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Gessler

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Indian Navy to test US F-18 fighters for INS Vikrant next week​

  • The F-18 super hornet trial begins a day before QUAD leaders deliberate on the Indo-Pacific in Tokyo on May 24.


The Indian Navy will start the flight trials of Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet carrier based multi-role fighters at the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa from May 23 as the US craft is one of the contenders for 26 fighters onboard soon to be commissioned INS Vikrant indigenous aircraft carrier.

It is understood that two fighters of the US Navy will land in INS Hansa towards the end of this week for take-offs from the 283-meter mock-up deck of India’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. The aircraft carrier is expected to come out of a major overhaul and become operational next month.

The Indian Navy is expected to buy 26 carrier based multi-role fighter for INS Vikrant with eight of these aircraft two-seaters to be used both for flight training and operations. The Super Hornet is a proven weapon platform with an internal rotary cannon with 11 hardpoints to carry air to air missiles and air to surface missiles as well as laser-guided bunker busting bombs.

The other contender fighter aircraft for INS Vikrant, which is expected to be commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2022, is the Rafale Maritime strike fighter. The Rafale fighter has already been tested by the Indian Navy in January 2022 with the French offering four aircraft on lease for initial training and operational purposes. India has already bought 36 Rafale multi-role fighters for the Indian Air Force with two major maintenance bases in Ambala in the north and Hashimara in West Bengal.

In case Indian Navy goes for Super Hornet, this aircraft will deepen cooperation with the US, by far the largest operator of carrier-based fighters in the world as well as a QUAD partner and close Indo-Pacific ally. The US has the largest original equipment manufacturing in India and the Super Hornet has inter-operability with Boeing P8I and Lockheed Martin MH-60 R anti-submarine warfare helicopters purchased by India for the Navy. India’s other partners in QUAD also operate MH-60R helicopters and P8I aircraft with the Australian Navy also using the F/A-18E Super Hornet.

Both the Super Hornet and Rafale-M can be used in either INS Vikrant or INS Vikramaditya, which use short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) technology for launch and landing of aircraft from an aircraft carrier. This technology is also used by Russian and Chinese aircraft carriers.

With the commissioning of INS Vikrant this year, the Indian Navy will be a formidable force with two aircraft carriers and two ballistic missile strategic submarines. Unlike the Chinese, the Indian Navy has five decades of experience in operating aircraft carriers all-round the year. Even though the era of the anti-ship ballistic missile has dawned on Indo-Pacific, a carrier based strike force is still a potent weapon to decimate the enemy.

 

kaykay

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Hope Rafale wins. It will bring some commonality between IAF Rafales and Marine ones. FH-18 on that other hand would be a completely different platform and unless we are getting a bit too much more than what Rafale gives, It makes no sense.
 

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Two F/A-18 Super Hornets performed demo flights at the shore-based ski jump facility at the Indian Navy's INS Hansa air station earlier this year. This is Boeing's official video of the demo containing first formal images.

 

crixus

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I still feel F-18s will provide a definite edge against Chinese Ships in IOR , the F-18s are operational for so long and so much refinement has already taken place that final product is almost perfect . F-18 growlers will give definite edge in electronic warfare side . F- 18s will give a definite breather for ADA to develop TBDEF
 

Gessler

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First two MH-60Rs arrived in India

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Nilgiri

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In this edition of 'The Defenders' experts share their views on the two shortlisted fighter jets contenders by Indian Navy for its two aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant - The Super Hornets is US-made while the Rafale is manufactured by France. The purchase of foreign weaponry is largely temporary considering the Navy hopes to be totally indigenous by 2047 as per the government’s Atmanirbharata guidelines.

Anchor- Maroof Raza

Guests:-
1. Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla (Retd.), Defence Expert
2. CDR (Retd.) Anil Jai Singh, President, Indian Maritime Foundation


 

Gessler

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DAC approved purchase of 31 x MQ-9Bs for $3.89 billion

15 x for Navy (SeaGuardian)
8 x for Army Aviation
8 x for Air Force

Let's see if CCS makes any changes or it goes through. Deal-signing is expected during Modi's US visit June 21-24.

MQ9B.JPG


This is an important deal...for the IAF/Army it represents the acquisition of true persistant ISR capability across LAC. For Navy, the reach of its ISR assets like P-8 can be massively increased by joint coordination with MQ9Bs.

Hope we'll look at the MQ-4 in future. And MQ-25 for the Carriers (better not to waste fighter sorties for refueling).
 

-=virus=-

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Could someone do a post on our Kamov fleet ?


I sometimes catch a glimpse of the odd one flying here in Goa, they're based at INS Hansa / Dabolim airport I think.
 

Nilgiri

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Lemurian

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Indian Navy commissions first MH-60R squadron

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Three Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks of the Indian Navy in operation in February 2024. (Indian Navy)


The Indian Navy has commissioned its first Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multirole helicopter squadron.

According to the navy, the new unit, Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 334, was commissioned on 6 March at Indian Naval Station Garuda in the southwestern Indian city of Kochi.

In a video of the commissioning, the Indian Navy displayed four MH-60Rs (serial numbers IN751, IN752, IN753, and IN755). However, the unit likely had at least six MH-60Rs at the time of commissioning. Helicopter no. IN754 had been delivered to Indian Naval Station Garuda in July 2022, according to the Indian Navy, followed by helicopter no. IN756 in late 2022.

The Indian Navy said the helicopter will provide critical new capabilities in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search-and-rescue (SAR), medical evacuation, and “vertical replenishment” roles. INAS 334 could function as an operational training unit for other MH-60R squadrons scheduled for commissioning in the future, Janes assesses.

Janes previously reported that the service had started training operations with at least three Seahawks at Indian Naval Station Garuda by November 2022. A further three Seahawks were formally handed over to officers of the Indian Navy in the US in 2021, and were used to train several batches of Indian Navy pilots at US Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, according to the Indian Navy.

The navy likely had six MH-60Rs in India by December 2023, Janes
 

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