Helicopters Current Affairs - 2019
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Iran will hold a three-day navy drill Velayat 97 in a vast area of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean including a sensitive global shipping route.
Features of the Velayat 97
- The three-day navy drill would be held in the waters of Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and the north of the Indian Ocean, covering 2 million square kilometres.
- The navy drill Velayat 97 aims to evaluate the navy’s equipment, practice launching weapons and enable the troops to gain readiness for a real battle.
- The three-day drill will showcase Iran’s submarines, warships, helicopters and drones, according to the admiral.
- The drill also includes missile launches from the vessels.
Will Velayat 97 further heighten the tensions?
The Strait of Hormuz is a vital international transit route. American forces routinely pass this route and it has earlier witnessed some tense encounters between American and Iranian forces.
Iran’s show of military might through Velayat 97 comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran’s main regional rival Saudi Arabia and with the United States of America which last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has achieved important milestone of flying at 6 km altitude in Bengaluru, capital of Karnataka. The test was critical requirement towards certification of LUH. Its first flight was carried in September 2016 and second Prototype was flown in May 2017.
The recent flight test was carried out under envelope expansion tests and helicopter exhibited satisfactory performance and handling qualities. With the completion of this milestone, LUH can now undertake high altitude cold weather trials planned in January 2019.
Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
It is 3-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by indigenously Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWR&DC) of HAL. It will replace ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces.
It is capable of flying at 220 kmph, with service ceiling of 6.5 km and range of 350 km with 400 kg payload. It is fitted with Glass Cockpit and powered by TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turbo shaft engine with sufficient power margins to cater to demanding high altitude missions.
It will meet requirements of both military and civil operators. It can be deployed for reconnaissance, surveillance roles and as light transport helicopter. HAL has in principal order for 187 LUH that includes 126 for Indian Army and 61 for IAF.
Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL)
HAL is state-owned aerospace and defence company based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is governed under the management of the Union Defence Ministry. It pursues high-end research and development to create the country’s future aircraft and aeroengine technologies HAL has already developed four highly popular models of helicopters under its belt. Its product range includes, Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), multi-role seven seater Chetak Helicopter, Light combat helicopter (LCH) Cheetah and Lancer, anti-insurgency, close air support chopper.