Bengaluru: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered a Chetak helicopter ahead of schedule to the Indian Navy. The documents were handed over by S Anbuvelan, General Manager of Helicopter Division-HAL to Commodore Vikram Menon, VSM, CSO(Air), HQNA at an event held at HAL facilities on Wednesday.
HAL entered into a contract with the Indian Navy in August of 2017 for the supply of eight Chetak helicopters with the delivery schedule of the first two in August of 2019 and the rest in August of 2020.
These helicopters are fitted with the latest communication and navigation systems developed by HAL and the company is committed to providing continuous support to the Chetak fleet, said R Madhavan, CMD-HAL.
Speaking on the occasion, Commodore Menon said, "It is an honour to accept the first production helicopter one month ahead of schedule. We are aware of the vital role played by Chetak helicopters in the Indian Naval aviation for the past five decades. HAL and the Indian Navy have shared a long fruitful relationship. We appreciate HAL's commitment and look for continued support in future."
GVS Bhaskar, CEO-Helicopter Complex said, "HAL has successfully restarted the Chetak helicopter production line after incorporating latest technologies. We are committed to delivering the remaining seven helicopters as per the delivery schedule."
HAL has been producing the Chetak helicopters for the last five decades under licence from Eurocopter, France (now Airbus Helicopters) and the first Chetak helicopter to the Indian Navy was delivered way back in February of 1966. These helicopters are used by the Navy for communication duties (passenger transport), cargo/ material transport, casualty evacuation, search and rescue, areal survey and patrolling, emergency medical services, electronic news gathering, anti hijacking, offshore operation and under-slung operation.
HAL has so far produced more than 350 Chetak helicopters and delivered around 80 to the Indian Navy. Presently, 51 helicopters are flying with the Navy and the serviceability has always remained high. HAL is supporting the Navy for periodical servicing of these helicopters, clearance of spares, deputation of teams for defect rectification and any other requirement for maintainability of these helicopters.