The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is the youngest rotary wing sibling flying out of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) hangars, it strutted its stuff during the 13th edition of Aero India

State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Friday said its Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for the Indian Army from Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).

Madhavan said thrust is being given by HAL for indigenous R&D programs towards self-reliance and enhancing operational effectiveness of Armed Forces.

The LUH is a 3-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 LUH will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah/ Chetak helicopters operated by the Services.

According to Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering And R&D), performance of the basic helicopter in all terrains and under all weather conditions is satisfactory.

HAL is currently in the phase of integrating and flight-testing mission role equipment on LUH, and the company is fully geared up to fulfil the requirements of customers in a time bound manner.

The LUH is powered by a single turbo shaft engine Ardiden-1U from Safran Helicopter Engine (SHE), France with adequate power margins to accomplish high altitude missions in Himalayas with ease. in In Sep 2020 a comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3300 metres above mean sea level) in temperatures up to ISA (international standard atmosphere)+320C which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities, HAL said.

The LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5000 MAMSL. The helicopter also demonstrated its payload capability in Siachen glacier high altitude. During the trials, pilots landed the helicopter at the highest helipads of Amar and Sonam.

HAL said LUH is equipped with Smart Cockpit Display System (Glass Cockpit), state-of-the-art HUMS (Health & Usage Monitoring System) and is designed for various utility and armed roles. The helicopter will be capable of flying at 220 Kmph; service ceiling of 6.5 Km and a range of 350 Km with 500 kg payload.

Aero India News