Bengaluru: State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) manufactured Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for the Indian Army from Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the ongoing Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru on February 5.
HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan said the thrust is being given by the DPSU for indigenous R&D programmes towards self-reliance and enhancing operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
Director (Engg. and R&D) Arup Chatterjee stated that the performance of the basic helicopter in all terrains and under all weather conditions is satisfactory. HAL is currently in the phase of integrating and flight-testing mission role equipment on LUH. HAL is fully geared up to fulfil the requirements of the customers in time bound manner.
The LUH is a three-tonne class new generation single engine helicopter indigenously designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre of HAL with features suitable for operations in the diverse operating conditions unique to India. The LUH will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters operated by the Services.
The LUH is powered by a single turbo shaft engine Ardiden 1U from M/s. Safran Helicopter Engine (SHE), France with adequate power margins to accomplish high altitude missions in Himalayas with ease. LUH is equipped with Smart Cockpit Display System (Glass Cockpit), state-of-the-art HUMS (Health & Usage Monitoring System) and is designed for various utility and armed roles.
All certification activities like Ground testing, Ground Test Vehicle endurance runs, system testing, Flight testing including hot weather trials, cold weather trials, sea level trials and hot weather high altitude trials have been completed. Based on the flight trials carried out, all PJSQR requirements for basic helicopter certification have been complied satisfactorily.