Indian Navy Helicopters on Australian Ships
India and Australia highlighted their navies’ interoperability during AUSINDEX in the Bay of Bengal with their Sea King, Chetak (Alouette III), MRH90 and MH-60R Seahawk helicopters
Royal Australian Navy, May 06, 2019 - Bay of Bengal by CAPT James Hook - Indian and Australian air crews have highlighted their navies’ interoperability during AUSINDEX in the Bay of Bengal this month.
An MRH-90 from HMAS Canberra and an MH-60R from HMAS Parramatta landed on the frigate Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sahyadri and the corvette INS Kiltan, while a Sea King from INS Sahyadri and a Chetak from INS Kiltan cross-decked to the Australian ships.
Parramatta’s Flight Commander, Lieutenant Commander Damian Liberale said the procedure for landing helicopters on a foreign warship was heavily regulated.
“Before we flew, we physically visited each of the ships while alongside at Visakhapatnam,” Lieutenant Commander Damian Liberale said.
“We looked at the markings on the flight deck and took the chance to have face to face conversations with the Indian crews. Only then were we authorised to land on their ships.”
Parramatta’s pilots Lieutenant Jarrod Huisman and Lieutenant Mitchell Sanders flew their ship’s Seahawk ‘Warlock’ to Sahyadri and Kiltan.
“Landing is the tricky part, so we both had a turn on each ship,” Lieutenant Huisman said.
“All Australian ships use the same visual markings on their flight decks, but the Indian ships are different. There’s no circle, and the line-up lines are for different aircraft.”
The pair performed ‘yoyo’ landings and take-offs on each flight deck before returning to Parramatta, where they were guided down by flight deck marshaller Leading Seaman Aircraft Technician Avionics Aaron Lever.
“My job is to make sure it’s safe for the pilot to land, and to liaise with the landing safety officer,” Leading Seaman Lever said.
“The Sea King was the biggest helicopter any of the current crew has seen land on Parramatta; it was a sight to see as it used up all of the flight deck’s operating area.
Westland Sea King Mk.42B IN514 HAL chetak IN483 ( Bharatiya Nau Sena )