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Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre
Welcome to the Rotary Wing Research &Design Centre (RWRDC), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Helicopter Complex).

The Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWR&DC) with modern facilities and state-of-the-art technologies, spearheads HAL’s thrust towards excellence in the field of helicopter design.

Expertise in the design and development of Rotary Wing aircraft has been built up over the last three decades by optimal design, prototype development, ground testing flight testing and progressive induction of qualified designers. The centre is capable of undertaking challenging Rotary Wing and allied design tasks for Civil and Military applications. The objective of the centre is to research, innovate and create designs for rotary wing aircraft to meet indigenous and global requirements.

Brief History

In pursuance of the recommendations of the Aeronautics Committee constituted by Government of India in 1967, it was decided that HAL should build up design competence in Rotary Wing Technology like design, development and production of advanced, state-of-the-art helicopters for the armed forces.   Accordingly, Helicopter Design Bureau was established in 1970.  The Bureau was re-named as Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWR&DC) in 1998 to reflect the Research & Development nature of activities focused on. RWR&DC became a part of Helicopter Complex in June 2009.   
RWRDC has successfully designed and developed the multi-role Advanced Light Helicopter (DHRUV), certified by Director General Civil Aviation - India (DGCA) , CEMILAC and DGAC-Chile.

1.1 Design Features And New  Technologies
  • Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) to provide compactness, reduced weight, improved reliability and survivability.
  • Four bladed composite, hingeless main rotor and four bladed, bearingless tail rotor.
  • Engines with single crystal turbine blades, Full Authority Digital Electronic control (FADEC)
  • Anti-Resonance Vibration Isolation system (ARIS) to isolate fuselage from rotor vibrations.
  • Crew seats, fuselage and landing gear designed to ensure crashworthiness.
  • Extensive use of composites in ALH, with 90% surface area and 40% weight.
  • Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to provide adequate stability, control augmentation, good gust response and various autopilot modes.
  • Integrated Architecture Display System  with multi function displays

Advanced Technology Features

1.2   Power Plant
Turbomeca TM333-2B2 twin Turbo shaft 825 KW each   (For ALH MKI & MkII)
Ardiden 1H1 / Shakti twin Turbo shaft 1032 KW each    .(For ALH MKIII & MkIV)

Fuel capacity:  
AIR FORCE & ARMY :1050 Kgs
NAVY : 1108 Kgs
CIVIL : 1055 Kgs

Power Plant
Main Rotor Diameter : 13.20   m
Length :  15.87   m
Width  : 13.20   m
Height : 4.98   m

Basic Empty Weight (BEW) : MK-II  - 2744 Kg , MKIII – 2893 Kg
Max. Take off  : 5500 kg
1.5 PERFORMANCE  (Skid 4500 kg, SL, ISA+15degree C)

MK-I:  – It is a Utility Version with Conventional Cockpit & 2B2 Engine
Max.take off Weight : 5500 Kg
Fuel Capacity : 1055 Kg
Useful Load : 2490 Kg
Never Exceed speed : 295 km/h
Service Ceiling : 6500 m
Under Slung  : 1500 Kg

Utility Version with Glass CockpitMk-II:  It is a Utility Version with Glass Cockpit & 2B2 Engine
Max.take off Weight : 5500 Kg
Fuel Capacity : 1055 Kg
Never Exceed speed : 292 km/h
Useful Load : 2100 Kg
Service Ceiling : 6500 m
Under Slung :1500 Kg

Utility Version with Glass Cockpit & Shakti EngineMk-III: It is  a Utility Version with Glass Cockpit & Shakti Engine
Max.take off Weight  : 5500 Kg
Fuel Capacity : 1055 Kg
Never Exceed speed : 292 km/h
Service Ceiling  : 6500 m
Under Slung : 1500 Kg

Weaponised Version with Glass Cockpit & Shakti EngineMk-IV:  It is a  Weaponised Version with Glass Cockpit & Shakti Engine.  
Max.take off Weight : 5800 Kg
Fuel Capacity : 1055 Kg
Never Exceed speed : 285 km/h
Service Ceiling : 6000 m
1.6  Accommodation
Cabin volume : 7.33 cu.m
Cargo volume : 2.16 cu.m

