India’s Hindustan Aeronautics would be signing US$2 billion contract to sell 73 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) to the Armed Forces.
The company has also signed another US$712.5 million contract to sell 106 HTT-40 trainers to the armed Forces, THe Economic Times reported Wednesday.
HAL has already produced 231ALHs to the services since 2002 and currently has an order for 159 more from them.
HAL manufactures military (Rudra) and civil (Dhruv) variants of the 5-tonne twin-seater multi-utility helicopters to meet the various needs of the air force, army and navy, including combat, utility, reconnaissance, transport and medical aviation. The company also exported a few of the heavy choppers in both variants.
HAL has designed, developed the Hindustan Turbo Trainer (HTT-40) to replace its HPT-32 Deepak trainers the air force phased out.
"The indigenously designed and developed basic trainer aircraft has to complete stall and spin manouvre for certification. We plan to produce 100 of them initially," HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju said on the margins of the biennial Aero India 2017 expo at the IAF's Yalahanka base.
The state-owned firm has flown the tandem-seat HTT's prototype on June 17, 2016, and built capacity to meet the IAF's requirement, including its weaponisation. With advanced features like zero-zero ejection seats and multi-function displays, the trainer can be adapted as a light attack aircraft. Its role includes basic flying training, aerobatics, instrument flying, navigation, night flying and close formation.
The company, in the rotary wing segment, is waiting for orders to supply its multirole Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) to the IAF and the army as the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared 15 of them, including 10 to IAF and five to the Army.
As a derivative of the ALH platform, the 5.5-tonne combat copter was certified by the defence regulator Cemilac on October 16, 2015, after extensive performance trials in all weather conditions. Known for its agility, the tandem twin-seat chopper is equipped for day-and-night combat operations, with digital camouflage system for stealth actions.