HAL developed a Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) as a potential replacement for the Cheetah helicopters of the Indian Army and Air Force and Chetak Helicopters of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. These helicopters have successfully completed high altitude tests conducted by test pilots from HAL, Indian Air Force and the Indian Army from August 24 to September 2.
As per Mr R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, “All planned tests were successfully demonstrated. A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3,300 metres) in temperatures up to Internationa Standard Atmosphere (ISA) +32 degrees celsius which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities. The LUH then lifted off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5,000 metres followed by another forward helipad (5,500 m at ISA +27°C).”
The LUH is a three-ton, single-engined helicopter, which completed hot weather trials in Nagpur in 2018. It had completed sea level trials at Chennai last year as well as in Puducherry in 2019.