BENGALURU: Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Friday said it has received the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for its Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) paving the way for its productionisation.
HAL CMD R Madhavan received the IOC document from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) G Sateesh Reddy, and said: “This is a momentous occasion for HAL. It reinforces our commitment towards indigenous R&D programmes on self-reliance and enhancing operational effectiveness of the Indian armed forces. HAL is fully geared up to fulfil the requirements of its customers in a time bound manner”.
LUH is a single engine, light weight, highly agile three-tonne utility helicopter indigenously designed & developed to meet the operational requirements of Indian Army & IAF. LUH will soon replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
Three prototypes have been built which have cumulatively completed more than 550 flights under various terrains and climatic conditions like cold weather, hot weather, sea-level and high altitude complying to stringent certification and user requirements.
“Its endurance and reliability were established during the hot weather and high-altitude trials where in LUH was ferried from Bengaluru, covering more than 7,000 km and continuously flying for 17 days without any abnormalities,” HAL said.
Arup Chatterjee, director, engineering & R&D, HAL, said that the performance of basic configuration of LUH in all terrains and under all weather conditions is satisfactory and HAL is moving towards the next phase of integrating and flight testing of mission & role equipment on LUH.

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