India's state-owned defense enterprise Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered the first Chetak single-engine, light utility helicopter to the Indian Navy on Wednesday.
In August 2017, HAL entered into an agreement to supply eight Chetak helicopters to the navy. The value of the contract is not known.
The first two machines were scheduled to be delivered in August 2019. The navy will get the rest of the choppers by August of next year.
"The helicopters will be fitted with the systems developed indigenously. We will also provide support to the copter fleet," said HAL Chairman R. Madhavan.
The company has been building the Chetak on license from Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) for the last five decades.
"We revived the Chetak production line after upgrading it with the latest technologies," said HAL's helicopter complex chief executive G.V.S. Bhaskar.
The choppers can be used as cargo transporters, for casualty evacuation, for search-rescue, for surveillance, for emergency medical services, for electronic intelligence gathering and anti-hijacking patrols.