Hindustan Aeronautics Limited successfully tests Light Utility Helicopter
The HAL LUH is a 3-tonne helicopter exclusively built for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force to replace the aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on 6 September 2016 successfully completed test flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Bengaluru.
During the test, the helicopter remained in the air for 15 minutes inside the HAL complex.
The LUH will replace the military’s obsolescent fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that have flown for over three decades.
Key highlights of Light Utility Helicopter
• The HAL LUH is a 3-tonne helicopter exclusively built for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force to replace the aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
• It is a light, single-engine helicopter that is powered by the Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine.
• In addition to two pilots, the helicopter can fly six passengers at sea level, with load capacity reducing with altitude.
• The LUH’s engine delivers 750 kilowatts of power, permits flight operations at as high as 6500 metres.
• Limited series production will be done in Bengaluru, and the 610-acre Tumakuru unit is slated to commence production in 2018-19.
• The Tumakuru plant will ship about 30 LUHs annually, starting in 2019-20.
• In phase II, the production will be ramped up to 60 helicopters per year.
• HAL intends to speed up flight-testing of the LUH by distributing it over three prototypes.
• HAL hopes to obtain initial operational certification by end-2017.
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