HAL finalizes plan to produce military helicopter on par with Boeing Apache Guardian | India News
The president and CEO of HAL R Madhavan said the goal of the megaproject is to stop the import of more than Rs 4 lakh crore from military helicopters for the three services in the coming years.
In an interview with PTI, Madhavan said the HAL has completed the preliminary design of the helicopter and that the initial plan is to produce at least 500 units with the first prototype ready by 2023 if the government approves the project. year.
“An important project we are focusing on is to produce a helicopter in the 10 to 12 ton category to replace the Mi-17 fleet. It will be an indigenous platform with the potential to manufacture around 500 helicopters. The importation of more of Rs “4 lakh crore from foreign country platforms,” he said.
Madhavan said an amount of Rs 9.6 billion rupees will be needed for the design and to produce the prototype of the helicopter.
“If we get approval in 2020, we can manufacture the first helicopter by 2027. We are looking to produce at least 500 helicopters of the variant. It will be a great project we are working on,” he said.
A military expert described the project as the largest HAL after the development of the Texas military plane.
“We have made the preliminary design. We have also been in talks with the Air Force and the Navy. The 10-12 ton category will have two basic structures on similar platforms. The naval version will have a different dimension compared to that of the Army and the Air Force, “Madhavan said about the proposed megaproject.
“Like the LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) that we develop from the Dhruv platform, a similar 10-12 ton category variant can be produced to be an Apache equivalent,” said Madhavan.
The helicopter will be powered by two engines and will have the option of folding blades for ship deck operations. The planned functions for the helicopter will be to support air assault, air transport, combat logistics and combat search and rescue. The helicopter will also have a much superior weapon package.
Madhavan said the helicopter will have enormous export potential.
Mi-17 helicopters constitute the backbone of the IAF helicopter fleet and are expected to be phased out by 2032.
The HAL product range includes a series of helicopters such as the LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) and the ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) and Chetak helicopters.
India is one of the largest importers of military weapons and platforms worldwide. The government has focused significantly on promoting the indigenization of defense by taking a series of reform initiatives, including the liberalization of FDI in the defense sector.
The Indian Air Force is acquiring a total of 22 Apache Guardian attack helicopters from the largest aerospace Boeing under a multi-million dollar agreement. In addition, the Army is acquiring six Apache helicopters along with weapon systems, an agreement that was sealed during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India last week.