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Indian MoD approves acquisition of military equipment worth USD1.07 billion

A HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) conducting high-altitude trials in the Himalayas in September 2020. On 2 November the Indian MoD approved the procurement of indigenous military equipment worth a combined INR79.65 billion, including 12 LUHs. (HAL)

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the procurement of indigenous equipment worth INR79.65 billion (USD1.07 billion) for the country's three military services, according to a statement by the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB).

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on 2 November approved the acquisition of 12 Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), an undisclosed number of Lynx U2 gun fire-control systems (GFCSs) from Bharat Electronics Limited, and the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of Dornier 228 maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.

Although not specified by the PIB, Janes understands that these first 12 LUHs – six each for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army Aviation Corps (AAC) – will be built at HAL's new INR50 billion helicopter manufacturing facility in the city Tumakuru as part of a limited series-production run. The first of these LUHs is slated for delivery in August 2022.

Thereafter, HAL anticipates orders for at least 175 more LUHs – 120 for the AAC and 55 for the IAF – to replace the obsolete Chetak (Aerospatiale Alouette III) and Cheetah (Aerospatiale SA-315B) helicopters that the two services have been operating since the mid-1960s.

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