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[信息] 2011年年印度航空展(三)

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发表于 2011-6-15 11:10:12 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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The HAL Hangar for Helicopter Maintenance at Bengaluru. (All pictures via Georg Mader)


1) Jaguar (‘Shamsher’)
At Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)’s Bengaluru-complex, the ‘Overhaul Division’ of India’s state-owned aerospace-manufacturer and –supplier is undertaking routine heavy-maintenance as well as upgrade-work on the Indian Air Force’ (IAF) remaining ~120 Jaguar penetration/strike-aircraft, called the ‘Shamsher’ (Persian: Sword of justice) in IAF-service.

When visiting HAL’s ‘Jaguar-shop’ on Feb. 7th, ACIG experienced a high level of confidence and satisfaction in the type by HAL & DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organisation) plus a definite statement on sustaining and updating the airframes - built under licence in three batches from 1979 up to only 2008 - for an extended service-life by another around 15 years, beyond the year 2020. It was said the ‘Shamsher’ might be replaced by a stealth-design called AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), shown by HAL just as a model at the same week’s AERO-INDIA 2011.

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HAWK production line at the Hindustan Aeronautic Limited facilities.

HAL’s ‘Overhaul Division’ is the approved repair agency for carrying out all major servicing of Jaguar aircraft and its engines, components and systems. At the time of visit, about 10 airframes of all the three versions Interdiction-Strike (IS), two-seat Trainer (IB) and Maritime-Strike (IM) were undergoing major servicing and upgrading, shown in different stages of disassembly. HAL technicians said the company already has indeginised about 520 items into the original Jaguar-IS, including the spoiler mechanical block, throttle box, front/rear canopy frame, excitation/demodulation unit, bottom panels and canopy beams.

Only each 5th airframe is reportedly showing issues of fatique or cracks, when they are inspected about every 10 years. That is seen as “an encouraging fact, given the stresses of mainly low-level work they are used in” a shop-manager underlined to ACIG. Not stressed beyond 8g with a design maximum of 12g, airframe-life was originally calculated at 3.000 hours for single-seaters and 6.000 for two-seaters. “Therefore it makes truly sense to invest in further improving and upgrading of the Shamsher”, the engineer said.
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Aircraft technicians working on a HAL-built HAWK.
   
At least 10 (of 12) IM-Jaguars had their Thompson-CSF ‘Agave’ attack-radar replaced by an IAI Elta EL/M-2032 set some years ago, which was said to originated from the shelved ‘Lavi’-project. A first new indigenous radome-nosecone for these was handed over to HAL by Bangalore’s National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in April 2010. One such platform was accessible to ACIG in early February, the dark-grey shipping-strikers are awaiting their BAE-‘Sea Eagle’ to be replaced by either ‘Harpoon-II’ or ‘Exocet-III’. These, 40 earlier and the ‘latest’ 37 HAL-built IS-Jaguars are currently on the level of the previous DARIN-II (Display Attack Ranging Inertial Navigation) digital nav/attack upgrade.

Soon there will be three generations of DARIN-modernisations, since in early 2010 HAL secured the order for ‘DARIN-III’, worth INR 3.100 (EUR 505 mill.). In the following, 68 so-called ‘deep penetration Jaguars’ are earmarked or currently in the pipeline of getting the DARIN-III kit while on overhaul at Bengaluru. The programme “will substantially increase survivability and efficiency of that strike-planes”, ACIG was explained to on site. It should also be taken in mind, that the type is the IAF’s primary nuclear-weapons carrier.

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A large droptank being positioned along various Jaguars.

The so-called ‘D-3 Jaguar IS’ are featuring the same HUD as on LCA ‘Tejas’, along with three MFD-55 AMLCDs supplied by THALES-Samtel Display Systems and full HOTAS controls, all utilising a MIL-STD-1553B digital databus. The core avionics computer – reportedly the same as in the MiG-27UPG upgrade at HAL-Nasik – is the OSAMC (Open Systems Architecture Mission Computer) originally developed by DARE and now produced by an India-US joint venture involving HAL, ‘Edge Tech India’ and US-based ‘Edgewood Ventures LLC’. An integrated defensive aids suite (IDAS) is coming from DRDO and Cassidian, including the D-3’s to be equipped with RAFAEL Litening-3SU laser designation pods for all-weather standoff-attacks using precision-guided munitions. Undecided in DARIN-III are the EW escort-jammers/towed-decoy systems, with offers from Raytheon (ALQ-184(V)9), BAE-Systems (ALE-55), IAI/ELTA (EL/L-8251) and RAFAEL (‘Sky Shield’ escort-jammer / ‘X-Guard’). The fibre-optic towed-­decoy is to produce a full range of noise- and deception-signals be­tween 4.5GHz and 18GHz.

