HAL Dhruv – Light utility helicopter
In generally it is a low-cost and high-performance helicopter. The Dhruv is suitable for utility and ground attack roles.
The Dhruv (Pole Star) light utility helicopter was developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is a multi-role and multi-mission helicopter, intended for both military and civil operators. Development program was originally called as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). Development began in 1984, however the progress was slow. First prototype made its maiden flight in 1992.
Because of delays, constructional issues, lack of funding and political reasons, production of the Dhruv began only in 2000. By 2007 a total of 75 helicopters were delivered to Indian armed forces. Estimated Indian requirement included 120 helicopters for the army, 120 for the navy and 60 for the air force. Current military operators of the HAL Dhruv are India, Bolivia, Burma, Israel, Maldives and Nepal. It is also being considered by Chile and Peru. By 2020 a total of 300 units were built.
Helicopters supplied to Indian army are fitted with stub wings to carry up to eight anti-tank ᴍɪssɪʟᴇ, four air-to-air ᴍɪssɪes and four ʀocκᴇт pods for 68 mm or 70 mm unoperated ʀocκᴇтs. Naval variant of the Dhruv can carry four anti-ship ᴍɪssɪʟᴇs or two тoʀᴘᴇᴅoᴇs.
Some helicopters are completed with a ԍuɴ тuʀʀᴇт, fitted with the M621 20 mm cᴀɴɴoɴ. The WSI or wᴇᴀᴘoɴ System Integrated versions of the Indian army will be fitted with the Nag anti-tank ᴍɪssɪʟᴇs. These ᴍɪssɪʟᴇs are currently under development. The Nag has imaging ιɴғʀᴀʀᴇᴅ guidance and a range of 4 km.
Cabin of the HAL Dhruv can accommodate 12-14 troops. In the air ambulance configuration it can carry four stretchers and two medical attendants.
Countermeasures of the Dhruv can include radar and ᴍɪssɪʟᴇ detectors, infrared jammer, cнᴀғғ ᴀɴᴅ ғʟᴀʀᴇ ᴅιsᴘᴇɴsᴇʀs.