SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with be working closely with the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard to develop a derivative of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to replace both aging HAL Cheetah and HAL Chetak helicopters in the Indian Navy and ICG fleet.
Indian Navy needs 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) and the Indian Navy is looking to procure variants of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) modified for ship-based operations.
The Navy is planning to procure 60 NUH based on the ALH Platform and the rest based on the Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) platform that will come with foldable two-segment blades. Studies are being ongoing for the last few years as the Navy has stringent requirements like lightweight avionics and mission sensors, higher payload capability, and reduced stowage dimensions for the helicopter to be able to fit into the ship hanger.
LUH is an important program for the Indian Navy since it has been under fire for not supporting indigenous helicopter programs and limiting their roles for shore-based operations. HAL and Indian Navy are also working closely to develop a 13-ton Deck Based Multi-Role Helicopter (DBMRH) medium-lift helicopter that will take center stage in its Helicopter fleet from 2030 onwards.
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