Indian army to get more attack helicopters

Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

NEW DELHI, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- India's military, concerned about possible Pakistani and Chinese Himalayan threat, will receive new helicopters as it reconfigures its armed forces.

The Indian army intends to have an air component for each of its 13 corps, which each contains roughly 60,000 soldiers. Under an Army Aviation Corps plan, each corps will have three squadrons, each consisting of 10 helicopters of various types.

The three squadrons will have separate roles, of reconnaissance and surveillance, attack and utility, Online International News Network reported Friday.

The new helicopters will be manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. aeronautical firm.

The new helicopters will include the Rudra of indigenous design. The Rudras will supplement the army's existing fleet of Cheetahs and Chetaks, which are used for reconnaissance and surveillance.

The Rudra, carrying the M6-21 20mm turret gun, 70mm rockets, anti-tank guided missiles as well as air to air missiles, will be powered by a new Shakti engine, which has been jointly developed by the HAL and French engine manufacturer Turbomeca, allowing it to fly at altitudes of more than 20,000 feet.

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