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Indian Army Aviation Corps undergoing revamp

The Indian Army (IA) is revamping its Army Aviation Corps (AAC) by rebalancing and expanding its aerial assets, which will also include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as part of efforts to augment its surveillance, logistic, and troop movement capabilities.

IA sources told Janes on 12 Novemberthat two of the three integrated aviation brigades that will constitute the army's revised order of battle will be located close to the country's disputed Line of Actual Control (LoAC) with China – in northern and eastern India – while the third will be situated in the west near India's border with Pakistan.

They said all three brigades will operate an assortment of platforms, including Boeing AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian attack helicopters, as well as locally developed Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) and Rudra ALH Weapon Systems Integrated Mk IV helicopters.

They will also operate locally designed Light Combat Helicopters, five of which were delivered to the AAC in August, and Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs), 12 of which were approved for acquisition by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 2 November. Delivery of the LUHs is scheduled to begin in August 2022.

The IA has also built several ‘forward' helicopter bases along the LoAC in the Himalayas, and is acquiring portable helipads. In addition, the AAC will provide logistics support to military personnel deployed at high altitudes and carry out medical evacuations when necessary.

The sources said the new AAC brigades will also operate assorted UAVs that have been operated by artillery units. These platforms include four Heron TP medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs leased earlier this year from Israel Aerospace Industries and an assortment of indigenous mini-UAVs, loitering munitions, and ‘swarm drones', all of which are being procured.

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