Wednesday, July 8, 2015

News Roundup: Four Helicopters, Ten Vendors in Fray for RSH, MoD Clears 2 Forward Located Helihubs for Army

Bell-Textron 407GT,  a RSH contender at Aero India 2013

RSH Project: Crowded Playing Field

Janes reported on July 7, 2015 that 10 Indian companies are in talks with 4 foreign OEMs for supply of helicopters against the requirement of 197 Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopters (RSHs).

The companies are:-

  1. Mahindra Defense Systems with Airbus Helicopters
  2. Axis Aerospace & Technologies
  3. Bharat Forge
  4. Dynamatic Technologies
  5. Larsen & Toubro (L&T)
  6. Punj Lloyd
  7. Reliance Industries
  8. Taneja Aerospace
  9. Tata Aerospace Systems Limited.
  10. HAL

The four foreign OEMs are:-

  1. Airbus Industries (H125M, formerly known as the AS550 C3 Fennec)
  2. AgustaWestland (AW119)
  3. Bell-Textron (407GT)
  4. Kamov (Ka-226T 'Hoodlum')

MoD on September 29, 2014 issued a Request for Information (RFI) aimed at identifying probable INDIAN VENDORS (including an Indian company forming joint venture/ establishing production arrangement with OEM) who can provide Reconnaissance and Surveillance (RSH) Helicopters for use by the Indian Army (IA) and Indian Air Force (IAF), followed by licensed production/ indigenous manufacture in the country.

The RSH helicopters would replace the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters currently in service with the IA and IAF.

Last date of acceptance of response was initially November 11, 2014, but was later extended through a corrigendum to December 23, 2014. A second corrigendum extended the last date to February 17, 2015. A third corrigendum extended the last date to March 31, 2015.

IDP Sentinel members can read about and track progress of the project at

Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) / Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) - IDP Sentinel

Helicopter Fleet Maintenance

The Army is creating two heli-hubs, one each in the Northern Command and the Eastern Command, for maintenance of its helicopter fleet in operational (border) areas. [via IE]

Army helicopters are presently sent to HAL, Bangalore for their advanced maintenance and upkeep.

The hubs would be manned by specialists from HAL and Army’s Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME). It is believed that the establishment of 2 helicopter hubs will improve serviceability by 25%.

The heli-hub in Northern Command, to be located in the Jammu region, is scheduled to be operational next month, while the one in Eastern Command will start working by December.

The Army operates 12 squadrons (195 aircraft) of  Chetaks and Cheetahs, and six squadrons (70 aircraft) of ALH Dhruvs.

Army's long-term plans include three helicopter squadrons (10-12 choppers each) — armed or attack, reconnaissance and tactical lift — each for all its 13 corps as well as "a flight" of five fixed-wing aircraft each for its six regional or operational commands.

IDP Sentinel members can read about and track progress of Army helicopter projects at:

Helicopters - IDP Sentinel