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HAL Dhruv

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The HAL Dhruv (Sanskrit: ध्रुव, "Polaris
Polaris
Polaris |Alpha]] Ursae Minoris, commonly North Star or Pole Star, also Lodestar) is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor. It is very close to the north celestial pole, making it the current northern pole star....

"
) is a utility helicopter
Utility helicopter
A Utility Helicopter is a multi-purpose helicopter. A utility military helicopter can fill roles such as ground attack, air assault, cargo, surveillance and troop transport. Their size is generally between cargo helicopters and light observation helicopters....

 developed and manufactured by India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited based in Bangalore, India, is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies. Under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence, this state-owned company is mainly involved in aerospace industry, which includes manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and...

 (HAL). Dhruv was first announced in November 1984. The ALH was designed with assistance from MBB
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm was a German aerospace company formed as the result of several mergers in the late 1960s. Among its best-known products was the MBB Bo 105 light twin helicopter...

 in Germany. The Dhruv first flew in 1992; but, due to the changing demands of the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 and shortage of allocated budget, the program was delayed. This was followed by the Indian nuclear test
Pokhran-II
Pokharan-II refers to test explosions of five nuclear devices, three on 11 May and two on 13 May 1998, conducted by India at the Pokhran test range. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states....

 in 1998 which led to US sanctions on India, even further delaying the program.

The Dhruv finally did enter service in 2002. Dhruv is designed to meet the requirement of both military and civil operators. It is being supplied to the Indian Armed Forces
Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by three paramilitary forces and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.The President of India is...

 along with a variant for civilian/commercial use. The helicopter was first exported to Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. It is on order by several other countries for both military and commercial uses.

Military versions in production are for transport, utility, reconnaissance and MedEvac roles. Based on the Dhruv platform, the HAL Light Combat Helicopter
HAL Light Combat Helicopter
The HAL Light Combat Helicopter is a multirole combat helicopter being developed in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for use by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.-Development:In 2006, HAL announced its plans to build a LCH...

 (LCH) a helicopter gunship and HAL Light Observation Helicopter
HAL Light Observation Helicopter
-External links:* *...

 (LOH) a utility and observation helicopter were developed.

Origins


The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for an indigenous 5-ton multirole helicopter was initiated in May 1979 by the Indian Air Force and Navy. HAL were given a contract by the Indian government in 1984 to develop the helicopter; Germany's Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm was a German aerospace company formed as the result of several mergers in the late 1960s. Among its best-known products was the MBB Bo 105 light twin helicopter...

 (MBB) were contracted in July 1984 to act as a design consultant and collaborative partner for the programme. Although originally scheduled to fly in 1989, the first prototype ALH (Z-3182) made its maiden flight on 20 August 1992 at Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

 with then-Indian Vice President K. R. Narayanan
K. R. Narayanan
Kocheril Raman Narayanan , also known as K. R. Narayanan, was the tenth President of India. He was the first Dalit, and the first Malayali, to have been President....

 in attendance. This was followed by a second prototype (Z-3183) on 18 April 1993, an Army/Air Force version (Z-3268) and a navalised prototype (IN.901) with Allied Signal CTS800 engines and a retractable tricycle undercarriage. Although the first prototype flew in August 1992, problems arose due to changing demands from the military and a significant funding shortfall in the wake of the 1991 India economic crisis
1991 India economic crisis
By 1985, India had started having balance of payments problems. By the end of 1990, it was in a serious economic crisis. The government was close to default, its central bank had refused new credit and foreign exchange reserves had reduced to such a point that India could barely finance three...

.

Naval testing on board the INS Viraat
INS Viraat
INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Indian Navy. INS Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy, the oldest carrier in service and one of two aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean Region.The Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's...

 and other ships started in March 1998, and around the same time a weight-reduction programme was initiated. However, further delays in development were caused when sanctions upon India were implemented following several Indian nuclear tests in 1998
Pokhran-II
Pokharan-II refers to test explosions of five nuclear devices, three on 11 May and two on 13 May 1998, conducted by India at the Pokhran test range. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states....

 and the continued refusal to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the intended engine for the helicopter, the LHTEC T800
LHTEC T800
-External links:* *...

