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BordoEnes

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What is the state of the HAL LCH program? A quick look at the wiki say that no actual deliveries have been made yet but that there are plans for several hundred. I used to think it was really ugly but it has actually really grown on me. I quiet like it now.
 

Gautam

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What is the state of the HAL LCH program? A quick look at the wiki say that no actual deliveries have been made yet but that there are plans for several hundred.
15 Limited Series Production (LSP) units have been ordered in January 2021. 10 for the IAF & 5 for the AAC. HAL will set up an additional production facility capable of a peak production capacity of 30 helos/year as they execute the LSP order. After the LSP order is completed the larger orders will come in.

On July 2021 HAL delivered the 3 LSP units to the IAF. They plan to deliver the other 12 LSP units by March 2022. Although the plans may be delayed due to the CoVID lockdowns. We will see I guess.

So the IAF has 5 LCHs right now. 2 flight test prototypes that they armed & deployed in Ladakh & 3 LSP units. The LSP units are not yet deployed, I believe they are making preparations to inaugurate a new squadron. The Army has got nothing so far.

Here is a photo of one of the LSP units in IAF's colours:
View attachment 16704

LCH production model, Credit: @gaur.av_iation
As for the larger order the numbers are in hundreds but they vary depending on budget.

In 2017, the plan was that IAF would get 65 units + 2 prototypes & AAC would get 114 units. So a production run of 181 units. By the time these 181 units get built HAL would have a Mk-2 version of the LCH in the making. The order was supposed to have come by 2020.

In 2020, MoD was still doing paper work to order 162 units. A reduction by 19 units. No idea how many will go to IAF & AAC respectively.
I used to think it was really ugly but it has actually really grown on me. I quiet like it now.
🤣 🤣 🤣

@Niligiri don't know if you saw this. So posting here anyway. Here is a prototype of the HAL HTSE-1200. The photo is from March 2021.

Screenshot (344).png

For those who never heard of this, the HAL HTSE-1200 is a 1200kW turboshaft engine being developed by HAL. The engine can power 3-4 ton class single engine helos & 5-8 ton class twin engine helos.

This engine will eventually replace the Shakti engines powering HAL's entire helicopter fleet except the upcoming IMRH. The LUH, ALH Dhruv, Rudra & the LCH will get this engine during their Mid-Life Upgrades (MLU). The IMRH will be powered by a couple of 2000kW engines which would probably be imported.

The engine had its 1st ground test on Feb 2018 where it ran at 76% of it max RPM. By 2019, 250+ ground runs at max power had been conducted. It was supposed to fly in early 2020 on an ALH Dhruv. The Dhruv would fly with one proven engine (Shakti) & one new engine (HTSE-1200). The 1st flight hasn't happened yet. Not sure what is causing the delay.

The HTSE-1200 shares a common core with the HTFE-25. Both engines are very important for HAL & the Indian military. Let's hope we see the 1st flight soon.
 

Nilgiri

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The HTSE-1200 shares a common core with the HTFE-25. Both engines are very important for HAL & the Indian military. Let's hope we see the 1st flight soon.

Yup that has been my understanding on it too, that is where I first saw it being mentioned.

Thanks for your reply, you went into quite some detail for bordoenes query.

@MisterLike @Cabatli_53 @T-123456 @Yasar @Kartal1 @Gessler
 

BordoEnes

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15 Limited Series Production (LSP) units have been ordered in January 2021. 10 for the IAF & 5 for the AAC. HAL will set up an additional production facility capable of a peak production capacity of 30 helos/year as they execute the LSP order. After the LSP order is completed the larger orders will come in.

On July 2021 HAL delivered the 3 LSP units to the IAF. They plan to deliver the other 12 LSP units by March 2022. Although the plans may be delayed due to the CoVID lockdowns. We will see I guess.

So the IAF has 5 LCHs right now. 2 flight test prototypes that they armed & deployed in Ladakh & 3 LSP units. The LSP units are not yet deployed, I believe they are making preparations to inaugurate a new squadron. The Army has got nothing so far.

Here is a photo of one of the LSP units in IAF's colours:

As for the larger order the numbers are in hundreds but they vary depending on budget.

In 2017, the plan was that IAF would get 65 units + 2 prototypes & AAC would get 114 units. So a production run of 181 units. By the time these 181 units get built HAL would have a Mk-2 version of the LCH in the making. The order was supposed to have come by 2020.

