The Indian Air Force (IAF) will procure six Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs), designed and developed by Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the newly appointed chief of the IAF, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, revealed in a presser today.
The helos will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak utility helicopters in service with the IAF. It is capable of carrying more than eight times the meaningful payload to the highest helipads in the world, as compared to the Cheetahs, reports say.
The LUH has undergone rigorous testing. In August last year, in the middle of the standoff with China, two prototypes of the helo landed in Ladakh for capability demonstration.
According to Livefist, the helicopters flew sorties “between Leh, forward airfields like Daulat Beg Oldie and even super-high altitude helipads at the Siachen glacier”.
To reach Ladakh, the prototypes flew from Bangalore to Leh, a distance of over 3,000 km, in three days, without performance issues.