India-made multi-role choppers to match Russian Mi-17s, MakeInIndia ahead #Hindustan360


India is pursuing plans to build its own multi-role helicopters that could be made available to the three services in the next 6 years. View more at #Hindustan360.

If all goes as per the plans of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the first prototype of the helicopter could be out by 2020. A senior HAL official said the programme was on track and a priority for the state-owned firm.

Here’s all you need to know about the Indian multi-role helicopter (IMRH) project:

Competition for Mi-17 choppers

The IMRH is expected to compete with Russian Mi-17 choppers in both Indian and foreign markets. HAL says the platform could have a huge market as nearly 40 air forces across the world operate Mi-17 type helicopters. The Mi-17 is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force’s transport fleet.

Types of missions

HAL officials say the IMRH will be capable of carrying out a wider variety of missions than the Mi-17. The indigenous helicopter, which is currently in design stage, could be used for transporting troops, conducting assault operations, air maintenance and anti-submarine warfare among other roles.

Indigenous platform

The HAL is seeking to build the helicopter without any foreign help. However, HAL sources said the engines for the IMRH could be sourced from a foreign military contractor. HAL has estimated a requirement for 350 to 400 choppers but the number could be revised depending on market projections.

Indian helicopter fleet

The IMRH will join a wide variety of helicopters in the Indian fleet ranging from Mi-17V5, Dhruv advanced light helicopter, Ka-226T (yet to be built) to Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy-lift choppers whose induction will begin in about 2 years.

View more at #Hindustan360.