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India looks for foreign engines to power multi-role helicopter


Months after unveiling the full-scale model of the Indian multi-role helicopter, the Indian government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has issued a request for information to supply turbo-shaft engine for 10-12.5 ton AUW class twin engine helicopter, Sputnik reports.

Besides the engine, HAL also sought technical consultancy on rotor system and review of the transmission system of multi-role helicopter. The company intends to purchase engine under technology transfer agreement. The preferred total engine weight with all accessories and harnesses is to be within 250 kg.

"The engine must be a turbo-shaft type and should be modular in construction. Life limited modules should be limited to bare minimum. Engine power should be modulated by a dual-channel full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system suitable for twin engine application with cross talk facility and state of the art digital engine health monitoring and diagnostic system," the document issued by HAL said.

In the technical specification, HAL seeks engine capable of operation without any oil replenishment for 4 hours which should be capable of air starts up to an altitude of 5.5 km.

The Indian multi-role helicopter will have two variants, namely naval and non-naval applications. In the naval variant, the helicopter will be capable of being stationed on a ship deck, oil rig platform, etc. HAL has asked rotor consultant to recommend a suitable blade-folding method for the naval variant.

HAL aims to indigenously develop 12.5-ton class multi-role helicopter with service ceiling of around 20,000 feet, 3,500 kg payload and a seating capacity of 24. Besides the domestic defense orders, HAL will target export orders, aiming to replace the aging fleet of similar class of helicopters that are operational in more than 40 air forces around the world. HAL hopes to have the first flight of the multi-role helicopter in six to seven years. India needs approximately 1,100 helicopters for its armed forces.

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