Seating capacity
Normal :  12 PAX + 2 Crew,  
High density   :  14 PAX + 2 Crew 

1.7 Applications

UNARMED ROLES                               
  • Logistic support                     
  • Reconnaissance                       
  • Casualty Evacuation                  
  • Training                             
  • Communication Duties         
  • Under slung load
  • Offshore operation
CIVIL ROLES              
  • VIP Travel
  • Commuter
  • Search & rescue
  • Under slung load
  • Disaster relief
  • Off-shore operation 
  • Anti-tank    
  • Close Air Support    

1.8  Weapon Systems On Dhruv Helicopter

Dhruv helicopter is  integrated and certified with following weapons and  sensors

  • 20 mm Turret Gun
  • 70 mm Rocket System
  • ATAM
  • EW Suite
  • HPS
  • EO-Pod
  • VDR

ALH Civil Helicopter1.9 ALH Civil Helicopter
To exploit the national and international market potential in the 4 to 5 ton weight class, Civil Variant of ALH was taken up. It is mainly intended to be used in the transport role, commuter / offshore as well as VIP roles.  Additional roles such as emergency medical service / rescue, utility, law enforcement are also envisaged. First flight of ALH civil variant was carried out successfully on 6th Mar’2002 & demonstrated at Aero-India 2003 and 2005. Certification for Civil wheel version was obtained in Oct.’03 and for civil Skid Version obtained in Jul.’04. PT-2 basic version was  converted to Air Ambulance version and  demonstrated during Aero India 2001. Further, ALH capabilities were successfully demonstrated in Chile with IAI-LAHAV’s centralized avionics package. After the successful Type certification of ALH civil variant upto five ALH civil helicopters are in service with various operators like ONGC, IAI, BSF, GSI  and Govt. of  Jharkhand.  

The revalidation of ALH civil variant Type Certificate with DGAC, Chile has been completed in April 2007. This is the    first re-validation accorded by any foreign airworthiness authority to an Indian Aircraft.  

The certification with EASA is under progress and FAA is being pursued

DHRUV1.10 Integration  Of   Geophysical Survey System (GSS)   On  ALH (DHRUV) Civil
RWRDC had successfully integrated and certified Geophysical Survey System (GSS) on Civil ALH.  This system comprises of THEM (Time Domain Helicopter Electro Magnetic) Bird,  Magnetometer,  Spectrometer,  Gamma Ray Spectrometer, Gravimeter successfully  integrated on Advanced Light Helicopter, Garuda  Vasudha for aero geophysical survey of minerals. The helicopter has been handed over to Geological Survey of India on 22nd January 2014.
2. Light Combat Helicopter LCH
LCH2.1 Introduction
In order to meet the requirements of Indian Air Force for providing a fleet of combat helicopters with contemporary  firepower and adequate self defense capability, Design & Development of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) project was taken up by RWR&DC of HAL, Bangalore.

The Light Combat Helicopter is a twin- engine, dedicated combat helicopter of 5.8 ton class. The helicopter features a narrow fuselage and a tandem configuration for Pilot and Co-pilot/Weapon system operator (WSO). It incorporates a number of stealth features such as reduced visual, aural, radar and infra-red signatures, and crashworthy landing gear for better survivability.

The LCH integrates some of the common systems of ALH such as Transmission system, Integrated Dynamic System, Rotors, Anti-Resonance Isolation System (ARIS), Integrated Architecture and Display (IADS), Dual redundant Hydraulic system, Basic Electrical and Avionics LRUs and Shakti engine(with FADEC).

