Cheetal is the re-engined version of the Cheetah helicopter. The project initiated during 2002 and aimed to enhance high altitude operational capabilities and maintainability as well as to provide a mid-life upgrade for safe & reliable operations.
Artouste-IIIB engine of Cheetah was replaced with the modern fuel efficient TM333–2M2 engine and FADEC for better performance. In addition, an automatic Backup Engine Control system (EBCB) is equipped with engine.
The cheetal helicopter is modified for a wide range of missions like,
- Personnel transport
- Logistics Support (Cargo / Material Transport)
- Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC)
- Under slung Operations
- Search and Rescue operation
Modified electrical system and instrument panels with modular warning lights and Master warning flasher light.
Modern state of art fuel efficient engine and hence higher reliability.
Quicker start-up and easier re-light procedure.
Better power margins resulting in better climb performance at high altitudes. Lower noise levels.
Lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) provides - Higher payload, Better range and Increased Endurance.
Improved right rudder margins resulting in easier takeoff and landing at high altitude helipads.
Cheetal has been designed to incorporate upgraded features such as light weight electrically driven Artificial Horizon, Directional Gyro, Flight Monitoring System (FMS), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), Modular Warning Lights, Master Flasher Warning and modern electrical system.
Till date, HAL has produced and sold 43 Cheetal Helicopters in India and abroad.