Indian Navy received a delivery of a Chetak helicopter ahead of schedule from the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). These helicopters have played a critical role in Indian Naval aviation for the past five decades.
Both sides had entered into a contract in 2017 for the supply of eight Chetak helicopters. According to the contract first, two helicopters were to be delivered in August 2019 and the balance August 2020.
These indigenously manufactured helicopters are fitted with latest communication and navigation systems developed by HAL and according R Madhavan, CMD-HAL, the Company is committed to providing continuous support to the Chetak fleet.
The documents related to the helicopter were handed over by S Anbuvelan, General Manager of Helicopter Division-HAL to Commodore Vikram Menon, CSO (Air) on Wednesday at the HAL facilities in Bengaluru.
According to GVS Bhaskar, CEO-Helicopter Complex, the Company has successfully restarted the Chetak helicopter production line after incorporating the latest technologies.
The Chetak helicopters are being produced at HAL under license from Eurocopter, France (now Airbus Helicopters) over the last five decades. The company delivered the first helicopter to the Indian Navy in 1966 which are used for various duties including passenger transport, Cargo/ Material transport, Casualty evacuation, Search & Rescue, Areal survey & Patrolling, and Emergency medical services.
The Indian Navy’s Chetaks has undertaken several sorties for evacuating local personnel in coordination with local authorities and in UN during natural disasters where besides rescuing stranded population has also dropped relief materiel (food and water) including 500 kg provided by the World Food Programme.
These machines are considered reliable for search and rescue missions and have played an important role in last year’s floods in Kerala. These single-engine helicopters are considered reliable for operations which include winching and cargo drops.
So far the state-owned company has produced more than 350 Chetak helicopters and more than 80 have been delivered to the Indian Navy over the years. Also, presently, 51 helicopters are flying with Navy and is getting full periodical servicing, clearance of spares, and any other requirement for maintainability of these helicopters from HAL.