Monday, October 03, 2011

IAF-Army Spat Festers On Over Attack Copter Use


The chronic inter-services war between the Indian Air Force and Indian Army over the use of attack helicopters continues to fester. After the Indian Army made an official request to the government late last year to give it full control over all tactical air assets in the battlefield, including attack helicopter flights, the IAF today had its say again. The IAF, remember, is on the threshold of contracting for 22 new attack helicopters to augment its two Mi attack squadrons.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Norman Browne was firm today. He said, "The attack helicopter issue is an old issue. There is a document called the Joint Army Air Instruction (JAAI) of 1986 which authorises roles and responsibilities of who does what. The IAF has always operated helicopters of all kinds. The Army's charter is confined to light utility helicopters. The two squadrons of attack helicopters we currently operate are manned and maintained by the IAF, but under command and control of the Army. That is the rule position."

Photo / Maj VK Singh, MoD Photo Division

18 comments :

Anonymous said...

In other countries both army and airforce possess attack helicopters depending upon their needs.

Anonymous said...

I think As long as Command & Control is with Army, it should not worry.

In fact both Army & Air force need Attack helicopter but priority should be to provide Army with these helos

Anonymous said...

If the attack helicopeters are "under command and control of the Army" why not let them take the whole thing and be responsible for it? If I have to judge based on what's written here, I would say the IAF's position is; because this is how it's done since X many years and therefore we should do it again, to me that is not a good argument against something that makes more sense. But then again, there may be other reasons that are not stated here that make add more sense to IAF's position. I hate turf wars,

Anonymous said...

The IAF must not meddle in the affairs of the Army. If the Army requires Attack helicopter, then so be it. Just saying I have the only right to use attack helicopter is foolish. It's just like saying all the Air to air missiles must be with the Army just because it's on the ground. No service must question, the requirement of another service. It's also necessary that the Army did not poke the nose into IAF's procurement of attack helicopters. If the IAF wants it let them have it at the same time, the Army have it's attack helicopters according to it's requirement. The LCH is really a very potent platform and I'm waiting to see it's induction into force.

Anonymous said...

The IAF is behaving like spoilt brats...Jawans should be send to every AF station to give these flying hotshots a good spanking...

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no co-ordination between the army and the air force. Kargil was a wake up call. CAS forces should be with the army.

Deb said...

whats wrong if army has own combat copter unit.This augument the capability and real time action.Govt.should allow procurement of combat copter for army fast.

Pawan said...

For Sake Antony Ji please intervene and ask IAF to manage affairs more prudently.

I it is know fact in case of war IAF will so busy in Air defense that it won't have to support CAS operations.

Let army handle all Attack Helos, let it choose the machine it want rather air force deciding it.

pranjal sharma said...

Well true that there is no coordination between air force and army but its not so simple that army be allowed to raise its own attack helicopter fleet.When resources are limited then it should be judicially employed.Since Air force have better knowledge of air warfare they were better able to adapt them self after loosing one MI-17 when they come to knew about insurgent are equipped with shoulder fired missiles in Kargil. Also Army has its own requirement which Air force might not understand.what we need is air base like agra where army paratroopers are trained in air force base so they understand each other requirement and constraints in better way. Helicopter squadron are to be attached with armored regiments and they need more joint excersise.

Mr. Ra said...

Existing arrangement is best.

Anonymous said...

these are currently under army command and control? so what is the difference that necessitates a change? training and maintenance? can the army really do that better than the IAF, so much better that it is crucially important to change the relationship? rather than fighting over who trains and maintains helicopter fleets, why not focus on actually increasing cross-service inter-operability? that goes for way more than attack helicopters, unless army thinks it needs to be operating fast-jets as well...

Anonymous said...

That's why we need a Chief of Defence Staff, it's long overdue the govt should work on it ASAP. In drastic times the last thing we need is a spat and no coordination between the forces, please bring on a CDS, we're too big and important a Force not to have one.

Anonymous said...

Army must be provided Attack combat copter as soon as possible...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the air force is 1/15th the size of the army. Therefore, it doesn't deserve to have its own chief at the same rank as the army. For all its hoopla, the airforce just makes one to two corps of the army. Frankly, I have long advocated that the airforce should be brought under command of the army. It doesn't matter what other forces of the world do. In India, we need better coordination between air and land assets, and that can only happen if the two forces are led by one command. One command will also stop all the bickering that goes on incessantly to the detriment of Indian tactical operations.

Anonymous said...

These kind of turf battles are common in a growing military. Even the USAF, US Army and the US Navy had many a turf battle between them about who controls what.
AT the end of the day the most important thing in a military to function properly is the chain of command.
Future Army operations will involve a LOT of aerial operations like vertical replenishment, CAS etc that need to function at the brigade level and lower. It makes sense for the Army to get more airmobile elements and more CAS elements into its aviation core.

It is the job of the civilians in the MoD to work as arbitrators and equitably distribute the responsibilities and roles between the forces to maximize efficiency and minimize confusion.


IMO Army Aviation should be responsible for ALL "Light" aviation elements like the LCH, ALH, LUH etc while the Air Force should be in charge of all "Heavy" aviation elements like Mi-17s, Mi-35s, etc.

Anonymous said...

Army need special sqn's in attack helicopter , should not completely depend on IAF for ground support avaition.

india loosed some parts of northern india in 1962 against strong PLA army due to no air support(govt not allowed ) for ground based troops (many thanks to Nehru)

Anonymous said...

So,
When should IAF ask for its own Army? Fellows commenting, Pray tell.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, since all of us agree that the army should have its own air force, why should the air force have its own army? and so on.. divide and rule..the indian way for generations. Way to go commenters above, Lets all of us have our own blogs too, cause we r all friggin experts arnt we boyz??