Indian Army since long has been lobbying for it's own fleet of attack helicopters so when in 2015 the government signed the deal for 22 Apache attach helicopters the Indian army immediately requested for the control of those 22 helicopters and this became a flash point between IA & IAF for quite some time.

IA argued that attack helicopters were more needed by army than airforce as for anti-tank and ground support roles & that they have to depend on airforce for attach helicopters which reduces their efficiency. IAF countered the army's demand for attack helicopters stating that establishing a mini-airforce within the army will diminish the roles of airforce and that certain operations like search and rescue and for armed patrolling are more airforce centric and so the control of the attack choppers should stay with airforce.
After hearing out both sides the 22 initial choppers were given to IAF.

Now the IAF is set to get its own fleet of Apache attack choppers as MOD has given nod to army for its own fleet of attack helicopters. The army will get some 11 Apache which will come as follow up order on the original deal to acquire 22 Apache attack & 15 Chinook transport helicopters. The deliveries of Airforce's Apache and Chinook will start from 2018 and so we can expect if the follow up order is finalised then IA may get it's attack helicopters from 2020-22 at best.

Army is looking to expand it's aviation arm further and other than these 11 Apache army also has ordered some 60 HAL RUDRA and an order of 114 HAL LCH (link to post) , army wishes to have an attack fleet at all major bases where it has aviation complexes.

Other than this there have been reports that suggest that army might try to acquire additional Apache and may take the count to about  40 which in my opinion is highly unlikely. In my opinion we can buy 3 or so LCH for the cost of one Apache so 40 Apache don't really make sense, yes the number upto 20-22 will be much more realistic but that too is not likely as the follow up order has limit of 11 only.


  1. Do you know.... During operation desert storm..USA used 300 apache gunships together ..and they destroyed Iraqi tanks , soldiers , artillery etc... Indian army should also order a minimum of 50 apache

    1. We r not invading any nation, also we have our own ones on order

  2. Choppers ALWAYS ended with huge losses in all the wars they were (too) massively used since such massive use began in Vietnam.
    I'm not against the use of choppers but these should surely be much less used.
    Transporting troops? It's much less risky and much more efficient to airdrop a full airborne battalion with light tanks through cargo aircraft. Even for S&R, the FSTARS (Fulton surface-to-air recovery system) seen at the end of "James Bond 007:Thunderball" ended with a single accident over its whole carrier while the loss of choppers and their personnels doing S&R is really huge!
    Same thing applies to gunship choppers : just compare losses to A-10 or Su-25. Add to this there are no blatant advantages at buying AH-64 over much affordable Mi-28N but in a way, such an aberration came mostly from the fact that US-Army was banned from operating strike aircraft while it'd had made much more sense them having their CAS (close air support) capability under their own control.
    Just think about this : it didn't even needed ManPADS to down choppers in Syria : ATGMs even like the 50y old TOW proved being enough! At the point as things like the Javelin were even designed to go after choppers too. With the trend to fit Zu-23-2 over HiLux pickups, Choppers end even at higher threat than they were before.

    India is missing a great opportunity at not considering creating something more interesting although premises already existed with it :
    They were modernised and tested with great success against IS in Iraq, proving themselves as efficient as F-15E but for a mere $1k/hour while any AH-64 costs 4.5x more to use and great ability to loiter for long over battlefield (no way to achieve this through choppers)
    Thus, infamous Sen. McCain killed this very cheap program (but still didn't touched F-35 with now a $1.65 trillion projected cost and already $430bln spent for a still not working system after 20y development)

    So what to do? I may have already talked about this but...
    The OV-10 form factor and capabilities (STOL, easy to operate from anywhere, etc etc) are simply perfect but it'd need more serious payload and some other capabilities becoming some kind of turboprop equivalent to A-10/Su-25 with features normally found on choppers but taken one step further. The platform may have to be stretched but it'd be seriously valuable.

