Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a statement said that Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) and high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) projects will be developed under the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) model. India’s 5th generation AMCA fighter jet program, IMRH, and HALE UAV program will build by companies where private players have a majority stake so that it does not become a full government entity.

90% of the funding will come from the Government of India for this project while the rest of the funds will come for setting up of production line by the selected private sector companies for each program with a majority stake in the to-be-formed companies.

HAL plans to conduct the first ground run of the ground test vehicle of IMRH in 2024 with the first flight planned in 2025 with limited scale production in 2028. The IMRH is envisaged as a medium-lift helicopter with a maximum all-up weight of 13 tonnes to replace the Russian Mi-17 class of helicopters from Tri-service for which requirements of 400 helicopters have been projected. HAL will be offering two engine power plants for the users but is also working on its engine development.

Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) with DRDO already has started work on high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) class UAV for which it already has issued tenders for assembly of the Prototype last year. ADE’s HALE in development will be a Propeller-Driven UAV while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and NewSpace Research and Technologies (NRT) are working on turbofan powered HALE UAV.

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