By S.L. Fuller | October 25, 2016
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.'s (HAL) multirole light combat helicopter (LCH) is currently undergoing weapons integration, local news outlets reported. After successfully trying rockets, the integration will continue with anti-tank guided missiles.
Having completed high-altitude and hot trials, HAL has limited-series production planned for five helicopters before the end of the year. The company also has an agreement with the government to produce 179 rotorcraft for India's Army and Air Force.
The armored LCH has a pilot and co-pilot/gunner tandem configuration and features night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear. It also has an integrated dynamic system, an integrated avionics display system (IADS), a hinge-less main rotor and a bearing-less tail rotor.
The LUH recently completed its first flight with Safran's Ardiden 1U engine. Safran and HAL also recently said they opened Helicopter Engines MRO Pvt. Ltd. (HE-MRO) on Sunday in Goa, India. Inaugurated by Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, the center will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Safran TM333 and HAL Shakti engines installed on HAL-built helicopters.
HE-MRO is set to start its services next year, starting with a capacity of 50 repaired engines each year. The two companies are then planning for growth, aiming for 150 repaired engines per year and growing staff by nearly 300% down the road. There is also a possibility of expanded capabilities to include other engines.
The LUH recently completed its first flight with Safran's Ardiden 1U engine. Photo courtesy of Safran