2.2 Roles of LCH

LCH is dedicated to perform the following roles.
  • Air Defense role against UAVs and slow moving aircrafts
  • Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD) Operations
  • Escort to Special Heliborne Operations (SHBO)
  • Offensive employment in urban warfare, CSFO (Counter Surface Force Operations) and CI (Counter Insurgency) operation.
  • Support of Combat SAR Operations
  • Antitank role
  • Scout duties

2.3 Mission Sensors

The Mission sensors that would be integrated on LCH are listed below:
  • EW suite (RWR, LWR and MWR)
  • Counter Measure Dispensing system (CMDS)
  • Electro Optical System (EQ)
  • Helmet Pointing System (HPS)
  • Data Link
  • Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
  • DIRCM / Laser Transmitter
  • NBC detectors

2.4 Weapons

The weapons systems that would be integrated on LCH are listed below:
  • Rockets (70 mm)
  • 20 mm Turret Gun
  • Air To Air Missiles
  • Air To Surface Missiles (ASMs)
  • Iron Bombs
  • Anti radiation Missiles (ARMs)

2.5  Salient Features Of LCH

  • Narrow fuselage with Tandem Seating
  • Tricycle fixed tail wheel type Landing Gear
  • Crashworthy bottom structure & Landing gear
  • Canted panels for low RCS
  • Integrated Dynamic System (IDS)
  • Anti Resonance Isolation System (ARIS) for six degrees of freedom and isolating fuselage from rotor vibrations.
  • Hinge less Main Rotor offers good maneuverability and maintenance free operation.
  • Advanced blade profiles ensure low noise, high speed and efficient lift.
  • Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) for engines.
  • Dual redundant hydraulic system.
  • Duplex Automatic Flight Control System.
  • Directional control through push-pull cable.
  • Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS)
  • High ballistic tolerance due to composite main rotor blade.
  • Armour protection against 12.7/7.62 mm bullet hit
  • Self sealing fuel tanks against 7.62mm bullet hit.
  • Advanced composites and flat panels for low RCS & low glint.
  • IR Suppressors for low Infra-Red Signature
  • Night Attack capability
  • Self protection system with Radar warning, Laser warning, Missile Approach warning and Flare & Chaff Dispenser

2.6 Performance

All up weight : 5800 kg
Service ceiling : 6.5 km
Range : 550 km to 750 km
Never exceed Speeds Vne : 330 kmph
3. Light Utlity Helicopter (LUH)
LUH3.1  Introduction
Indian Army and Indian Air Force together have been operating about 400 Cheetah and Chetak Helicopters supplied by HAL starting from 1960s. These helicopters, having served the country for nearly four decades need to be replaced in a phased manner with a Light Utility Helicopter of more efficient state-of- the- art technology which can operate for the next 30 to 40 years. The LUH is under development  at RWRDC.

3.2  LUH Roles
LUH is being designed and developed to fulfill followings mission roles of Indian Armed Forces:
  • Reconnaissance & Surveillance including armed reconnaissance.
  • Direction of Artillery fire
  • Carry small body of troops/ Quick Reaction Teams for special missions
  • Aerial Photography
  • Scout role in conjunction with Attack Helicopters
  • Casualty Evacuation

3.3   Salient Features Of LUH
In order to fulfill various roles, LUH is being designed with the following basic features:
  • 4 Bladed Composite Main Rotor System
  • Main Rotor Blade Folding
  • 4 Bladed Tail Rotor System
  • Single Engine with dual channel automatic fuel control with additional backup control
  • Night Flying Capability
  • Glass Cockpit with Integrated Architecture and Display System (IADS)
  • Skid Landing Gear
  • Fuselage to accommodate 2 pilots in side by side configuration and 6 passengers
  • Crashworthy Crew Seats

Structural Provisions have been made for integration and Certification of Optional Mission Sensors and Weapon Systems to meet the role requirements of LUH:
  • Armour plating
  • Rescue Hoist
  • Cargo Sling
  • Stretchers and Passenger Seats
  • Auto Pilot System
  • Emergency Floatation System
  • Fixed Sight with FLIR, CCD, LRF and Laser Designator
  • Flare and Chaff Dispenser (FCD)
In addition to meeting the requirements of Armed Forces, LUH is being designed to provide better performance at high altitude flying and growth potential to accommodate additional equipment in future based on emerging needs. These features make LUH to stand out in comparison to other contemporary helicopter in its class.

