Short Note : ALH Dhruv
The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) is a light-medium lift utility helicopter which has been designed, developed and is currently being manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is also known as the ALH Dhruv.
About the Dhruv-
- The Dhruv entered Indian Armed Forces service after a long and protracted development period in 2002.
- It is designed as a dual role helicopter and is built for both the civil and the military operators.
- The HAL Dhruv is mainly used for recce, transport and disaster relief missions.
- The ALH Dhruv is currently used by the Indian Armed Forces and has also been exported to various other countries like Isreal, Nepal, and Ecuador.
- The ALH has been further developed into the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and a Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
- A heavily armed and sensor-laden version of the HAL Dhruv, the HAL Rudra is also being provided to the Indian Army. The HAL Rudra is armed with a 20 mm gun, 70 mm rocket pods and carries other missiles as per the mission profile.
Why is the Dhruv in the News?
The order book of HAL for the Dhruv helicopter is full of orders from the various branches of the Indian Military. The Indian civil market (Which barely has a 100 helicopters), also needs more helicopters (with experts pegging the demand at 600 units). Even the state governments in India are forced to acquire foreign helicopters due to the long waiting period.
This has forced the HAL to call for tenders from Indian private firms which are interested in manufacturing the HAL Dhruv as a licensor.