BENGALURU: The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for its Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) paving the way for the helicopter’s production.
R Madhavan, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL, received the IOC document from G Sateesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R & D and Chairman, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at the ‘Bandhan’ programme held at ongoing DefExpo 2020 on Friday in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Arup Chatterjee, Director, Engineering & R&D, HAL, said the performance of basic configuration of LUH in all terrains and under all-weather conditions is satisfactory and HAL is moving towards the next phase of integrating and flight testing of Mission & Role Equipment on LUH.
LUH is a single engine, light weight, highly agile 3-tonne utility helicopter, indigenously designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of Indian Army and Indian Air Force. LUH will soon replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
Three prototypes have been built and the chopper has cumulatively completed over 550 flights under various terrains and climatic conditions like cold weather, hot weather, sea-level and high altitude, complying to stringent certification and user requirements.
Its endurance and reliability were established during the hot weather and high-altitude trials where in LUH was ferried from Bengaluru, covering over 7,000 km of distance and continuously flying for 17 days without any abnormalities.