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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

The Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) project, proposed by the prestigious Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), is gearing up for significant advancements in the coming months. As the Detailed Project Report (DPR) nears completion, the HAL is preparing to submit it for approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in the next month.

Anticipated to receive clearance from the CCS by the last quarter of this financial year, HAL is eagerly moving forward with its vision for the IMRH.

The first flight of this groundbreaking helicopter is planned for sometime in 2027. The IMRH is expected to revolutionize the Indian defence landscape, with its versatile capabilities and cutting-edge technology.
A key objective of the IMRH program is to replace the ageing Mi-17 helicopters currently in service with the Indian Armed Forces. Additionally, HAL envisions developing a naval variant known as the Deck-Based Multi-Role Helicopter (DBMRH), further expanding the scope and versatility of the project.

To facilitate the development process, HAL has allocated its funds to create a Static IMRH prototype, primarily intended for ground testing. This strategic move will ensure that the helicopter undergoes rigorous testing to meet the highest safety and performance standards.
Collaboration plays a crucial role in such ambitious endeavours, and HAL has joined forces with French aerospace company Safran to co-develop a new engine for the IMRH program. This partnership has led to the establishment of a new joint venture company in Bengaluru, which will be solely dedicated to the “design, development, production, sales, and support of helicopter engines.” This initiative is expected to revolutionize the powerplant capabilities of the IMRH and contribute to its overall success.

Given the scale and complexity of the project, the estimated cost for developing both versions of the helicopter, the IMRH and the DBMRH, is approximately ?10,000 crore. This substantial investment reflects the commitment of HAL and the Indian Armed Forces to equip themselves with state-of-the-art helicopters that can cater to a wide range of military missions and challenges.

Recognizing the immense potential of the IMRH, the Indian Armed Forces have expressed interest in procuring a substantial number of these helicopters. With an initial order for at least 400 units, it is clear that the IMRH will play a pivotal role in strengthening India’s defence capabilities.
In a groundbreaking approach to manufacturing, HAL intends to pursue a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) model in partnership with private sector companies to facilitate the production process. This collaborative approach will not only streamline manufacturing but also promote innovation and skill development within the Indian defence industry.

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