3.4   Key Technologies
  • Transmission System based on sun-planetary main gear box and a matching tail gear box.
  • Main Rotor System having composite blades with two segments, allowing blade folding or removal during parking/ transportation.
  • Flex beam based tail rotor
  • Hydraulics & Flight Control Systems to provide powered control of the hingeless main rotor and tail rotor.
  • Integrated Architecture & Display System based on state-of-the-art hardware and advanced software developed indigenously by HAL with the aid of modern tools.
  • Indigenous AFCS

3.5  Specifications
Max. AUW : 3117 Kg.
BEW : 1910 Kg.
Engine : Single, > 750 kW
Seating Capacity : 2 Pilots + 6 Passengers
Range : > 350 km
Service ceiling : 6.5 km
4. Upgrade and Life Extension Studies
RWR&DC has also successfully implemented modifications in order to upgrade Cheetah and Chetak Helicopters to meet specific user requirements. Design support was provided for re-engining of the Cheetah Helicopter and also for modifications in Seaking helicopter.
5. Future Projects
5.1 Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH)
IMRH is a  10-15 ton weight  class helicopter  to meet the requirement of military and civil operators. IMRH features the latest design concept with Twin Engine ( Dual Channel &  cross Talk FADEC control), Tricycle Retractable Landing Gear, Four Axis with Upper Modes AFCS and Integrated Architecture with MFDs. Main Rotor System would consist of 5 bladed conventional Main Rotor System and Transmission system with 30 minutes dry running capability and  emergency lubrication system

Main Features of IMRH:
Payload/ Pax : 3.5 Ton/ 24 Pax
Speed: 275 kmph
Range: 500 km with 3.5 Ton
Operating Envelope Altitude : Sea Level to 6500 m Temp : - 40  to  +50 Degree Centigrade.

RUAV5.2 Development Of Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (RUAV)
Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (RUAVs) are unmanned rotorcrafts which are remotely controlled by ground control stations. HAL plans to enter into the domain of RUAVs

The Unmanned Rotorcraft System comprises of
  • Ground Control station (GCS)
  • Rotor craft
  • Payload
  • Communication Link
  • Support equipment
The RUAV is design and developed  jointly by HAL, ADE & IIT Kanpur.


With the valuable learning and vast experience gained in ALH project, RWRDC has acquired requisite technical expertise in developing rotary wing platforms and technologies. The knowledge base built over the years has enabled capability to offer services in the key domains of design, analysis, testing and certification, pertaining to rotary wing platforms and associated systems.

Detail Design Capability

  The Centre can undertake design of the following:
  • Design of light weight composite and crash-worthy metallic structures
  • Design of Helicopter Composite rotor blades
  • Advanced rotor systems
  • Design of High Performance mechanical power transmission systems
  • Mechanical Control system for rotors

Analysis Capability

The Centre has designed and tested wind tunnel models and flotation models. Dynamic analysis of components and structures has been carried out using advanced CAE packages and FEM & FFT analysis methods. Following are some of the areas of analytical expertise.
  • Estimation of Performance, Load and CG.
  • Stability and Control.
  • Crash analysis of Structure
  • Structural  Finite  Element Modeling/ Analysis:  Stress and Dynamic analysis
  • Vibration analysis
  • Analysis of composite parts
  • Analysis of flight test Data, Ground  test vehicle data, Main Rotor and Tail Rotor test Data.
  • Wind tunnel model deign, Fabrication testing, and analysis of data.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamic  Analysis of internal and external flows.

Flight Test Capability

The Flight test centre has over four decades of experience in flight testing of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Capabilities include instrumentation planning and implementation, data acquisition, telemetry monitoring and post flight data handling
  • PCM, ARINC, MILBUS, DGPS, data acquisition of well over 1000 parameters.
  • Simultaneous telemetry monitoring of two flight vehicles.
  • Real time and post flight data processing.
  • Special expertise in acquisition and processing of load, vibration and noise data.
  • Expertise covers instrumentation and data handling on various types of helicopters like ALH, LCH, Cheetah, Chetak, Seaking, MI-8 and MI-17.

System Design Capability

  • Design of advanced Cockpit with Conventional , Multi Function Display (MFD) and Night Vision Goggles (NVG) compatibility
  • Design and integration of Landing gear, Hydraulics,  Electrical system, Power plant, fuel system, Avionics and AFCS systems
  • Integration of weapons, sensors and controls on helicopter platform for weaponising.

