Sunday, September 29, 2013

Defence equipment on India's shopping list

India is set to buy $5 billion worth of helicopters, planes and guns during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s US visit. Take a look at India’s shopping list

A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship participates in a live firing exercise in South Korea. The Apache is the world’s most lethal attack helicopter. The Indian Air Force will buy 22 of these mean machines

AH-64 Apache

The Apache is feared and respected in equal measure because the impact it has made on the modern battlefield has few equals. Bloodied for the first time on a large scale during the 1991 Gulf war, the Apache took a heavy toll of Iraqi tanks, vehicles, command and control centres, bunkers and other targets
The Apache is a versatile war machine capable of not only knocking out tanks, its primary mission, but it can also use its advanced sensors and weapons to take out buildings, ships, other helicopters and even hunt down terrorists  
The Apache entered service with the US Army in 1986 and since then it has served in almost all theatres and in all conflicts the US has participated in
The Apache is armed with a chin-mounted 30mm automatic chain gun and carries up to 16 air-to-ground Hellfire missiles and rocket pods. It can also be armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles for self defence and shooting down other aircraft
Britain's Prince Harry wears his monocle gun sight as he sits in the front seat of an Apache in Camp Bastion, southern Afghanistan. The monocle gun-sight is used to aim the weapons like the 30mm gun, Hellfire and Stinger missiles and rocket pods
Under the nose, the gunship carries a sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems
An AN/APG-78 Longbow fire-control radar can be seen mounted on the mast above the rotors of the Apache. The radar can track 128 targets simultaneously and engage 16 of these which pose the maximum threat 
The Apache is in use with the armed forces of 13 countries 
General characteristics
Crew: 2 (pilot, co-pilot/gunner)
Length: 58.17 ft
Height: 12.7 ft
Max. takeoff weight: 10,433 kg)
Maximum speed: 293 km/h
Cruise speed: 265 km/h
Range: 476 km
Combat radius: 480 km
Service ceiling: 21,000 ft minimum loaded


A US Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter lands at Camp Marmal, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. The Chinook is mainly used for movement of troops, supplies and myriad of tasks including moving artillery guns and vehicles


The Chinook entered service with the US Army in 1962. Nearly 1200 Chinooks have been produced till now


The Chinook has been used in all conflicts the US has waged since the Vietnam war in the 1960s. More recently, the Chinook is being extensively used in Afghanistan to ferry troops and supplies
The Chinook can carry 55 battle-ready troops or 13 tonnes of cargo. In the ambulance role, the helicopter can accommodate 24 casualties
For self defence, the Chinook is armed with three medium machine guns and chaff dispensers which ward off heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles
Being a versatile machine, the Chinook is invaluable during natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and tsunamis as its impressive capabilities can be used to evacuate and resupply stranded people


Indian Air Force will acquire 15 of these choppers and these will be mainly used to rapidly deploy soldiers and artillery guns to border areas when the need arises  
General characteristics
Crew: 3 (pilot, copilot, flight engineer)
Capacity: 33–55 troops or 24 litters and 3 attendants or 12,700 kg of cargo
Length: 98 ft 10 in
Height: 18 ft 11 in

Max. takeoff weight: 22,680 kg

Maximum speed: 315 km/h
Cruise speed: 240 km/h
Range: 741 km
Combat radius: 370.4 km

Service ceiling: 18,500 ft 

M777 howitzer

US Army soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division fire an M777 howitzer, targeting the Taliban in Kunar, Afghanistan. The futuristic M777 is an ultra-lightweight 155mm howitzer


The 145 M777s in Indian Army service will equip the mountain artillery divisions facing China and because of their low weight these guns can be easily and swiftly transported to an area of conflict by Chinooks within hours instead of days
The M777 can hit targets at a distance of 24km with conventional ammunition and nearly 40km with rocket assisted and satellite guided munitions
The M777 has been successfully deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, where, because of the pinpoint accuracy and lethality, the gun is feared by the Taliban 
More than 1,000 M777s are in service or on order with the various arms of the United States armed forces.
The M777 will increase the capabilities of the Artillery Regiment of the Indian Army, which hasn’t inducted new guns since the Bofors FH-77 155mm howitzers entered service in the mid 1980s


A US Air Force C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft takes part in a flying display. The Indian Air Force has six Super Hercules in service and is going to get a further six
The Super Hercules gives the air force capability to land troops, supplies and vehicles in forward areas, having just rudimentary landing strips. The C-130J proved this capability when it landed at the world’s highest airstrip in Ladakh. This is significant because this area has seen lot of Chinese incursion and if things escalate, the IAF now has the right kind of plane to rush soldiers and material to thwart any intrusion
The C-130J Super Hercules is the latest and the most advanced version of the venerable C-130 Hercules which first flew in the 1950s 
Indian Army paratroopers jump off a C-130J aircraft during the ‘Iron Fist 2013’ exercise, in Pokharan, Rajasthan. The Super Hercules can carry 64 paratroopers or 20,400kg of cargo


IAF Super Hercules have been deployed during disaster relief operations to evacuate and resupply stranded people
General characteristics
Crew: 5 (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)
Capacity: 92 passengers or 64 airborne troops or 74 patients 
Payload: 20,400kg
Length: 97 ft 9 in
Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in
Height: 38 ft 3 in
Max. take off weight: 70,300kg
Powerplant: 4×Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, 4,590 shp each
Maximum speed: 592 km/h at 20,000 ft
Cruise speed: 540 km/h
Range: 3,800 km
Service ceiling: 33,000 ft empty; 23,000 ft with 19,090kg payload


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