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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is fast-tracking the development of the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), a project poised to replace ageing Russian helicopters in the Indian military. Sources indicate the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting for project approval is expected in the coming week, following successful completion of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR).

The project envisions a robust 12-ton multi-role helicopter, with an estimated development cost of ?10,000 crores. This significant investment underscores India’s commitment to bolstering its indigenous defence capabilities. Interestingly, the IMRH’s engine will be developed collaboratively with French aerospace giant Safran, marking a crucial step in forging international partnerships for technology transfer.

The IMRH project caters to the combined requirements of the Indian Army and Air Force, aiming to replace their ageing fleet of Mil Mi-17 helicopters. With an initial order of 300 units, the project promises a substantial boost to domestic defence production and operational readiness.

Beyond the IMRH, the project encompasses the development of the Deck-Based Multi-Role Helicopter (DBMRH), a maritime variant specifically designed for shipborne operations with the Indian Navy. This enlarged version, with an estimated requirement of 50-70 units, further extends the project’s scope and strategic significance.

With the CCS approval imminent, the IMRH project is poised to take off. Its development and deployment will be closely watched, with high expectations for its performance and contribution to India’s military prowess. The IMRH’s success has the potential to redefine India’s role in the global aerospace landscape, marking a significant milestone in its journey towards self-reliance and technological leadership.

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