SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The US Army had expressed interest in having the Indian Armed Forces participate in its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program, which aims to replace the Army’s ageing fleet of UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters and AH-64 Apache assault helicopters. According to sources familiar with the matter, senior Indian military officials were briefed about the program a few years ago, but no further discussions have taken place.
The FLRAA program is a critical component of the US Army’s modernization efforts. The new helicopters will be required to provide increased range, speed, and survivability over the current Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. The US Army has already selected the Bell V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft as the winner of the FLRAA competition.
India is currently developing its medium-lift helicopter, the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), which is intended to replace the Russian-supplied Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. The IMRH program is still in its early stages of development.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned aerospace and defence company responsible for developing IMRH, is currently awaiting approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for funding the program. HAL and Safran have already begun work on the new helicopter engine that will power IMRH.
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