A quiet show for HAL at Aero India

Missing in action

All that HAL will do is hand over one Cheetah helicopter and five Advance Light Helicopters-Dhruv (ALH) to the Namibian Air Force and the Indian Army, respectively.

On whether the Nambia deal –– handing over a Cheetah which recently crashed killing two IAF pilots –– was worth scheduling for Aero India, HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak said: “I do not want to comment on that. What you need to know is that we are manufacturing a new aircraft for Namibia and every crash will be followed by a court of inquiry to find the reasons. A crash does not mean the aircraft is bad.”

On the ALH, which the army had ordered a few years ago, Nayak said: “This is a Dhruv powered by the new Shakthi engines and has a glass cockpit. We are handing over five of the 159 now and we should hand over another 20-25 by March.”

Besides this, the mock-up of Light Utility Helicopter, a fixed base full mission simulator of the intermediate jet trainer (IJT) would be part of the display at the HAL stall, along with models of medium-lift transport aircraft, which would be manufactured by the HAL and the United Aircraft Corporation of Russia.

The HAL’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will make its first flight during Aero India. The second weaponised prototype would be unveiled, too, he said.

The HAL has one LCH and one IJT at the static display and LCH and IJT at the flying display.

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