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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

In Aero India 2017, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) showcased a 1.1 scale mock-up of 12.5 ton Indian Multirole Helicopter (IMRH) in a civilian VVIP configuration which HAL plans to develop for Indian Armed Forces to meet their Medium Transport Helicopter requirements.

Project initiated internally by HAL was to present Tri-Service Military planners a first look at the Countries first proposed Indigenous Medium Transport Helicopter Program which can be developed using a common platform to meet Tri-Service requirement but according to Industrial sources close to idrw.org, Indian Army Planners are not impressed since they that completely different plans for a Medium Transport Helicopter requirement.

Talking leaf out of US Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, Indian Army wants to acquire a suitable helicopter in the 10-12 ton class with stealth features for its Special Operations Units as well as enhancing its overall tactical lift capability. low acoustic signature, Exceptional hover capability. High cruise speed. Agility for close air support. Fly-by-wire flight controls are some of the features Indian Army wants in a Medium Multirole Helicopter which IMRH Programme will not be able to meet.

Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Concept 

Defense Expert Ranesh Rajan speaking to idrw.org said that IMRH concept showcased is based on existing conventional transport design which will meet military transport helicopter requirement and will be a perfect indigenous alternative to replace Soviet-era Mil Mi-17 Medium Multirole Helicopters but it seems Army is looking for next-generation tactical Medium Multirole Helicopters which can be used by Indian Army for Special Operations forces particularly along with variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications incorporating features like Stealth and low acoustic signature and not just wants to limit them for Transport roles .

Rajan believes HAL should first sit down and work with Tri-Service Military planners to understand their requirements before throwing out on them a Concept they were not consulted before. IMRH might become a non-starter if Armed forces can’t come together to sync their requirements and develop their variants from a common platform to save on cost.

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