A tanker aircraft is a petrol kiosk in the sky
The Indian Army already has a brigade of around 3,000 amphibious troops, but the Navy’s current fleet is not equipped for such operations. The LHD requirement calls for a diesel-electric propulsion ship that is 200 meters long with a draft of 8 meters when fully loaded. It will be required to carry 6 main battle tanks; 20 infantry combat vehicles; 40 heavy trucks; and more than 900 troops. The ship would be defended by a point defense missile system; a close-in weapon system; an anti-torpedo decoy system; chaff; and machine guns. It would also be able to operate helicopters weighing up to 32,000 pounds.
Be-200 amphibious aircraft, based on the larger military A40 Albatross was designed by Beriev Aviation Co. & manufactured by Irkut; and was intended for fighting the forest fires using the fire extinguishant fluids.
Project 903 Lun-class ("Hen Harrier") Ekranoplan - hover to ground effect aircraft with firepower of tanks and anti-ship missiles, with little regard for sea tides, underwater obstacles or mines. Its stabilizers are the most interesting of all the achievements of this Caspian Sea Monster. NATO: "Utka" (meaning "Duck")
Later however, the majority of the series 1 were delivered to Aerolíneas Argentinas. By this point, Avro's individual identity within the Hawker Siddeley Group had ended and the design became known as the HS 748.
The HS748M was the workhorse of the IAF's transport fleet before the An-12 and An-32 took the role. The are “staff communications and light logistics” aircraft.
The DC-3 revolutionized air travel to the extent not equalled until the arrival of the jet age. Much of that revolution involved safety, thanks to its over engineered design and reliability of the all metal, twin engine airliner. The technical innovations incorporated by the Douglas team included retractable landing gear, wing flaps, variable-pitch propellers, stressed-skin structure, and flush riveting. However, it was known to have mechanical failures.
The DC-3/DST soon proved itself and orders grew rapidly, with KLM becoming the first operator outside the US. Including 40 DST, 430 DC-3 had been delivered when the USA entered the war - one flew more than 84,000 hours.
Nakajima and Showa in Japan had built 485 (L2D) and about 2,000 had been built in the USSR as PS-84, but later re-designated Lisunov Li-2 with 742kW Shvetsov engines.
The DC-3 was built in numerous versions and with a wide range of Wright Cyclone and Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines ranging in power from 742 to 894kW. The aircraft were operated on wheels and skis - one even had floats (the XC-47G-DL) - and there was the XCG-17 experimental troop-carrying glider version.
C-47 made such an important contribution to the US war effort that General Eisenhower considered them to be one of the four most significant weapons of World War II. When allied paratroopers jumped, it was usually from a C-47/DC-3 (which could carry 28 troops, but over sixty people were squeezed in during emergencies). With a maximum range of 3,400 kilometers and a top speed of 296 kilometers per hour, the DC 3 was the common cargo carrier (up to 3.5 tons) and general purpose "flying truck." In the China-Burma-India theatre they 'humped' supplies over the Himalayas from India to China and carried airborne troops on all major invasions. Chittagong is in the very northeastern corner of India very close to Burma and almost on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. Post-war they contributed to the Berlin Airlift, carried supplies and troops into and wounded men out of Korea, and even fought as heavily armed gun-ships in Vietnam.
The Douglas DC-3, also affectionately known as ‘Dakota’, ‘Sky-train’, ‘Gooney Bird. DC-3s are still flying seven decades after its début in December 1935 and are likely to continue flying well into the 21st century.
The American aircraft had an extensive career in the IAF from the mid-1940 to mid-1980s, and was used for air lifting of troops & weapons, road building materials, civil administration in the hills etc. It is an icon of IAF's heritage and history of national service in peace and war. According to Air Marshal BK Pandey (rtd), it was Dakota that saved Kashmir valley from the Pakistani forces in 1948.
After nearly 80 years, there are still over a hundred of the 16,000 American DC-3 transports built are working in odd (and often remote) parts of the world.
Antonov built the original An-24 series to be simple, rugged and easy to use and maintain. They succeeded. Half a century later it should not be surprising that over 500 An-24 series aircraft are still working. A major problem with the An-24 is the shortage of spare parts. The network of factories producing the parts, fell apart when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. India manufactures many spare parts and Ukraine remains a major source of An-24 series aircraft and parts. This included updated models like the An-26 and An-32.
The AN-32 that crashed was among the 50 such twin-turboprop aircraft upgraded till now to increase their operational life from the earlier 25 years to 40 as well as newer avionics under the $ 398 million (Rs 1,965 crore) contract inked with Ukraine in June 2009.
It had two emergency locator transmitter beacons (ELTs) — a stationary US-made ARTEX C406-1 in the tail fin and a French-made portable KANNAD 406AS kept in the cockpit. While the former is automatically activated by an impact with a certain amount of G-force (over 2.3 G) equivalent to a crash, the latter has to be manually activated by the pilot. There are also four life rafts fitted with personal locator beacons (PLBs), which get activated after coming in touch with seawater, on board the AN-32s.
The ELT can be useful in locating a plane wreckage on land but it's of little help in the sea because its emergency radio frequencies or waves cannot travel through water. The ill-fated AN-32, which crashed in an area where the average sea depth is well over 3,000-metre. The IAF is now scrambling to install "underwater locator beacons" in its older transport aircraft, which are tasked to fly over the sea, after failing to locate the AN-32 that went down with 29 personnel in the Bay of Bengal in 2016.
From 1981 until 1998, it was manufactured by Swiss Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier + Fairchild-Dornier) It is derived from a Dornier Do-28 aircraft in 1970s by modifying the Do-28D-2 Skyservant.
The Do-228 has 6 variant models - Do-228-100, Do-228-101, Do-228-200, Do-228-201, Do-228-202 and Do-228-212. Around 270 Do-228s were built and 127 of them are in service worldwide, including the Indian Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The Bangladesh Navy ordered two Do-228 NG aircraft in July 2011, which were delivered in mid 2013.
