Indian Army orders HAL Cheetal helicopter
HAL has revealed that it has signed a contract with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver 20 Cheetal helicopters and associated equipments to the Indian Army. The contract, announced on 22 February, is worth Rs 4.18 billion over the next four years.
This contract marks the first order for supply of Cheetal helicopters to the Indian Army, and follows the initial order received from the Indian Air Force. The multi-role aircraft is designed for missions including personnel transport, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance and aerial survey, logistic air support, rescue operations and under slung cargo loads.
The Cheetal helicopter was developed as company funded programme as a re-engined variant of the proven Cheetah helicopter that has been manufactured by HAL for over four decades. According to the company, the Cheetal helicopter is equipped with a Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 free turbine turboshaft engine which is more fuel efficient and provides higher payload capability of 90 kgs at an altitude of 6 kms. The aircraft can operate up to 7km altitude with a range of 640km and an endurance of 3.50 hours.
The Cheetal is fitted with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system for engine control and an Electronic Backup Control Box (EBCB) system which automatically takes over engine control in the event of FADEC failure. It also incorporates modern cockpit instruments including electrically driven artificial horizon, directional gyro, flight monitoring system, cockpit voice recorder and master flasher warning system.
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