    1. - 2 turrets, each coupled to its own EOTS. Use of Nexter 30M791 (Rafale's gun, up to 2500 RPM), 3000 shells in the 'cargo' bay (825kg). This will allow rapid runs shooting on 2 sides against pre-locked numerous targets.
      - A-10 flies only at 706km/h max. Many turboprops are faster, some even are +900km/h able, some even peaked at +1000km/h. Wel pushing so fast may be unlikely but being able of +700km/h seem not to be a problem
      - being able to fly on a single engine. A gear box may run the 2 propellers. Long loitering time is wished : this is how you enforce a NDZ (no drive one). If you look at the Syrian configuration, cutting squares on the map, fucking up all technicals, APC, IFVs and tanks would have really helped to retake rapidly large terrain for boots as all the heavy weaponry would have been removed. A 30mm airborne autocannon has a range of 5km, rockets like CRV7 can easily range 7-8km. 65 aircraft like these could so bring a near instantaneous full coverage over 10k km²! 130 would allow a 24/7 coverage.
      - LOGIR guidance kit project should be bought and adapted on CRV7 rocket instead of Hydra70 : CRV7 is the (Canadian made) NATO standard rocket and pierces the hull of a T-72 on any angle.
      - Rocket pods with 32 units in should be created, preferably in a rocket-launcher/fuel-tank combo, just think about old Matra JL-100 :
      It may not forcedly contain 250L fuel (more?)
      - consider a standard payload with 6 of such pods. 192 guided rockets each able to defeat a T-72, at least 1500-2000L additional fuel and 3000x 30mm rounds seems pretty OK to retake control of the kind of asymmetrical warfare mixing classic land warfare, guerilla and terrorism. Such armament will help to stay just out of range from ManPADS and most of AA-guns, especially the pretty ubiquitous 23mm ones. It's clear that better have some countermeasures against IR missiles anyway. Having 2 more hardpoints i.e. to get MERs each with 6 KAB-100/SDB/SDB-II/XM395 (guided mortar shell) may be nice. Now studies may say if feasible or not. Nevertheless, many other armaments may be available. Note there was also a Matra TK-500 for sales : 500L drop tank with racks for 4x250kg bombs.
      - Fixed refuelling probe, Rafale/Mirage-2K style
      - Mostly Kevlar skinned
      - cockpit+engines composite armour
      - optional folding wings for carrier/amphibious ship use
      - optional back mounted small turbofan (the kind used on very light jets)
      - Turboprop exhausts over the wings to reduce IR signature from the ground.

    2. => Here we have something more than able to be used at the same time as somethng nonetheless cheaper than chopper gunships but also as a subsonic strike aircraft in a "strike pack" or do AC-130 style job with low hourly costs. Some other uses can be considered, the same Bronco had with increased payload. Some AAMs could also be fitted on wing-tips and even overwing, like on Jaguars.

      ### Such 'killer-bee' would be nonetheless pretty easy to design/build but very easy to export, especially if price doesn't exceeds $10M which seems feasible to me (Super-Tucanno is sold $9-11M, Mi-28N is sold about $15M, same for Yak-130, Air-Tractor AT-802U is sold about $5M). As there was an OV-10T planned, as there'd be much more payload than Bronco, maybe even considering a removable center fuselage, allowing to switch between a combat module and a (20-30) passenger/cargo one may even be considered. Having the module jetissonable with a BRS (ballistic recovery system) may also increase security while at the same time, allow the airframe to be of dual use on both the civilian and military markets.

      ### At $35.5M flyaway cost for an partly Tata-built AH-64E, the LCH R&D cost was less than 2 AH-64 units! I really don't get what interest may be about ordering AH-64 : same thing about the stupid MMRCA-II and considering Gripen-E or F-16V while Tejas Mk1 is already built and Tejas Mk1A as tremendous potential as a definitive concept, I even think the BAe Hawk shouldn't have been built and the job should have gone to Tejas-Trainer as in case of things getting hot, the trainer fleet would have full combat potential, even if initially, they don't receive full systems. Thus, I'm not a big fan of gunship choppers, I'd really consider fixed wing propeller aircraft over them, especially if they are STOL and capable to be used from rough terrains.

    3. Yes in Vietnam helis failed miserably and so did in Afghanistan too but a large number of those occurred during transport of troops which were unarmed. In today's battle helis are much needed as we cannot paradrop or land a jet on places where we can drop them via heli, yes a heli needs escort and that's why we need attack choppers ( cobras did great in Vietnam and lil birds and Apache in other places). Today helis are much adv which imp survivability, yes they r still vulnerable but the mechanised infantry is equally vulnerable today as a BMP can be blown by an anti armour shoulder held weapon too and it will result in death of all passengers.
      Every platform today is vulnerable by one or other means.
      India realised the need of attack heli when we were facing kargil war, our mi 35 were not even able to fly high to such forward locations and due to this we had to use jets to bomb bunkers and we lost a few of those too.
      Yes I too feel that Apache number should not be inc from the present follow up order of 11 because we have our lch and 22 Apache and then several mi 35 in airforce too, this is sufficient number of heavy attack heli and now even out LCH can do the task (3 lch for 1 Apache doesn't sound bad does it?)

