Wednesday, February 10, 2021

India’s new latest generation medium weight helicopter

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) believes the new heavy-class multi-role helicopter it is developing for the Indian military can be “benchmarked” against the best products on the global market.

Called the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), the twin-engined rotorcraft could be available from 2028. It will have a maximum take-off weight of 13t and be able to carry up to 36 troops in a high-density configuration.

The Indian air force currently operates more than 230 Mi-17 transports

State-owned HAL estimates a domestic requirement for up to 314 examples across all three services, predominantly as a replacement for Mil Mi-17s, but believes it can also score export success with the new helicopter.

HAL detailed its progress on the IMRH during a 6 February presentation at the Aero India event in Bengaluru. The rotorcraft has already passed the preliminary design review stage, the company says, which will enable it to freeze the configuration within six months of receiving go-ahead from the Indian defence ministry. That milestone is expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

First flight should take place around four years after New Delhi’s green-light, HAL says, leading to operational clearance of a basic utility variant for the army after 24 months of testing; an armed variant will then follow a year later.

HAL expects to produce three to four flying prototypes, plus ground- and structural-test articles, with the development activity lasting seven years in total.

09/02/21 Defence View

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