Indian ‘Jaguar’ armament and engine options  
  
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This Jaguar is stripped down and undergoing intensive maintenance. Note the removed engines (amongst others)

Regarding 100 requested new short-range missiles for self-defence (also for the 57 Mirage-2000s), MBDA is pitching the ASRAAM to the IAF, highlighting its high speed and the fact that in the past these were integrated on the Jaguars operated by the RAF until 2007. Raythean officials at AERO-INDIA explained that the Jaguar will always be operating at a lower altitude than any incoming threat and AIM-132s unmatched speed and ‘snap-up capability’ (ability to fire upwards to a very high altitude) would be ideally suited to the aircraft's mission. When combined with a Helmet Mounted Sight (HMCS), the aircraft/weapon combination could be used to its full ability. Because of its sleek, low-drag wingless design, proven body lifting techniques and the high speed provided by its 166mm diameter motor, ASRAAM would have minimum impact on the desired release-envelope.

Currently the IAF uses MBDA ‘Magic-2’ AAMs from the Jaguar’s overwing JOWR rails, developed by Cobham. RAFAEL is proposing its Python-5 to the IAF, pointing to its high maneuverability because of the extra fins behind the seeker. Both companies will reportedly provide test-examples for captive-carriage tests in Bengaluru in the coming months. An Indian delegation should visit the U.K. and Israel in the second half of this year to see live firing tests. Israeli ordnance-technology is already incorporated on the ‘Shamsher’, with ‘Griffin’ LGB kits on standard British Mk.21 bombs. A wide range of PGMs are presently is currently being evaluated by the IAF for the up­graded Jaguar IS, including the AASM from SAGEM (belonging to France's SAFRAN Group), Raytheon's JSOW, MB­DAs Diamond Back, Israel Militarv In­dustries'(IMI) modular standoff vehicle (MSOV) and ‘Delilah’ multi-role cruise missile, and Raytheon's Paveway 4 and IAI's Griffin-3 laser-guided bombs.

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The avionics of the Jaguars are also receiving an update.
Ray­theon, meanwhile, since late 2009 has sucessfully integrated its munitions control unit (MCU) on an IAF Jaguar IS testbed, not allowed to be seen. The MCU is described as plug-and-play to enable integration of many modern weapons on legacy aircraft with minimal modifications to aircraft wiring and no changes to the flight and stores management software. Once integrated on an air­craft, aircrews can employ both exsting standoff-PGMs and A/A-missiles while using the aircraft's existing weap­ons management system. Raytheon plans to finish the work by mid 2011.

The lengthy Jaguars re-engining issue with Rolls Royce’ Adour Mk821 against the Honeywell F125IN was briefly mentioned at HAL as ‘pending’. In 2009 the two bidders were given until the end of February to respond to a INR 3,000 crore (EUR 489 mill.)-tender to deliver 200 engines (including 40 spare) for at least the 68 D-3 Jaguars. But then it was learnt at AERO-INDIA that RR now chose not to respond to the tender, it was pointed out to ACIG because obviously the IAF tends toward new engines, rather than ‘uprated’ powerplants. On the ‘Shamsher’ it operates some Rolls Royce/Turbomeca Mk804E and the majority the more powerful 37.37kN RT172-58 Adour Mk 811, both manufactured under license by HAL.  
At the parallell AERO-INDIA-Seminar, a DRDO-official that asked not to be named, delivered his balance to ACIG. He said the American engine has superior tolerance to debris-damage and bird-strikes [than the Adour Mk821]. It is also 266 kg lighter, offering between 17 and 40 % higher thrust, thereby offering the Jaguar a 1,5-tonne payload increase. But the Mk821 might be the safer choice, as the F125 is derived from the TFE731 which originally was designed for business jets. When the ROCAF did install F125s on their ‘Ching-Kuo’-fighters, the results were reportedly poorer than expected. The powerplants were not responding properly to the rapid throttle-settings demanded by a combat aircraft.
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-6-15 11:10:27 | 显示全部楼层
2.) Mirage-2000 (‘Vajra’)


