1960s and have already been through few upgradations. Nearly 78 percent of them are light or medium lift and include the Cheetah, Chetak & Mi series and are slated for replacement. Current Inventory & Procurement Programme of Helicopters Indian Air Force: The current helicopter fleet inventory of the IAF is estimated to have nearly 300 aircraft, the bulk of which are the 150+ Mi-8/Mi-17 family with another 80 Mi-17V5s to supplant the ageing Mi-8s. 75 Chetak/Cheetah and about 30 Mi25/35 attack helicopters serve with various units. The IAF retains four heavy lift Mi-26 helicopters which are used sparingly as sky cranes for special missions. The procurement programme of IAF is given in the following points. Mi-17 V-5 --- 80 ---- $ 1.34 Billion (Rs 4800 crores) ------ Deliveries have been completed. Mi-17 V-5 --- 59+12* ---- $1.9 Billion (Rs 7600 crores) ----- First batch of 19 Mi-17 V-5 has been delivered. The remaining 40 helicopters to be supplied by the end of 2015. * 12 for Ministry of Home Affairs Indigenous ALH Dhruv ---- 204 â€” Delivery ongoing from HAL Attack Helicopters ---- 22 ---- $1.4 Billion (Rs 5600 crores) ------ Apache AH 64D in lead; Option for 22 more Heavy-Lift Helicopters ---- 15 ---- $650 Million (Rs 2600 crores) ------ Boeingâ€™s Chinook has been selected over Russiaâ€™s Mi 26T2 Light Utility Helicopters ----- 64 ---- $750 Million* (Rs 3000 crores) ----- Eurocopter Fennec 555 and Russiaâ€™s Kamov 226 contenders.cost includes 133 for Army Indigenous Light Utility Helicopters ----- 61 ----- $ 83.2 Million* (Rs 376 crores) ------ *cost includes 126 for Army. HAL delivery 2017 onwards VVIP Helicopters ------ 12 ------ $900 Million (Rs 3600 crores) ---- Three of the 12 helicopters have already been delivered. Deliveries of others stalled owing to deal being cancelled Light Combat Helicopter ------- 65 -------- $1.4 billion (Rs 5600 crores) ----- To be made by HAL 2014-2015 Weaponised utility helicopter ------- 76 â€” By HAL by 2013, 100+ by 2019 =============== =============== Indian Army: The Army Aviation Corps (AAC) currently flies 180 helicopters consisting of 100 HAL Chetaks (Alouette II) and 50 HAL Cheetahs (Alouette III). The newest Cheetah airframes are currently in the process of being upgraded / overhauled to the HAL Lancer configuration. The HAL Dhruv will initially replace the Chetak fleet, which was originally obtained second hand from the Indian Air Force. The procurement programme of IA is as given in the following points. Light Combat Helicopters --------- 114 ------- $94 Million, Rs 376 Crores (Development & Designing Cost) Light Utility Helicopter ---- Total â€“ 384, Indigenous â€“ 187 (126 for Army and 61 for IAF) $750 Million, Dhruv ALH ------- 105 â€” 2015 ------ To be fitted with newly developed Shakti engine =============== =============== Indian Navy: The Navy has approximately 150 helicopters, both operating from shore bases and on-board warships including the aircraft carrier INS Viraat which embarks a complement of Sea Harriers and Kamov Ka-31s, Sea King and Chetak helicopters. The current fleet also includes several helicopters including the British Sea Kings, Russian Kamov, indigenous Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters, and the Chetaks. The Kamov Ka-31s provide AEW support for the fleet. In the anti-submarine warfare role, the Sea King Mk 42A/B and Kamov Ka-25/28 are used. The Navy is looking at inducting state-of-the-art helicopters with latest standards, variants and weapons. The MRH (Multirole helicopter), NUH (Naval Utility Helicopter) are some of these. Procurement programme of Navy is as given in the following points. Multi â€“ Role Helicopter ----- 16 + 44 follow-on order ------- $ 1 billion -------- American S-70 Bravo and European NH-90 remain in the fray.CCS clearance awaited Multi â€“ Role Helicopter ------ 75 -------- $ 4 billions ----- RFI issued in Jun 2011. RFP to be issued soon. Navy requires two variants for Special Ops & for ASW to replace Sea Kings. Naval Light Utility Helicopters ----- 56 --- $1.75 billion (Rs 8750 Crores) ----- RFP issued. Likely Contenders: Kamov Ka -31 ----- 5 $195-200 Million (Rs 1000 crores) ------ Approved by Government. Deal yet to be signed =============== =============== Indian Coast Guard (ICG): At present the ICG has an inventory of 17 Chetak helicopters and 3 ALHs all supplied by HAL. Two RFIs have been issued in 2010 by the ICGâ€™s Directorate of Aircraft Acquisition covering planned purchase of 30 helicopters (16 ship based and 14 shore based). However, the tender for procurement of 16 ship based helicopters was cancelled and the fresh tender is most likely to be issued this year. The ICG has plans for an eventual fleet of 36 light observation helicopters and 12 rescue helicopters. The service is expected to achieve an effective strength of about 60 helicopters by 2018, which is clearly indicative of the emergence of a new, modern and far more capable