, was embargo
Embargo
An embargo is the partial or complete prohibition of commerce and trade with a particular country, in order to isolate it. Embargoes are considered strong diplomatic measures imposed in an effort, by the imposing country, to elicit a given national-interest result from the country on which it is...

ed. The Turbomeca
Turbomeca
Turbomeca is a French manufacturer of low- and medium-power gas turbine turboshaft engines for helicopters. The company also produces gas turbine engines for aircraft and missiles, as well as turbines for land, industrial and marine applications...

 TM 333-2B2 turboshaft
Turboshaft
A turboshaft engine is a form of gas turbine which is optimized to produce free turbine shaft power, rather than jet thrust...

 engine was selected as a replacement; in addition Turbomeca agreed to develop a more powerful engine with HAL, originally known as the Ardiden. Turbomeca also assisted in the development of the helicopter, stress analysis and studies of rotor dynamics were conducted in France. The first flight of a Dhruv with the new engine, renamed the Shakti
HAL/Turbomeca Shakti
The HAL/Turbomeca Shakti is a turboshaft helicopter engine jointly developed by India and France.-History:...

, took place on 16 August 2007.

Further development



The HAL Rudra, earlier known as Dhruv-WSI (Weapons Systems Integrated), is an attack variant for the Indian Army. Development was sanctioned in December 1998, the prototype first flew on 16 August 2007; it is to be armed with both anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and a 20-mm turret-mounted cannon. The Dhruv-WSI is to be capable of conducting combat air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

 (CAS) and anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 (ASW) roles as well. In addition to the Dhruv-WSI, HAL is also developing the Light Combat Helicopter
HAL Light Combat Helicopter
The HAL Light Combat Helicopter is a multirole combat helicopter being developed in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for use by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.-Development:In 2006, HAL announced its plans to build a LCH...

 (LCH) based on the Dhruv for the Indian Armed Forces. It is fitted with stub wings for carrying up to eight anti-armour missiles, four air-to-air missiles, or four pods loaded with either 70mm or 68mm rockets. The LCH will also have FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared
Forward looking infrared
Forward looking infrared cameras, typically used on military aircraft, use an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.The sensors installed in forward looking infrared cameras, as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras, use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a...

), a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) camera, and a target acquisition system with laser rangefinder and thermal vision.

In 2005, following a crash landing of a Dhruv, the entire fleet was grounded when it was discovered to have been caused by excessive vibration in the area of the tail rotor. Following a redesign of the tail rotor, which incorporated new materials in addition to changes in design methodology, the Dhruv undertook recertification and returned to service shortly after March 2006. In April 2007, a report published by the Indian Committee of Defence noted the Dhruv as one of four "focus areas" identified as having high export potential. In January 2011, HAL and partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that they were jointly developing the Dhruv to operate as an unmanned maritime helicopter, stating customer interest in such a feature.

The first five production Dhruv Mk III, powered by the more powerful Shakti engine, were delivered to the Leh-based 205 Aviation Squadron on 7 February 2011 during a ceremony at HAL's Helicopter Division. In July 2011, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation certified a Dhruv simulator developed by HAL and American developer CAE Inc; the simulator is easily modifiable to simulate different variants of the Dhruv and other helicopters such as the Eurocopter Dauphin
Eurocopter Dauphin
The Eurocopter SA 365/AS365 Dauphin 2 is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter .-Design and development:...

. India’s Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory
Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory
The Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory is an Indian defense laboratory of the Defence Research & Development Organization . Located in Bangalore, its main function is the research and development of technologies and products in the area of Life support, medical and physiological...

 (DEBEL) has been developing an oxygen life-support system to improve helicopter's high-altitude performance, as of August 2010 the IAF has ordered development of this system for the Dhruv.