The 19 seat Do228NG is based on the Dornier 228-212 but features higher powered Honeywell TPE331-10 engines. It is basically the same aircraft with improved technologies and performances, such as a new five blade propeller, composite props, glass cockpit and longer range.
Supplier of structural components fuselage, wings and tail, the Hindustan Aeronautics. (HAL) in Kanpur (India).
The Dornier Do-228 can climb at the rate of 9.5m/s. The never-exceed and maximum speeds of the aircraft are 470km/h and 433km/h respectively. The cruise speed is 315km/h. The stall speed is 148km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 1,037km and 8,534m respectively.
2012: A Dornier Do 228 passenger plane, 9N-AIG, was destroyed when it struck the side of a mountain during near Jomsom, Nepal.
In the late 1970s, Dornier GmbH developed a new kind of wing, the TNT (Tragflügel neuer Technologie), subsidized by the German Government. Dornier tested it on a modified Do 28D-2 Sky servant and with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-110 turboprop engines. Finally, Dornier changed the engine and tested the new aircraft, which was named Do 128 with two Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-5 engines.
India, the only BRICS nation without indigenous passenger aircraft manufacturing capability, has set up a National Civilian Aircraft Design Bureau, which is working on the preliminary design of the project. (Embraer-FMA's CBA 123 Vector. The project was an advanced turbo-propeller aircraft for its time, including advanced technology in avionics, aerodynamics, and propulsion. Although a failure, the project gave Embraer maturity to work with new technologies, which led to the development of the successful Embraer ERJ 145 family of jets.)
NAL’s 14-seat twin-turboprop Saras multi-purpose regional light aircraft. Myasishchev Experimental Design Bureau (OKB) began the business and executive transport aircraft project (initially called Delfin and later renamed as) the M-102 Duet in 1991. Russians to drop out due to financial trouble however, another business class aircraft called the Myasishchev M-101T, designed by Myasishchev and built by Sokol. A little smaller than the 123, you can see the obvious design is essentially the same. IAF wanted to purchase 15 Saras aircrafts to be used for Training pilots and for transport flying. The aircraft currently weighs about 7,100-kg, which is about 500-kg overweight. But the final weight, with the passengers and fuel will still be over 7,000kg. Saras is a pusher configuration (where propellers are behind the engine and push the plane), while other aircraft are in tractor configuration with the engine on the wings and not at the stump (pulling the plane in the air). NAL had also planned to develop further variants of the aircrafts to be used for coastal and aerial surveillance or develop an Executive jet variant for private & business class.
The upgraded Saras Mk2 has considerable drag and weight reduction with unique features like high cruise speed, lower fuel consumption, short landing and take-off distance and low cabin noise. It is also operable from high and hot airfield and the cabin is pressurized; ideal for a variety of applications -- like aerial search, survey, disaster management, border patrol, coast guard, ambulance and other services. Under this project, India developed & patented the Vacuum Enhanced Resign Induced Technology (VERITy) used to make fiberglass composites. It has received upgrades from the previous version. The revised version of the plane is equipped with a more modern avionics system, improved radar, linear wing flap actuator, environment control, engine flap actuators, better flight control system, a larger metallic rudder for enhanced control, redesigned landing-gear actuators, a brand-new brake system, and a fire resistant design for the aircraft’s nacelle. Saras is expected to cost Rs. 45 crore -- cheaper than what India currently pays. A comparable Dornier plane costs Rs. 60 crore.
While first aircraft was clearly overweight at 5,118kg compared to the 4,125kg design specifications.second prototype Saras aircraft lost 400kgs, but it was still heavy by 500kgs which were to be addressed on third Prototype. NAL has developed a third prototype, but it is yet to take its first flight due to weight issues. The third prototype features a new glass cockpit, pressure bulkhead, fuselage top skin, composite tails and wings. Besides the reduction in weight, the third prototype will be upgraded to meet the latest design criteria including higher-power 1,200hp (895kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines and improvements to the flight control and flight operations systems. The Saras PSA will be fully equipped with a digital cockpit and advanced avionics and flight control systems that include MFDs (multi-function displays), a fully digital autopilot, and engine instruments and crew alerting system (EICAS) and an all-moving horizontal tail. According to sources, a new and enhanced technology is being applied on the wings of the Saras aircraft. The wings, made of carbon composite, are being fabricated with a fully in-house developed technology called VERITy (Vacuum Enhanced Resin Infusion Technology).
Three will be delivered in 2014, with another four to be delivered yearly over the next three years. In addition, the Indian navy may get about 25 Saras aircraft for use as land-based coastal patrol aircraft.
Indian suppliers already provide engineering services for many industry players and also produce wing exit doors for the Boeing 757, landing gear boxes for the Boeing 777, and passenger doors for the Airbus A320. India could become a leading supplier of certain labor-intensive niche products (such as doors, interiors, and wiring harnesses) and the first-choice offshore location for nonstrategic aerospace research, development, and engineering (such as two- and three-dimensional drawings or simple simulations).
The “entry fee” for civil aircraft manufacturers is rather high. Aerospace manufacturing volumes are typically low and the level of design customization is high. Winning in the aerospace industry of the future will require incumbents to excel at integrating and managing global supply chains, transferring production flexibly to emerging markets, refocusing on higher-value-added activities, and forming and managing global alliances and partnerships.
Regional jets typically operate short sector lengths with high numbers of cycles. Anything less than 250 hours per month utilization numbers, is unacceptable, as it will drive CASM (costs per available seat miles or ASM) to be very high as an airline has many fixed costs.
If developed, the new aircraft will enter a crowded field, potentially competing with aircraft such as the Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet, Embraer 190 E2, and Bombardier CS100. The regional jetliner market today is dominated largely by Embraer and Bombardier, with Embraer (larger share of the pie) emerging as the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jets up to 130 seats.
