Govt to buy 34 advanced light choppers from Hindustan Aeronautics for ₹8,073 crore

  • Out of the 34 Dhruv Mk III helicopters, the Indian Army will get 25 and the Coast Guard will get the remaining nine

Livemint
First Published13 Mar 2024
The two procurement projects were cleared by the cabinet committee on security (CCS) last week. Reuters
The two procurement projects were cleared by the cabinet committee on security (CCS) last week. Reuters

The Union ministry of defence on Wednesday signed a contract worth 8,073 crore with state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to acquire 34 indigenous advanced light helicopters for the Indian Army and the Coast Guard.

Out of the 34 Dhruv Mk III helicopters, the Indian Army will get 25 and the Coast Guard will get the remaining nine.

The ALH (advanced light helicopter) Dhruv Mk III UT (Utility) -- the Indian Army version -- is designed for search & rescue, troop transportation, internal cargo, recce/ casualty evacuation etc. It has proved its performance in high-altitude regions like Siachen Glacier and Ladakh, said the ministry in a statement.

“Consequent upon approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the Ministry of Defence signed two contracts for a combined value of 8073.17 crore with the HAL on March 13 for acquisition of 34 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III along with operational role equipment for Indian Army (25 ALHs) and Indian Coast Guard (09 ALHs) under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category,” the defence ministry said.

The two procurement projects were cleared by the cabinet committee on security (CCS) last week.

According to the defence ministry, ALH Mk III MR (Maritime Role) -- the Coast Guard version – is designed for maritime surveillance and interdiction, search and rescue, rappelling operations, cargo and personnel transportation, pollution response using external cargo-carrying capability and medical casualty evacuation.

It has proved its mettle even in adverse atmospheric conditions over sea and land.

“The project will generate employment of an estimated 190 Lakh man-hours during its duration. It will also entail supply of equipment from more than 200 MSMEs and 70 local vendors will be involved in the indigenisation process which is likely to have a positive impact on employment generation in this sector,” the defence ministry said.

It described the procurement under the Indian-IDDM (indigenously designed, developed and manufactured) category as a significant move towards indigenisation in defence manufacturing.

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