Make in India for Defence just got a Rs 6100 crore booster shot. Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract for the supply of Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) to the Indian Army and Indian Navy. While Indian Army will get 40 helicopters, the Indian Navy will get one. The contract for supply of 41 ALHs amounting to around Rs 6,100 crore will be executed over a period of 60 months, says HAL. We take a look at some interesting features of the ALH and why they will be an important addition for the security forces.
Out of the 40 helicopters for the Indian Army, as many as 18 will be in the weaponised configuration, sources tell FE Online. In 2013, HAL had handed over the first weaponised ALH – the Rudra – to the Indian Army. (In pic: Rudra helicopter).
The Rudra comes equipped with turret gun, rockets, air-to-air missiles, Electro-optical pod, Helmet pointing system and Radar/Laser/Missile Warning Systems.
HAL’s ALH is a multi-role, next-generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class. It has been both designed and developed indigenously.
According to HAL, its ALH is “suited for high speed cruise for rapid deployment and to maximize the area of operations”. The ALH is also suitable for increased payload at higher altitudes.
The helicopter has been certified for military operations by Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification. It is also certified for civil operations by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This contract adds to another one that was signed in March 2017 for the supply of 32 ALH to boost maritime security capabilities of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.