State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) delivered a Chetak helicopter to the Indian Navy, with the latest communication and navigation systems, said the defence behemoth on Wednesday.
"The documents of the chopper were handed over to Commodore Vikram Menon by our helicopter division general manager S. Anbuvelan at our facility," said the city-based aerospace major in a statement here.
The Navy signed a contract with HAL in August 2017 for 8 Chetaks to be delivered by August 2020, with the first two by August 2019.
"The helicopters are fitted with the systems developed indigenously. We will also provide support to the copter fleet," said HAL Chairman R. Madhavan on the occasion.
The company, however, did not mention the cost of the naval order for supplying the 8 choppers in the statement.
"It is an honour to receive the first helicopter one month ahead of the delivery schedule. We are aware of the vital role Chetak plays in our aviation," said Menon.
HAL's helicopter complex chief executive G.V.S. Bhaskar said the company had revived the Chetak production line after upgrading it with the latest technologies.
"We will deliver the seven helicopters by August 2020 as scheduled," he added.
The company has been rolling out Chetaks over the last 5 decades under licence from France-based Eurocopter or Airbus Helicopters.
The Navy uses the multi-utility Chetaks for communication operations spanning passenger transport), cargo/material transport, casualty evacuation, search and rescue, aerial survey and patrolling, emergency medical services, electronic news gathering, anti-hijacking, off-shore operation and under-slung operation.
HAL has till date produced over 350 Chetaks and delivered 80 to the Navy.
Presently, 51 Chetaks are in operation with Navy.