HAL bags con­tract for 20 Chee­tal he­li­copters


Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL) has signed a con­tract worth ` 418 crore with the Min­istry of De­fence for sup­ply of 20 Chee­tal he­li­copters and as­so­ci­ated equip­ment to the In­dian Army over the next four years. HAL will also pro­vide train­ing to the pi­lots and tech­ni­cal crew. This is the first con­tract for sup­ply of Chee­tal he­li­copters to the In­dian Army. HAL had the ini­tial or­der for 10 Chee­tal he­li­copters from the In­dian Air Force.

It may be men­tioned that Chee­tal is the re-en­gined vari­ant (devel­oped as com­pany funded pro­gramme) of the proven Chee­tah heli­copter be­ing man­u­fac­tured by HAL for over four decades. Chee­tal heli­copter is equipped with a Tur­bomeca TM 333-2M2 free tur­bine tur­boshaft en­gine which is more fuel-ef­fi­cient and pro­vides higher pay­load ca­pa­bil­ity of 90 kgs at an al­ti­tude of six kilo­me­tres. Chee­tal heli­copter can op­er­ate up to seven kilo­me­tres al­ti­tude and has a range of 640 kilo­me­tres with an en­durance of 3.50 hours.

The Chee­tal is fit­ted with a full author­ity dig­i­tal en­gine con­trol (FADEC) sys­tem for en­gine con­trol and an elec­tronic backup con­trol box (EBCB) sys­tem which au­to­mat­i­cally takes over en­gine con­trol in the event of FADEC fail­ure.

Chee­tal in­cor­po­rates features of mod­ern cock­pit in­stru­ments like elec­tri­cally driven ar­ti­fi­cial hori­zon, di­rec­tional gyro, flight mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, cock­pit voice recorder and master flasher warn­ing sys­tem. The Chee­tal heli­copter is a multi-role heli­copter and is best suited for the mis­sions such as per­son­nel trans­port, ca­su­alty evac­u­a­tion, re­con­nais­sance and ae­rial sur­vey, lo­gis­tic air sup­port, res­cue op­er­a­tions and un­der slung loads (cargo).

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