Indian Navy Developments & Discussions

WolfPack86

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Navy not keen on HAL for choppers, wants private sector to build alternate capability
The navy is not in favour of an offer by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for an upcoming Rs 21,000 crore Make in India contract as its chopper does not meet requirements and there is a dire need to establish alternative capability in the private sector to manufacture modern aircraft.


Sources said that the naval version of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) that is being offered does not meet basic qualitative requirements and is unsuitable for the role required, including urgent Search and Rescue (SAR) missions at sea. As reported by ET, the naval utility helicopter (NUH) plan – originally planned for the private sector under the strategic partnership model – is going through a tussle after HAL entered the fray and has requested the government to be included.


“The ALH has a rigid rotor head and has been designed for high altitude operations, where it is very good at. The problem is that the design limits it in terms of the blade folding capability.
 

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Navy Not Keen On HAL For Choppers, Wants Private Sector To Build Alternate Capability
NEW DELHI: The navy is not in favour of an offer by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd NSE -0.85 % (HAL) for an upcoming Rs 21,000 crore Make in India contract as its chopper does not meet requirements and there is a dire need to establish alternative capability in the private sector to manufacture modern aircraft.



Sources said that the naval version of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) that is being offered does not meet basic qualitative requirements and is unsuitable for the role required, including urgent Search and Rescue (SAR) missions at sea. As reported by ET, the naval utility helicopter (NUH) plan - originally planned for the private sector under the strategic partnership model - is going through a tussle after HAL entered the fray and has requested the government to be included.



"The ALH has a rigid rotor head and has been designed for high altitude operations, where it is very good at. The problem is that the design limits it in terms of the blade folding capability. In missions such as SAR, every minute is precious and the ALH just takes too much time to be deployed," a source said. While the navy is already operating the ALH in a utility role, it requires 111 helicopters for deployment onboard ships to carry out multiple roles, including surveillance and ferrying supplies. The requirement is urgent and a specialised chopper is needed that can be quickly deployed and retrieved and can be stored in the space constrained hangar onboard all vessels.



The process to acquire the choppers is already in advanced stages with four Indian companies shortlisted who can partner with a foreign technology provider to make the helicopters domestically. However, the final selection is stuck after HAL put in a representation. In the original tender document, it was specified that only private sector companies are eligible to take part in the contest.



Sources said that there is a need to have capacity in the private sector too for manufacturing modern aircraft and the NUH programme will enable the identified winner to procure technology and skills. Besides the navy requirement, the winning company will have a large domestic civilian market to tap, besides a robust export potential.
 

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Russia Offers India Three Refurbished Kilo-Class Submarines
The Indian Navy is considering an offer by Russia’s state-owned JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) for three refurbished Kilo-class submarines to augment its shortfall in diesel-electric submarines (SSKs), according to local media reports.

USC reportedly offered a $1.8-2 billion “three plus three” package that would include upgrade work on three Indian Navy Sindhughosh Kilo (Project 877EKM)-class SSKs with an additional three refurbished Russian Navy Kilo-class hulls.

The possible defense deal was expected to be raised at a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) that was scheduled to take place in Goa last month but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Indian Navy would receive the Russian-made SSKs at one-year intervals with the first boat slated for delivery three years after the conclusion of the agreement. The refit of the three Sindhughosh Kilo (Project 877EKM)-class SSKs, which entered service in 1990, 1991, and 2000 respectively, would extend their operational life by 10 years.

According to Indian media reports, senior officers in the Indian Navy submarine branch are looking at the proposal favorably and see it as a stopgap measure to address the perennial shortage of operationally deployable boats in the force.

“One important capability which the Kilos provide India is their submarine launched cruise missiles,” naval analyst H I Sutton wrote for Forbes earlier this week. “They are equipped with the Russian supplied 3M-14E Club-S missile which is roughly similar to the American Tomahawk.”

The Russian 3M-54E1 Klub-S submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) has an estimated 220 kilometer range against surface targets.

The Navy’s SSK force currently consists of 14 SSKs against a projected requirement of 24 SSKs under the service’s Maritime Capacity Perspective Plan (MCPP) 2012–27. One Indian Navy Kilo-class SSK was lost due to an explosion in Mumbai harbor in 2013.

Last year, India and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement for a 10-year lease of a Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN).

The Indian Navy leased two other subs from Russia in past years. In 1988, the service commissioned a Project 670 Skat-class (NATO classification: Charlie-class) nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, rechristened INS Chakra, under a three-year lease. In 2012, a second INS Chakra, the retrofitted K-152 Project 971 Akula-class Nerpa, was leased for a decade, which might be extended to 2027.

Last year, Russia also offered India to jointly develop a new SSK class based on the Russian Amur-1650 class. The Amur-1650 is the export version of the Project 677 Lada-class.

The Navy commissioned its second of six Scorpene-class (Kalvari-class) SSKs in September 2019.
 

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India-China standoff: American weapons for the Indian Navy on the anvil?
As Indian and Chinese troops remain face-to-face in Ladakh, India is buying more sophisticated American weapons, this time for the Navy.

The Defence Acquisition Council or DAC, headed by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and including the three chiefs and the chief of defence staff is expected to clear a decision to acquire ten Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs during the forthcoming meeting on August 11.

These UAVs are likely to be the American Sea Guardian MQ-9 drone, far deadlier than any similar weapon system India currently possesses. The Sea Guardian can be in the air for about 14 hours with its complement of air-to-ground missiles and laser-guided bombs amounting to a little less than 2,000 kg. It has a range of nearly 2,000 km or about 1,000 nautical miles. Very few countries outside the USA and its NATO allies have the Sea Guardian. Being a drone, it doesn't have a pilot, but is guided from the ground.



The DAC is also expected to clear the following:

• The purchases of Super Rapid Gun Mounts. These are medium-range anti-ship and anti-aircraft guns with 76mm shells.

• The strategic partner for building the Naval Utility Helicopter. This is a deal for 111 choppers to replace the Chetak and several foreign manufacturers are in the race. It is a Rs 20,000 crore deal that has been stuck for a considerable while.

• The refit of INS Sindhughosh, a Russian-made submarine the Navy had acquired in the mid-Eighties. The 35-year old vessel, survivor of a collision with a merchant ship and a fire, will be going to Russia for the refit.
 

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