HomeIndian DefenceHAL Expedites Development of Indigenous Utility Helicopters-Maritime for the Indian Navy

HAL Expedites Development of Indigenous Utility Helicopters-Maritime for the Indian Navy

Source : IgMp Bureau

India’s renowned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is set to dominate the maritime domain with its innovative Utility Helicopters-Maritime (UHM) program, a specialized maritime version of the versatile ALH Dhruv helicopter. This pivotal initiative aims to supply the Indian Navy with 60 cutting-edge helicopters specifically designed for coastal and offshore missions, significantly enhancing India’s maritime defense capabilities.

HAL Expedites Development of Indigenous Utility Helicopters-Maritime for the Indian Navy

HAL Expedites Development of Indigenous Utility Helicopters-Maritime for the Indian Navy

Accelerated Development Timeline

The UHM program is advancing rapidly, with the unveiling of the prototype scheduled for October 2024 and the second prototype to follow suit by April 2025. This expedited development timeline positions the UHM for full operational readiness by 2025-2026, representing a major milestone in India’s naval modernization endeavors.

Tailored Enhancements for Maritime Excellence

The UHM’s development is steered by a collaborative study conducted by HAL and the Indian Navy in October 2023. Tailored to meet the Navy’s unique requirements, HAL is optimizing the Dhruv platform to excel in maritime environments.

Key Modifications

  1. Increased Weight Capacity: The UHM will be fine-tuned for a maximum take-off weight of 5.7 tonnes, allowing for superior payload and mission flexibility.
  2. Reduced Empty Weight: By strategically selecting lightweight avionics and mission sensors, HAL aims to minimize the UHM’s empty weight, thereby enhancing its payload capabilities.
  3. Boosted Payload Capacity: Deck operations will support up to 600 kg of payload, making the UHM a versatile asset for various missions.
  4. Space-Saving Design: Incorporating foldable two-segment blades and modified upper control systems will reduce the UHM’s stowage dimensions, facilitating seamless deployment from onboard ships.
  5. Seamless Ship Integration: The introduction of an ASIST (Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse) traversing interface will ensure smooth and secure movement on ship decks.

Multi-Faceted Operational Capabilities

The UHM program pledges to furnish the Indian Navy with a contemporary, adaptable helicopter platform optimized for maritime operations. Its extended range, enhanced payload capacity, and ship compatibility will empower the Navy to undertake a spectrum of missions, including:

  • Coastal patrol and surveillance
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Special forces deployment
  • Anti-piracy patrols
  • Logistics support

In conclusion, HAL’s UHM program stands as a testament to India’s commitment to advancing its naval capabilities. With a focus on innovation and tailored enhancements, this project is poised to play a pivotal role in safeguarding India’s maritime interests.

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