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The Hindustan Advanced Light Helicopter

Country of origin  
India

Photos  
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Powerplants  
Two 746kW (1000shp) takeoff rated Turboméca TM 3332B turboshafts driving a four blade main rotor and a four blade tail rotor. Alternatively could be powered by two 970kW (1300shp) LHTEC CTS 800s or MTU/RR/Turboméca MTR 390s.

Performance  
Max speed 290km/h (156kt), max cruising speed 245km/h (132kt). Initial rate of climb 2360ft/min. Service ceiling 19,680ft. Hovering ceiling in ground effect over 9840ft. Range with max fuel 800km (430nm), range with a 700kg (1543lb) payload 400km (215nm). Endurance 4hr.

Weights  
Army version - Empty equipped 2500kg (5511lb), max takeoff 4000kg (8818lb). Naval version - Empty 2500kg (5511lb), max takeoff 5000kg (11,023lb).

Dimensions  
Main rotor diameter 13.20m (43ft 4in), length overall rotors turning 15.87m (52ft 1in), fuselage length tail rotor turning 13.43m (44ft 1in), height overall tail rotor turning with skids 4.98m (16ft 4in), with wheels 4.91m (16ft 2in). Main rotor disc area 136.9m2 (1473.0sq ft).

Capacity  
Flightcrew of two. Main cabin seating for 10 to 14, depending on configuration. Max external sling load army variant 1000kg (2205lb), naval variant 1500kg (3307lb).

Production  
The Indian government plans to buy 300 for that country's military. HAL foresees total civil and military domestic orders at around 650.

Type  
Medium utility helicopter

History  

The Advanced Light Helicopter is the first indigenous helicopter of the growing Indian aircraft industry, and will be built in different versions for the Indian Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force, as well as for civil customers.

In the early 1980s India approached Germany's MBB (now Eurocopter Deutschland) to help it design and build a midsize multirole helicopter for both military and civil use. Subsequently a cooperation agreement was signed in July 1984, covering design support, development and production. Design work began in November that year, while the first flight of the first of four prototypes was on August 20 1992.

ALH design features include a hingeless four blade main rotor with swept back tips and composite construction main and tail rotor blades. The first three prototypes are powered by TM 333s but a final engine choice for production aircraft has yet to be made. Civil aircraft will feature LHTEC CTS 800s

The Advanced Light Helicopter will be built in two distinct military versions, one for the Indian air force and army, and one for the navy. Army and air force versions will feature skids, and will be used for a number of missions including ground attack, troop transport and SAR. Naval versions will be fitted with retractable tricycle undercarriage and a folding tail boom. The civil version will feature tricycle landing gear and will be certificated to western standards. The first civil ALH was due to fly in 1998. Series production was launched in 1997.

The Indian Government plans to buy around 300 ALHs for its military, to replace a variety of helicopters including Chetaks and Cheetahs. The first firm order, for 100, was placed in late 1996.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.