In 2020, MoD was still doing paper work to order 162 units. A reduction by 19 units. No idea how many will go to IAF & AAC respectively.

🤣 🤣 🤣

@Niligiri don't know if you saw this. So posting here anyway. Here is a prototype of the HAL HTSE-1200. The photo is from March 2021.

View attachment 29738

For those who never heard of this, the HAL HTSE-1200 is a 1200kW turboshaft engine being developed by HAL. The engine can power 3-4 ton class single engine helos & 5-8 ton class twin engine helos.

This engine will eventually replace the Shakti engines powering HAL's entire helicopter fleet except the upcoming IMRH. The LUH, ALH Dhruv, Rudra & the LCH will get this engine during their Mid-Life Upgrades (MLU). The IMRH will be powered by a couple of 2000kW engines which would probably be imported.

The engine had its 1st ground test on Feb 2018 where it ran at 76% of it max RPM. By 2019, 250+ ground runs at max power had been conducted. It was supposed to fly in early 2020 on an ALH Dhruv. The Dhruv would fly with one proven engine (Shakti) & one new engine (HTSE-1200). The 1st flight hasn't happened yet. Not sure what is causing the delay.

The HTSE-1200 shares a common core with the HTFE-25. Both engines are very important for HAL & the Indian military. Let's hope we see the 1st flight soon.


Ah the LSP's sounds very similar to our T-129EDH version, in the sense these are rushed without their full capabilities to be either tested or used for immediate operations. With that in mind I would assume the full rate production version will have some chances and extra capabilities. Would that mean these FRP version would be HAL LCS 2 or would that be a subsequent variant after the deliveries will finish?
 

Gautam

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Ah the LSP's sounds very similar to our T-129EDH version, in the sense these are rushed without their full capabilities to be either tested or used for immediate operations.
That is true. All the LSP helos are to be delivered at Initial Operational Capability (IOC) standard. The reason for ordered these units is so we can push them into service quicker & that the money from the LSP deal allows the manufacturer to set up production facilities. Later when FRP model start arriving the LSP helos can either be upgraded or be transferred to training corps.

We do this LSP thing for various military hardware like missiles, aircrafts, helos etc.
With that in mind I would assume the full rate production version will have some chances and extra capabilities.
Also true the FRP helos will be the Final Operational Capability (FOC) standard. It will have the entire gamut of weapons, sensors, avionics, data links etc. as was demanded by the services. The IOC & the FOC versions of most military hardware that we make don't have any physical difference. The difference is in electronics, weapons etc., extra capabilities as you put it.
Would that mean these FRP version would be HAL LCS 2 or would that be a subsequent variant after the deliveries will finish?
LCH Mk-2 you mean ? No the FRP version will be the FOC standard, not the Mk-2. The LCH Mk-2 will be an advanced version based on the FOC version of LCH. It will come about after deliveries of the FOC versions end.

The Mk-2 is still in conceptual stages, there is no guarantee that it will happen at all. It maybe an incremental change where the airframe stays the same but with more and/or better electronics, sensors, weapons, engines etc. Such incremental stages were seen on the ALH Dhruv. The Dhruv has Mk-1, Mk-2, Mk-3 & Mk-4 versions all with the same airframe with better electronics & different engines.

Or there maybe a change in airframe too like we have seen on the LCA Mk-2. We don't know yet. For now, we know HAL wants to use the HTSE-1200 engine to replace the Shakti engine for Mk-2. They also want a Fire Control Radar (FCR) mounted on the hub of the main rotor, like the Longbow radar on Apache.

The engine change is obvious as HAL would want to recover the investments made on that engine. For the FCR, HAL is in conversation with BEL & LDRE. The UK division of Thales have also made same presentations to HAL for the FCR. The Swedish SAAB is also in conversations to sell a newer self protection suite to replace the current SAAB IDAS-3 used on the LCH.
 

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The 3rd Indian Navy MH-60R is flying...

FBj_WDaXoAAd4Q_.jpg

The first 2 airframes were originally intended for the US Navy, but the end-user was switched to Indian Navy when the helos were still under production, the 3rd airframe is the first that was produced from ground-up with India as the intended customer. 21 more to go.
 
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