New Delhi: Indian Army on Friday officially received the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III during the Aero India 2019 at the Yelahanka Air Force base in Bengaluru. Director General of Army Aviation Lieutenant General Kanwal Kumar accepted the documents on behalf of the force.
The 5.5-tonne ALH Mk III is powered by two Shakti 1H1 engines (1032kW each) which allows the helicopter to operate at an altitude of up to 6,000 metres (20,000 feet). The basic role of ALH Mk III will be to transport soldiers and equipment to high-altitude areas as well as help in relief and rescue operations.
The ALH Mk III can carry 14 fully armed and equipped soldiers for rapid deployment. Basically built for utility roles of defence forces for high altitude operations, the ALH Mk III comes equipped with Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS) with Digital Moving Map.
The IADS helps optimise LAH's operational performance as it provides the pilot with the easy and logical operation of the helicopter and it's systems, thus maximising mission performance effectiveness. The helicopter also has Electronic Warfare Suite, Electro-Optical pod, Counter Measure Dispensing system, Infra Red Suppressor, Health & Usage Monitoring system, Solid State Digital Video Recorder (SSDVR) and Engine Particle Separator.
The Counter Measure Dispensing system protects the ALH Mk III from incoming radar and infrared homing missiles.
The armed ALH Mk IV, also known as Rudra, will join the Army and the Indian Air Force later. The 5.8 tonnes Rudra is powered by two Shakti engines and its primary role will be as an anti-tank weapon, scout, aerial fire support to the soldiers on the ground, armed reconnaissance and surveillance, escort and as an Electronic Warfare platform.
HAL has awarded Thales a contract to supply 135 2.75-inch (70-mm) rocket launchers for Rudra. A total of 18 ALH Mk IV Rudra and 15 Light Combat Helicopters will each be equipped with four 2.75-inch (70-mm) 12-tube rocket launchers.