New Delhi (NVI): The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), made by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for the Indian Army, today received the initial operational clearance (IOC) from Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
The army variant of the LUH received the IOC in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the margins of the 13th biennial Aero India 2021 expo at the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru.
R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, said the thrust is being given by HAL for indigenous R&D programmes towards self-reliance and enhancing operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
“We are in the phase of integrating and flight-testing mission role equipment on LUH, whose performance in all terrains and under all-weather conditions has been satisfactory,” said HAL director Arup Chatterjee on the occasion.
The LUH is a three-ton 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 Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The LUH will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak helicopters operated by the Services, it added.
Powered by the turbo shaft engine (Ardiden 1U) of the French aerospace major Safran, the LUH is equipped with a smart cockpit display system and health and usage monitoring system for high-altitude missions in the Himalayas.
The certification process involving ground testing, system testing, flight testing, including hot and cold weather trials have been completed.
“Based on the flight trials carried out, all PJSQR requirements for basic helicopter certification have been complied satisfactorily,” the statement added.