WATCH: India’s Homegrown Dhruv Helicopter Successfully Performs Maritime Missions

India’s homegrown Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mk III MR has reportedly completed its deck operations in the ship-borne trials that took place off the Chennai coast.

According to reports, Dhruv Mk III MR has successfully demonstrated on-deck landing, folding of blades and storing the helicopter inside the onboard hanger. The trials also covered maintenance activities inside the hangar and on the deck, hot refueling with engines running on the deck.

Developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned aerospace and defense company, Dhruv Mk III MR was delivered to the Indian Coast Guard as part of its 16 ALH contract.

According to a statement by HAL CMD, R. Madhavan, “These trials have proven the capability of ALH Dhruv to carry out extended operations from ships. Some of the missions that were successfully executed were surveillance, search and rescue, antipollution to address oil spillage, etc. and that “with the successful demonstration of these capabilities like blade folding, stowage, the helicopter is now ready to be fielded for operations.”

The indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv is a twin-engine, multi-mission, multi-role new generation helicopter in the 5.5 ton-weight class. The helicopter is equipped with the “most modern” and reliable Shakti engines and an advanced glass cockpit.

It can be used for various purposes such as passenger/commuter role, VIP travel, casualty evacuation, under-slung load, rapid deployment of forces, logistical air support, search and rescue and training.

A variant of Dhruv, ALH Mk III, is equipped with an Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) with digital moving map, electronic warfare suite, electro-optical pod, infra-red suppressor, health and usage monitoring system, countermeasure dispensing system and Solid State Digital Video Recorder (SSDVR) giving it advanced utility roles of Defence Services suited for high altitude operations.

It has a maximum take-off weight of 5500 kg and a range of 630 km.

“Dhruv Mk III MR is equipped with the most 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, ALH Dhruv will boost the capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard”, the statement by HAL added.