INDIA ENTERS GLOBAL MARKET FOR ATTACK AND MEDIUM LIFT HELICOPTERS
By Bulbul Singh
05 Jun 09. India is on a global hunt to procure Attack and Heavy lift helicopters worth $2 billion. The Indian Air Force has issued tenders for 22 Attack helicopters and 15 Heavy lift helicopters.
The Request for Proposal [RFP] has been issued to AugustaWestland, Boeing, Eurocopter, Khazan of Russia and Bell Helicopters of the United States.
For Attack helicopters, the Indian Air Force has a requirement for day and night capable, all weather helicopters capable of operations in tropical environment of India in desert environment and in mountain regions.
The Requirement include that the chopper must have at least two engines, be agile, incorporate state-of-the art technology and be capable of engaging the enemy at long range from concealed positions and have wire strike protection and low altitude warning system. Besides, the helicopter must have an engine electronic governing system and must be crashworthy. As such, the helicopter should be free from ground resonance and be capable of unrestricted movements from unprepared surfaces.
The capability to hover, take off and land at 4 kilometres with two air- to-ground missiles and 150 rounds of canon ammunition with fuel for one hour cruise are further requirements.
The helicopter should be able to execute sustained turns with minimum 45 degrees in level flight at 300 meters with two air-to-ground missiles and 250 rounds.
The service ceiling should be minimum 5000 meters above sea level and should have an endurance of more than two hours in operating speeds with eight air-to-ground missiles plus 250 rounds.
The avionics should be capable of providing target acquisition; communication for long and short range frequencies, threat detection control and should have an autopilot with speed height and heading hold features and should have auto hover capability. The glass cockpit should have Multi-Function Displays.
The weapon system should have a nose-mounted turret holding a 20 mm or higher calibre canon with minimum 500 rounds. Besides, it should be able to fire rockets of 70mm or higher calibre to engage ground targets with penetration type warhead. In addition the helicopter should have the capability to carry eight air-to-ground missiles at sea level.
The air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles should have fire and forget capability with a launch range of least seven kilometres. The total Service Life should not be less 25 years.
The Self-Protection Suite will comprise a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS), Counter Measure Dispensing System (CMDA) and capability to integrate Laser Warning System and Directed Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM).
HEAVY LIFT HELICOPTERS
The heavy lift helicopters will also be used by the Indian Air Force. The total number of helicopters required is fifteen and delivery should be completed 54 months from date of contract signature.
The Heavy lift helicopter should be twin engined and have all weather capability and be able to carry not less than 45 fully equipped troops. In addition the helicopter should have a provision for fitment of cargo cabin rollers for sliding of heavy board-mounted loads.
The cruise speed should not be less than 230kph with an electronic engine governing system with a minimum range of 60 kilometers.
Instrumentation should include fitment of VOR, ILS, TACAN, weather radar, digital moving map display, TCAS-II, IFF Mk XII, Enhanced GPWS and ELT. An IN-GPS-based on a Ring Laser Gyro/ Fibre Optic-based INS system is required as well as autopilot with speed, height and heading hold features.
The Electronic Warfare Suite includes incorporation of Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) for detection and display of threats, along with Counter Measure Dispensing System. RWR and MAWS should be able to pick up va