India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first Cheetal helicopter to the Indian Air Force (IAF) today during Aero India 2021 show. The rotorcraft is the first out of a total ten ordered by the IAF. R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, formally handed over the document to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, the company announced in a tweet.
Cheetal is the re-engined version of the Cheetah helicopter. The project initiated during 2002 aimed to enhance high altitude operational capabilities and maintainability as well as to provide a mid-life upgrade for safe & reliable operations.
Artouste-IIIB engine of Cheetah was replaced with the modern fuel efficient TM333–2M2 engine with FADEC for better performance. In addition, an automatic Backup Engine Control system (EBCB) is equipped with engine.
HAL has delivered 1st production batch of 10 Cheetal helicopters and in operation by IAF at LEH region.