The Indian Army has taken delivery of three Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) ahead of schedule at Aero India 2019 air show.
The helicopters were delivered to the service by India-based government-owned manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
In September 2017, HAL signed an Rs61bn ($858.53m) contract with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply 41 ALHs, which comprises 40 for the army and one for the navy.
Under the contract, the company will produce 22 ALH MK III and 18 Mk IV Rudra helicopters for the army. The contract will be executed for 60 months.
According to the release published by the Indian MoD, a total of 19 ALH MK III helicopters have already been manufactured. Deliveries of the remaining units will take place gradually.
HAL’s Dhruv is a new-generation helicopter designed for operations carried out by the army, airforce, navy, coastguard and civil agencies. Major variants are classified as Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and Mk-IV.
Weighing 5.5t, the multi-role and multi-mission helicopter has been designed and developed by the helicopter division of HAL.
The utility helicopter is fitted with two Shakti engines developed under a cooperative agreement between HAL and Turbomeca. It is available in two versions, skid and wheeled.
In March, HAL signed a contract to supply 32 ALHs to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
Last August, HAL awarded a follow-on order to Saab for new integrated defensive aids suite (IDAS-2) self-protection system for the Dhruv helicopter.
The helicopter features advanced technologies such as anti-resonance vibration isolation system (ARI), full authority digital electronic control (FADEC), hingeless main rotor, bearingless tail rotor, and an automatic flight control system.