Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
PVSM AVSM VM
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636
Acquisition of Advanced Combat Helicopters
ü So far Air Force has depended on soviet built M1-35 helicopters
ü Acquired more than 25 years back do need a replacement with more modern & advanced machines.
ü Basically an offensive weapon system.
ü The command & control of these units has always been a bone of contention between Army & and the Air Force.
ü The maintenance and upkeep is the responsibility of the Indian Air Force.
ü In the beginning all aircrews were from the Air Force.
ü Now there is a mix of Air Force and Army Pilots.
ü The existing machines have a operational limitation upto a height of 10000’ (i.e. upto 3.3 km.)
ü That is why their usage in Kargil war was nearly nil.
ü Basically the weapon system is to be a part of a strike corps. To provide safe passage for moving combat columns.
ü But in our context we may need then in J & K and Siachen Glacier also.
ü The performance at highest altitudes say between 15000 to 20000’ (i.e. 4.5 to 6.5 km) height a.m.sl. could be a big deciding factor.
ü We need to test them in the deserts of Rajasthan and the hills of J & K.