The first green helicopter had a successful maiden ground run recently.
The first green helicopter (ALH Mk-III) earmarked for Indian Coast Guard has completed its fitting at state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, with installation of basic systems and a successful maiden ground run recently. ‘Green’ in technical term as it is a basic helicopter, the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) ‘Dhruv’ is a veritable tour de force of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). It has now been handed over to the Rotary Wing Research & Development Centre (RWR&DC), a design house of HAL for integration and certification of 19 new systems. These new systems include 12.7mm Cabin Mounted Gun, Surveillance Radar, SAR Homer, Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), Loud Hailer, Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Automatic Deployable Emergency and Locator Transmitter (ADELT).
Since its induction in 2002, the four versatile Dhruv helicopters have been extensively deployed by ICG for various roles such as search and rescue (SAR), casualty evacuation, armed patrol, coastal surveillance, VIP movement and night SAR and have proved their mettle in critical missions.
To further boost their Low Intensity Maritime Operations (LIMO) and Coast Security capabilities, the ICG signed a contract in March 2017 for supply of 16 ALHs (Fixed Wheel) in a five-year time frame.
Director General Rajendra Singh, Indian Coast Guard, received the contract documents from T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL during the event held to mark the occasion.
According to Raju, for the first time, HAL has entered into a contract with ICG that includes Performance Based Logistics (PBL) support after the delivery of helicopters for five years worth `2,244 crore. PBL is the purchase of logistics support as an integrated, affordable, performance package designed to optimise system readiness and meet performance goals for the product through long-term support arrangements with clear lines of authority and responsibility. PBL is emerging as a preferred acquisition strategy for defence acquisition and asset management, as it ensures the product uptime availability to the customer, while the responsibility gets transferred to the supplier.
The certified helicopter deliveries are scheduled to commence from 2020 onwards. This contract gives a boost to the government’s Make-in-India initiative while reaffirming ALH Dhruv’s significant role in helping the ICG ensure safer lives, safer coastlines and safer seas.