    4. Actually, heli dropping is not great to move a full division! Actually, you'll even have it easier to paradrop SOFs at night, remember that you can do very accurate landing with a chute!
      Moreover, systems like LPADS also allow to accurately paradrop heavy payload. You also forget systems like Trophy. I don't feel many Merkva tanks were hurt since it's fielded.
      Actually, choppers are liked mostly because they're... comfortable! It's mostly like moving in a van. Even for S&R, they might suck. Remember when sultan Erdolf had Russian Su-24 shot down. Guess why? the S&R chopper landed and was also destroyed! Had a FSTARS system been used, well, this was used to get CIA/DIA spies recovered into enemy territories, even from places no chopper could land or use a rescue hoist. Over years of use, only one accident occurred. How many choppers lost during CSAR missions. A fixed wing 'gunship' as I described would be much more able to operate very high altitude areas than any chopper too and would carry much more payload!
      Again : I'm not anti-chopper but they have ended being over-used when they're far to always be the best solution.
      For serious cargo jobs, just go back to the really STOL Br.941 (which I really love, I know) and systems of rockets like those used on XFC-130H Credible Sport were to be used, you end as VSTOL as an Osprey without the crazy costs and the high accident rates.
      I'm far to be the only one to point the over-using of choppers being detrimental to proven more efficient ways.
      Nevertheless, I agree with you about 3 LCH for an Apache.

    5. Also yes I remember that su 24 and heli being shot down, sad incident when u realise an outdated RPG or even multiple UBGL grenades can take out a fine expensive helicopter.

      Would love to see better alternative to a heli in future. Yes ATM we realise that choppers can't be completely replaced by any they either need an APS for choppers like in tanks today or something to save lives.

    6. Actually, the Fullton recovery system (FSTARS) AKA 'skyhook' worked really great to exfiltrate pilots or CIA agents.
      Actually, FSTARS pre-dates to WW2. They used to put two poles with a kinda lasso and the C-47 flew near with a hook.
      The FSTARS can recover 2 ppl at once. It'll be clearly much more a problem to go after the guys to be recovered if they launch the balloon a fex seconds before the recovery aircraft comes and it'll always be much harder to tarhet a +500km/h aircraft not staying around at all than a chopper.
      Choppers are so widely used more because they are comfortable than at being the most effective solution.
      V-22 seems nice, well, one was also recently downed in Yemen, several Mi-24/35 were fucked in Syria even using ATGMs, so was it with a Gazelle carrying a general. How many Su-25 downed? Zero...

  3. Also yes an A10 or su 25 is better for ground support but they don't sell a 10 and giving army a fixed wing fleet is not possible or else HAL would have placed COMBAT HAWK variant as a contender which can be a very capable ground attack plane. The advantage of combat hawk is that it can be used as AJT during normal days and boom a support jet whenever u need.

  4. Hitesh : you should re-read the features of the concept I advise : it'd make a propeller aircraft even more kick-ass than A-10 for even cheaper to buy/use than a LCH and there is nothing revolutionary in such concept : HAL would have it easy to create smth like this.

    It's a bit sad I have no entries in our both MoDs : I think I may put up concept none seems to think about while my ideas will at the same time augment efficiency while sparing serious money.

    The idea behind the concept is NOT to field another aircraft for AF (although...) but to have something A-10 like for doing CAS for the army while retaining, it's true, more than serious capabilities as a subsonic strike aircraft. You also seem to forget several advantage my concept would have :
    - Such an aircraft will ALWAYS be cheaper to build/use and easier to maintain than any chopper and moreover jets. Watch the videos I posted on Bronco! They can even land where you may not drive a 4x4 pickup. They used to take off in 150m. A folding wing option would even allow smth like our small Mistral LHDs (199m) to be really used as strike-aircraft carriers. My concept is much more destructive than what you may expect from a Combat-Hawk, adding a small turbofan was already made on Broncos and well, my idea is not to build just a stretched one but smth with better aerodynamics capable of flying faster than A-10!
    - Have you red about the cargo potential, using a modular design? Payload would be on par with C-2 Greyhound and STOL capabilities may even allow to do the Hawkeye AEW job without any catapult! There are also baby-JSTARS battlefield management potentials as much as dual use on civilian market.
    - Frankly, Tejas-Trainer would be much better indicated for AJT-job in India. The Hawk contract was another error. Even if being a little more expensive, Tejas is much more capable than Hawk and at least, AJT is supersonic and will be massively procured to replace Mig-21. I have no say in what our AF may buy but I'd HIGHLY consider dual-seat Tejas to replace our old Alpha-Jets and, BTW, it'd also be more than enough when we're called to "cop" job in Africa while they may give serious 'boom' to the Rafale fleet if it was needed.
    - You only need 60-70 flying hours to be licensed with a dual engine propeller aircraft! Most of chopper/jet pilots need 3-4 years studies while having already single propeller/ultralight/sailplane licenses! Moreover, choppers are to the airs what motorbike are to land transport : the most dangerous vehicle! Fixed wing propellers gunship-aircraft are a much better fit for the army than gunship choppers.
    - By now, you should get how my little ideas have serious potentials. Thus, it requires most of the time lengthy explanations as most of the time, it's "out of the box" thinking.

