Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is considering participation in the Future Vertical Lift program as part of Project Lakshva. This decision follows HAL's ongoing work on the 13-ton Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), which aims to meet the requirements of both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. These requirements include replacing approximately 400 aging Russian-made MI-1 Medium Class Helicopters over the next two decades.
Although there is no specific timeline provided for the Future Vertical Lift program, there are indications that the IMRH design may be optimized in the future. This optimization could potentially involve the incorporation of two counter-rotating rigid blades that rotate in opposite directions, along with a rear pusher prop.
Previously, the Indian Army had expressed interest in the US Army's Future Vertical Lift program, which aims to develop a high-speed, long-range military helicopter to replace the current fleet of UH-60 Black Hawks. However, due to limitations in accessing next-generation helicopter technology, the Indian Army opted for a conventional Medium Transport Helicopter design for the IMRH.
In contrast, the US Army has chosen Bell's V-280 Valor advanced tiltrotor to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk, with plans to begin the transition in 2030. HAL's Future Vertical Lift program, set to follow the IMRH program, is still in its early stages, with induction scheduled for 2040, post-2030.