Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has signed a contract with India's defence ministry to supply 20 Cheetal helicopters, worth rupees 4.18 billion ($77 million).

HAL will deliver the helicopters and associated equipment over four years to the Indian army, and provide training to its pilots and technical crew, the company says.

The Cheetal is a re-engined variant of the Cheetah helicopter, powered by Safran's Turbomeca TM333-2M2 turboshaft engine. It has a range of up to 346nm (640km) with an endurance of up to 3.5h. It can also perform multiple roles such as personnel transport, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance and aerial survey, logistic air support, rescue operations and carrying under-slung cargo loads.

In addition, the state-owned airframer has an initial order for 10 of the type from the Indian air force.

Source: Flight International