The 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 (introduced in 1996) has sold 708 airplanes; the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 100/200 (introduced in 1992) has sold 935 airplanes; 70 seat CRJ700 has sold 347 airplanes; and Embraer E-170s has sold 192 airplanes. However, the 70 and 80 seat regional jet isn’t being favoured by the market anymore (for 50 to 65 seat turboprops provide more profits when cost of fuel is high compared to jet). Currently, the 90 aircraft market has had better prospects over 27 quarters than any other size of regional jets.
Mitsubishi has become the fifth player. Japanese companies are strong partners in large portions of several major aircraft programs (notably the Boeing 767, 777, and 787). Bombardier’s customer support network history also works against the manufacturer. This effectively reduces notable competition to just Embraer and Mitsubishi in the sub-100 seat regional aircraft space. South Korea is mulling a 100-seat aircraft. Indonesia's 19-seat N219 has not yet entered service.
Sukhoi’s Superjet International SSJ 100, a 100 seat regional jetliner (which can operate at -55 C unlike Boeing 737-700), is so far an insignificant player. The program involves major Western partners like Finmeccanica and France’s SAFRAN. Russia’s supply base suggest that it should, at the very least, become a leading supplier of sophisticated titanium and aluminum parts.
Chinese suppliers currently manufacture structural components for Airbus and Boeing and fuselage sections for Bombardier. China has tried to leverage its low-cost manufacturing and engineering capacity to develop a regional jet, the ARJ 21, but it has not received U.S. certification even after 7 years of testing. The MA60 turboprop, China’s first passenger aircraft - developed by state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) and delivered from 2000 - has been involved in 11 major incidents.
In a first step of its kind to strengthen the indigenous aerospace industry, the Defence Ministry has issued a tender expected to be worth over Rs 12,000 crore to replace IAF's Avro planes with 56 new aircraft which will be produced by the Indian private sector firms. The IAF fleet of Avro aircraft was inducted from the 1960s and are used for transporting men and material. The aircraft can carry loads of up to 7-8 tonnes.
The tender has been issued to eight foreign vendors including American Lockheed Martin, Swedish Saab, Russian Rosoboronexport, Spanish Airbus Military, Italian Alenia and Brazilian Embraer and they will have to find an Indian partner to produce 40 aircraft within India, IAF officials said here.
Indian majors such as Tata, Mahindra Defence Systems, Reliance Industries and L & T are expected to partner the bidding foreign partners for the programme.
The first 16 aircraft to be produced in India will have to have 30 per cent indigenous component while the remaining 24 planes will have 60 per cent locally-procured and produced items, officials said. This project will help in widening the capabilities of the Indian aerospace manufacturing industry and creating a wider pool of players who can take up such activities.
Boeing made more medium-long haul airplanes and sold and retained more medium-long haul airplane orders than Airbus. The single aisle family is the best performing airplanes for both manufacturers.
“Partnerships were signed but nothing happened,” said one industry official under the condition of anonymity. “It is highly unlikely that HAL and NAL will involve the private sector actively. Besides, they have been unable to make even a basic trainer.”
RTA-90, a stretched version of RTA-70 with low dihedral wing design powered by twin turbofan engines is also in consideration by NAL
China ordered Y-20 development to begin back in 2006, after China cancelling a $1.5 billion order for 38 Russian Il-76 transport planes and Il-78s (tanker versions of the Il-76). The stated reason was because Russia tried to up the price 27%.
In any case one Chinese aircraft manufacturer was already working on a modern air transport similar to the American C-17. China does not need many Y-20s but it does want to get away from depending on Russia for heavy transports.
Y-20 was designed with both IL-76 (50 t) and C-17 (77 t) 'inspirations' in pedigree and looks. However, Y-20’s maximum load and flying range are lower due to the plane’s reliance on, D-30KP2, an old Russian-designed low-bypass turbofan engine (developed by Soviets back in the 1960s).
Also due to the high noise, some developed countries have banned aircraft using it from landing, threatening its potential appearance at European air shows. Eventually, the Y-20 will be outfitted with the much higher bypass, more powerful and efficient indigenously developed, WS-20 turbofan. The Y-20 has a max payload of 66 tons and is more similar to the C-17 than the Il-76. That is on purpose what while the Y-20 will replace the current fleet of 195 ton Il-76s.
The Y-20 made its first flight in 2013. It is expected to enter service with Chinese air force in the near future. An AWACS version of the Y-20 is also being envisaged. It is possible that this aircraft will be proposed for export customers. Y-20 is compared with the Russian-made IL-76 and the US C-17 which are also present at the show.
A requirement for a military transport to replace 56 HS.748 twin turboprops operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) is raising procedural problems for potential bidders. India released a Request for Information last December inviting OEMs to bid only if they could find private Indian partners. But candidate Indian companies are reluctant to commit to the project.
It is unlikely the Russians will participate [in the 748 replacement], because if the IAF wanted them, it would have ordered more Antonov An-32s. Since Ukraine stopped manufacture, there are few global buyers. India has approved a $2.4 billion contest to acquire 56 transports to replace the air force's Hindustan Aeronautics-built Hawker Siddeley HS 748s, setting the stage for a possible showdown between the Airbus Military C295 and Alenia Aermacchi C-27J. Alenia Aermacchi stressed the C-27J's commonality with the Lockheed Martin C-130J; a type that entered Indian air force service in 2011.
Based on a request for information issued in 2010, 16 aircraft will be obtained in a flyaway condition, and 40 produced under licence in India. One source said the programme will represent a major first, with licensed production of the aircraft to be farmed out to a private sector company, and not HAL.
While India has yet to produce a major private sector airframer, a number of the country's large industrial conglomerates, such as Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata have been steadily building up their aerospace units in recent years.
Government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics is set to co-produce the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) in a joint venture with the Russians. The MTA is in the 20-ton class, whereas the IAF’s 748 replacement would be smaller, around 10 tons. Unlike the 748 but like the MTA, however, it would have a rear ramp and short-field capability. The tight production schedule requires delivery of the first aircraft within two years of contract signing, followed by another 14 within 24 months.
