Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) today unveiled the first prototype of an Indian multi-role helicopter (IMRH), to be built here by the state-owned aircraft manufacturer.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar unveiled the indigenously developed 12-tonne class IMRH at Aero India 2017 at the Yelahanka Air Force base near Bengaluru.
With service ceiling of around 20,000 feet, 3,500 kg payload and seating capacity of 24, the IMRH can be used for tactical troop transport, casualty evacuation, underslung load, combat search and rescue, anti-surface operations, off-shore operations, VIP / VVIP transport and air ambulance.
The Army / IAF version will have a significant hovering and payload capability, especially at high altitude. It will be powered by twin engines.
The aircraft will also be equipped with Automatic Flight Control System, state-of-the-art Mission Systems, Advanced Cockpit Display, avionics, etc, to meet the utility and armed roles of Indian armed forces. A dedicated Naval variant is also planned.
HAL will also target export orders, to replace the ageing fleet of similar class of helicopters in more than 40 air forces around the world. The minister also visited the HAL stall and witnessed the products and technologies on display.
HAL also displayed the indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) at the 11th edition of the Bengaluru airshow Aero India 2017 on Tuesday.
The helicopter has been designed and developed by the HAL. Officials said the flight was a big step in the Make in India programme.
The prototype was piloted by Wing Commander Unni Pillai. The helicopter, which is suited for operating in small areas, performed several manoeuvres.
The three-tonne helicopter was part of several indigenously made aircraft that HAL showcased during a flying display in the airshow.
They included HAL's Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, HTT 40, a basic trainer aircraft.
The 11th edition of the Aero India 2017 airshow was inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Air Force Station Yelahanka Tuesday morning.
Nearly 600 defence manufacturers from India and abroad, such as HAL, Lockheed Martin, SAAB, BAE Systems are taking part in the five-day aerospace exposition.