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India boosts sky industry

New Delhi will build Imrh aircraft in partnership with France

India boosts domestic helicopter industry. The aim is to expand into domestic and international markets. After the opening of the largest helicopter factory of the State-owned Hindustan Aeronautical (HAL) on February 14, the company said it will also expand production of military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) aircraft, then begin construction of other rotary-wing aircraft, both civil and for the armed forces.

New Delhi's aim is to achieve an annual production capacity of 1,000 Luh helicopters by 2043. To achieve this goal, the company will need huge economic funds and investments, which the Government intends to ensure. So, the executive, led by Narendra Modi, has signed some commercial agreements with important foreign companies operating in the aeronautical sector.

Let's take for example the new helicopter, also present at the recent "Aero India 2023": it is the Indian Multi Role Role Helicopter (Imrh) under development. The medium aircraft (13 tons) is designed to replace the Russian-made Mil Mi-17 by 2030. A move to emancipate oneself from dependence on foreign countries. However, for its construction, the state company Hal has entered into an agreement with the French company Safran, which will supply the first 400 engines.

The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) military helicopter made its maiden flight on 6 September 2016 and was put on the market in 2020. It can accommodate 2 crew members and 6 passengers. It has a maximum speed of 259 km/h and a range of 500 km. The vehicle was designed for civil and military use. In the latter case, it will be used to replace the aging Aérospatiale SA-315B Lama and Alouette III aircraft of the Indian Army and Air Force.

The Indian Multi Role Helicopter, on the other hand, is an attack and transport aircraft, designed to replace all the current Russian-made Mil Mi-17 and Mil Mi-8 helicopters currently in service with the Indian armed forces. The future rotorcraft is expected to make its maiden flight in 2024-2025. It will have a five-blade main rotor and a 4-blade tail rotor. It can accommodate 2 crewmembers and up to 36 passengers (depending on the version) and will have a cruising speed of 260 km/h.

Gic - 1249921

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency