State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has rolled out the 300th Dhruv multi-utility advanced light helicopter (ALH) from its hanger in the city’s eastern suburb, an official said on Tuesday.
“The evolution from ALH Mark-I to Mark-IV has been phenomenal and is a boost to the indigenous design and development of helicopters,” said HAL Chairman R Madhavan on the occasion.
Additional Director General (south zone) YK Sharma of the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance handed over the ALH’s rollout certificate to the company’s helicopter complex chief executive GVS Bhaskar here.
“The 300th ALH is a testimony to the capability the defence behemoth has built over the years due to the efforts of its employees and customer support,” Bhaskar said in a statement.
With 2,80,000 flying hours, Dhruv has proven to be a multi-role helicopter for any mission, any place, and any time.
The military variant of Dhruv is flown by the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Coast Guard, while its civil variant has been in use by several states and private customers for multiple operations over the last 18 years.
The aerospace major is producing 73 ALHs, including 41 for the Army, and 16 each for the Navy and the Coast Guard.
“Of the 73 Dhruvs, 38 have been produced so far while the remaining 25 will be rolled out by 2022, the statement added.
The indigenously designed and developed ALH is a 5-tonne chopper whose variants are used for transport, utility, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation by the defence services, while its civil variants are used for policing, offshore operations, air-ambulance and other roles.