HAL

Hawk-I and LCH Un­veiled

SP's Aviation - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY AIR MAR­SHAL B.K. PANDEY (RETD)

SATUR­DAY AU­GUST 26 THIS year was in­deed a Red Let­ter Day for the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Limited (HAL) as it was on this day that the In­dian aerospace ma­jor show­cased two of its lat­est prod­ucts, the Hawk-In­dia (also re­ferred to as the Hawk-I) and the in­dige­nously de­signed and de­vel­oped Light Com­bat He­li­copter (LCH). The Min­is­ter of De­fence, Arun Jait­ley, the chief guest at the func­tion, ded­i­cated the Hawk-I to the na­tion and for­mally launched the se­ries pro­duc­tion of the LCH. The cer­e­mony that was held at HAL’s fac­tory premises in Ben­galuru, was wit­nessed by a very large au­di­ence con­sist­ing of thou­sands of per­son­nel from the four De­fence Pub­lic Sec­tor Un­der­tak­ings (DPSUs), HAL, BEML, BEL and BDL as also other dig­ni­taries, in­vi­tees and the me­dia.

THE HAWK-IN­DIA

HAL has been en­gaged for the last around ten years in the li­censed-pro­duc­tion of the Hawk Ad­vanced Jet Trainer (AJT)

RE­FER­RING TO THE CHANGES MADE IN THE DE­FENCE PRO­CURE­MENT PRO­CE­DURE, THE MIN­IS­TER SAID THAT SOME PLAT­FORMS HAD BEEN THROWN OPEN TO THE PRI­VATE SEC­TOR TO SET UP MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES

from BAE Sys­tems of the United King­dom. So far it has pro­duced a to­tal of 100 of this plat­form for the In­dian Air Force (IAF) and the In­dian Navy and there are or­ders for more. In 2015, HAL re­vealed plans for a pro­gramme to con­vert the Hawk AJT into a “Com­bat-Ready Plat­form” which en­tailed up­grade of the air­craft with in­dige­nously de­signed avion­ics, soft­ware and sys­tem ar­chi­tec­ture to en­hance its op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity. Dubbed as the Hawk-I, this plat­form is now ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing pre­ci­sion guided mu­ni­tions (PGMs) both in strike and ae­rial com­bat roles. Its self de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity has been en­hanced through new Elec­tronic War­fare (EW) sys­tems and dig­i­tal map gen­er­a­tor. The plat­form’s op­er­a­tional re­li­a­bil­ity has been strength­ened through new Dual Hot Stand-by Mis­sion Com­puter Avion­ics Ar­chi­tec­ture sup­ported by in­dige­nous and highly ac­cu­rate high al­ti­tude Ra­dio Al­time­ter, IFF Mk XII, Data Trans­fer Sys­tem, Counter-Mea­sures Dis­penser Sys­tem (CMDS) and Radar Warn­ing Re­ceiver (RWR). As the plat­form has been de­vel­oped with­out a pre-ar­ranged cus­tomer, it is now for the HAL to find one. Hope­fully, the IAF will come on board.

LIGHT COM­BAT HE­LI­COPTER

The twin-en­gine LCH in the 5.8 tonne cat­e­gory, has been de­signed and de­vel­oped by the Ro­tary Wing R&D Cen­tre and built by the He­li­copter Di­vi­sion, both of HAL. The project was sanc­tioned in 2006 and the he­li­copter un­der­took its maiden flight in 2010. The LCH is an at­tack he­li­copter and is es­sen­tially a de­riv­a­tive of the Ad­vanced Light He­li­copter Dhruv. How­ever, the LCH has a nar­row fuse­lage and a tan­dem seat­ing con­fig­u­ra­tion for the pi­lot and the co-pi­lot or in his place, the Weapon Sys­tems Op­er­a­tor (WSO). The plat­form has in­dige­nous state-ofthe-art tech­nolo­gies such as in­te­grated dy­namic sys­tem, hin­ge­less main ro­tor, a tail ro­tor with­out bear­ings, anti-res­o­nance vi­bra­tion iso­la­tion sys­tem, crash wor­thy land­ing gear, smart glass cock­pit, ar­mour pro­tec­tion and is de­signed with stealth fea­tures with low RCS to pro­vide pro­tec­tion against de­tec­tion by radar and in­frared de­vices.

