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Indigenous Light Utility Helicopter's technical flight held

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The indigenous Light Utility Helicopter during its technical flight in Bengaluru. A HAL photo

BENGALURU (PTI): State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has conducted a technical flight of the indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The helicopter took off at 12:10 hours and was in the air for 15 minutes at a HAL facility in a "flawless" operation conducted by defence PSU test pilots, the company officials said.

They said HAL had orders for about 200 such helicopters from the armed forces.

With a seating capacity of six passengers plus two pilots, the helicopter is designed for various utility operations such as reconnaissance, transport, cargo load and rescue.

It can operate from the sea level to the high altitudes of the Himalayas.

The LUH has a maximum All-Up-Weight (AUW) of 3,150 kg and is fitted with a Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine of 750 KW power, with a range of 350 km.

As regards the technical flight, HAL said the event marked an "important and significant" beginning for prototype testing of the LUH.

This is the third indigenous helicopter product from HAL after the ALH and the LCH.

Apart from replacing the ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak, the LUH is expected to capture a sizeable share, both in the domestic as well as in the international market.

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