HAL is breaking (thankfully) with tradition and wants an Indian-made glass cockpit (smart cockpit display system -- SCDS) on its in-development 3-ton Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). The move is a welcome move away from what it did with the flagship ALH Dhruv helicopter programme, where IAI was roped in to provide glass cockpits and market that version of the helicopter. HAL and Israel were in talks for a similar arrangement on the LUH as well, but the fresh tender floated today
[.pdf] puts it all to rest. HAL wants Indian kit.
According to the tender document, "the Main Instrument Panel (image above) incorporates three Smart Multi Function Displays (SMFDs), and standby instruments, clock and a glare shield. The inter-seat console incorporates the avionic and system controls. An Over Head Panel between the pilots incorporates switches, Circuit Breakers, Rotor Brake control unit, cockpit light and two wander lights
." The document indicates that the cockpit will be compatible with operation with Gen 3 and Gen 2++ NVGs.
HAL has invited proposals from prospective Indian firms capable of "indigenous design, development, manufacture and supply of requisite hardware based on COTS standard modules/ boards/ components or specifically developed modules /boards /components for the SCDS LRUs proposed for LUH." HAL, however, stipulates that "if required, the vendor may opt for a foreign collaborator to provide technical support under Transfer of Technology for development and manufacture
The document also talks about the LUH's intended mission profile: "The military roles to be performed by LUH are primarily utility roles with future variants for armed roles. The utility roles include Armed Reconnaissance, Aerial photography, Scout Role in conjunction with attack helicopter, Platform for Electronic Support Measure (ESM), Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and Electronic Counter Counter Measures (ECCM). LUH will be initially integrated with systems and equipment required for basic and military utility roles. Subsequently integration and certification of the helicopter for armed roles as well as civil/commercial variant would be taken up
The effort could be in keeping with India's "new" defence production policy
Labels: Aircraft And Helicopters, HAL, Indigenous Equipment, LiveFist Exclusive, Technology