HAL’s (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) indigenously design and developed Light Utility helicopter (LUH) successfully demonstrated high altitude capability in Hot and High weather conditions in the Himalayas recently.
LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground.
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) September 9, 2020
The utility helicopter also demonstrated its payload capability in Siachen glacier at high altitude.
As altitude increases, the air pressure decreases and the air molecules move further apart, thus reducing the air density, which affects the payload capacity of helicopters/aircraft.
LUH to replace India’s ageing Cheetah and Chetak Helicopters fleet
The India Army and Indian Air Force keen to replace its ageing Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters fleets.
HAL Light Utility Helicopter is a 3 tonne class highly agile new generation light helicopter.
It has a empty weight of 1,910 kg and can and 3,120 kg maximum take off weight. The helicopter receive its power from one HAL/Turbomeca Shakti-1U turboshaft engine, 798 kW.
It has maximum speed of 250 km/h and can cruise at a speed of 235 km/h. It has a range of 350 KM and can carry 6 passengers onboard.
LUH has already received its Initial Operational Clearance for IAF variant in 2020 and The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is planned for 2021.
The Indian armed forces have a requirement for 384 helicopters of which 187 helicopters will be LUH and the rest will be filled by Russian Ka-226T.
Of the 187 helicopters planned to be ordered, 126 LUH is planned for the Indian Army with the remaining 61 for the Indian Air Force.