State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has started the process to procure equipment that will be used for the development of an attack-orientated derivative of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). HAL plans to equip LUH with forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and carry out an essential modification to the original airframe so that it can be equipped with a turret gun, rockets, air-to-air missiles, and could carry air-to-ground missiles like the anti-tank helicopter-launched Nag.

While additional details of the program are still sketchy but the Weapons System Integrated LUH will also have additional sensors so has to support aerial reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare, and close air support.

Defense PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has plans to commence production of LUH at the Tumakuru plant later this year, which can cater to 30 LUHs per year. HAL plans so supply 12 limited series production (LSP) helicopters, six each for the army and IAF, by 2023-24 and eventually bagging an order for 180+ LUH from both Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

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