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India Developing An Indigenous Light Utility Military Helicopter

Delays Acquisition Of 197 Aircraft From Other Companies

The Indian aerospace manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has a light utility helicopter in the works that would be manufactured entirely in India. The aircraft would be used to ferry troops and supplies to high-altitude areas of the country.

The program is in a "design freeze" phase, according to a report from The Economic Times of India. The paper reports that the first ground-test model is being prepped for factory tests, according to a representative from HAL, who said "the LUH program is progressing well."

The aircraft would use a French engine.

The Indian government had originally planned supply 348 light helos to the Army and Air Force, purchasing 197 of those from "foreign vendors." But there have been multiple issues with the acquisition process, including evidence of "wrongdoing" in the first tender to buy the aircraft.

The HAL LUH is expected to be operational in 2015.

FMI: http://115.112.148.193/index.asp

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