Spares Unavailability Threatens India’s Aging Helo Fleet

Spares Unavailability Threatens India’s Aging Helo Fleet

Maintaining India’s fleet of more than 230 aging Cheetah and Chetak reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters is turning into a nightmare due to unavailability of spares, according to K.C. Nanda, general manager of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s Barrackpore Division, who sounded the warning at a defense conference held in Kolkata in August.

HAL built both the Cheetah and the Chetak under license from Eurocopter. The Cheetah is a version of the Eurocopter Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama, single-engine helicopter that combines the lighter Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and powerplant. The Chetak is a license-built Alouette III. Production lines closed in France in the 1980s, and HAL is increasingly having to cannabalize parts, leading to more aircraft on ground and fewer in the air. Eurocopter has kept a production line open for blades solely for the Indian market, according to an industry official.

“It is getting impossible to support the vintage fleet,” an engineer with HAL told AIN. “This will lead to disastrous consequences for the Chetak and Cheetah fleet. Blades, nuts, bolts, rings…We need them all. Now HAL is looking to repair even the main gear box,” he added. The helicopters were to be replaced by 197 new light utility helicopters (LUHs) purchased from abroad. Now HAL is in the process of developing its own LUH and may get the order.

Source: By Neelam Mathews / AIN ONLINE News - 14 September 2012

Photo: The Alouette III was license-produced by HAL in Indian Air Force as the Chetak/Alouette III [IAF Z1397]. Rescue demonstation by the Chetak at Gymkhana, IITB.

The IAF uses the Chetak/Alouette III for Survelliance and SAR (Search and rescue) operations.(Photo by bharat rakshak)



American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News

• Defense contractor delivers over 20 strike helicopters to Russian troops in 2019

According to Rostec director, the corporation fully meets the Defense Ministry's needs for modern combat helicopters....>>

• Indian Air Force to equip 40 Su-30 MKIs with BrahMos cruise missile in next 3 years

"As for the plans, the serial production has been launched and rearmament will be carried out, as our Indian colleagues have promised on many occasions. About 40 planes as the firs...>>

• Russian upgraded Su-25 attack aircraft to get sighting system with artificial intelligence

The target acquisition system with artificial intelligence will be able to independently identify hostile targets, keep them in sight and guide missiles....>>

• Indian Air Force Gets Its First AH-64E (I) Apache Attack Helicopter At Boeing Plant In US

IAF Boeing AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian is an advanced attack helicopter that can engage both air and ground targets with relative stealth using low-altitude obstacles like trees and...>>

• China's third and largest aircraft carrier (Satellite imagery)

Construction of China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analyzed by a U.S. think tank....>>

• People’s Liberation Army-Navy Declares Chinese Carrier Liaoning a ‘Combat Ship

Following a six-month retrofit, China’s sole active aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has been declared a “combat ship” by the People’s Liberation Army-Navy....>>

• Indian Government Justifies Higher Cost of Locally-Developed Su-30s

Disagreeing with the opposition's interpretation of an audit report that found that Su-30 fighter jets supplied to the Indian Air Force by the local firm HAL are costlier that thos...>>


       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,