HAL hands over four `Cheetal` choppers to IAF
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Last Updated: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 18:22
Barrackpore (WB): Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Saturday handed over four 'Cheetal' helicopters, to the Indian Air Force enhancing its capabilities for high altitude missions.

Delivering the re-engined version of 'Cheetah' choppers, to Assistant Chief of Air staff Air Vice Marshal M Bahadur, the director of HAL's design and development N C Agarwal said, with insurgency and cross-border terrorism on the rise, the country is looking for a large number of such helicopters.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is now even looking for patrolling helicopters," Agarwal said at HAL's Barrackpur Division Complex here in North 24 Parganas district, about 23 KM from Kolkata.

Air Vice-Marshal Bahadur said the 'Cheetal' would enhance the capability of the forces in high altitude.

He stressed the need for continuous after-sales service by HAL, especially the supply of spare parts.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director of HAL's helicopter complex R Srinivasan said the idea of converting the 'Cheetah' class of helicopters to 'Cheetal' class, was floated in 2002 and its certification was given in 2004.

"The Air Force was the first to recognise the efficiency of the Cheetal and placed orders in 2006," Srinivasan said.

Srinivasan said the Air Force had placed orders for 10 'Cheetal' helicopters of which four were delivered today while the remaining six would be delivered in September this year.

He said the HAL would then take up production of 10 helicopters, orders for which had been placed by the Army.

Fitted with better fuel efficient engine, which increases its ranges of endurance and payload, the 'Cheetal' is suitable for various roles like search and rescue operations and other missions in high altitude.

The 'Cheetal' which created a world record in 2004 by landing at 23,220 feet at Saser Kengri in the Ladakh region, is also fitted with light weight modern technology, cockpit instruments like cockpit voice recorder and emergency location transmitters.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009, 18:22

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