Coast Guard. Civil/ Commercial: The civilian segment presently has over 300 rotor wing helicopters and in the next five to ten years will require over 400 helicopters for commercial use. Fleet strength and no. of Operators in India is as per the list. Private Category ----- 17 ------ 27 Commercial Operators ------- 64 ------- 228 Govts. /Semi-Govt. -------- 17 ---------- 29 Total ------ 98 ---------- 284 Turbine Helicopters =============== =============== Indigenous Programme India also has a strong indigenous helicopter programme being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). HAL is a multi-billion defence public sector unit which specializes in manufacture and assembly of aircrafts, helicopters, engines & aero composites. The HAL Helicopter Division has produced 336 Chetak and 246 Cheetah Helicopters so far and overhauled more than 200 helicopters of both the types. It has also undertaken the Cat â€˜Bâ€™ repairs of more than 75 helicopters and put them back into operation. Among the current programs underway at HAL are the development and production of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, which has various variants of it to fulfill conceived roles by the armed and civil services. The development and production of the first indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk I and II, christened as Tejas is under way. However, in the defence sector most of the requirements are currently being made by procuring the helicopters from foreign countries either directly or through transfer of technology. Firm orders received from defence forces are as per list. ALH Dhruv ------- 204 ------- Delivery began with higher powered Shakti engine to the Indian Army and IAF last year. Further batches will be delivered this year. HAL has firm orders for 159 and sees a requirement for a minimum of 80 more. Light Utility Helicopter ------ 187------- IOC is likely around 2017. Light Combat Helicopter ----- 179 ------ Prototype stage Weaponised utility Helicopter ---- 76 ------- 2019-22 HAL will need to make massive investments for its helicopter division, to have the required infrastructure ready in time for the LUH, LCH and IMRH production. By the year 2015, HAL plans on having three helicopter manufacturing plants with one in Bangalore and the other two outside. Bangalore will be the centre of R&D for helicopters and for manufacturing of 5.5 to 6.0 tonne helicopters. 3.0 tonne and 12.0 tonne will move out to another location for manufacture. The defence forces fleet needs replacement and new acquisition in the very near future, which HAL is unlikely to fulfill and given the past history of delays and resource diversification of HAL in FGFA, MTA and various other projects it may have to go to the international market for procurement of light utility helicopters, Attack and Heavy Lift. =============== =============== Indian Aerospace Companies & Partnerships Tata Group â€“ In 2012, Tata Sons and Agusta Westland formed a joint venture company for manufacturing AW119Ke light helicopters in India. In 2010, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd formed a joint venture for manufacture of the Sikorsky S-92 helicopters in India for the domestic civil and military markets. Mahindra Aerospace â€“ Mahindra Aerospace subsidiary of Mahindra Group specializes in production of light aircrafts & aero composites. In 2011, it signed a MoU with Eurocopter Group and its subsidiary Eurocopter India, to manufacture sub-assemblies and other engineering products for the growing helicopter market in India. Larsen Toubro HED Aerospace â€“ Larsen Toubro HED Aerospace division specializes in production of aero composites, sandwich honeycomb structures for aerospace & space sector. =============== =============== Emerging Opportunities India is considered to be one of the fastest-growing aerospace markets in the world and is projected to be amongst the three largest markets globally by 2017. Estimation depicts that India is likely to spend about $35 billion on military aviation only over the next 10 years, as most of its existing fleet needs to be replaced. The figures projected for procurement during next 5-10 years are, 500 helicopters by the IA, 350 helicopters by the IAF, 200 helicopters by the IN & ICG and about 400 by civil market. In a massive multibillion dollar acquisition programme, the Indian Armed Forces plan to induct more than 1,000 indigenous and foreign helicopters for attack, transport and utility operations. The choppers to be inducted into the Army, Navy and Air Force include around 450 light utility, 12 VVIP, over 200 attack helicopters, 139 Mi-17 transport & 15 heavy-lift helicopters and over 91 (16+75) multi-role helicopters for the Navy. The civilian segment also in the next five to ten years will require over 400 helicopters for civil/commercial use, taking the overall requirement of helicopters in the country to around 1500. In a drive to