Defence Ministry has finally given its green signal to Indian Army to have its own fleet of Attack Helicopter Squadrons, meeting the long-time demand. The Defence Ministry has also decided that all future acquisitions of attack helicopters will be made for the Army while the IAF can retain its two squadrons of Mi-35 Attack Helicopters along with the soon-to-be-procured 22 Apache Combat Choppers.
HAL's Light Combat Helicopter on a Test Flight ( Image Courtesy - indiandefence.com )
The Army had been demanding full control over attack and medium-lift helicopters saying these are mainly used for its operations but remains under the control of IAF. After consulting National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and looking at Indian Army's Operational Doctrine, the Defence Ministry arrived at this decision.
Currently, India has two squadrons of attack helicopters, Mi-25 and Mi-35, which are maintained and manned by the Indian Air Force but under the operational control of the Indian Army. Indian Army wants one heavy-duty attack squadron (10-12 helicopters) for each of its three "strike" formations - 1 Corps (Mathura), 2 Corps (Ambala) and 21 Corps ( Bhopal) — in keeping with their primary offensive role. Moreover, it has plans to induct another 114 'Rudra' light combat helicopters for the remaining 10 'pivot' corps.
News Courtesy - indianexpress.com