India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv Mk III MR completed its deck-operations capabilities that include landing on deck, folding of blades and storing the helicopter inside the onboard hangar. The helicopter was developed by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The recently concluded ship-borne trials off Chennai coast in collaboration with the Indian Coast Guard covered maintenance activities inside the hangar and on the deck, hot refueling with engines running on the deck.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had recently delivered ALH Dhruv Mk III MR to the Indian Coast Guard as part of its 16 ALH contract. The trials have proven the capability of ALH Dhruv to carry out extended operations from ships. Dhruv Mk III MR is equipped with the modern surveillance radar that can detect and identify ships and boats up to a range of 120 nautical miles to enable the Indian Coast Guard in its duty to secure the nation from threats. Coupled with an electro-optical sensor that can closely monitor even the smallest of the vessels at distances as far as 30 nautical miles.
The HAL Dhruv is a utility helicopter designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The helicopter first flew in 1992; however, its development was prolonged due to multiple factors including the Indian Army’s requirement for design changes, budget restrictions, and sanctions placed on India following the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests. The name comes from a Sanskrit origin word dhruv which means unshakeable or firm. As of October 2020, more than 300 HAL Dhruvs have been produced for domestic and export markets.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mk III is an improved version equipped with Shakti-1H engines, new electronic warfare (EW) suite and warning systems, automatic chaff and flare dispensers, and improved vibration control system. The first batch were inducted into service in 2012. The first batch of 10 Dhruv MkIII was welcomed into the IAF fleet by Allahabad-based Central Air Command Senior Air and Staff Officer Air Marshal PS Gill on February 8, 2012. IAF 111 Helicopter Unit became the first squadron to receive Dhruv MkIII.