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The Indian Navy had inducted Sea King helicopters during 1970, which have become obsolete and also are dwindling in numbers. The Navy is likely to issue a RFP soon for 120 multi-role helicopters.
The Indian Navy had inducted Sea King helicopters during 1970, which have become obsolete and also are dwindling in numbers.
MUCh haS BeeN WRITTeN about the ubiquitous nature of the modern maritime multirole helicopters (MRh) currently patrolling the skies above the worldÕs oceans. The capability of the helicopter to operate from a ship deck, hover for long periods of time and fly the nape of the earth/sea to avoid radar detection; make them invaluable for maritime role. Since the employment of maritime rotorcraft during World War II, Flettner Fl 282s were used by Germany for reconnaissance, and Sikorsky R-4s were used by the United States. The most obvious roles were reconnaissance, search and rescue (SaR), and medical evacuation. The other roles were anti-submarine warfare (aSW) and electronic warfare. aSW employs air, surface or subsurface platforms to detect and damage/destroy enemy submarines. Like other types of warfare, aSW also requires sensors to locate the submarine and weapons to destroy it. The sensors are generally based on sonar and armament usually used is the torpedoe. Both the sensors and the weapons can be employed from air, surface and subsurface platforms. aerial platforms are the most mobile, flexible and cost-effective. even in todayÕs age of networked sensors, extensive use of satellite resources and high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial systems such as the US NavyÕs broad area maritime surveillance system based on navalised Global hawk; the fact remains that the notion of the embarked helicopter as the fleetÕs Òeyes and ears beyond the horizonÓis more relevant today than at any time in our history.
Two primary reasons immediately advance to the fore. an ever increasing reliability of the aircraft and an ever increasing missionsystem-integrated sensor suite are the two largest drivers. The advances in these two areas can be simply illustrated comparing the relative reliability and mission system capabilities of the Westland Wasp and the Mh-60R Sea hawk. In between there are other examples like the Kamov series of Russia, Sikorsky Sh-60/Mh-60 series of the US and many more.
The Wasp was a navalised Scout helicopter and inducted into the Royal Navy during 1962. It was arguably one of the best among the earliest forms of reliable multi-mission maritime helicopters. It delivered two crucial capabilities never before available to the flhhW: hyhV ehyRQG WKh KRULzRQ IRU WKh VKLS’V sensors and a capability to deliver an antisubmarine warfare (aSW) weapon beyond the engagement range of the submarinelaunched anti-ship torpedo of the day. It came into limelight during the Falkland War when on april 25, 1982, the argentinian submarine aRa Santa Fe was spotted by a Wessex helicopter from hMS antrim. The Wessex and a Westland Lynx haS.2 from hMS Brilliant then attacked it. a Wasp launched from hMS Plymouth and two Wasps launched IURP H06 (QGXUdQFh doVR fiUhG $6.12 dQWLship missiles at the submarine, scoring hits. Santa Fe was damaged badly enough to prevent it from submerging. The last Wasp was fiQdooy ZLWKGUdZQ IURP VhUYLFh LQ 1988.
The Russian Kamov Ka-27 helicopter was developed for the Russian Navy to carry out aSW and ferry troops. Like other Kamov military helicopters, it has a rotor, removing the need for a tail rotor. It is in service in many countries including Russia, China and India. It also carries radar, magnetic anomaly detection system or a dipping sonar. Kamov Ka-28 helicopter is designed to search, detect, track, and engage surfaced and submerged submarines. The later version, Ka-28, is capable of undertaking longendurance aSW missions with no reference waypoints, in all-weather conditions, at a range of over 200 km, at a sea state of up WR fiYh. 7Kh KhoLFRSWhU FdQ eh FRQfiJXUhG WR operate in search, search/attack, or attack variants. The helicopterÕs avionics suite LQFoXGhV dQ LQWhJUdWhG flLJKW QdYLJdWLRQ VyVtem and a sighting system which provides all-weather navigation, submarine detection, ZhdSRQV FRQWURo, UhWXUQ flLJKW WR WKh PRWKhU ship and landing approach.
Sea hawk series is a multi-mission US Navy (USN) helicopter based on the US army Uh-60 Black hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The USN uses the h-60 airframe under the model designations, Sh60B, Sh-60F, hh-60h, Mh-60R and Mh-60S, which can be deployed aboard any air-capable ship. The Sea hawk can be employed for aSW, anti-surface warfare, naval special warfare insertion, SaR, combat search and rescue (CSaR), vertical replenishment and medical evacuation. all Navy h-60s carry a rescue hoist for SaR/CSaR missions.
Virtually as soon as these were employed, WKh RShUdWRUV RI WKhVh dLUFUdIW dQG WKh flhhWV they served found several new challengesÑ when one is able to ÒseeÓ beyond the horizRQ, RQh PXVW eh deoh WR hIfiFLhQWoy PdQdJh WKh FRQWdFWV GhWhFWhG dQG FodVVLfihG ey WKh air crew. Thus began the ever increasing demands on air/ship data management and target trackingÑ a task made all the more GLIfiFXoW ZLWK FRQWLQXdo LQWURGXFWLRQ RI hYhU more sophisticated sensor systems such as the radar, eo/IR, passive and active acoustics and electronic support measures.
