Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called for fast-track design and development of a 10-tonne Indian Multirole Helicopter to make India a global leader in chopper market.
Addressing a conclave organised to commemorate 60 years of Chetak helicopter’s service to the nation, Singh said that ’Chetak’ has proved its mettle in the battlefield by targeting enemies with accuracy and successfully landing troops. It has also helped in delivering essential logistics. It has saved precious lives through its evacuation efforts in case of emergency. It has provided important information whenever needed, which has helped in decision making and paving way for victory in wars.
Singh was of the view that India has shown its strength in the design, development and operation of helicopters in the five-tonne category, terming the indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter DHRUV and its variants as examples of India’s prowess.
He described the Light Combat Helicopter as another example of the country’s capability in light helicopters for combat operations. Light Utility Helicopters, being operated by the Armed Forces, are also great examples of the capability in the helicopter sector, he added.
The Defence Minister stressed on the need to march forward in the design and development of the 10-tonne Indian Multirole Helicopter which, he said, is a significant requirement for the Armed forces and has a huge market potential.
Singh called for fast-tracking the design and development of helicopter technology in the country, terming it is one of the dual-use technologies which will not only prove to be effective in the defence sector, but will make India a dominant force in the helicopter market.
“According to an estimate, there is a demand for more than 1,000 civilian helicopters in the country and an equal number of helicopters in the defence sector. We need to exploit this huge potential in the helicopter market. In addition, we need to make efforts to strengthen India’s claim in the Rotary wing domain. The era is changing. I am sure that in the times to come we will be more bright, strong and completely self-reliant,” he added.