THE INDIAN Government is expected to place an order for around 200 Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs), following a successful flight-test programme, which is to be completed shortly.

The forthcoming ALH order, for which HAL is still seeking a Western production partner, has focused attention on the hotly contested engine competition, involving France's Turbomeca, offering the TM333-2B, and AlliedSignal of the USA, with its CTS800. The former power plant is fitted, to the first three army ALH prototypes, which have now completed test flying, while the US engine powers the naval version, which is still in the early stages of its test programme.

Sources at state-owned HAL say that the company wants to offer both power plants to boost the type's potential for export sales, particularly as the CTS800 offers more power.

It is understood that the MTU/Turbomeca/Rolls-Royce MTR-390 is also being pitched at the ALH.

Source: Flight International