7KhUh KdYh ehhQ VhYhUdo flhhW dQG ship-capability enhancement studies undertaken over the decades which have concluded that to improve the ships warfighting capability, one of the key aspects is to improve the capability of the MRh. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current state-of-the-art maritime strike helicopter (Mh-60R).
The penultimate multi-mission maritime strike helicopter of today takes the huge integration challenges of these varied sensors head on with a highly automated aircraft/ship crew coordination choreographed through a high-speed, broadband data link in addition to secure voice comPXQLFdWLRQ. 7Kh fihoGLQJ RI WKLV PRVW IRUPLdable weapon system drew high praise from WKh YhUy fiUVW GhSoRyPhQW ZLWK WKh QdYdo aviators terming the Mh-60RÑ ÒRomeoÓ a Ògame changerÓ. Mh-60R is equipped for multiple roles including aSW, anti-surface ZdUIdUh, 6$5, QdYdo JXQfiUh VXSSRUW, VXUYhLolance, communications relay, logistics support, personnel transfer and vertical replenishment. For aSW missions, the helicopter is equipped with a sonobuoy launcher and a Raytheon aN/aQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency dipping sonar; Raytheon aN/ aaS-44 detecting/tracking system, which includes forward-looking infrared and odVhU UdQJhfiQGhU; UdGdU LV WKh 7hohSKRQics aN/aPS-147 multi-mode radar which has inverse synthetic aperture imaging and periscope, and small target detection capability. Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to develop a new radar system, the automatic radar periscope detection and discrimination system, to be delivered from 2013. )RU FRXQWhUPhdVXUhV, LW LV fiWWhG ZLWK Lockheed MartinÕs aN/aLQ-210 electronic support measures system. electronic warfare systems include the aTK aN/aaR-47 missile warner, laser warning system, Bae SystemsÕaN/aLQ-144 infrared jammer; Bae 6yVWhPV’ $1/$/(-39 FKdII dQG fldUh GhFRy dispenser. The Mh-60R helicopter shares the same Mh-60 multi-function digital glass cockpit as the Mh-60S helicopter. For aSW, the Mh-60R can carry up to three aTK mk50 or mk46 active/passive lightweight torpedoes. a pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine JXQ LV fiWWhG IRU VhoI-GhIhQFh. WLWK IXoo UdWh production approved in 2006, the USN expects to operate 252 Mh-60R helicopters by 2015. Lockheed Martin provides the digital cockpit common to the Mh-60R and Mh-60S helicopters, while Sikorsky manufactures the airframe.
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Interestingly, this state-of-the-art radar system is not based on so-called active electronically scanned array (aeSa) technologies. While the radar world writ large fawns over WKh SURPLVh RI $(6$, dQG WKh fiJKWhU FRPPXnity has adopted the technology wholesale, the world of maritime surveillance and imaging remains the purview, for the moment, of mechanically scanned systems. european and american attempts to introduce aeSa into the maritime surveillance sphere have eventually compromised on hybrid electronic/mechanical implementations that are yet to perform at levels approaching those of fully-evolved mechanically scanned systems. ÒSome of these so-called maritime aeSa systems are actually the worst of both worlds,Ó VdyV d QdYdo RIfiFhU. “7Khy dUh PRUh hxShQsive, heavier, require more power, require more cooling, are not as reliable and do not perform as well as the currently available mechanically-scanned systems.Ó Indeed, the launch platform for the most evolved hybrid mechanically-scanned aeSa is the UK ÒWildcatÓ programmeÑ the highly-evolved future of the very worthy and storied Sea Lynx. due to UKÕs Ministry of defence (Mod) budget woes and delays in a variety of implementing technologies, Wildcat, and its mechanicalaeSa radar will not enter full-rate production for some time to come. The build-out of WildcatÑ some 40 systemsÑ should prove a VXIfiFLhQW TXdQWLWy WR SURYLGh d JRRG SURGXFWLRQ edVh IRU WKh UdGdU ZKhQ LW fiQdooy KdSpens. Likewise, smaller platforms such as Fire Scout, which will sport the new aN/ZPY4(V)1 will see numbers well over 100 for the domestic programme alone. None of these platforms will commit to aeSa until the cost, weight, power, price and performance compare favourably with these current stateof-the-art systems. With imperfect view of programmes that may be in early developPhQW LQ FodVVLfihG hQYLURQPhQWV, LW LV GLIfiFXoW to see how the mechanically-scanned aeSa solution or what would be an even heavier and more expensive full aeSa to address the 360-GhJUhh VFdQ, FdQ SRVVLeoy eh fihoGhG LQ the next decade.
The Indian Navy had inducted Sea King helicopters during 1970, which have become obsolete and also are dwindling in numbers. The Indian Navy had issued a request for information (RFI) about a year back for a MRh. It is understood that the MRh should be able to carry out the primary roles of anti-surface warfare (aSW) and special operations. Secondary roles include electronic intelligence, SaR, CSaR, carrying of under slung cargo and casualty evacuation. The Indian Navy is likely to issue a request for proposal (RFP) soon for 120 MRhs. Nearer the horizon is the naval utility helicopter which is required to undertake an array of logistics, utility and search roles as the circumstances demand. Present in all roles is the need for multimode radar. If it has to have other variants, then it should be able to carry radar, other eo devices, sonar and suitable weapons which will require a bigger platform. Thus the obvious conclusion is that for meeting IndiaÕs requirement of maritime MRh, there is a need to explore globally.
HH-60H Sea Hawk helicopter