The Indian Army has placed a $77 million order with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for 20 Cheetal helicopters, a re-engined variant of the Aerospatiale SA 316B Lama that was built under license in India as the Cheetah. The order is a short-term measure for logistics support to the Indian troops on the Siachen Glacier because of delays to the twice-bid competition for 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH).
Rolls Royce is attending the 2013 Aero India show with a renewed sense of optimism for its prospects in this key Asian market. At the last show back in 2011, there was some gloom when the UK-based aero engines maker decided to withdraw from the competition for re-engining the Indian Air Force’s Jaguars.
The EASA has certified the Turbomeca Arriel 2E turboshaft; it will power the Eurocopter EC145T2, currently still undergoing certification flight-testing. The 950-shp (takeoff power) engine is scheduled to enter service by year-end. The Arriel 2E, an upgrade of the Arriel 1E2, benefits from a new axial compressor and new blade material. Time between overhaul is also improved, at 4,000 hours initially and a target 6,000 hours “at maturity.”
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a gas “research and production center.” Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year, with the rest to follow in 2014. The Ka-226TG, a “modernized” version of the in-development Ka-226T, is designed to “meet the client’s needs for operations in the Far North and on the Arctic shelf.” It will feature a KBO-226TG avionics suite for low-visibility operations, and additional fuel tanks. It retains Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshafts.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a “research and production center” linked to Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom. Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year and the remaining dozen in 2014.
Two study contracts have been placed with industry after last week’s Anglo-French agreement on further exploration of a joint UCAV development. BAE Systems, together with Dassault Aviation, and Rolls-Royce with Snecma will work on the demonstration program preparation phase (DPPP) of the proposed future combat air system (FCAS). The value and duration of the work were not stated.
Russian Helicopters unveiled a full-size mockup of the reworked Kamov Ka-62 medium twin at the HeliRussia 2012 show in Moscow in May.
Turbomeca and Eurocopter have signed a long-expected contract for the engine company to supply TM800 turboshafts for the X4 medium-twin helicopter. The in-development TM800 is in the 1,100-shp category. Intended to replace the Dauphin, the X4 will be released in two versions, with the first, less advanced iteration entering service in 2017. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 will also be a powerplant option.
Eurocopter’s new EC175 medium-twin helicopter is appearing in the daily flying display here at the Farnborough International Airshow for the first time. Mainly aimed at the offshore oil market, the helicopter is scheduled to receive certification by the end of this year. Two prototypes have flown since the beginning of the test program in 2009.
China’s CAAC certified the Avicopter AC311 light-single helicopter last Thursday. In announcing the approval, the Chinese helicopter manufacturer also released more performance numbers, including a 131-knot max cruise speed, four-hour maximum endurance and 335-nm maximum range.