The he­li­copter is equipped with elec­tronic war­fare sys­tems and ad­vanced weapons sys­tems, in­clud­ing a twin-bar­rel M621 20mm can­non on a Nex­ter THL-20 tur­ret, can carry 70mm rock­ets, MBDA air-to-air, air-to-sur­face and anti-ra­di­a­tion mis­siles and Helina anti-tank guided mis­siles. Ex­plo­sive ord­nance that it can de­liver in­cludes iron bombs, clus­ter bombs and grenade launch­ers. The LCH has a glass cock­pit equipped with mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays, tar­get ac­qui­si­tion and des­ig­na­tion sys­tems and a dig­i­tal video recorder to cap­ture footage of the bat­tle­field for use in de­brief­ing. A hel­met-mounted tar­get sys­tem con­trols the tur­ret guns mounted on the he­li­copter’s fuse­lage.

The LCH is also equipped with state-ofthe-art sen­sor suite. It in­cludes a charge­cou­pled de­vice cam­era, a for­ward-look­ing in­fra-red cam­era and a laser des­ig­na­tor. The two cam­eras cap­ture the lo­ca­tion and po­si­tion of en­e­mies, en­sur­ing clear vis­i­bil­ity dur­ing bad weather con­di­tions. The laser range-finder and des­ig­na­tor aim laser-guided bombs and mis­siles to­wards the tar­get. The he­li­copter is also fit­ted with radar and laser warn­ing re­ceivers, a mis­sile ap­proach warn­ing sys­tem, coun­ter­mea­sure dis­pens­ing sys­tems and a mis­sile jam­mer.

With an all-weather op­er­a­tions ca­pa­bil­ity, the LCH can carry out mis­sions from sea level to high al­ti­tudes, in the hot deserts to the icy heights in the Hi­malayas. It has suc­cess­fully demon­strated the ca­pa­bil­ity to land and take­off from Si­achen. The ba­sic ver­sion of the LCH has been cleared by CEMILAC and the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil un­der the Min­istry of De­fence has ap­proved the pro­cure­ment of 15 plat­forms for the In­dian Army. The for­mal en­dorse­ment by the Min­is­ter of De­fence, Arun Jait­ley at the cer­e­mony at HAL on Au­gust 26, 2017, marked the com­mence­ment of se­ries pro­duc­tion of the LCH.

COM­MENTS BY CHAIR­MAN, HAL

In his ad­dress to the gath­er­ing, T Suvarna Raju, Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, HAL said that the LCH and Hawk-I would pro­vide the na­tion with ad­di­tional com­bat re­source and the two pro­grammes pre­sented on the oc­ca­sion are truly Make in In­dia. These pro­grammes are ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the coun­try in­clud­ing for the MSMEs and the ser­vice sec­tor through en­hanced pub­lic-pri­vate in­dus­try par­tic­i­pa­tion. There will be a sig­nif­i­cant spin-off by way of the de­vel­op­ment of an eco-sys­tem for man­u­fac­ture for the de­fence sec­tor. It will also meet with the aims and ob­jec­tives of Skill In­dia ini­tia­tive in the aerospace and de­fence sec­tor in the coun­try.

AD­DRESS BY THE MIN­IS­TER OF DE­FENCE

In his ad­dress that was de­liv­ered ex­tem­pore, the Min­is­ter of De­fence Arun Jait­ley said “In the present geopo­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, In­dia is lo­cated some­what sen­si­tively. We have had mul­ti­ple threats in the past also and there­fore, pre­pared­ness is some­thing In­dia could never com­pro­mise on.” Com­ment­ing on his visit to the DPSUs dur­ing this trip, he said that it was not only sat­is­fy­ing but was a “per­sonal ed­u­ca­tion” for him. He said that In­dia has al­ways been heav­ily de­pen­dent on for­eign sources for both weapons and tech­nol­ogy.

He went on to state, “It is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary that with the ex­pe­ri­ence of DPSUs and the en­trepreneur­ship of pri­vate sec­tor cou­pled with the size of our mar­ket, we en­hance our man­u­fac­tur­ing abil­ity so that In­dia even in this field, grad­u­ates from be­ing net buyer into man­u­fac­turer and hope­fully at a later stage, a sup­plier of mil­i­tary hard­ware to other coun­tries in the world.” Re­fer­ring to the changes made in the De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure, the Min­is­ter said that some plat­forms had been thrown open to pri­vate sec­tor to set up man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in In­dia.

DE­FENCE MIN­IS­TER ARUN JAIT­LEY WITH HAWK-I. ASHOK KU­MAR GUPTA, SEC­RE­TARY (DE­FENCE PRO­DUC­TION), T. SUVARNA RAJU, CMD, HAL ARE ALSO SEEN.

HAL COM­MENCES THE SE­RIES PRO­DUC­TION OF LCH

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