indian armed forces disaster relief acquisitions


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hey guys here is an interesting news article which clearly shows how the indian armed forces are modernising after taking the tsunami into considerations.
i would like to discuss wether these steps would be adequate and how they would compare with those of other countries:

Armed forces now ready to fight natural disasters

Josy Joseph
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 03:37 IST

NEW DELHI: It’s a new year and a new beginning for the Indian armed forces. They are recalibrating their acquisition plans to deal with relief and rehabilitation requirements that follow natural disasters.

The change in policy follows the experience of the armed forces in dealing with the aftermath of tsunami that struck the southern coast on December 26, 2004.

The forces found themselves inadequately equipped to deal with rescue and rehabilitation missions due to the lack of appropriate transport vehicles and machines.

While the Indian Navy is planning to undertake an ambitious Rs2,000 crores project to build its own Landing Platform Dock (LPD), besides buying an old American Amphibious Transport Dock (ATD), the Indian Air Force is planning to buy 80 multi-utility medium-lift helicopters. The Indian Army on its part is looking at inducting more Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH).

By undertaking the project to build its own LPD, or Amphibious Transport Dock, the navy hopes to substantially increase its capability to carry relief material and personnel. Sources say the entire project would be based on French Mistral class design and built at the Garden Reach Shipyard, Kolkata.

While the LPD would substantially increase the Navy’s ability to respond swiftly to disasters like tsunami in the region, it would also give a fillip to its fighting ability.
An LPD combines the abilities of three different traditional ships: landing ship, tank landing ship and attack cargo ship. It could also be turned into a local command and control centre.

The ATD, USS Trenton, is a massive ship with a displacement of over 17,000 tonnes. It can not only carry 1,000 soldiers at a time, but also transport heavy equipment and several helicopters, besides other items, to a disaster site.

“Trenton would not only provide us with a huge landing platform, but would also give us a detailed idea of the design and operation of such a system,†says a senior navy officer. The ship, he added, would be in service for about 15 years after it is inducted. The ship can be converted into a floating hospital and an offshore helipad during emergencies.

The IAF is planning to buy 80 multi-utility medium-lift helicopters that could be deployed for transporting men and material during disasters. This year the IAF airlifted 54,000 people and flew over 1,500 tonnes of relief material to disaster hit areas, mainly Jammu and Kashmir that came under a thick snow cover. The IAF also flew four times the normal number of sorties.

The IAF also plans to induct many more ALHs that are being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Besides, an Indo-Russian joint venture would provide it with next-generation transport aircraft that could transport around 20 tonnes of material during a disaster.

The army is also looking at inducting more ALHs. But sources said that more than equipment the army is looking at ways to reduce its response time to disasters.
Says a senior army officer: “We do not wait for written orders from civil authorities when disaster strikes. We just move in and help as soon as possible.â€

That is what army units in Kashmir did immediately after the recent earthquake.

here is the link for this article:


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  • #2
here is the list of acquisitions:

80 medium helicopters(eh101c,nh-90,cougar): nh-90 is out of question ,eh101c and cougar have been offered for joint development and production to hal,there is a requirement for atleat 200 of these helicopters capable of carrying 30 passengers each,these will supplement the mi172's of which india has 240(each capable of carrying 30 passengers) and the 20 mi26's(each carrying 80-120 passengers).

200 light helicopters (a109 power,as550,bel407):currently bell and the a109 are being evaluated these will replace the chetaks and the cheetahs of which india has 400+ ,they are capable of carrying about 10 passengers each.

400 alh dhruvs are likely to be acquired some of which are already being delivered ,current production rate is 24 helicopters /per annum to be increased to 60 helicopters /per annum,they are capable of carrying 14 passengers each.

the navy is acquiring the 20 year old lpd uss trenton which it will most probably use as a command control vessel and has plans to manufacture 6 french mistral landing platform docks at the grse,totally each vessel is capable of carrying 1200 passengers and helicopters(6 to 7 heavy ones),bust most importantly they have the hospital facilities and the reverse osmosis plants(for water purification purposes) and power plants for shore based power generations.

the airforce is developing jointly with russia the il215t 20 ton transport aircraft ,this aircraft capable of landing on dirt strips is capable of carrying between 80-120 passengers or 20 tons of material,they are expected to replace the an32's of which india has 120 aircrafts(45 passengers) and the 60 avro hs748 of which india has (60 aircrafts)

the total personnel evacuation capability with these approximate figures is:

200 medium helicopters *30 passengers each=6000 passengers
200 mi172's*30=6000 passengers
20 mi26's*80=1600 passengers.

