Golden 2013 for ALH Dhruv

By SP's Special Correspondent

October 28, 2013: 2013 has been a blessed year for the indigenous advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv helicopter. Following the handing over the first weaponised Dhruv variant, christened 'Rudra' to the Indian Army earlier this year, the proven helicopter platform clocked 100,000 flying hours this month—a major psychological boost to one of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL's) most successful programmes.

In a statement, HAL said, "The land mark has been achieved in the early hours of October 9 with the flying of helicopter IA 3104 of 301 Army Aviation Sqn (Spl ops)". The Dhruv is currently in service with the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force (IAF), Coast Guard, Border Security Force and state governments after deliveries began in 2002. Currently, nearly 150 serve with the armed forces, while a smaller number serve with civil agencies. Earlier this month, HAL additionally received a ‘Best Engineering Marvel Award’ for project innovativeness from Engineering Watch for the Rudra armed helicopter. With exports to Ecuador and a few other countries, HAL is not looking to push the upgraded Dhruv Mk.3 abroad in a big way.