  5. Buddy it's not the HAL or MOD which I doubt but the airforce itself, u know the airforce itself doesn't know what it wants. Even if we give them something like an a-10 they would be ready to crush the idea.
    The idea of Bronco is really good too.
    A-10 what makes it superior and so good is same as what made Hal Marut so good which is the mechanical control ( it doesn't use some random flyby wire system or hydraulic controls but purely mechanical systems with multiple fail-safe) which make it flyable even when it loses half its wings and has extensive damage.

    I think before starting any new project they should contact airforce and get a commitment or u know we already have lack of budget for R&D.

    1. "u know the airforce itself doesn't know what it wants. Even if we give them something like an a-10 they would be ready to crush the idea."
      => Seems really obvious : Tejas should be fielded for +15 years, wasn't it for all the changes of requirement and the serious Dassault consulting it had from the start should never had been stopped to finally resume now : visibly it came highly from the backup project they had was Rafale rejected by French govt (and there were strong oppositions by the Sarkozy-gang that wanted F-18!). Same crap with the HAL jet-trainer but here, the many nonsenses led to something mostly unfliable. BTW, it would make MUCH mor sense to directly field Tejas-Trainer in the ATJ-job, maybe if a little more expensive than Hawk, it's MUCH more capable.
      Huhu, they'd need s.o. no-nonsense like me to determine the needs

      "The idea of Bronco is really good too."
      => My concept in NOT a Bronco! Actually, it'd be more likely A-10 sized. I just retain the form factor and the serious STOL-rugged terrain/easy maintenance features (and the idea of an optional jet engine on the back. Williams builds interesting little ones, Honda too). One of the main goals is to make it very economical too and the modular/multi-mission capability side is not to neglect too.
      The armaments I consider are as much important as the platform. Just consider the double turret : EOST, data-fusion from SLAR/JSTARS and even sats allows to map many target and a 30mm ranges about 4-5km. You can simply do full throttle runs and cleanse most of targets on a 8-10km wide strip while LOGIR is fire and forget (and the cheapest kit existing to convert cheap dumb rockets as PGMs) while the CRV7 is know to have pierced T-72 hull without warhead in (!) (Note that it may be also a very decent ATGM with a very simple/cheap targetting/launching system. Hey, the TOW-launcher cost is about $1.1M and this is a 50y old system concept! With LOGIR, you just point a laser on the target once, the seeker locks on and you've just got to shoot)

      => Actually, Marut used to fly on hydraulic controls, A-10 has a double hydraulic system and both have a backup mechanical system.
      Fly by wire is nothing random, actually, it has even greatly secured aircraft since introduced and not a single modern jetfighter could fly on hydraulic or mechanical system now as all are voluntarily made aerodynamicly unstable. What is the new trend is fly by optics using optic-fibers. You'd surely fly better after losing a wing with FBW as the computer can compensate much more easily the new super-unstable configuration than mechanical input from a pilot. Note that once, an Israeli F-15 lost a full wing (Syrian SAM????) and managed to go home without!

      => In the case of such a "Super-Bronco", for me, it's more stuff for the land-army as the primary-goal is CAS and to have something more efficient/cheaper/more secure than choppers. Moreover, you need much less training to pilot a propelled fixed-wing aircraft than a chopper or a jet.
      I don't think there'd be costly R&D for such an aircraft, same thing to revive Br.941 in a modern way. Both would be very useful too, not only for India, but also for the EU-AF as visibly, due to BrExit and also, although the will existed for decades but was blocked by the Brits, thanks to Trump too, an EU-army seems having to be considered as "on the way" to be created.

  6. Another aircraft for HAL to screw it up and turn it into a coffin. Sad cases.

    1. The most amusing thing is that, for anyone living in India or here in the EU, with what YOU have to pay for a car in Singapore, we all can pay for a really nice car AND an aircraft too.
      LMAO, even to drive the shittiest car model on Earth in Singapore, you have to pay the price of a Porsche Boxster and you already have paid double tag for the car and bribed some mafia-state-servant to have the right to spend $75k more, not counting the tolls etc.
      Poor Pigmoon K! I wish you Malaysia to invade or a commie revolution.
      Never heard of anywhere else on Earth with such a racket!

  7. News about choppers :
    Sikorsky/Locheed S-70B Seahawk contract scrapped.

  8. Speaking losses of choppers :
    I knew it was huge in Vietnam, but not at such a point : 5398 for the US only (lost 3632 aircraft too!)


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