400 light helicopters*10 passengers=4000passengers
400 dhruvs*14 passengers=5600 passengers

1 lpd trenton and 6 mistrals*1200 passengers=8400 passengers

200 il215t transport aircrafts*120 passengers=24000 passengers

the total number of persons who can be evacuated(not taking into considerations the unforeseen circumstances,like maintainenece etc),the total number of persons who can be evacuated at any given time is 55200 persons.

now let us assume a situation whereby an advanced warning has gone out regarding an asian tsunami identical to the one last occured(killing more than 150000 people)likely to occur in the next 24 hours,let us assume that all the countries likely to be affected deploy their entire resources,will it be aequate?


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Re: indian and global armed forces disaster relief acquisitions

i would be glad if someone could provide info on the disaster management resources of other countries in the region(australia,newzealand,singapore,indonesia,thailand,malaysia ,sri lanka,myanmar,pakistan etc),their future plans and aquisitions and their organisational structures and also if possible include usa,britain and france.

also i would like to know how advantageous would a tilt rotor aircraft like the v22 osprey be in a similiar situation?


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i would be glad if someone can tell me how to change the name of this thread to indian and global armed forces disaster relief acquisition and management.


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India's acquistion of more helicopters is very prudent indeed. Considering the amount of transport helicopters it has it would appear that India has one of the largest helicopter forces in the world. In addition to the numbers of existing helicopters India also has Mil Mi24/34 helicopters which can also be used for dual purpose roles. As far as India's closest neighbours in South Asia are concerned they have a fraction of what India has. Pakistan purchased and was donated a number of Bell? 412's by the US (20?) over the last two years. No precise figures are available. They have purchased approximately 12 Mil Mi17's (one loss recently) from Russia and operate about 18 older Mil Mi 8's some of which apparently were retired. They have about 35 Puma's and about 20 odd Alouette 3's.

In addition to the above they have 20 AH1 gunships, which may be useful for armed escort in times of disaster. Overall I would say that Pakistani Army Aviation is pretty useless in times of natural disasters worst of all in the case of war.

Not trying to get away from the point of India's disaster relief heli force there were some indications that Pakistan purchased further AH1's (20) from South Korea and were awaiting deliveries from the US. However this merely appears to be speculation. No real point of mentioning Bangladesh's Army Aviation as it is pretty much of worse than Pakistan's.

I think overall India has realised the importance of helicopters for dual role purposes which Pakistan clearly has not. From your article it would also seem that India is moving somewhat away from Russian heli's to Western European types. I am not sure if this is the best thing to do, but Western European instrumentation , engines and flight control systems are generally much better than that of Russia. One critical factor of Western European heli's would be their ruggedness. But I am sure the Indians have taken this into consideration.


New Member
The earthquake was in the extreme NORTH of the country; the fuel tanker is in the warm waters of the Arabian sea in the SOUTH and there isn't any inland waterway to accomodate such a huge tanker that could in any way help out in disaster relief in this particular case.

You guyz need to stop comparing Indo-Pak acquisitions before this turns in to an ugly situation and I would have to call in the peace enforcers of DT.


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Need I remind that the topic is INDIAN disaster relief acquisitions? I will not reply to your posts as that would further derail the topic. Open a Pakistani version thread over this issue and discussion could be carried on in there.


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What would be very good acquision for disaster reliefs in my view would be the heavy lift chinooks.

Aussie Digger

In my opinion, civilian disasters should be an extremely high priority for any Government. Excluding the "vote winning" factor, basic humanitarianism should dictate that significant capabilities should exist in every Country to assist your own population. In India/Pakistan for example, the big dangers seem to be the Tsunami/Earthquake type disasters due to high population density and (relatively) limited resources.

Therefore, heavy lift rotary-wing, and road transport capabilities along with the ability to supply basic human necessities such as food, water, shelter, clothing and medical facilities/medicine, should be the absolute top priority of any Government (particularly) those in "natural disaster" prone Countries.

Yet for some reason the Countries that seem the most susceptable and least able to deal with these problems, are the least well equipped to actually do so. I will never understand and accept why this is so...


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the problem in india,pakistan or any other country in the south asia region is that while their armed forces are capable of disaster management such ability does not exist with the civil defence.

most of the affected people wait for hyelp to come to their doorsteps instead of going for help.

in this regard the japanese disaster management system is the best for they have helicopters for each of their islands which get activated in a very short period of time.

i believe that amphibions caan also play a great role in the search and rescue operations.