The HAL Rudra, also known as ALH-WSI, is an attack helicopter manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), for the Indian Army. It is the Weapon System Integrated (WSI) Mk-IV variant of the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). Rudra is the first armed helicopter being produced indigenously in India. HAL was contracted to deliver about 76 Rudra ALH Mk-IV helicopters for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. The Indian Army plans to equip its Army Aviation Corps with 60 helicopters, forming six squadrons. HAL handed over the first Rudra helicopter to the Indian Army in February 2013.
While flight testing the Light Combat Helicopter, a modified version of HAL Dhruv, the Indian Army came to the conclusion that without making any major modifications to the Dhruv air-frame, an armed variant can also be developed and delivered to the army quickly. This variant was named Rudra. Development for the WSI variant was authorised in December 1998. The prototype made its first flight in August 2007. Rudra completed a final round of weapon firing trials in September 2011. The 20mm turreted gun was tested during these trials.
The Nexter THL-20 chin mounted gun turret is fitted with a 20mm M621 automatic cannon. The gun can fire at a rate of 750 rounds per minute. It has an effective range of 2,000m. The stub wings of Rudra can be fitted with up to eight Helina (Helicopter-launched Nag) anti-tank guided missiles, four MBDA Mistral short-range air-to-air missiles or four rocket pods for 68mm/70mm rockets. The HAL Rudra helicopter is equipped with SAAB Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS), radar warning receiver, IR jammer, flare and chaff dispenser.
The advanced glass cockpit of Rudra houses crash-worthy seats for accommodating two crew members. The night vision goggle (NVG) compatible cockpit is equipped with multifunction displays, dual flight controls and automatic flight control system. The avionics suite integrates a global positioning system, FLIR, HF/UHF communications radio, Infrared Friend or Foe (IFF) identification system, Doppler navigation and a radio altimeter. The electro-optic pod, helmet-mounted sight and fixed sights ensure the pilots can accurately engage targets using onboard weapons.