modernize the armed forces and expand the aviation wings of the Services, concerted efforts are on to modernize their helicopter fleet by replacing the age-old Cheetah and Chetak, which have been in service for the last 40 years. The plan is to induct almost 623 helicopters through import route in the near future at an overall cost of approximately USD30 billion. HAL will provide 166 indigenous Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). It is expected that 312 light, 80 medium-lift, 22 attack, 16 anti-submarine warfare, 15 heavy-lift and 12 VVIP helicopters will be procured from foreign vendors in the next few years. =============== =============== Commercial Sector The helicopter market in civil is equally promising, with growing requirements in tourism, mining, corporate travel, air ambulance, homeland security, air charter etc. In coming years, the helicopters are going to be utilised for fire-fighting, surveillance, law and order, road traffic control, electronic media reporting, construction work aids, shuttle services between airport and town. Due to the support and involvement of the new government in improving the infrastructure and creating more numbers of big cities, more players are entering into this market with a sizeable fleet and relaxation on taxes, airport charges, and liberal policies by government is likely to encourage investments in this sector. The concept of air ambulance is also emerging and has great long-term potential in the Indian market. The air charter wing provides lifesaving services to patients and transports them from remote locations to cities, has witnessed a five-fold increase in demand over the last three years. A conservative projections show that during the next 8-10 years about 400+ new helicopters will be inducted in the civil industry. India has witnessed a big demand for rotor wing pilots due to heavy demand in helicopter operations and number of helicopter imports are expected to come to India till 2020. Currently 367 helicopters (source: aviation news and rotor wing society of India) are awaiting for their permits and this number will rise exponentially as India is opening heavily towards application of helicopter services. More than 350 Helipads are being built in the country mostly catering to the needs of air ambulance, high rise building, private helipads, corporate helipads etc. Today, Multinational companies like ONGC, ESSAR, RELIANCE, JINDALS, PUNJ LYODD and all State Governments are expanding towards owning their own fleet of helicopters for their private use as well as charter operations. Presently, the civil helicopter market is growing at 20 percent and the projected market is about 40 machines per year for next 5-10 years and it is projected that demand for private air services to grow 50 percent a year, driven by rising car ownership and poor investment in road infrastructure. The opportunities in the helicopter avionics and engines are also likely to increase multifold. Few of the emerging sectors are: Engines: India has over 1500 units of engine requirements in coming years. Ardiden1H1 Shakti engine has been jointly developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Turbomeca. Cockpit & Avionics: Glass cockpits with multi-functional displays are in huge demand. HAL and IAI have jointly developed glass cockpit for HAL Dhruv helicopter. Avionics suites consisting of a HF/UHF communications radio, identification, friend or foe (IFF) recognition, Doppler navigation, and a radio altimeter; a weather radar, navigation radars and also avionics for day-and-night flight observation are also in huge demand. Samtel and Thales have formed a joint venture in 2010 for production of Helmets Mounted Sight & Display (HMSD) and other Avionics Systems for India. Electronics Warfare (EW) systems: Saab Compact Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (CIDAS), has been selected by HAL for its Dhruv, Rudra and LCH helicopters. Saab has signed a MoU with HAL in 2011 to form joint venture for Airborne Electronic Warfare systems. Similarly, Bharat Electronics Ltd & Elbit Systems-Elisra are working together on Airborne electronic warfare programmes for Indian defence requirements. Optronics & Targeting Systems: Elbit Systems Compact Multi Purpose Advance Stabilization System (CoMPASS) & opto- electronic suite for reconnaissance and target acquisition are in use in HAL Dhruv, Rudra & LCH helicopters. In 2013, Bharat Electronics signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Elbit Systems Electro-optics-El Op of Israel, for the joint production of CoMPASS payloads for Naval helicopter applications. Weapon & Missiles: Nexter THL-20 chin mounted gun turret and MBDA Mistral short-range Air-to-air missiles are in use in HAL Rudra and HAL LCH helicopters. There are requirements for helicopter launched 4th generation anti-tank guided missiles. There are also more requirements of helicopter turreted