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HAL to supply 20 Cheetal choppers to Indian Army

Posted on Feb 22, 05:07PM | IANS

Bangalore, Feb 22 : State-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Friday said it will supply 20 multirole Cheetal helicopters to the Indian Army at an estimated value of Rs.418 crore.

"We have signed a contract with the defence ministry to supply 20 Cheetals to the army over the next four years besides providing training to its pilots and technical crew," the company said in a statement here Friday.

The deal is in addition to an earlier order the Bangalore-based company bagged in 2006 from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for supplying 10 Cheetals, of which nine have been delivered so far.

As an upgraded variant of its earlier Cheetah chopper, Cheetal is equipped with the fuel-efficient Turbomeca turboshaft engine for 90kg payload at an altitude of 6km.

"Cheetal can operate up to 7km altitude and has 640km range with an endurance of nearly four hours," the statement noted.

Fitted with a full authority digital engine control system and an electronic backup control box (EBCB) system, the new chopper boasts of a modern cockpit with electrically driven artificial horizon, directional gyro, flight monitoring system, cockpit voice recorder and master flasher warning system.

"Cheetal is best suited for missions such as personnel transport, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance and aerial survey, logistic air support, rescue operations and under slung loads (cargo)," the statement added.