Army model of HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter completes trials in Himalayas; prepared for operational clearance

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 9

Amidst excessive tensions alongside the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, a brand new warfare fowl for the Army is prepared for operational clearance. 

The Army model of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) developed indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited demonstrated its excessive altitude functionality in sizzling and excessive climate circumstances within the Himalayas over a interval of 10 days within the area Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in protracted stand-off. 

A complete check plan was executed at Leh, 3,300 metres above sea degree, in temperatures as much as ISA+320C, which included envelope enlargement, efficiency and flying qualities.  

LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its sizzling and excessive hover efficiency at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), the world’s highest Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) located at an altitude of 5,000 metres.

The helicopter additionally demonstrated its payload functionality in Siachen Glacier.  

During the trials, pilots additionally landed the helicopter at a few of the world’s highest helipads like Amar and Sonam.

“HAL has once again proved its indigenous capability in design and development. The Army version of LUH is now ready for Initial Operational Clearance,” R Madhavan, Cgsirman-cum-managing director, HAL, mentioned.  

Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering and R&D), HAL, mentioned that the efficiency of the helicopter and its methods are passable, fulfilling the necessities of the customers. All deliberate checks have been efficiently demonstrated.

The flights have been carried out by a composite trial crew which included pilots from HAL, Wg Cdr Unni Pillai, the chief check pilot (rotary wing), Wg Cdr Anil Bhambani, Gp Capt Pupinder Singh and Gp Capt V Panwar together with Gp Capt R Dubey and Sq Ldr Joshi from the Indian Air Force and Lt Col R Grewal and Lt Col Pawan from the Indian Army.

Representatives from the airworthiness certification authority additionally witnessed the trials.

The Initial Operational Clearance for the fundamental LUH had been accorded by CEMILAC for the IAF variant on February 7, 2020 throughout DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow.

The single-engined LUH is designed to interchange the getting older French origin Chetak and Cheetah helicopters in Army and Air Force service. The LUH can accommodate two credit score members and 6 passengers and attain altitudes as much as 6,600 meters.

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