Several Mirage 2000s (locally known as Vajra, which loosely translates into Thunderbolt) undergoing maintenance.
Apart from servicing and upgrading the 51 remaining Indian Airforce’s (IAF) Mirage 2000H/THs, HAL’s overhaul-division was described to ACIG the only installation outside France authorized by Dassault Aviation, to undertake major inspection on and materiel supply to Mirage 2000 fighters of global customers. According to personnel in the ‘Mirage’-shop at Bengaluru in early Feburary, Mirage-2000 operators like Peru, Egypt or Qatar and UAE have begun various level co-operations with HAL, since Dassault issued that licence back in March 1998.  
Called the ‘Vajra’ (Thunderbolt) in IAF-service, the single-seat Mirage 2000H (serials from KF101 on) and two-seat Mirage 2000TH (serials from KT201 on), the bulk of the planes were acquired in the mid-1980s. According to sources on site, nine (8+1 trainer) have since been lost or severely damaged in accidents. Now over 20 years old, all Mirage 2000s airframes like the six present on Feb. 7th were explained to ACIG as already in their second inspection- and overhaul cycles. The two operating sqdns. at Gwalior would usually send the fighters to HAL every 12 years or 2000 flying-hours, but so far all IAF Mirage 2000s have undergone overhaul and modernisations only after the calendar, not because of reaching 2000 hours.


Not only the fuselages of the aircraft undergo maintenance at the HAL facility.
HAL’s shop-personnel was proudly pointing to the fact, that even in the second cycle, “pratically no fatique or cracks are discovered in the very robust blended delta-structure, not the same case in the Jaguar-fleet for example.” Despite with the standard Thompson RDM-radar the ‘Vajra’s does not offer multi-target capability for their SUPER 530D and Magic 550, “that does not take anything away from Mirage 2000 as its an excellent and beloved aircraft in India and by far the best purchase made by the IAF, even better than the Su-30 MKIs when you look at flexibility, performance and availability of the French aircraft, for example in the Kargil-conflict”, a technician expressed of course his personal views to ACIG.   
ACIG learned that when the Kargil conflict broke out in 1999 after Pakistani infiltrations in Kashmir, the Mirage 2000 performed remarkably well during the whole hostilities in the high Himalayas, even though their air-interdiction capability was a brand new asset. Right before the conflict, 38 remaining 2000Hs had been upgraded at Bengaluru with local flare dispensers and with the integration of LGBs. Their capability to drop PGMs – as well as conventional unguided bombs – was hastly made operational and the two squadrons flew a total of 515 sorties. In 240 strike missions they reportedly dropped 55 tons (120,000 lb) of ordnance. According to the HAL-personnel, easy maintenance and a very high sortie rate made the ‘Vajra’ one of the most efficient IAF-assets in the conflict.

A Mirage 2000H Vajra which shows off the reworked panels, still coloured in primer.   
The long debated upgrade of the remaining Indian Mirage 2000s to ‘Mk2’ (equivalent of 2000-5 standard) was explained to ACIG as “awaited or pending but stalled because of some price issues.” Since the RFP had been issued to Dassault on April 9th 2008, India is seeking to upgrade the fighters with enhanced situation-awareness, BVR-ability, look-down-shoot-down as well as multi-target-, multi-shoot-capabilities and advanced ECCM, also to extend their service-life for another 20 years. But so far the costs of over EUR 2,4 bill. – with 0,9 bill. allocated to HAL – were described as ‘prohibitively’ expensive. At parallel AERO-INDIA, IAF Cdr. Naik answered to ACIG that “now the complex and lengthy negotiations with Dassault-Aviation to upgrade the 51 airframes to Mirage 2000-5 standard had been concluded satisfactorily and would be announced by the MoD in March 2011.” But he declined to mention the final cost of the retrofit. Nevertheless, the upgrade programme should include an outlay to augment HAL's capabilities to retrofit 47 ‘Vajras’ in Bangalore, after four aircraft to be upgraded in France within 40 months of development-phase after the deal will be signed.

The HAL Dhruv production line. Dhruv's are being produced for various countries, such as the Indian armed forces and the Ecuadorean Air Force, amongst others.   
Related to future armament options, the IAF Mirage 2000s are fitted with Magic-550 IR-missiles. These have been around for more than 20 years, according to executives from HAL but also MBDA. To ACIG, MBDA at AERO-India was highlighting that it has already integrated MICA IR- and RF- missiles on Mirage 2000s in service with the UAE and Greece. MBDA and Israel’s RAFAEL are also competing to provide the IAF Mirages with new PGM standoff-weapons, MBDA and Sagem are offering AASM PGB while Rafael is offering its 2,000-lb. Spice 2000 guided-bombs.
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