Ground Test Capability

The Ground Test Centre is fully equipped to take any testing activity in aerospace and related fields. The centre has numerous facilities and a group of qualified and trained personnel. Some of the major areas in which support can be provided are:
  • Strength, fatigue and endurance tests on components and structures of metallic and composite materials.
  • Vibration and ground resonance tests.
  • Tests on hydraulic, flight control and transmission systems.
  • Design and development of test rigs and special test equipment for aerospace vehicle components and system testing.
  • Development of software for test control, monitoring, data acquisition and analysis.
  • Strain gauging and calibration for in-flight load measurement.

Certification Support Capability

RWRDC is proficient in all aspects of certification and customer support which
  • Certification of design as per International Military and Civil Airworthiness Standards
  • Reliability and Maintainability Analysis
  • Configuration Control Management
  • Manuals & Publications as per International Standards
  • Defect Investigation
  • Life & TBO extension

Prototype Manufacturing

The Centre is capable of prototype manufacturing, planning & control, structural equipping and final assembly of helicopter systems.  


Extensive facilities have been established for design, prototype fabrication, testing and analysis of rotary wing aircraft structure, high performance transmission system, integration of electrical system, avionics, engines and flight control system.

Computing Facilities

  • Main frames, super minis, work stations and PC based systems
  • Finite element analysis and optimisation of structure using NASTRAN, ANSYS and ALGOR
  • Software for analysis of advanced composites and crash analysis
  • Computer aided design and drafting of structural components and systems
  • Modelling of structural parts for NC machining


In addition to fully equipped prototype manufacturing facilities, the Centre has a Composite shop with autoclave, Blade mould fabrication, Impregnating machine, Water jet cutting Machine, NDT facility and is supported by the Helicopter division with full-fledged manufacturing, production engineering, quality and product support facilities.

Ground Testing

  • Universal Testing Machines
  • Vibration Test Facilities
  • Transmission Test Rigs for Gear Boxes, Flexible Couplings and Shafts
  • Servo Controllers
  • Main and Tail Rotor Whirl Towers
  • Strain Gauging and Calibration Facilities
  • Instrumentation and Data Acquisition Systems

Flight Testing

  • Flight Test Rigs and Calibration Facilities
  • Multi-stream PCM, Avionic Bus Recording and Data Extraction
  • L -Band Telemetry System with Real Time Display and Processing Facilities along with Hot Mike Link between Test crew and Monitoring Station
  • Real Time Spectral Analysers and High Speed FFT Analysers
  • Real Time Graphic Limit Exceedance Monitoring System
  • Special On-board Test Facilities and Rigs like Trailing Static Bomb, Electrical AC / DC Loads, On-board Antenna Pattern Analyser and Photo Instrumentation System
Computing Facilities
  • Main frames, super minis, work stations and PC based systems.
  • Finite Elements Analysis (FEA) and optimization of structure.
  • Software for analysis of advanced composites and crash analysis.
  • Computer aided design and drafting of structural components and systems.
  • Modeling of structural parts for NC machining
CAD / CAM Facilities
CAD / CAM Facilities

Two PLM Servers  in cluster along with an external SAN Storage  to facilitate PLM for on going  Projects.

Team Centre (PLM Software) and NX 7.5 (CAD Software) for smooth, systematic and paperless work flow.