Design


The HAL Dhruv is of conventional design; about 29 percent of its empty weight (constituting 60 percent of the airframe's surface area) is composite materials. It has been reported that the unique carbon fibre composite developed by HAL reduced the helicopter's weight by 50%. The high tail boom allows easy access to the rear doors. The twin 1000 shp Turbomeca TM333-2B turboshafts are mounted above the cabin and drive a four-blade composite main rotor. The main rotor can be manually folded; the blades are mounted between carbon-fibre-reinforced plates, the rotor head is constructed from fibre elastomers. In February 2004, US helicopter company Lord Corporation
Lord Corporation
LORD Corporation is a privately held company that designs, manufactures and markets devices and systems to manage mechanical motion and control noise and vibration. The company formulates, produces and sells general purpose and specialty adhesives and coatings; and develops products and systems...

 were awarded a contract to develop an active vibration control system (AVCS), which monitors onboard conditions and cancels out fuselage vibrations.

The cockpit section of the fuselage is of Kevlar
Kevlar
Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

 and carbon-fibre construction; it is also fitted with crumple zone
Crumple zone
The crumple zone is a structural feature mainly of automobiles. Crumple zones have also been incorporated into railcars in recent years.They are designed to absorb the energy from the impact during an accident by controlled deformation. This energy is much higher than is commonly recognized...

s and crashworthy
Crashworthiness
Crashworthiness is the ability of a structure to protect its occupants during an impact. This is commonly tested when investigating the safety of aircraft and vehicles. Depending on the nature of the impact and the vehicle involved, different criteria are used to determine the crashworthiness of...

 seats. The aircraft is equipped with a SFIM Inc four-axis automatic flight control system. Avionics systems include a HF/UHF communications radio, IFF
IFF
IFF, Iff or iff may refer to:Technology/Science:* Identification friend or foe, an electronic radio-based identification system using transponders...

 recognition, Doppler navigation, and a radio altimeter; a weather radar and the Omega navigation system were options for the naval variant. IAI has also developed targeting systems and an electronic warfare
Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare refers to any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via the spectrum. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly...

 suite for the Dhruv, as well as avionics for day-and-night flight observation. HAL's claim that the Dhruv is indigenous has been challenged by Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Comptroller and Auditor General of India
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is an authority, established by the Constitution of India, who audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government. The CAG is...

, who reported that as of August 2010 the helicopter was: "...against the envisaged indigenisation level of 50% (by 2008), 90% of the value of material used in each ALH is still imported from foreign suppliers".

In September 2010, it was reported that the Dhruv's Integrated Dynamic System (IDS), which combines several key rotor control functions into a single module carrying the engine's power to the rotors, was suffering from excessive wearing and was necessitating frequent replacement; as a consequence the cruising speed had been restricted to 250 km/h and high-altitude performance was lessened as well. HAL contracted Italian aerospace firm Avio for consultancy purposes, Avio replicated production of the IDS in Italy in order to isolate the problem; the early testing of the Dhruv has been criticised as "rushed". In June 2011 HAL has reported that the issue was now resolved and not present in the Dhruv Mk III, a number of alterations both to the design and production had been made to improve the IDS; a programme of retrofitting the Mk I and Mk II was also completed by June 2011.

Indian service


Deliveries of the Dhruv commenced in January 2002, over nine years after the prototype's first flight, and nearly eighteen years after the program was initiated. The Indian Coast Guard
Indian Coast Guard
The Indian Coast Guard is a branch of the Indian Armed Forces. Its mission is the protection of India's maritime interests and maritime law enforcement with jurisdiction over both territorial and international waters....

 was the first service to operate the Dhruv. This was followed by the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

, Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

, Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

 and the Border Security Force
Border Security Force
The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

. 75 Dhruvs were delivered to the Indian armed forces by 2007, as of 2008 it is planned to produce 40 helicopters annually. The Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

's Sarang aerobatic display team performs using 4 Dhruv helicopters. In 2007, a further order for 166 helicopters were placed with HAL by the Indian Army. India may order up to 12 ambulance variant Dhruvs, outfitted with an onboard emergence medical suite, to be used by the Armed Forces Medical Services for MEDEVAC
MEDEVAC
Medical evacuation, often termed Medevac or Medivac, is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to the wounded being evacuated from the battlefield or to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities using...

 purposes.

