India’s indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) has completed ten-day hot and high altitude trials in the Himalayas.
The Army version of the LUH is ready for Initial Operational Clearance (IOC). IOC was accorded by CEMILAC for the Air Force variant on February 7.
A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (3300m above sea level) in temperatures up to ISA +32 degree Celsius which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities.
“LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground at 5000m above sea level. It also demonstrated its payload capability in Siachen glacier high altitude. During the trials, pilots landed the helicopter at the highest helipads of Amar and Sonam,” manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said in a statement Wednesday.
DBO is very close to the 3,488km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between India and China.
The LUH will compliment Russian Ka-226 rotorcraft in near future. LUH is a single engine, light weight, agile 3-ton utility helicopter, designed to meet the operational requirements of Indian Army & Air Force. LUH will soon replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
The rotorcraft is powered by a single Shakti-1U turboshaft engine, a derivative of French Ardiden 1H1 1,400 shp engine.