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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Designed and manufactured Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) having been hogging media limelight of late after it completed many critical trials of the machine where they have met or exceeded standards set by the Indian Army and Indian air force and state-owned public sector company is now is engaging with Defence ministry to begin the process to place orders for the same and it’s expected that both LUH and LCH will keep HAL production line busy for next two decades with combined orders expected to exceed 400 units.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Top Management is keen to now take up the development of the Next generation of Helicopters to feel in the critical requirements which will be needed in the next two decades by the forces. idrw.org has been informed that HAL has taken the initiative off late to engage with Tri-service for the development of New Helicopters for the Tri-Service and is keen to take necessary feedback before it takes up new helicopter projects.

HAL’s Management is keen to make headway in the development of the proposed 12-tonne twin-engine Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) for the combined military to replace the large fleet of Russian developed Mi-8/17 fleet which has combined potential for 200+ units. A full-scale Mockup of the IMRH was displayed at Aero India and according to HAL, over the Tri-service variant there will also include a VVIP variant and HAL is closely working with the Armed forces so that the tri-service can agree on the basic flight characters and configuration before tri-service specific variants are developed.

According to HAL, the IMRH project cost estimation has been pegged at 10000 crores and HAL is keen to scout for an international partner for the development of a new engine and the tri-service will also have the option of two engines likely sourced from French and the USA. HAL is also exploring the possibility of development of a Heavy Attack Helicopter (HCH) which will be based on the technology developed for the IMRH program.

HAL has been watching big tussle going on with the Indian Army Aviation and Indian Air force on the ownership of the American made Boeing AH-64 Apache attack Helicopters. Indian Army finally has been allowed to procure 6 Apache attack helicopter after IAF inducted 22 helicopters of the same type recently but the requirement is for 39 more units which possibly could grow to 100 units combined with the Indian Air force over what already has been procured to replace the aging Mi-35 Hind Helicopters.

HAL management has confirmed that the Indian Army or the Indian Air force have not approached them for the development of the Apache class attack helicopter which will have nearly twice the max takeoff weight of the current LCH but the company is keen to explore the possibility of Army or Air force have combined requirements in the future.

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