The Dhruv is required to fly at high altitudes, a crucial requirement for the Army to operate around the Siachen Glacier
Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains at about , just east of the Line of Control between India-Pakistan. India controls all of the Siachen Glacier itself, including all tributary glaciers. At long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and...

 and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 region. In September 2007, the Dhruv Mk.3 was cleared for high-altitude flying in the Siachen Sector after six months of trials. In October 2007, a Dhruv Mk.3 flew to an altitude of 27500 feet (8,382 m) ASL in Siachen; two years earlier a HAL Cheetal (the HAL Cheetah powered by the Shakti engine) had set a world altitude record, landing at 25150 feet (7,665.7 m) on Sasar Kangi peak in Siachen. An Indian Army report in 2009 criticised the performance of the Dhruv, stating: "The ALH was not able to fly above 5,000m, though the army's requirements stipulated an ability to fly up to 6,500m"; this has been blamed on the TM333 engine, the Army had to continue relying on the older Cheetah/Cheetal helicopters to meet the shortfall. The more powerful Shakti engine has since been introduced on the Dhruv Mk.3, on one test it carried 600 kg load to Sonam Post against the Army's target of 200kg. The first batch of Dhruv Mk.3's was received by the Indian Army during Aero India
Aero India
Aero India is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held in Bangalore, India at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. It is organized by Defence Exhibition Organisation, the Ministry of Defence and is held in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation , the Indian Air Force...

 2011.

In October 2008, Defence Minister A. K. Antony
A. K. Antony
Arackaparambil Kurien Antony is an Indian National Congress politician, a former Chief Minister of Kerala, and the current Defence Minister of India....

 announced that the Indian Navy will deploy the Dhruv in the utility role. The proposed anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant will not be pursued as it was deemed unsuited to the Navy's requirements, the Navy has been dissatified by the Dhruv's folding blade performance and its maintenance record. The Navy has considered using the Dhruv for maritime survellance and search and rescue roles; however in 2008 a senior Navy official said: "The ALH has a long way to go before the programme matures sufficiently for it to undertake basic naval roles such as search and rescue (SAR) and communication duties." In 2007, the Navy issued a request for information (RPI) to manufacturers such as HAL, Eurocopter, and Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 for a new main helicopter for ASW and other operations; HAL has considered developing a new 10-12 ton indigenous ASW helicopter.

HAL also produces a civilian variant of the Dhruv for transport, rescue, policing, offshore operations and air-ambulance role, among others. The National Disaster Management Authority
National Disaster Management Authority
The National Disaster Management Authority , headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the Apex Body for Disaster Management in India. The setting up of the NDMA and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is mandated by the Disaster...

 (NDMA) has placed an order for 12 Dhruv helicopters, to feature a full medical suite, including ventilators and two stretchers. In April 2008, HAL chairman Ashok Baweja confirmed that India's Home Ministry
Ministry of Home Affairs (India)
Ministry of Home Affairs , known as the Home Ministry or MHA, is an Indian government ministry. It is an interior ministry mainly responsible for the maintenance of Internal security and domestic policy.-Ministerial Team:...

 had "placed an order for six ALHs" The Geological Survey of India
Geological Survey of India
Geological Survey of India , established in 1851 is a government organization in India which is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines of Union Government of India for conducting geological surveys and studies. It is one of the oldest of such organizations in the world and the second oldest...

 (GSI) wants one Dhruv, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited is an Indian state-owned oil and gas company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It is one of the largest Asia-based oil and gas exploration and production companies, and produces around 77% of India's total crude oil production and around 81% of...

 will use the Dhruv for offshore operations; and several Indian state governments plan to purchase for police and transportation duties. In March 2011, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation released a proposed airworthiness directive asking all civilian operators of the Dhruv to temporarily ground their aircraft due to cracks that could form in the tail area, and recommended the reinforcement of affected areas.

Four Dhruv helicopters conducted rescue operations following the 2011 Sikkim earthquake
2011 Sikkim earthquake
The 2011 Sikkim earthquake , also known as the 2011 Himalayan earthquake , was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake centered within the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, near the border of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim, at 18:10 IST on Sunday, 18 September 2011...

