NEW DELHI: The Army, which is facing a huge shortage of light utility helicopters with the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, will receive the first batch of six indigenous Light Utility helicopter (LUH) by the end of 2022, a defence source said. The LUH was designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

In a separate development, Lt. Gen. Ajay Kumar Suri took over as the Director General (DG) and Colonel Commandant of the Army Aviation on Monday.

“The acceptance in principle was received two months back. The Army will receive the first batch of six LUHs by December 2022,” the source stated. The LUH is meant to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters along with the Russian Ka-226T helicopters.

At Aero India in Bangalore in February, the Army variant of the LUH received its Initial Operational Clearance (IOC).