Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), aerospace and defence major, aims to indigenously develop 12-tonne class Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) with service ceiling of around 20,000 feet, 3,500 kg payload and a seating capacity of 24. A full scale mock-up of IMRH was unveiled by defence minister Manohar Parrikar at Aero India.
The major roles to be performed are tactical troop transport, casualty evacuation, under slung load, combat search & 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, HAL said.
The proposed IMRH will be powered by twin engines (yet to be identified), equipped with automatic flight control system, state-of-the-art mission systems, advanced cockpit display and avionic systems, etc, to meet the utility and armed roles of the Indian Armed Forces. A dedicated Naval variant is also being planned.
Besides the domestic defence orders, HAL will target export orders, aiming to replace the ageing fleet of similar class of helicopters that are operational in more than 40 air forces around the world.
Earlier in the day, HAL showcased the light utility helicopter (LUH) at the Aero Show. The LUH is powered by two Shakthi engines and inherits many technical features of the advanced light helicopter.
In the fixed wing, the basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turbo Trainer (HTT-40) also flew for the first time. The Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) underscored its strong presence yet again along with Su30 MKI, Do-228 and Hawk-i. In the rotary wing, the light combat helicopter (LCH), advanced light helicopter (ALH) and ALH Mk IV ‘Rudra’ captivated the audience.