HAL rolls out 300th Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv

HAL roles out 300th Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Tuesday rolled out the 300th Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. Photo: HAL

Bengaluru: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Tuesday rolled out the 300th Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv.

According to HAL, the rolling out of 300th ALH is a testimony to the company’s capabilities coupled with greater customer support.

HAL said with over 2,80,000 flying hours, the ALH has proven to be a multirole helicopter for any mission, any place, any time.

The company has shifted its focus to enhanced customer support with more ALHs getting inducted into the Services.

HAL is currently executing the additional production order for 73 ALHs. Out of this contract, the Indian Army is to receive 41 helicopters while the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard 16 platforms each.

HAL has already handed over 38 ALHs out of this block and the remaining is expected to be completed by 2022.

R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said the ALH never looked back from the day since its maiden flight on August 30, 1992.

“ALH has evolved into a world class helicopter with its unparalleled performance. The evolution from ALH Mark-I to Mark-IV has been phenomenal, giving a boost to the indigenous design and development of helicopters,” Madhavan said.

The roll out event of the 300th helicopter was held at HAL’s Helicopter Division in Bengaluru.

LCH ground run

The ground run of the first Limited Series Production (LSP) version of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) was also held on Tuesday.

The LCH was piloted by Gp Capt Hari Nair (Retd), Chief Test Pilot and Gp Capt Narasimha Prasad (Retd), Senior Flight Test Engineer of HAL.

The Defence Acquisition Council had earlier cleared the proposal to induct initial batch of 15 LCHs. Notwithstanding the final orders to formally come, HAL had gone ahead and began the process of manufacturing the LSP platforms.

Of the 15 LSPs, 10 are for the IAF and the remaining five for the Indian Army.

A requirement of additional 65 LCHs for the IAF and 97 for the Indian Army could also come HAL’s way in future.

The LSP of LCH was launched in August 2017 by Arun Jaitley, who was then holding the additional portfolio of Defence.

LCH has a narrow fuselage with tandem seating, crashworthy fixed tricycle type with tail wheel landing gear, reduced IR (infrared) and radar signature, armor protection, aerofoil type armament wing, directional control by push pull cable and capable of day/night operations.

During an interaction with Onmanorama last year, a HAL official said that with its sleek fuselage and crisp controls, LCH is a top platform with fast attack capabilities in its class.

Equipped with HMDS (helmet mount display system) and FLIR (forward looking Infra Red) and augmenting the onboard weapons, LCH can detect and destroy any target on ground or in air.

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