. In October 2011, Jharkhand's regional government issued an urgent appeal for Mil Mi-17
Mil Mi-17
The Mil Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude...

 helicopters, as operations of their Dhruvs had been disrupted by prolonged maintainance delays and a major crash.

Overview


The Dhruv has become the first major Indian weapons system to have secured large foreign sales. In 2004 HAL stated that it hoped to sell 120 Dhruvs over the next eight years, and has been displaying the Dhruv at airshows, including Farnborough and Paris
Paris Air Show
The Paris Air Show is the world's oldest and largest air show. Established in 1909, it is currently held every odd year at Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France...

 in order to market the Dhruv. HAL has entered into a partnership with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) to develop and promote the Dhruv, IAI has also helped develop new avionics and a glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

 for newer variants of the Dhruv.

With a unit price at least 15% less than its rivals, Dhruv has elicited interest in many countries, mostly from Latin America, Africa, West Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific Rim nations. Air forces from around 35 countries have sent in their inquiries, along with requests for demonstrations. Flight certification for Europe and North America has also been planned in order to tap the large civilian market there.

Asia


The first foreign orders for the Dhruv were placed by Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 in early 2004, for 2 Dhruvs. The Dhruv has also been offered to Malaysia, Indonesia is also evaluating Dhruv for the Indonesian Army.

In 2007, India was reported as planning to transfer several Dhruvs to Burma, prompting protests from Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, who pointed to the use of components sourced from European suppliers as a possible violation of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) Arms Embargo of Burma. In a letter to the President of the EU Council of Ministers, Amnesty stated that it had evidence that India planned to transfer two Dhruvs with European components to Burma. These reports have been denied by the Indian Government.

South America


HAL also secured an order from the Ecuadorian Air Force
Ecuadorian Air Force
The Ecuadorian Air Force is the Air arm of the Military of Ecuador and responsible for the protection of the Ecuadorian airspace.-Mission:To develop the military air wing, in order to execute institutional objectives which guarantee sovereignty and contribute towards the nation's security and...

 (EAF) for 7 Dhruvs. HAL won the order amidst strong competition from Elbit, Eurocopter and Kazan. HAL's offer of 50.7 million for seven helicopters was about 32% lower than the second lowest bid from Elbit. 5 helicopters were delivered in February 2009, during Aero India 2009. Both the Ecuadorian Army
Ecuadorian Army
The Ecuadorian Army is the land component of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. Its 24,135 soldiers are sensibly deployed in relation to its military doctrine...

 and Ecuadorian Navy
Ecuadorian Navy
The Ecuadorian Navy is responsible for the surveillance and protection of national maritime territory and has a personnel of 7,258 men to protect a coastline of 2,237 km which reaches far into the Pacific Ocean...

 have since expressed interest in the Dhruvs. The Dhruv has been involved in search and rescue, transport, and MEDIVAC missions in the north of the country.

Following the crash of one of the Dhruv helicopters during a ceremony in October 2009, it was reported that Ecuador considered sending their six helicopters back to HAL amid claims that the aircraft were unfit for service; EAF commander Rodrigo Bohorquez stated "If it is a major problem that can't be easily remedied, we would have to return [the Dhruv]." HAL assisted in the investigation into the crash, which later found the cause to be pilot error. In February 2011, it was reported that the EAF were satisfied with the Dhruv's performance and were considering further orders. In July 2011, it was reported that Ecuador has had issues with the Dhruv's maintenance, such as a "poor after sales service, expensive spares and... over-invoicing"; the authenticity of these reports has been challenged by HAL and the EAF.

Dhruv also participated in a Chilean tender for eight to ten 5.5 tonne, twin-engined helicopter, but lost to the Bell 412
Bell 412
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212 model, the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor.-Design and development:...

, there has been media accusations of unfair pressure being exercised by the US Government to favour Bell. The Dhruv had conducted a series of evaluation flights to demonstrate criteria such as long distance flight, avionics capabilities, vertical climb and maneuvering capabilities, and the helicopter's ability to cope with various weather conditions.