The operating squadron stated in September 2015 that C-17 aircraft could carry only 35 ton of load and on a few occasions, C-17 was tasked for only 26 ton. Boeing was expected to set up a special support infrastructure worth $152 million by July 2013, but has yet to do so. Moreover, for the purpose of loading and unloading, a fork lifter weighing 13 ton is always being carried in the aircraft, since other units did not have ground-handling equipment. This fork lifter occupies 35% of the cargo space leaving limited space for payload.
In June 2009, the Indian Air Force (IAF) selected the C-17 which is to replace the Ilyushin Il-76 as the IAF's largest heavy lift transport aircraft in service. An agreement to purchase 10 aircraft, with an option to purchase six more, was revealed during President Obama's visit to India in November 2010. In February 2011 the IAF and Boeing agreed to terms for order of 10 C-17s with an option for six more; the order was approved by the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security on 6 June 2011. In June 2011, India approved the purchase of 10 Boeing C-17 strategic heavy-lifters at an estimated cost of $4.1 billion from the US in a giant step to augment the capability of its air force to swiftly move troops and equipment over long distances. “The cabinet committee on security has today approved the C-17 deal at an approximate cost of $4.1 billion,” a senior defence ministry official said.
India has signed its biggest defence deal with the United States to procure ten C-17 Globemaster-III heavy-lift transport aircraft for $4.1 billion, is the largest Indo-US defence deal so far, under which American defence major Boeing will set up test facilities for hi-tech aeronautics engines for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). According to the agreement, the delivery of aircrafts will be in 2013 and 2014, with India becoming the largest global customer of the C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft. Boeing will also set up a Trisonic Test Tunnel facility at the DRDO to enable testing, research and development of various aircraft. The purchase is also expected to support 23,000 jobs in the United States, while more than 600 American firms are expected to benefit directly from the deal.
The C-17 Globemaster III is capable of carrying a payload of 75 tonnes after taking off from a mere 7,000-feet airstrip. The four-engined aircraft can transport battle tanks and combat-ready troops over 2,400 nautical miles without refuelling. With the four-engine C-17s capable of taking off and landing even on makeshift runways, barely 3,500-feet long and 90-feet wide, India will be able to transport soldiers and combat systems to forward areas both on western and eastern fronts much faster. It can also take-off and land on unpaved runways. The Globemaster from "Block 19'', which India will get, after all has a maximum range of 9,200 km. The IAF has deployed C-17 to transport supplies to high-altitude landing grounds in Leh and the distant Andaman Island of Port Blair. The C-17s have rescued Indian expats during the Yemeni Civil War in 2015. It has delivered humanitarian aid after the 2013 Cyclone Phailin, 2015 Nepal earthquake, 2015 Kashmir and Chennai floods, 2016 Sri Lanka floods, and other natural disasters. "They can carry twice the load of our present IL-76 `Gajraj' aircraft (IAF has around a dozen of these Russian-origin aircraft). Importantly, they can also operate from short airstrips,'' said ACM Naik.
India is yet to sign the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMoA), a pact mandated by the US law for the transfer of hi-tech military equipment to friendly countries. The final contract is expected to be signed within a couple of months after India issues a letter of acceptance to the US government.
This swift-reaction capability will be crucial in countering China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control, which includes five fully-operational airbases in Tibet. The Chinese have been undertaking a massive buildup of military infrastructure, and the C-17 is expected to act as a force multiplier for the IAF, which has also been on the lookout to add to its heavy-lift aircraft fleet.
The joint production project between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) involves manufacturing of roll-on, roll-off modules that allow C-130s to be used for surveillance, and as VIP transports or hospitals. Tata group's Tata Advanced Materials (TAML) and TAL Manufacturing Solutions, already, supply important components to Boeing.
In 2013, the IAF had landed a C-130J at one of the world's highest landing ground in Daulat Beg Oldie, northern Ladakh. The same year, the aircraft led supply ran for relief materials in flood-hit northern India. In 2014, it transported rescued civilians and humanitarian supplies during the Kashmir floods. In 2016, the planes were even used to ferry cash post demonetization. Recently, the Indian Air Force landed its Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport plane on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered terrain warning awareness system for 6 of its C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts after losing two C-130Js in accidents, one in March 2014 and the other in February this year in an area bordering China. India ordered six more C-130Js for US $ 1.1 billion in 2013. According to the IAF, these six C-130Js will be part of 87 squadron based in Panagarh, which will be the location for the Indian Army's 17 mountain strike corps. More than 90,000 personnel will constitute the corps being raised for deployment along the 2,521-mile Line of Actual Control (LoAC) with China.
The C-130 has been in service for over half a century, and has been flying for over 50 countries. The versatile and robust airframe design has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, retrieve satellites in midair, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling fighter jets, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. It has flown in conflict zones from Vietnam to Afghanistan, on both poles, the Himalayas and landed on unpaved runways and beaches. The latest version, the C-130J, has a top speed of 644 kms, 40% more range than the C-130H, and can carry 20 tons of cargo. C-130Js have cost nearly 20% less per hour than previous models.
In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Pakistan Air Force modified/improvised several aircraft for use as heavy bombers, and attacks were made on Indian bridges and troop concentrations with some successes.
Since 2004, the Pakistan Air Force has employed C-130s in the War in North-West Pakistan. Some variants had forward looking infrared (FLIR Systems Star Safire III EO/IR) sensor balls, to enable close tracking of Islamist militants.
Tankers are an essential requirement.
Airlifting consists of 2 distinct types:
- long-distance, sustained strategic, heavy-transport airlift for long-term operations into warzones. The C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop duties.
- short-distance, tactical, medium-transport airlifting to front-lines. C-130J is an example of tactical, medium transport aircraft.
The expectation was that the A400M would be comparable to the C-130 which is apparently not the case. The “tactical” features the French demanded have long been available on the American C-130, which the A400M was designed to compete with. France has ordered American “Harvest Hawk” kits that can quickly turn American made C-130 transports into gunships. This came after France ordered 4 C-130J transports in late 2015, mainly because of delays and inadequacies of the A400Ms had ordered. It took 10 years of development to get the A400M into production and each one costs about $180 million.
