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).