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Indian Army to set up more aviation brigades for operations along Pakistan, China borders

Indian Army to set up more aviation brigades for operations along Pakistan, China borders

The Indian Army will raise more aviation brigades for operations along the Pakistan and China border, said a senior Army officer. The brigade helps to have a structured command and controlled system where there are 50-60 helicopters operating in a brigade. The recently operational brigade at Missamari is able to take control of operations in that area in a much better manner. It helps both the ground troops and aviation. “At present, we have three aviation brigades-two on the northern border and one on the eastern border. We are planning to have more brigades and it is in process,” the officer said.

Aviation brigades are military units that field military helicopters. They can include attack/reconnaissance helicopters, medium-lift helicopters, heavy-lift helicopters, and MEDEVAC capability. “Flight safety is and will be the biggest concern for Aviation Operations as this profession remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather and human error,” the officer said.

The Army Aviation Corps performs combat search and rescue (CSAR), artillery lift, combat transportation, logistics relief, military prisoner transportation, and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). “We are implementing strong measures at the tri-service level to minimize such tragedies. Synchronisation of policies and Aviation Standards is being undertaken at the Tri-Service level. In addition, to prepare aviators for adverse weather situations and disorientation, training on motion simulators has been enhanced,” the officer said. The officer further informed that the first Light Combat Helicopter Squadron has been raised, deployed and operationalized.

Training of pilots and technicians on Apache Attack Helicopter has been completed. In addition, the induction of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Heron MK II and the planned induction of Hermes 900 Star liners will not only boost the reconnaissance and surveillance capability of the Indian Army but also their teaming with combat helicopters will prove to be a game changer in the third dimension. On women’s role in Army Aviation, the officer said that the role of women officers has been steadily increasing in Army Aviation.

Women officers were first inducted into the Air Traffic Control stream of Army Aviation in May 2009, followed by the posting of Women Officers of the EME as Engineering Officers in Army Aviation Units. The onerous task of ensuring the maintenance, servicing and logistics aspects of Army Aviation is being performed at par with their gentlemen comrades in this stream as well.

Having smoothly inducted the Women Officers into the ATC and the Engineering Officer streams, it was but a natural progression to induct Women Officers as Army Aviators. Presently two Women Officers are already serving as pilots in Army Aviation and three are undergoing training. Army Aviation Corps is scripting its future and is poised to grow into a formidable force that will have leverage in meeting future challenges in both conventional and unconventional operations, the officer added.

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