France has been forced to improvise to get the tactical transport capabilities its needs. In early 2016 France ordered American “Harvest Hawk” kits that can quickly turn American made C-130 transports into gunships. This came after France ordered four C-130J transports in late 2015, mainly because of delays and inadequacies of the A400Ms had ordered. France already operates 14 of the older C-130H aircraft and was not expected to order the latest model, the C-130J, because France was a major backer, and customer, for the A400M. During the Cold War air transports were very low priority in Europe because if there was a war the mighty Red Army of the Soviet Union was going to deliver it and be right next door to do so. But now all the action is far away, and the military needs air freight for emergencies and other urgent missions.
Europrop had warned Airbus that data needed to run its TP400-D6 engine smoothly could be accidentally wiped. Three of the A400M’s engines failed after take-off. France complained that the first ones it received lacked all these features and that without these capabilities the A400M wasn’t very useful. All these features have long been available on the American C-130, which the A400M was designed to compete with. AirBus assured France that it would receive six of these “tactical” A400Ms rapidly implement the required changes.
A design optimized for high-altitude cruise instead of short takeoffs with heavy loads, fitted with western avionics and engines, and having commonality with existing Indian airline fleets, may indeed be able to win on lifetime cost. After all, India knows the IL-78′s operating costs. A report found that the serviceability of the IL-78M fleet stood at 49% during the 2010-16 period, compared to a desired 70%, and also that less than half the fleet was mission-ready at any given time. The serviceability of aerial refuelling pods — hoses used to transfer fuel — was also found to be poor due to frequent failures, inadequate repair facilities and poor maintenance support. Unlike the Il-78M which operates only a 3 x hose-drogue system, the MRTT and Pegasus both sport the boom + 3 x hose-drogue configuration that technically allows four aircraft to refuel together.
India relies on a small fleet of 6 IL-76 tankers to cater to more than 400 aircrafts which are now equipped with in-flight refueling probes. The Il-78 and Airbus 330 MRTT were competing for a global tender floated in 2006 by the Indian defence ministry for 6 refuellers to extend the operating radius of Indian fighter jets. In May 2009, India finally chose the Airbus A330 MRTT over the Il-78. (South Korea, also choose the Airbus A330 MRTT over Boeing KC-46A Pegasus ). However in January 2010, the government cancelled the order citing high cost as the reason, reportedly against the wishes of the Air Force. The Indian government backtracking and scrapping the MRTT tender has allowed Boeing to offer the cheaper alternative: KC-46a Pegasus MRTT.
Russia’s pitch is a comprehensive one that involves the IAF’s 6 existing Il-78Ms. Rosoboronexport proposes a comprehensive contract that will include the supply of 6 new generation & build Il-78M-90 tanker aircraft in addition to upgrading the 6 existing Il-78Ms to the dash-90 standard — new avionics, additional fuel capabilities and replacing the Aviadvigatel D-30 KP engines with new PS-90s. The proposal also includes converting one or two IAF Il-76 heavy transports for tanker duties. Russia also comes in against headwinds — chiefly over mounting concerns over the Il-76 platform and its availability rates (one of a handful of reasons why the IAF didn’t simply order more after deliveries of the original six begin in 2003). The lack of a boom system is an issue too.
The A400M had an opportunity to give the C-130 a lot of competition, but this opportunity was diluted because the A400M failed to arrive on time and on budget and lacked many essential features. The advantage of the two smaller airlifters (C-130 and A400M) is the ability to operate from shorter unpaved runways, which makes them less dependent on existing infrastructure. This is useful for disaster relief and peacekeeping as well.
A Portuguese F-16 was suckling gas behind an MRTT intended to be delivered to Australia, when the massive boom literally detached from the lumbering , damaging the F-16 and the Airbus in the process. Now, after assurances have been made that the MRTT’s boom is now “certified” and sound, another MRTT, this time earmarked for the UAE, lost the contraption while on a test mission over Spain. The MRTT’s boom is a thick monster of a an empennage. It is about 40 feet long retracted and almost 60 feet long extended, so one of these falling away from a plane from almost 30,000 feet is a major threat to human life both in the air and on the ground below. Luckily nobody was hurt in either case. Australia is the only country currently operating the MRTT with a boom and they have been told to stop using it until an investigation into the issue has been completed. Hardly the thing you want to hear in regards to an extremely expensive, low-density, high-demand asset like an aerial tanker.
Instead of just fabricating a boomer’s pod, with a nice bay window and some simple controls for an aerial refuelling conductor to use as they have successfully done for the better part of a century, both Airbus and Boeing have decided to get rid of this tried and true method. The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker′s boom “flies” just like an airplane, it has no fly-by-wire brain, and tanking is entirely an analogue affair. Instead, both the boom equipped MRTT, KC-767 and KC-46A will see the boomer’s pod deleted and in its place will be a high-definition 3-D video monitor and fly-by-wire boom control console in or near the cockpit. That’s right folks, boomers will now have to wear 3-D glasses and watch a video monitor to conduct their crucial and precise operations, in all-weather, in day and night.
Unlike the basic Il-76M-90A, the Il-78M-90A will carry 60% more fuel by having to two additional tanks of 50 tons in its large cargo area. If required, it will be able to convert into an airlifter by removing the additional fuel tanks and onboard equipment for refueling. It will also features new engines, a modified wing, strengthened bulkhead in the rear fuselage; and new flight control systems. India has declared its intent to acquire additional Russian air tankers, having reconsidered its earlier selection of the Airbus A330 MRTT.
Pakistan and China have opted to convert their Il-76 military cargo transport aircrafts into Il-78MP aerial refuelling tankers aircraft in the Ukraine.
- MQ-25 from Boeing
- LPD (Amphibious Transport Dock) & LSD (Dock Landing Ship) have replaced WW2 LST (Landing Ship Transport) - carry armor like tanks and other heavy equipment.
- LHD (Landing Helo & Docking) replaces the LPH (Landing Platform Helo) & LHA (Landing Helo Amphibious) - carry light equipment and lots of troops.
