06 September 2011
New Delhi: The Indian Army will soon get a substantial boost in aerial firepower with the induction of the attack version of indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Rudra'. A derivative of the ALH Dhruv, the Rudra will be the first weaponised chopper built in the country.
It will be inducted into the Army Aviation Corps sometime in the current financial year, officials said.
The "heavily-loaded" ALH Rudra will be armed with an array of guns, rocket pods, air-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles.
The Rudra will begin a fresh final round of firing trials this month, starting with its 20-mm turret gun. This will be followed by trials of its 70mm rockets and MBDA-supplied Mistral air-to-air missiles in November.
Aiming for initial operational clearance (IOC) by December this year, deliveries of the production series of helicopters are scheduled for before March 2012.
The weapon systems are currently being ground-tested in integrated configuration (IADS).
Integration of the Rudra aerial platform into the army will provide field commanders the ability to apply combat power at critical times anywhere in the battle field, officials said.
Rudra is an armed variant of the ALH Dhruva chopper and "necessary changes have been made in the airframe of the chopper to give it agility and speed to make it a suitable support weapon for the ground troops".
The chopper has been named 'Rudra', one of the names of Lord Shiva who is worshipped as the destroyer of enemies, to signify the helicopter's firepower and capabilities.
The HAL is also in the process of developing a Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) which will be inducted in both the army and the Indian Air Force.
The 5.5 tonne class twin engine chopper has a number of advanced features such as Automatic Flight Control System, Integrated Dynamic System, Full Authority Digital Electronic Control can cruise at speeds of 250 km per hour.
By Greg Waldron
South Korea is likely to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for its 36-aircraft attack helicopter (AHX) requirement in early 2012, with reduced numbers of US Army Boeing AH-64 Apaches on the peninsula adding impetus to the long-awaited acquisition.
The RFP is likely to be issued by Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration in January, with responses required by April 2012, Boeing said.
A downselect decision is likely next July, with this to be followed by a contract award in October 2012.
Boeing is pitching its AH-64D Apache Block III (below) in the competition, with likely rivals to include the Bell AH-1Z Cobra, Eurocopter Tiger and the Turkish Aerospace Industries T129B.
Seoul has long been interested in the Apache, which the US Army has operated in South Korea for decades.
These include countering North Korean infiltration along South Korea's coastline and counter-penetration along the demilitarised zone that separates the two countries.
The aircraft could also be called on to fly combat missions behind enemy lines.
In addition, Seoul is interested in developing a light "Korea attack helicopter" (KAH), to replace its Hughes MD500s and generate overseas sales for its national aerospace sector.
Exact specifications are yet to emerge, but it is believed the nation wants an attack helicopter that can also carry 6-8 passengers, similar to the Mil Mi-35.
Offsets related to the AHX deal will likely be applicable to the indigenous KAH.
Boeing said it would be interested in offering its AH-6 light attack helicopter for the KAH offset.
While the AH-6 can only carry 2-3 passengers, in addition to a two-man flight crew, Boeing said the helicopter is optimised for operating in conjunction with the Apache.
The fuselage of the Apache is produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).
The company also has experience working with Eurocopter, with which it developed the Korea utility helicopter, also known as the Surion.
KAI and Eurocopter have set up a joint venture to market the Surion overseas.
Sep 10, 2011
By Maxim Pyadushkin
MOSCOW — The rivalry continues between Russia's two new combat helicopters — the Mil Mi-28 and Kamov Ka-52 — for dominance of the domestic market.
Russian Helicopters, the holding company overseeing both manufacturers, says it has signed a contract with the defense ministry for delivery of “more than 140”Ka-52s for the air force. The deal is estimated to be worth 120 billion rubles ($4.1 billion). Deliveries will continue through 2020.
This contract allows the Ka-52 to catch up with the Mi-28, which previously was selected as the main attack helicopter to replace the aging fleet of Mi-24s. The air force has ordered about 100 Mi-28s and already operates 38 of them.
The Ka-52 was previously seen as a rotorcraft for special missions owing to its weaker armor. Nevertheless, the military acknowledged the Ka-52's advantages in maneuverability due to its coaxial main rotors, and more sophisticated avionics.
In 2009, the military placed an order for 36 Ka-52s. They are being assembled at the Arseniev-based Progress facility, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters; the first four were delivered to air force units in Russia's Far East in May. The company expects that the Ka-52 backlog may increase further under a program to put maritime versions on the Mistral-class amphibious assault ships that Russia is buying from France. The first ship-based Ka-52K prototype is expected to be ready by 2014.
With the Ka-52 deal, the backlog of Russian Helicopters orders from the national military grew to almost 600 rotorcraft. Company representatives explained that earlier this year the company secured seven long-term and three short-term contracts with the defense ministry for 450 rotorcraft. Under the procurement plans through 2020, the air force is expected to purchase more than 1,000 new helicopters.
In 2011, the manufacturer plans to deliver 267 helicopters, about half of which will be handed over to domestic customers, both military and civil. Last year the holding's deliveries totaled 214 units.
09:16 GMT, October 5, 2011 The Brazilian air force's AH-2 Sabre attack helicopter is the Russian-manufactured Mil Mi-35, one of which is seen arriving at Cachimbo air base. (Brazilian AF photo)
The Brigadeiro Velloso Proving Ground in Cachimbo-PA is hosting the first operational air-to-ground training exercise with the AH-2 Sabre attack helicopter.
The unit that operates the aircraft, the 2º/8º GAV (POTI Squadron), based at Porto Velho Air Base, will operate under the supervision of the General Command of Air Operations and the Research and Flight Test Institute.
The squadron has been deployed to Cachimbo since Sept. 28.
In addition to the 2º/8º GAV, the 7Â°/8º GAV (Harpia Squadron), based at Manaus Air Base, is also participating in the exercise with its H-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
The Brigadeiro Velloso Proving Ground was chosen to support the operational training, due to its supporting infrastructure, which includes booths and tactical scenarios suitable for the purpose.
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