Phase-Out Of Cheetah : Chetak Helicopters
Indian Army will begin phase-out of Cheetah, Chetak helicopters from 2027.
- The Army will start phasing out the first lot of the vintage Cheetah and Chetak helicopters from 2027 onwards on completion of their Total Technical Life (TTL) while it looks to induct the indigenous Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) in numbers to replace them.
- The Army is expected to receive six LUH between December 2024 and June 2025.
- Cheetah helicopter Operated by: both the Indian Air Force and the Army Aviation Corps.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signed a licence agreement for the Lama with Aérospatiale in 1970 and christened the India-made aircraft “Cheetah”.
- The first Cheetah manufactured from raw materials was delivered in 1976-77.
- It is a licence-built version of the French Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama.
- It is known for its capability to operate in hot tropical weather as well as high altitude conditions. (MH-60R helicopters)
- The SA315B Lama was first flown in 1969, over 50 years ago.
- Over the years, it has developed a reputation for being unsafe, with the armed forces attempting to find upgrades for these rotorcraft.
- It has been used for transporting men and material, search and rescue, and reconnaissance.
- Cheetahs have especially been crucial for operations in Siachen, the world’s highest battleground at over 6,000 m.