HAL is negotiating with Bolivia for a potential five Dhruvs; and with Venezuela for seven. In June 2008, the government of Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 ordered two air ambulance
Air ambulance
An air ambulance is an aircraft used for emergency medical assistance in situations where either a traditional ambulance cannot reach the scene easily or quickly enough, or the patient needs to be transported over a distance or terrain that makes air transportation the most practical transport....

 Dhruvs for use by the Peruvian health services.

Others


A civilian Dhruv was leased to the Israeli Defense Ministry in 2004, IAI has also made use of the Defense Ministry's Dhruv for marketing and public relations purposes. Indian diplomats tried to encourage Israel to purchase the Dhruv, but were unsuccessful. In July 2006, Air Force Commander of India Shashindra Pal Tyagi
Shashindra Pal Tyagi
Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi , more commonly known as S P Tyagi, is the former Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. Prior to becoming chief of Indian Air Force, he was commanding the Western Air Command of the Air Force. He was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF on...

 commented that India was ready to buy as many as 80 Mi-17
Mil Mi-17
The Mil Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude...

 transport helicopters if Russia were to purchase a large batch of Dhruv helicopters in exchange.

In April 2010, the Indian Navy gifted a Dhruv to the Maldives National Defence Force
Maldives National Defence Force
The Maldives National Defence Force is the combined security organisation responsible for defending the security and sovereignty of the Maldives, having the primary task of being responsible for attending to all internal and external security needs of the Maldives, including the protection of the...

 for conducting search and rescue operations. On 10 August 2008, HAL's chairman confirmed a deal had been finalized with Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 to supply 3 Dhruvs for 20 million; Turkey is planning to buy as many as 17 helicopters in medical assistance role.

Variants


Mk.1: Initial configuration with a conventional cockpit with mechanical gauges and Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 turboshaft engines. A total of 56 delivered to the Indian military.
Mk.2: Similar to the Mk.1, except has the newer HAL-IAI glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

. A total of 20 delivered to the Indian military.
Mk.3: The Mk.3 variant is substantially different to early Dhruvs. Fitted with Shakti engines, a new electronic warfare (EW) suite and warning systems, automatic chaff and flare dispensers, and an improved vibration control system.
Dhruv-WSI (Weapons system Integrated):Also designated HAL Rudra
Mk.3: Dhruv-WSI with EW, countermeasures, and targeting systems installed, but without weapons capabilities.
Mk.4: Dhruv-WSI with turret gun, rockets, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles weapon systems installed.

Military operators


  • Indian Army Aviation Corps
    Army Aviation Corps (India)
    The Army Aviation Corps is a component of the Indian Army formed on 2 November 1987. The Army aviation has 365+ helicopter and UAV flights operated by 10 squadrons...

     (~40)
  • Indian Air Force
    Indian Air Force
    The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

     (~35)
  • Indian Navy
    Indian Navy
    The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

     (8)
  • Indian Coast Guard
    Indian Coast Guard
    The Indian Coast Guard is a branch of the Indian Armed Forces. Its mission is the protection of India's maritime interests and maritime law enforcement with jurisdiction over both territorial and international waters....

     (9)
  • Border Security Force
    Border Security Force
    The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

     (8 on order)


  • Ministry of Defense
    Ministry of Defense (Israel)
    The Ministry of Defence of the government of Israel, is the governmental department responsible for defending the State of Israel from internal and external military threats...

     (1)

  • Nepalese Army Air Service
    Nepalese Army Air Service
    Nepal has no separate Air Force but flies several aircraft within Nepalese Army Service, also known as the Nepal Army Air Wing. It was formed in 1960s, but finally became an air force unit in 1979. It is now again a part of the Army and has very limited combat capabilities. The main objective of...

     (4)

  • Bolivian Air Force
    Military of Bolivia
    - Army :The Bolivian Army has around 55,500 men. There are six military regions in the army. The Army is organized into ten divisions...

     (1 + 2 on order)

  • Ecuadorian Air Force
    Ecuadorian Air Force
    The Ecuadorian Air Force is the Air arm of the Military of Ecuador and responsible for the protection of the Ecuadorian airspace.-Mission:To develop the military air wing, in order to execute institutional objectives which guarantee sovereignty and contribute towards the nation's security and...

