New Delhi: State-owned defence and aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is set to develop the finest 10-12 tonne attack helicopter by 2027, parallel to the best of Boeing’s Apache helicopter.
The aim of the voluminous project is to cease import of more than Rs 4 lakh crore worth of military helicopters for the three services in the coming years, said Chairman and Managing Director of HAL R Madhavan.
“One major project we are focusing on is to produce a helicopter in 10 to 12 tonnes category to replace the Mi-17 fleet. It will be an indigenous platform with the potential to manufacture around 500 helicopters. It will stop import of more than Rs 4 lakh crore worth of platforms from foreign countries,” he told PTI.
“If we get the approval in 2020, we will be able to manufacture the first chopper by 2027. We are looking at producing at least 500 helicopters of the variant. It will be a major project we are working on,” he said.
“We have done the preliminary design. We have also been in discussion with the Air Force and the Navy. The 10-12 tonnes category will have two basic structures on similar platforms. The naval version will have different dimension compared to the one for the Army and the Air Force,” Madhavan said.
The HAL plans to ensure that the helicopter will be a fit for air assault, air transport, combat logistics and combat search and rescue operations.