PLM implemented  with Windchill software for production SOP.
  • High end Windows Workstations
  • High Performance Computing environment for solving complex Analysis tasks including Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • High end Visualization Workstations  
  • Latest CAD and PLM Software Packages ( NX7.5 & Team Centre Unified)
  • Latest Analysis and CFD Packages
  • State-of-the-art Campus LAN exclusively for PLM facility
  • State-of-the-art Campus LAN with connectivity to other divisions of HAL
  • Dedicated Data Acquisition / Monitoring systems for Ground Test and Flight Test activities
  • Large Format Heavy Duty plotting facility.
  • Video Conferencing facility with high bandwidth
Facilities at System Integration Laboratory (SIL)
Facilities at System Integration Laboratory (SIL)
SIL is an integration and testing platform for cockpit display system and interfaces with basic Electrical and Avionics systems in the lab. SIL is used for testing the interfaces with the actual systems  and for simulation of systems parameters using stimulator / simulators.
Facilities at Ground Test Centre
Whirl Tower TestWhirl Tower Test - Main Rotor & Tail Rotor
  • Facility for measurement of rotor performance, loads and dynamic characteristics
  • Provision for dynamic balancing
  • Provision to excite the rotor for damping measurement
  • Dynamic balancing and tracking of blades
  • Measurement of Rotor performance and load during the normal operation and precession of the rotor
Vibration TestsVibration Tests
  • Modal testing of a complex structure to determine natural frequency, mode shape, damping, etc.
  • Frequency response test
  • Multipoint excitation system
  • Simultaneous signal conditioning
  • Excitation of full helicopter in free-free condition
Component TestsComponent Tests
  • Design of test rigs and test equipment  for Aerospace vehicle  components and system testing
  • Strength / Fatigue / Endurance tests on components and structure of metallic and composite material
System TestsSystem Tests
  • Checks on Helicopter hydraulic actuator, hydraulic packages, hydraulic pumps and Landing gear units
  • Breakout force test and free-play measurement on flight controls
  • Special development  test such as Harpoon
Rain Water TestRain Water Test
  • To check equipped helicopters for rain water ingress and to ensure proper sealing of all interfaces
  • Simulates heavy rain conditions
LUH transmission AssemblyLUH transmission Assembly

This test facility houses the functional and load test rigs for Main Gear Box and Tail Gear Box of LUH. The test facility incorporates state of the art test rigs which have been designed and developed in-house by the Ground Test Centre (GTC) of RWRDC. All the rig structures and most of the complex control systems have been manufactured by Indigenous partners.  Main Gear Box load testing is based on electrical closed loop system unlike the mechanical close loop system used for ALH/LCH. This facility has good flexibility to accommodate design improvements in Main Gear Box. These test rigs facilitate conduction of very rigorous tests on the gear boxes for validating their capabilities as part of LUH certification process.

Transmission  System Tests

  • To study the Performance and Lubrication system
  • To develop the contact pattern of gears and pinions
  • To Verify the load carrying capability of gears and pinions
  • To study the temperature characteristics of the gear box

Infrastructure Facilities

  • Universal testing machine
  • Hydraulic Ring Main system
  • Strong floors
  • Servo controllers
  • Strain gauging facilities
  • Data Acquisition systems
  • Vibration test facilities

Calibration Facilities

  • Load
  • Displacement
  • Strain
  • Temperature
  • Flow
  • Pressure
  • Acceleration
Facilites at Flight Test Centre
Flight test facility
  • Data is acquired on-board recorder and converted into PCM format and recorded on analog multi track/ digital magnetic cassette recorder. Telemetry of vital dynamic and slow varying parameters including crew voice is carried on L-Band FM carrier. System has on-board preflight calibration and Built in Test Equipment facility.
  • A versatile L-Band telemetry station with capability for receiving and monitoring on-line two test helicopters has been operational for ALH programme.
  • All necessary software for real time operations has been developed in house. These facilities have been extensively used for efficient conduct of test flights and safety monitoring .
Manufacturing Facility
The Centre has fully equipped prototype manufacturing facilities and excellent manufacturing support from sister divisions of HAL who have full-fledged manufacturing, production engineering, quality and product support facilities. RWRDC  also has Rapid prototype facility  The prototype machine shop, Transmission assembly shop and Final Assembly shop provide the necessary infrastructure for development of helicopter & systems.
  • The centre holds recognition and approval from CEMILAC and DGCA for research, design and manufacture of Military and Civil helicopters.
  • Rotary Wing R&D Centre is a AS 9100 C and 14001:2004 certified organization.
  • RWRDC is  recognized by DSIR, New Delhi as R &D centre
Please contact:
General Manager
Rotary Wing Research & Design Center
Helicopter Complex,
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,
Post Bag No.1796, Vimanapura Post,
Bangalore - 560 017, INDIA.

E-mail ID:
Telephone: 91 - 80 – 223222941
Fax: 91 - 80 – 22311747