The fourth Prototype of Indigenous light utility helicopter (LUH) is back at the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airstrip near China to demonstrate its high altitude operations capacity this time with an extended Tail Rotor that will inch it towards the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) after it received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) from the Indian Army earlier this year.

Army Aviation Corps had requested HAL for an extended Tail Rotor for the Army version in the FOC variant that will go under production soon and delivery planned by end of next year, HAL plans to deliver 6 LUH each for Army and Air force by end of 2022.

The LUH is a 3-ton class new generation single-engine helicopter indigenously designed and developed by the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre of HAL with features suitable for operations in the diverse operating conditions unique to India. The LUH will replace the aging fleet of Cheetah / Chetak helicopters operated by the Services.

The LUH is powered by a single turboshaft engine Ardiden 1U with Dual-channel FADEC (full authority digital engine control) from Safran Helicopter Engine (SHE) that will be replaced in near future by Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine (HTSE-1200) engine developed by HAL.

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