The Indian Air Force (IAF) is facing “serious problems” with its fleet of retrofitted Cheetal light utility helicopters (LUHs) due to quality issues related to the licence production of upgraded rotor blades for the platforms by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), according to official sources.
Senior military officers told Jane’s on 21 January that the IAF had informed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in late 2018 that 12 HAL-built, 85-series rotor blades for the single-engined Cheetal were found to be “unsuitable” due to their “unusually high” vibration levels.
HAL had built these rotor blades following a technology transfer from Airbus Helicopters, which had stopped making them in 2012.
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