Bengaluru: The Rotary Wing and Design Centre of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has completed preliminary design of Indian multi role helicopter (IMRH) and the defence PSU will soon take detailed design into production module. IMRH will replace the ageing Mi-17 helicopters.
Officials of the HAL said they are waiting for government funding to go ahead. “The cost of the project is estimated to be around ₹11,000-₹12,000 crore. We are awaiting for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Once the approval comes in it will take eight years for the induction of the helicopters into the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army. We are looking forward to receiving an order of 500 from the IAF and army,” an official from the HAL said.
IMRH is capable of take off and landing at high altitudes. It has a smart glass cockpit with large area displays. It can be operated in all weather and terrain. A model of IMRH was displayed at the Aero India 2023.
In order to cut the procedural delays, former chairman of HAL, R Madhavan had said that it would be better to implement the IMRH project through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) route where the private players have a majority stake. “It should not become a full government entity. “The procurement process will also be easy. The advantage is that it will cut procedural delays,” he said.
The HAL and Safran Helicopter Engines last year signed an agreement to create a new joint venture intended to develop IMRH engines.
The new helicopter manufacturing facility inaugurated by the prime minister Narendra Modi early this month will also manufacture IMRH.