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Old 01-16-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
Gasfghj

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Oct 2005
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Default Indian Army News and Discussion
Army to strengthen its air wing with helicopter fleet (Link)

The Army is planning to strengthen its air wing by expanding its helicopter fleet considerably. Army chief General V.K. Singh reiterated that the plan was to have an aviation brigade in every corps. The move is part of the army's longterm plan but the Indian Air Force is opposed to the idea, particularly that of having a separate fleet of attack helicopters.

At the moment, the IAF operates two squadrons of attack helicopters and the Indian Army has also listed its own requirements. General Singh said the defence ministry has asked the two services to resolve the differences.

General Singh claimed that armies all over the world were looking at close rotary wing support for the combat troops in battlefield. He emphasised that in a tactical battle area, the army commander should not look behind. The army chief implied that the commander should have all the resources under him.

The IAF's argument is that the two squadrons of attack helicopters were already operating under the army's command during operations.

But the army feels more rotary wing support for ground troops will improve mobility. The army has already cut down response time to launch an attack on the western border. The new plans were tested during the recently held exercise in the Rajasthan desert.

Mobilisation of strike corps is one of the biggest challenges and General Singh gave hints about how things have changed. He said what was earlier being done in a week is now being accomplished in three days. The army chief also claimed that this time would reduce further in the coming years.

He said the aviation brigade with each corps will play a key role in generating quicker response apart from helping in gathering more information about the battlefield and offering very close support to the ground troops.

The general also claimed that the Dhruv helicopters supplied by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were good but their serviceability was an area of concern. He said the IAF has also been using these helicopters but that HAL needs to improve its service support.
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