Warplanes: Cheetal Replaces Cheetah


July 31, 2009: The Indian Air Force has received the first four of ten Cheetal light helicopters. The Cheetal is actually a Cheetah helicopter with a more efficient engine. This increases altitude (to over 7,500 meters), range and payload. The Cheetah is a license built (by Hindustan Aeronautics) version of the French Alouette II. It's a 1.6 ton helicopter that seats four, has a max speed of 185 kilometers an hour and range of 565 kilometers. Endurance is six hours. So far, India has produced 250 Cheetahs, mostly for internal use. The Indian Army is also buying Cheetals (named after the Indian spotted deer). The Alouette helicopter was originally designed in the 1950s, and has been continuously upgraded and improved ever since.



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