     (7)

  • Surinamese National Army
    Military of Suriname
    After the creation of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Army was entrusted with the defence of Suriname, while the defence of the Netherlands Antilles was the responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The army set up a separate Troepenmacht in Suriname...

     (3 on order)


  • Mauritius Police Force

  • National Defence Force
    Maldives National Defence Force
    The Maldives National Defence Force is the combined security organisation responsible for defending the security and sovereignty of the Maldives, having the primary task of being responsible for attending to all internal and external security needs of the Maldives, including the protection of the...


Civil operators


  • Ministry Of Home Affairs
    Ministry of Home Affairs (India)
    Ministry of Home Affairs , known as the Home Ministry or MHA, is an Indian government ministry. It is an interior ministry mainly responsible for the maintenance of Internal security and domestic policy.-Ministerial Team:...

     - (6)
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
    Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
    The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited is an Indian state-owned oil and gas company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It is one of the largest Asia-based oil and gas exploration and production companies, and produces around 77% of India's total crude oil production and around 81% of...

     (ONGC) (3)
  • Chhattisgarh
    Chhattisgarh
    Chhattisgarh is a state in Central India, formed when the 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking South-Eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh gained separate statehood on 1 November 2000....

     State Government
  • Jharkhand
    Jharkhand
    Jharkhand is a state in eastern India. It was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on 15 November 2000. Jharkhand shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the west, Orissa to the south, and West Bengal to the east...

     State Government for VIP transportation and Police (2)
  • Karnataka
    Karnataka
    Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

     State Government for VIP transportation (1)
  • Geological Survey of India
    Geological Survey of India
    Geological Survey of India , established in 1851 is a government organization in India which is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines of Union Government of India for conducting geological surveys and studies. It is one of the oldest of such organizations in the world and the second oldest...

     (GSI) (1 on order)
  • National Disaster Management Authority
    National Disaster Management Authority
    The National Disaster Management Authority , headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the Apex Body for Disaster Management in India. The setting up of the NDMA and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is mandated by the Disaster...

     (NDMA) (12 on order)

  • Turkish health services (3)

  • Peruvian health services (2 on order)

Incidents and accidents

  • In November 2005, a Dhruv a crash-landed in Andhra Pradesh, causing the entire fleet to be grounded; the subsequent probe found a fault with the helicopter's tail rotor blades, which has since been corrected.

  • On 2 February 2007, during rehearsals prior to Aero India
    Aero India
    Aero India is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held in Bangalore, India at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. It is organized by Defence Exhibition Organisation, the Ministry of Defence and is held in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation , the Indian Air Force...

    , a HAL Dhruv of the Sarang helicopter display team of the Indian Air Force
    Indian Air Force
    The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

     crashed, killing co-pilot Squadron Leader Priye Sharma and wounding the pilot Wing Commander Vikas Jetley; Vikas Jetley died in January 2011 after being in a coma for over 3 years. It was concluded that the accident was caused by pilot error. The helicopter team continued to perform in the air show.

  • In October 2009, a Dhruv helicopter of the Ecuadorian Air Force flew into terrain while attempting to fly in formation with two other helicopters close to an air force base near Quito. Air Force General Leonardo Barreiro told reporters that the helicopter had been destroyed in the crash. The remaining six aircraft were grounded during the investigation, which later concluded pilot error to be the cause.

  • In February 2010, a Dhruv helicopter team of the Indian Air Force was forced to make a crash landing while rehearsing for the "Vayu Shakti" air power show. An IAF official was quoted as stating "Both pilots are safe after they had to make a controlled crash-landing due to loss of power in the chopper".

  • On 21 April 2011, four army personnel were killed in a Dhruv helicopter crash in north Sikkim.

  • On 19 October 2011, a Dhruv operated by India's Border Security Force
    Border Security Force
    The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

     (BSF) crashed in north-east India, resulting in the deaths of the three crew onboard. Immediately following the crash, the remaining five Dhruvs of the CRPF were grounded.

Specifications (Dhruv)



See also


External links