The ships will have the capacity to carry 6 main battle tanks, 20 infantry combat vehicles and 40 heavy trucks. Each ship is expected to carry 1,430 personnel, 470 sailors and 900 troops.
India has announced on several occasions that its maritime interests range from the Arabian Gulf to the Indian Ocean rim countries, and that it seeks to strengthen its amphibious capabilities.
LPDs provide the Navy strategic reach to operate far away from Indian shores and support amphibious warfare. The Navy is planning to induct four Landing Platform Docks (LPD) to join the fleet alongside INS Jalashwa.
During the sale, US has succeeded in imposing a generic End Use Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) on India in mid-2009. The deal comes with various restrictions & terms of conditions on weapon use during the war. The end-user verification agreement that the US insists on signing whenever it sells or transfers military equipment to a friendly country entails American right to inspect the equipment at regular intervals to ensure it was not being used for purposes other than for which the sale or transfer took place. It also prevent the buyer country from freeing itself from dependency on the U.S for maintenance.
Reports had suggested that the Indian Navy removed some night vision equipment from on board the 17,000-tonne transport dock warfare ship that aids carrying out amphibious warfare on enemy's shores and allowed the American inspectors to check the equipment's use sometime in late 2011.
The Navy wants the ships to be 200 metres long and to be able to transport Main Battle tanks (MBTs), heavy trucks, Armoured Personnel Vehicles and other heavy machinery. It should also be able to carry out operations of heavy-lift helicopters of the Navy.
The helicopters, the UH-3Hs, were bought as an integral part of Austin-class LPD Trenton. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), India’s apex auditor, has found that serviceability — the availability of helicopters at any given time — of the US-made helicopter was as low as 27.10% in 2015-16 which is seriously affecting optimum utilization of the LPD. Serviceability of the helicopter remained ‘unsatisfactory’ i.e. below the level of 50% since the purchase. The Indian auditor had warned the Indian Navy about the purchase of more than 50-year-old helicopters but the defense ministry had stated that the procurement of UH-3H helicopters was a considered decision to provide an interim solution for onboard aircraft of INS Jalashwa.
Indian Navy had been planning to procure four 20,000-ton LPD at a cost of around USD 2 billion.
It will assist in amphibious operations by carrying out beaching operations in addition to carrying out maritime surveillance to prevent anti-poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, poaching and other illegal activities.
On June 17, Chinese government issued orders for civilian shipbuilders to ensure that five types of civilian ships, container, roll-on/roll-off, multipurpose, bulk carrier, and break-bulk cargo carriers, will be technically compliant for emergency mobilization during wartime. The official China Daily newspaper notes that the Royal Navy took similarily advantage of augmented civilian shipping during the Falklands War. Additionally, the U.S. military used Special Middle East Shipping Agreements to book air cargo space during the Gulf War.
These technical changes will likely include the ability to install military grade communications and defense systems when needed, as well as stronger damage control mechanisms such as additional firefighting equipment. Such militarized new ships would likely be used not for limited skirmishes in the South or East China Seas, but rather in support of sustained maritime, amphibious and regional power projection campaigns, such as around the Taiwan Straits, Gulf of Aden or North Korea.
Roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) carriers are especially interesting given that while they normally transport cars and other automobiles, which drive onto and drive off of them at ports. As shown by U.S military practice during the Gulf Wars, RO/RO carriers can be easily mobilized to dock at a captured or friendly port to quickly drop off a battalion from its ramps. If Chinese amphibious or special forces capture an enemy port, a RO/RO carrier could be brought in to quickly disperse mechanized infantry to seize the surrounding city in a rapid campaign. RO/RO carriers would also allow for the speedy deployment of follow on logistic equipment, and anti-access systems like surface to air missiles.
These catamaran vessels features rounded bilge and bulbous bow hull forms made of aluminium. The ship does not feature combat systems or the ability to support or use LCS mission modules. JHSV is based on the commercial technology, but includes limited military features, such as aviation, C4SI and fire-fighting.
The Indian Navy has chosen to induct a vessel with a catamaran hull form for the first time and will be one of the very few select navies in the world to operate such sophisticated platforms. The vessels will also be capable of limited coastal defence role in an emergency and will also have a limited search and rescue capability and limited ocean research capability.
500 tonne capacity vessel Makar is 53 meter long, 16 meter wide. It can work even in lower draft of 2.2 meter. 150 kw capacity computerized touch screen control pane, radar system, special system for emergency operation, electric control panel, AC plant, state-of-the-art survey equipments, powerful engine room, officers recreation area, VHF-VLF are some other features of this vessel.
Tankers / Replenishment / Fleet Supply
In 2007 the U.S. Navy began using the ARC (Advanced Recovery Control) system. ARC replaces the older, analog, system for operating the arresting cable (stretched across the deck) that stopped a landing aircraft by catching the tailhook found on carrier aircraft. ARC uses software and digital controls to monitor the landing, and put the arresting cable at the right position to stop landing jets. ARC is easier to use and maintain, and is more accurate.
EMALS launches carrier-based aircraft from an aircraft catapult using a linear motor drive instead of the conventional steam piston drive. Its main advantage is it allows for a more graded acceleration, inducing less stress on the aircraft's airframe. It's also lighter than a steam catapult system and cheaper to operate. In addition, EMALS can launch aircraft that are heavier or lighter than those handled by steam catapults. The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system uses electric motors for aircraft deceleration during aircraft carrier recovery operations.
US Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) catapult on Ford class was found less reliable than the older steam catapult and more labor intensive to operate. US Navy has admitted that in combat if one or more catapults were rendered unusable they remained that way until it was possible to shut down all four catapults for repairs. An EMALS catapult was supposed to have a breakdown every 4,100 launches but in heavy use EMALS actually failed every 400 launches. EMALS equipped US carrier had only a 7% chance of successfully completing a typical four day “surge” (multiple catapult launches) and only a 70% chance of completing a one day surge operation. This meant that the older practice of taking one or more steam catapults off line for maintenance or repairs while at sea was not practical because the design of the EMALS system did not allow for it.
