HomeDBMRH to come in 3 variantsDeck Based Multirole Helicopter (DBMRH) version of IMRH to come in 3...

Deck Based Multirole Helicopter (DBMRH) version of IMRH to come in 3 variants: ASW, Special Ops & AEW

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

Deck Based Multirole Helicopter (DBMRH) version of IMRH to come in 3 variants: ASW, Special Ops & AEW
4 versions of IMRH CGI by Harshal Pal

IMRH(Indian Multirole Helicopter) is a Twin engine, multi role, multi mission, 13 tonne weight class of Medium Lift helicopter. It is being designed to perform versatile roles & operations which include Support Air Assault, Air Transport, VIP Transport, Combat logistics viz. Troop Transport, Combat Search & Rescue and Casualty Evacuation operations. It will eventually replace the MI-17 helicopters of IAF and will better in many aspects than its latest version MI-17 V5.

Considering the requirement of our armed forces its estimated that IAF, Army & Navy will procure 200, 100 & 14 IMRH helicopters. The Naval variant is going to be bigger than that of Army & Air force and is called DBMRH or Deck Based Multi-role helicopter. The overall cost of procurement of 314 IMRH will be 20 billion dollars. The helicopter will be developed in collaboration with the Private players with minimum 50% indigenous component.

In an interview to Vayu Aerospace, the Naval chief has said that the case for DBMRH is at pre-AoN stage. The design and development process is expected to take about 7 to 8 years to enable realisation of the platform commencing from ninth year of project sanction. DBMRH for Indian Navy would be in three variants, viz, ASW/ ASuW, Special Ops and AEW.

Technical Specification of IMRH

IMRH is going to be equipped with a Smart Cockpit, Composite & modular airframe, Crashworthy tricycle landing gear, 4-axis Automatic Flight Control System, State-of-the-art Mission systems, Advanced avionic systems, a service ceiling of 6.5 km, range of 800km, an endurance of three hours, a payload of 4000 kg   and a maximum cruise speed of 270 kmph.

It is going to be 25.16m long with a height of 2.41m and width 4.74m. It will be the most spacious helicopter in its category with troop carrying capacity of 24-to-36.

Design & Weapons

IMRH is designed to operate in extreme weather conditions and high altitudes. It will have 5 foldable blades in main rotor made up of composite material. The tail will have 4 rotor blades. The IMRH will have 4 hard points where it can carry 4 ATGMs and each hard point can carry a payload of up to 300KGs. It can also carry 500KGs of payload on the hard point near fuselage. In total, it will have weapon payload capacity of 1600KGs and overall payload capacity of 4000kgs.

At an altitude of 4.5kms it can carry payload of 1000kgs which will be best in class. It will also be equipped with EW Suite & Self-protection jammer.

Fastrack development of IMRH

In order to fastrack the development, AMCA and IMRH has been placed under SPV or Special Purpose Vehicle Model involving private players with majority of stake. The idea behind giving majority stake to private players is to speed up the procurement process and cut down the unwanted red tape which we have in our PSUs procurement process and reduce cost. Accordingly, HAL has issued the Expression of Interest (EoI) in April, 2022 for selection of SPV Partner.

Engine for IMRH

Back in June 2022, HAL & Safran has signed an MoU to create a new joint venture intended to develop helicopter engines. It will be dedicated to the development, production, sales, and support of helicopter engines and one of its main objectives will be to meet the requirements of HAL and the Ministry of Defence’s future helicopters, including the 13-ton IMRH (Indian Multi-Role Helicopter). French Company Safran ready to supply ToT of a customized variant of Makila helicopter engines for HAL’s IMRH. Makila has been designed to power 9-12 ton class heavy weight helicopters.

IMRH development

Currently, the preliminary design phase is under progress. HAL has completed Phase 1 of wind tunnel testing of IMRH-IAF scaled model and results are satisfactory. Phase-2 of Wind Tunnel testing are under progress.

The structural test of the unarmed version of IMRH is planned to be conducted in 2023, followed by its first flight in 2024. The armed version of IMRH will undergo the structural testing by 2025. The new helicopter is expected to enter into production by 2029.



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