Indian Coast Guard commissions made-in-India ALH Dhruv Mark III helicopters

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The Indian Coast Guard commissioned its second squadron of Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv Mark III in May, and third squadron in June at airbases situated in kochi and porbandar respectively. HAL Dhruv is a military multi utility helicopter used by the Indian Armed Forces. India uses more than 350 Dhruv helicopters.

According to a statement released by the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday, 28 June, the coast guard said that it had commissioned one more squadron of made-in-India Dhruv Mark III at Porbandar in Gujarat. The helicopters were commissioned by ICG director-general VS Pathania.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, Coast Guard officials told that the choppers could fulfill both reconnaissance and offensive roles as they have 12.7 mm heavy machine guns that can hit targets at a range of 1,800 metres. The induction boosts the Coast Guard’s maritime surveillance and recon capabilities and the country’s ‘aatmanirbhar defence’ philosophy as the ALH Dhruv Mark III is fully made-in-India by Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

In May the Coast Guard commissioned its second ALH Dhruv Mark III squadron – in Kerala. Four of these helicopters have been stationed in Kochi in the southern state, news agency PTI said, adding the coasts of Karnataka and Kerala , and the Lakshadweep islands, would now be covered.

About the Dhruv and Dhruv Mark III Helicopter

The HAL Dhruv is a utility helicopter designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The development of HAL Dhruv was announced in November 1984. 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.

Dhruv entered service in 2002. It is designed to meet the requirement of both military and civil operators, with military variants of the helicopter being developed for the Indian Armed Forces, while a variant for civilian/commercial use has also been developed. Military versions in production include transport, utility, reconnaissance and medical evacuation variants. Based on the Dhruv platform, the HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) a dedicated attack helicopter and HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), a utility and observation helicopter, have been developed.

As of January 2022, 335 HAL Dhruv have been produced for domestic and export markets logging more than 340,000 flying hours.

Dhruv have been developed into several different versions, the Mk.3 Coast Guard version of the Dhruv uses improved versions of the Shakti-1H turboshaft engines, new electronic warfare (EW) suite and warning systems, automatic chaff and flare dispensers for missile defense, improved vibration control system, cabin mountain MG, High Intensity Search Light and a loud hailer.

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