NEW DELHI — India's sole aircraft and helicopter producer, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), conducted the first technical flight Tuesday of its indigenous light utility helicopter (LUH) in Bengaluru, India.

The flawless flight was carried out by HAL test pilots.

"This event marks an important and significant beginning for prototype testing of LUH. This is the third indigenous helicopter product from the stables of HAL after [the advanced light helicopter] and [the light combat helicopter]. Apart from replacement of ageing fleet of Cheetah/Chetak, LUH is expected to capture a sizeable share both in domestic and international market," according to a company news release.

The HAL-built LUH has a maximum all-up weight of 3,150 kilograms and is powered by Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine of 750 kilowatt thrust.

With a range of 350 kilometers, the LUH has a seating capacity of six passengers plus two pilots. The helicopter is designed to carry out various utility roles such as reconnaissance, transport, cargo load and rescue operations.

The helicopter can operate from sea level to high altitudes.

The helicopter is equipped with basic avionic systems including a V/UHF communication system; an intercom system; a radio altimeter; an emergency locator transmitter; GPS/Global Navigation Satellite System/GALILEO; a flight data recorder; a cockpit voice recorder; an Attitude and Heading Reference System; and an air data unit.

Additionally, the LUH has an inertial navigation system linked to GPS; VHF Omni-Range/Instrument Landing System; a tactical air navigation system; a Digital Moving Map; an automatic flight control system; and a binocular head-mounted display.

The helicopter will also have a weapon system and mission sensors, including nuclear, biological and chemical sensors, an electro-optical system, fixed sight, and a flare and chaff dispenser.

The Indian Army and Air Force have joint requirements of 184 HAL-built LUHs, according to a senior HAL official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official also said production will being in 2018 and all deliveries made in seven years.

So far, three LUH prototypes have been developed for testing.

The helicopters' primary role will be related to utility use, but future variants could be build for combat, the HAL official said.

Combat LUHs would be able to carry a podded gun and rocket and anti-tank missiles.