Bengaluru, Feb 28 (IANS) State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Thursday offered an indigenous multirole helicopter to the Indian military for replacing its medium lift choppers such as MI-17s, Kamovs and Seakings.
“We have apprised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of the progress made on the design and development of the multirole helicopter for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Navy and Army,” HAL Chairman R. Madhavan said in a statement here.
The city-based defence behemoth displayed a mockup of the multirole helicopter to Rajnath Singh at its helicopter production facility in the city”s eastern suburb.
“We hope to develop the new helicopter in the next 8-10 years when the present fleet of medium lift copters are scheduled to be phased out,” said Madhavan.
The aerospace major has submitted to the Defence Ministry a project report for sanctioning funds by the Cabinet committee on security to develop the new helicopter
“The minister has evinced interest in our new offering to the three services,” Madhavan noted.
The HAL Chairman also told the Defence Minister that it was waiting for the ministry”s order to roll out its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for the IAF and the Army.
“LCH is ready for operational induction in the services and our new production hanger has capacity to rollout 30 of them per year,” helicopter complex chief executive G.V.S. Bhaskar said on the occasion.
The public sector enterprise has submitted a techno commercial proposal to the ministry for rolling out 15 combat choppers under the limited series production.
“The demand for LCH is estimated to be 160 units by the services,” Bhaskar said.
The indigenous 5.5-tonne LCH is powered by two Shakti engines and has many features of the company”s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
“LCH is the first attack helicopter to land in forward bases at Siachen, 4,700m above sea level, with 500kg load,” said the statement.
LCH had received the initial operation clearance (IOC) on August 26, 2017.