HENSOLDT, HAL to Jointly Produce Obstacle Avoidance System for Indian Helicopters

Aero India, Aero India 2023

Bengaluru: State-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which is looking at production of Obstacle Avoidance System (OAS) for the Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) will collaborate with HENSOLDT.

On the sidelines of Aero India 2023, HENSOLDT and HAL made the announcement on the collaboration covering design and IPR (Intellectual property Rights) for manufacturing of the Obstacle Avoidance System for Indian helicopters. Both companies will also explore opportunities for potential future exports.

According to HENSOLDT, the company is all set to share full range of critical technologies with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for manufacturing of Obstacle Avoidance System (OAS) for Indian helicopters and will transfer 100 per cent critical technologies for the OAS to HAL.

As a key equipment, the OAS helps in improving situational awareness of pilots and thereby reduces the possibility of accidents, besides enhancing mission accomplishments. Helicopter accidents during low level flights have been a matter of concern for both civil and military choppers and pilot assistance through enhanced situational awareness is required for quick reaction, the company said. Obstacles in the flight path or close to it often pose a threat to helicopters. Such obstacles may be power lines, aerial cableways, pylons and towers. The probability of occurrence of such threats increases during low-level flight manoeuvres.

HAL and HENSOLDT also announced a collaboration for joint production of multi-sensor airborne electro-optic gimbals for Indian rotary and unmanned platforms.

HENSOLDT said its system provides smart visual cues to pilots to reduce their workload and thereby increasing flight safety and the certainty of mission effectiveness, particularly in crucial mission phases under adverse visual conditions. Where human eyesight alone is not enough, powerful software processes and combines information from sensors and databases and presents it in visual format, it said.

Apurba Roy, Executive Director of HAL (Korwa facility) said, “This collaboration between HAL Korwa and HENSOLDT is first of its kind in Indian Defence Industry with intention of transferring of critical key technology from Germany to India giving boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat‘ (self-reliant India) in the Indian defence sector.”

“The finalisation of the transfer of technologies including IPR for the equipment is primarily proposed for Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and expected to be a major equipment fit in all future upgrade/new helicopter programmes with enhanced features with suitable improvement customisation by HAL Korwa,” he added.

Andleeb Shadman, MD, HENSOLDT India, said the company is optimistic and dedicated to supporting India’s initiative on becoming self-reliant in defence manufacturing. “Our business plans are built on transfer of technology, local production and joint development based industrial collaborations. We believe that our collaboration with HAL for OAS is going to be the pioneering milestone,” he said.

The indigenously designed and developed ALH is a twin engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class.