Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicates to the nation the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) helicopter factory in Karnataka’s Tumakuru. The foundation stone of the facility, which is a dedicated new greenfield helicopter factory, was also laid by PM Modi in 2016. The facility will enhance India’s capacity and ecosystem to build helicopters. This will result in providing employment for around 6000 people in the region.
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Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility:
This helicopter factory is Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing facility and will initially produce the Light Utility Helicopters (LUH), the PMO said in a release. LUH is an indigenously designed and developed 3-tonne class, single engine multipurpose utility helicopter with unique feature of high manoeuvrability.
What was trumpeted as Asia’s largest helicopter factory would initially produce Indian-designed and developed Light Utility Helicopters and then expand to build other multirole helicopters.
About Light Utility Helicopters (LUH):
The LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for Cheetah and Chetak helicopters which are being operated by Indian Armed forces. It is a new generation helicopter incorporating the state of the art technology features like Glass cockpit with Multi-Function Displays (MFD) and powered by single Turbo Shaft engine with sufficient power margin to cater to demanding high altitude missions.
The helicopter is designed to be capable of flying at 220 Kmph with a service ceiling of 6.5 Km and a range of 350 Km with 500 kg payload.
Significance of This Facility:
- The factory will be expanded to manufacture other helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Indian Multirole Helicopter (IMRH) as well as for repair and overhaul of LCH, LUH, Civil ALH and IMRH in the future.
- The factory also has the potential for exporting the civilian LUHs in future, the PMO said.
- This facility will enable India to meet its entire requirement of helicopters indigenously and will attain the distinction of enabling self-reliance in helicopter design, development and manufacture in India.
- The factory will have a manufacturing set up of Industry 4.0 standards. According to the PMO, over the next 20 years, HAL is planning to produce more than 1000 helicopters in the class of 3-15 tonnes from Tumakuru.