The Indian Government has delivered an additional indigenously built Dhruv Mark-III advanced light helicopter (ALH) to the Nepalese Army.
Handed over by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-built helicopter is expected to benefit Nepal, which is known for its mountainous terrain and adverse environmental conditions.
HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said: "This is in line with [the] PM’s thrust on Make in India and the government’s policy of helping neighbourhood."
India delivered two helicopters in November 2013, which are currently being used for utility missions.
HAL’s technical support team is positioned at Kathmandu, Nepal, to provide maintenance and logistics support for the helicopter, which is powered by Shakti engines and features an advanced glass cockpit and avionics.
An upgraded version of the Dhruv ALH, the helicopter is equipped with new electronic warfare suite and warning systems, automatic chaff and flares dispensers, as well as an improved vibration control system.
Dhruv is an advanced 5.5t light helicopter designed for a wide range of missions, including transport, utility, reconnaissance and medical evacuation during day and night.
It can carry up to 16 people at heights of 10,000ft and has been used by the Indian Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Border Security Forces, and various state governments, since 2002.
The helicopters have also been exported to Ecuador, Mauritius and Maldives.
Image: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over a Dhruv Mark-III helicopter to Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in Kathmandu. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.