Updated: November 3, 2021 7:33:29 pm
The new helicopter-making facility of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Tumkuru will start operations by March 2022. The unit will manufacture the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
Notably, the Ministry of Defence approved the procurement of 12 LUH from the HAL on November 2.
Top officials from the HAL told indianexpress.com that the new facility will have the capacity to produce 30 helicopters annually.
The 12 LUH (six for the Indian Army and six for the Indian Air Force) come under a limited series production (LSP). The LUH has finished trials in high-altitude areas like Siachen and Ladakh.
The HAL has also requested the ministry to issue ‘Acceptance of Necessity’ (AON) for 175 more LUHs at the earliest.
The LUH attained Operational Clearance on February 7, 2020. The initial operational clearance for LUH Indian Army Version was accorded by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) at the Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru. The LUH is a three-ton class new generation single-engine helicopter indigenously designed and developed by the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre of HAL with features suitable for operations in the diverse operating conditions unique to India. The LUH will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak helicopters operated by the Services.
It is powered by a single-turbo shaft engine Ardiden 1U from M/s Safran Helicopter Engine (SHE), France with adequate power margins to accomplish high-altitude missions in the Himalayas with ease. The chopper is equipped with a glass cockpit and state-of-the-art HUMS (Health & Usage Monitoring System).
The initial operational clearance for LUH IAF version was accorded by CEMILAC on February 7, 2020 during Defexpo 2020 at Lucknow.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.