HAL LUH:- India’s Multirole Lightweight Single-Engine Utility Helicopter
HAL LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) is a single engine helicopter, designed by HAL. LUH is under construction, LUH take its first flight in Dec 2016. Airforce and Army both need a new utility helicopter because of their ageing fleet of cheetah and chetak, in respond to this HAL came up its LUH plan, first HAL that they take help from foreign partners for its assistance but later on HAL decide that he will develop a new generation LUH with its own. It is also known as LOH (light observation helicopter).
The Indian military have a requirement for 384 helicopters of which 187 helicopters will be built by HAL. Production is planned to begin in 2018 at 10 per year, later on going up to 36 per year and delivery of 187 HAL’s LUHs is to be completed by 2022.
The HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is a 3-tonne light helicopter. According to HAL, it possesses a cruise speed of 235kmh, maximum speed of 260kmh, service ceiling of up to 6.5 km, a range of 350 km, a maximum take-off weight of 3.12 tonne and an empty weight of 1.91 tonne. The LUH will be capable of accommodating a maximum of two pilots and six passengers, all of which shall be seated on crashworthy seats; externally, it is capable of carrying cargoes of up to 1 tonne underslung. It will be able to undertake various missions, including emergency medical services (EMS), troop transport, utility, search and rescue (S&R), VVIP, aerial reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The LUH is powered by a single HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft engine, which is equipped with a dual channel FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system along with a backup fuel control system. The helicopter will be equipped with a glass cockpit, featuring a smart cockpit display system (SCDS), along with a skid-based landing gear arrangement.
HAL LUH is equipped with glass cockpit with a smart cockpit display system, skid base landing gear system, Helmet mounted display system. HAL LUH come.up with four blade main rotor over the fuselage and four blade tail rotor. It will also come with emergency floating system.
After completion of first trial in DEC 2016 and second prototype trial in 2017 HAL said it will start its mass production by the end of 2017 to meet the requirement of Armed Forces as soon as possible. HAL also said that in its First phase of production, it will produce 30 helicopter per year later on in second Phase it will double its capacity, and it will start producing 60 Helicopter per year.
While limited series production shall be performed at Bengaluru, HAL intends to perform mass production of the LUH at its new helicopter manufacturing complex at Tumakuru unit; in September 2016, production was reportedly intended to commence around 2018–2019. The Tumakuru assembly line is to complete around 30 LUHs per year by 2019–2020; upon enacting Phase II, which will take another three-four years, production would be ramped up to 60 helicopters per year.