The Argentinian Ministry of Defense has signed a letter of intent with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to acquire Light Utility Helicopters.
Argentinian officials evaluated the HAL helicopter during the Defence Expo in Gandhinagar in October 2022, Aviacionline revealed, citing sources.
The size of the potential deal has not been disclosed. However, Aviacionline pegged the number at 20 aircraft, including logistical and maintenance support.
According to the Argentinian outlet, the deal’s “price details, delivery schedule, and financing arrangements” would be disclosed later.
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The signing put to rest speculations that the South American nation had signed a letter of intent to purchase India’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
Aviacionline wrote that Argentina’s Army Aviation had long requested an attack helicopter. However, it is not a priority currently.
According to Pucara Defensa, the country first wants to replace the Argentine Army’s aging Bell UH-1H and the retired Super Puma utility helicopters.
Light Utility Helicopter
The single-engine HAL aircraft has been in service with the Indian Air Force since 2020 and can perform high-altitude missions with a maximum take-off weight of 7,718 pounds (3,150 kilograms).
The helicopter can fly at a maximum speed of 127 knots (146 miles/ 235 kilometers per hour).
According to HAL, it has a range of 310 miles (500 kilometers), with a service ceiling of 21,325 feet (6,500 meters) and can fly 350 kilometers (217 miles) with a 500-kilogram (1,102 pounds) payload.