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HAL chopper undergoes ship-borne trials off Chennai coast

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Bengaluru, April 29 (IANS) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), demonstrated deck operations in ship-borne trials off Chennai coast in collaboration with the Indian Coast Guard, the aerospace major said on Thursday.

“The operational capabilities included landing on dock, folding of blades and storing the helicopter in the onboard hangar,” the city-based defence behemoth said in a statement here.

The statement added that the Dhruv Mk III MR is equipped with 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 outside threats.

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“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 said.

HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) R. Madhavan said that these trials have proven the capability of ALH Dhruv to carry out extended operations from ships.

“With the successful demonstration of these capabilities like blade folding and storage, the helicopter is now ready to be fielded for operations,” he said, adding that some of the missions that were successfully executed included surveillance, search and rescue, and anti-pollution to address oil spillage.

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The statement added that the recently concluded ship-borne trials off Chennai coast in collaboration with the Indian Coast Guard also covered maintenance activities inside the hangar and on the deck, and hot refuelling with engines running on the deck.

The helicopter is equipped with Shakti engines and an advanced glass cockpit.

HAL had recently delivered ALH Dhruv Mk III MR to the Indian Coast Guard as part of its 16 ALH contract.

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According to the HAL website, the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is indigenously designed and developed. This helicopter is a twin engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class. The basic helicopter is produced in skid version and wheeled version.

Dhruv is “type-certified” for military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC) and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

–IANS

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