Helicopter Dhruv clocks 1,00,000 flying hours
Bangalore: The country`s first indigenous chopper, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Dhruv), designed, developed, produced and maintained by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to meet the requirement of military and civil operators, Wednsday achieved a new milestone of clocking one lakh cumulative flying hours.
The landmark has been achieved in the early hours today with the flying of helicopter IA 3104 of 301 Army Aviation Squadron (Spl Ops).
"It is a proud moment for us that Dhruv has proved its mettle over the years. India is the sixth nation in the world to have the capability to develop helicopters of this class. Dhruv has been exported to Ecuador, Mauritius, Nepal and Maldives," said HAL Chairman R K Tyagi.
One lakh hours flown by the machine is an awesome feat to achieve. It is a dream machine for any pilot, said Lt Col Kapil Agarwal who completed the landmark flying hours.
ALH is being operated by Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian Navy, Coast Guard, BSF and state governments since 2002, said an HAL statement.
Currently, more than 132 Dhruv helicopters are serving the Indian Defence Forces. HAL has also built 12 civil variant Dhruv helicopters and they are being used by its customers. The Ecuador Air Force operates six Dhruv helicopters with their President choosing to fly in them.
According to Bangalore-headquartered HAL, Dhruv is extremely useful to the Indian defence forces in meeting the arduous tasks in difficult terrains of Himalayas like Siachen Glacier and Kashmir.
ALH played a key role in rescue operations during tsunami (2004), flash floods at Leh (2010), earth quake at Sikkim (2011) and the biggest ever helicopter based rescue operation undertaken by Indian defence forces in flood and rain-hit areas of Uttarakhand recently, the defence PSU said.
ALH Dhruv is an all weather helicopter which can carry 10-16 people at heights of 10,000 feet. It is a multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class and meets Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) specifications, the company said.
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