cannons, air to air missiles in coming years. Aero composites: HAL composites manufacturing division manufactured the composite structural parts for Dhruv , Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).Also, Indian companies like Tata advanced materials ltd, Larsen Turbo HED Aerospace division , Mahindra Aerospace are also in aero composites manufacturing sector .Market for aero composites is growing at a huge scale. Maintenance Repair & Overhauling (MRO) and Other Infrastructure: Growth in the general aviation market is expected to be around 12-15 percent in the coming years offering ample opportunities for everyone. The MRO space is almost untapped. With more than 1,500 helicopters expected in the next decade, there is also a huge potential on the maintenance side. Infrastructure development, flexibility in regulatory framework, government focus in structuring the air charter business, easing taxes/duties and construction of dedicated general aviation airports can take air charter operations in India to new highs. Presently, only HAL does maintenance repair & overhauling, logistics and services for armed forces helicopters. It is a multi-million dollar segment in Indian military helicopters sector. =============== =============== Suggested Way Forward The Indian private sector presently is not willing to take the risk of making the huge investments required to build the infrastructure for the aerospace sector, in the absence of a firm commitment by the Government. Therefore, to ensure that product is available in time for replacement and the right technology comes to the country, consolidation of acquisition cases of similar platforms may be considered yet another means to develop the national defence industrial base through focused FDIs. Thus, for example, if the three services agree to select aircraft and helicopters with engines from a common source, then more than 1500 engines for helicopter alone would be on order taking military and civil requirements together. For this very attractive number, one of the viable options can be to allow the engine manufacturer to set up a production facility in India even if 100% FDI in the enterprise is sought by the OEM rather than import. Similarly since each engine has a set of 6 propellers, which transforms into about 7000 to 9000 propellers, any propeller manufacturer will be more than willing to set up a subsidiary in India for a potential domestic market. Orders for 258 Mi17 helicopters from Russia have been signed with no production facility in India. Likewise, 197 helicopters for the army and air force, 56 utility helicopters and 91 (16+75) multi-role helicopters for the navy are acceptable to be procured from foreign OEMs with their production facility abroad but amazingly, it is not acceptable that these OEMs set up a production facility either as a wholly owned subsidiary or even a majority JV in India to manufacture these helicopters in India due to â€œsecurity riskâ€. Whereas, it is so obvious, that manufacturing these abroad by the OEM and then being delivered in India will have more security risk vis-a- vis being built in India by the same OEM, as their set up will be in India and therefore, they will have to go by the agreed set of rules & regulations. This will also enhance our core national priorities such as job creation and getting the right technology and natural spinoffs in other sectors also. The case for a higher FDI in the defence sector is in the national interest provided foreign OEMs set up legitimate companies in India under the Companies Act and comply with the taxation and regulatory framework of the country. Infringements by the OEM abroad are not subject to Indian law, not visible and neither subject to close oversight by Indian buyers and the country is often faced with alleged scams whose investigation is endless. Incidentally, the Government has approved Public Sector for Joint Ventures with FDI in excess of the stipulated 26% and all of them have turned out to be successful ventures (BrahMos is a 50.5:49.5 JV, HAL/BAE is a 50:50 JV, HAL: RR is a 50:50 JV, FGFA is a 50:50 JV). But a similar dispensation is not being extended to the private sector. Kavita Nagpal Source : HELICOPTERS: CONSOLIDATION APPROACH NEEDED FOR PRODUCTION IN INDIA RATHER THAN IMPORT ========================== ========================== @Ray Sir, @ @ersakthivel, A chauhan @angeldude13, @Ankit Purohit, @Anoop Sajwan, @anupamsurey, @Apollyon, @arnabmit, @asianobserve, @Bhadra, @cipher, @Dhairya Yadav, @Dharmateja, @Dovah, @EXPERT, @hello_10, @Immanuel, @indian_blues, @indian_sukhoi, @jackprince, @JBH22, @K Factor, @kseeker, @kshkumsin, @Lions Of Punjab, @maomao, @nandu, @Neeraj Mathur, @ninja85, @nirranj, @PaliwalWarrior, @Patriot, @pmaitra, @power_monger, @prohumanity, @Pulkit, @rajsking, @Sam2012, @Shirman, @SilentKiller, @Sumonmitra20, @suny6611, @Waffen SS, @Welcome, @WMD, @Sridhar, @bengalraider And all others ..