Instead of nuclear reactors, an Integrated Electric Propulsion System (IEPS) will now drive INS Vishal. This will be based on gas turbines that drive generators to produce electricity. Designing an IEPS-driven vessel involves different challenges, including identifying a compatible combination of gas turbines, generators and motors, says a designer involved in INS Vishal.
BARC has successfully developed a 190 Megawatt (MW) reactor for India’s fleet of four-to-six nuclear propelled, nuclear missile carrying submarines, of which the first – INS Arihant – has already been commissioned. However, INS Vishal would require a 200mWT PWR (not 190mWT as reported) reactor. That means developing a brand new, miniaturised reactor, incorporating features to protect it from the corrosive and dynamic marine environment.
The navy, which was eager to incorporate nuclear propulsion for INS Vishal, has been told by BARC that it would take 15-20 years to develop a nuclear reactor powerful enough for an aircraft carrier. However, no such expensive 500-550 MW reactor is currently in the development pipeline, because of a dispute over who will pay the bill.
The challenge in designing a ship-borne nuclear reactor includes protecting it from saline corrosion, shock, impact and developing the radiation shielding needed to protect the crew – which would spend longer periods of time, in closer proximity to the reactors, than in land-based nuclear power generation plants. In addition, are the issues around refuelling the reactor cores and storing spent fuel.
India is building its next carrier, also named INS Vikrant, at Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Kochi. This 40,000-tonne vessel, which has been delayed by almost a decade, is likely to be commissioned in 2023.
The 260-metre-long IAC, whose hull-construction had commenced in November 2006, will be able to accommodate 20 MiG-29K MRCAs, five Ka-28PL ASW helicopters and five Ka-31 AEW helicopters. Some serious faults have been found in India’s first homemade carrier, INS Vikrant. Its gearboxes, construction, design and jet launching system has fallen short of expectations.
Due to the delay in the supply of some critical components, the carrier's delivery schedule has been revised from December 2010 to December 2018. The original cost of $490 million has been revised to $2.9 billion.
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In 1991, when the Soviet Union’s collapse placed Baku in Azerbaijan, the vessel was renamed Admiral Gorshkov. The Severodvinsk shipyard completed the long-delayed project to refurbish the former Soviet aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov (now, INS Vikramaditya), which was sold to India in 2004. India’s options were limited. The only countries building carriers at the time—the United States, France and Italy—were building ships too big for India’s checkbook. In 2004, India and Russia struck a deal in which India would receive Admiral Gorshkov. The ship herself would be free, but India would pay $974 million dollars to Russia to upgrade her. A real aircraft carrier for less than a billion dollars sounds almost too good to be true. And it was. The cost of sea trials alone, originally $27 million, ballooned to a fantastic $550 million. The main reasons in time overruns in the IAC — which is currently under construction at Cochin Shipyards Limited (CSL) — were due to non-availability of Russian steel, delay in receipt of critical pre-launch equipment such as gear box and 3MW diesel generators.
Russia’s naval chief, believes that the Baku should be a full-fledged aircraft carrier, not a “compromise carrier” that it was. The aircraft carrier’s motto is Strike Far, Strike Sure.” It has been estimated that the ship can operate up to 45 days without replenishment, while having the capability to cover 1,400 kilometres a day and maintaining a “surveillance bubble” of a 500-kilometre radius. It is to fill a vacuum left by the scrapping in 1997 of India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which had been in service since 1961.
"This isn't a repaired ship. Everything except her hull is new". New aircraft and ammunition lifts, 8 engine boilers, diesel generators, water distilling and reverse osmosis plants, air-conditioning and sensors and weapons had to be fitted, a task that eventually took 115 months instead of the contract 52 months. Under the terms of the original deal, India would have receive the ship for free in 2008 — but would have paid 800 million dollars for necessary upgrades and refurbishment, and an additional 1 billion dollars for accompanying aircraft and weapons systems, which included:
- 12 single-seat MiG-29K and 4 dual-seat MiG-29KUB aircraft;
- 6 Ka-31 reconnaissance and Ka-28 anti-submarine helicopters;
- a Kashtan close-in weapons system;
- 9M-311 SAMs;
- torpedo tubes; and
- artillery units.
The original delivery date was August 2008, he said, and added its price tag was fixed at $978.4 million in 2004 when the deal was signed. Since MiG-29K fighters require a runway both for take-off and for a wire-arrested landing, the Gorshkov had to be converted from a VTOL to a short-take-off-but-arrested-recovery (STOBAR) carrier. This required a 2,500-tonne ski jump and arrestor gear to be fitted, as well as major modifications in 1,750 of the ship’s 2,500 compartments. Recurring delays due to technical glitches during trials and significant cost overruns brought the Indian side close to cancelling the deal, though in March 2010 the two sides reached an agreement to increase the total cost “revised” to $2.3 billion dollars for delivery in 2012 and would be delivered in the last quarter of 2013.
Nobody had tried converting a ship into an aircraft carrier since World War II. Russia’s Sevmash shipyard specialized in submarine construction and had never worked on an aircraft carrier before. The ship had been originally built at the Nikolayev Shipyards, which after the breakup of the Soviet Union became part of the Ukraine. The tooling and specialized equipment used to build Admiral Gorshkov was thousands of miles away and now in a foreign country.
Vikramaditya is a floating airfield, has an overall length of about 284 metres and a maximum beam of about 60 metres, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the ship has a total of 22 decks. With her complete stock of provisions, she is capable of sustaining herself at sea for about 45 days.
Describing the Project 11430 as a unique one, Shri Antony said, it was a challenging task for both the Russian and the Indian sides and congratulated the entire team for converting the ‘Dream Project’ into a reality. “The transformation of INS ‘Vikramaditya’ is an engineering marvel, which has tested the professionalism, capability and perseverance of the Indian Navy and the Russian industry, especially the Sevmash Shipyard”, he said. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi said the INS Vikramaditya will bridge the time-gap that may come up between the INS Viraat and the Indigenously built aircraft carrier Vikrant.It will also help achieving our medium-term goal of operating two aircraft carriers.
Crucial air-defence systems (borrowed from a to-be-decommissioned Godavari-class ship) are now being installed during the “guaranteed refit”, in addition to scheduled maintenance, by the original equipment manufacturer.
China's first aircraft carrier, which was renovated from an old aircraft carrier that China bought from Ukraine in 1998, is seen docked at Dalian Port, in Dalian, Liaoning province September 22, 2012.
The mark “16” emblazoned on the carrier’s side indicates it is limited to training, Chinese and other military experts said. China does not have planes capable of landing on the carrier and so far training for such landings have been carried out on land.
American military planners have downplayed the significance of the commissioning of the carrier. Some Navy officials have even said they would encourage China to move ahead with building its own aircraft carrier and the ships to accompany it, because it would be a waste of money. Other military experts outside China have agreed with that assessment.
“The fact is the aircraft carrier is useless for the Chinese Navy,” You Ji, a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “If it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbors, it’s a sign of bullying.”
Vietnam, a neighbor with whom China has fought wars, operates land-based Russian SU 230 aircraft that could pose a threat to the aircraft carrier, Mr. You said. “In the South China Sea, if the carrier is damaged by the Vietnamese, it’s a huge loss of face,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”
Its a class of mid-1960s small Russian naval warships designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines.
The Magdala completed nearly 18 years of service and covered over 45,000 nautical miles. The Malvan completed nearly 20 years of service and covered over 59,004 nautical miles. The Magrol completed nearly 21 years of service and covered 54,667 nautical miles.
Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.. The hulls were constructed of glass-reinforced plastic
They are a class of minesweepers built for the Indian Navy by the Soviet Union. They are modified versions of the Natya class minesweeper. The vessels were acquired in two batches. The first were purchased from 1978 to 1980 and the second from 1986 to 1988. Technically, the second batch is referred to as the Karwar class. One vessels serves as an AGI (intelligence collection ship).
The ship's hull is made of special U3 steel to reduce its own magnetic signature. These sweeps act as mine-counter equipment and can detect various types of mines such as electro-magnetic influenced mines, acoustically influenced mines, moored mines, etc. The TEM-3 and AT-2 sweeps simulate various signatures that a ship might produce, which in turn causes the mine to explode.
The Times of India reported on 09 January 2006, that eight of the vessels are planned to be decommissioned between 2006 and 2008, while the remaining four are undergoing mid-life refits to extend their operational life. India PR Wire reported on 08 January 2008, that Thales of France has signed a $50 million deal, which will involve refitting four to six Pondicherry Class minesweepers into advanced mine hunters. The sonar suites and combat systems will be replaced, which will give the upgraded vessels leading edge capabilities. Officials from Thales Underwater Systems will conduct the refits in collaboration with the Indian Navy and the project will reportedly take four years to complete.
The AN/SQQ-32 is a variable depth mine hunting detection and classification sonar for the Avenger (MCM-1) and Osprey (MHC-51) Surface Mine Countermeasures (SMCM) ships. The system consists of search and classify sonars integrated into a towed body with electronic and display consoles on-board the ship. The AN/SQQ-32(V)4 is the High Frequency Wide Band (HFWB) detection sonar upgrade to the in-service AN/SQQ-32(V)3 Mine Hunting Sonar Set.
The US navy had smaller Osprey class coastal mine hunters were all given away to foreign navies and replaced by the LCS (which has been delayed) and new minesweeping helicopters.
Constructed entirely of fibre-glass and designed to survive the shock of underwater explosions, they use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. Classification of targets is carried out using higher frequency narrow beam acoustics to provide high-resolution echo and shadow imagery.
The platform has been designed with exceptionally low magnetic and acoustic signatures to protect against mine detonations during minehunting operations.
U.S.A.'s Shallow Water Combat Submersible & Dry Combat Submersible will replace older Mark 8 Seal Delivery Vehicles. It first type will haul six or more naval Special Operations Command over short distance near the surface while the second type will carry six individuals much farther and at greater depths. Both new miniature craft will also be fully enclosed. The current SDVs are open to water and the passengers must wear full scuba gear.
Four Indian naval submarines, from both Sindhughosh (EKM) and Shishumar (HDW) classes, took part in the Indo-U.S. exercise
INDIAEX 2012 practice rescue scenarios which demonstrate URC’s Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). The SRDRS will mate with Indian submarines for a transfer of personnel from the simulated distressed submarine to the rescue vessel.
The fortnight-long exercise, meant to demonstrate the rescue of personnel from a disabled submarine, held special significance for the Indian Navy, which operates an ageing fleet of submarines.
While it has been toying with the idea of buying a couple of DSRVs for sometime now, the Indian Navy still has a lot of ground to cover in possessing a failsafe submarine rescue capability. At present, it relies a great deal on Russian-made pressurised escape suits in the Sindhughosh-class submarines and rescue spheres that can be punched out during trouble in Shishumar-class submarines.
Coastal Research vessels
The NIO acquired India's first multidisciplinary oceanographic research vessel, RV Gaveshani, in 1976. After rendering commendable service for 18 years, R.V. Gaveshani was decommissioned in 1994.
INS Sagardhwani is a marine acoustic research vessel, commissioned in 1994. The vessel is being maintained by the Southern Naval Command, Kochi.
This floating laboratory, housed in a 2,000-tonne ship, is equipped with facilities for research in physical and chemical oceanography, marine meteorology, acoustics, geology and geo-acoustics. It records ocean environmental data for analysis, from various locations at the sea.
There are rich facilities like navigational aids including satellite navigator, global positioning system, navigation computer, Decca navigator (a hyperbolic radio navigation system operated by measuring the phase differences between continuous signals from master and slave stations), survey echo sounders, Doppler speed log, navigational radar, gyro compass, multi-beam echo sounder, sub-bottom profiler, acoustic Doppler current profiler and shipborne wave recorder.