The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics will transfer the technology of its advanced light helicopter Dhruv to a domestic defense manufacturer for commercial production.
HAL is in the process of identifying a private entity with whom it will share the technology for the production of twin-engine combat helicopter in India, unnamed official sources were quoted as saying by PTI Sunday.
The private entity will have the option of selling the choppers or through HAL.
HAL will for the first time share technology with a private entity for the mass production of a military platform. It was not immediately known how much it would charge for the technology transfer.
The decision to go ahead with this was in line with the government’s initiative to promote the domestic defence industry, officials said.
The indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-new generation helicopter in the 5.5-tonne weight class.
By March 2017, HAL had produced 228 Helicopters, including 216 for the Indian Armed Forces.
At present, it is executing an order for another 159 choppers for the Army and the Air Force.
Dhruv has also been supplied to Nepal, Mauritius and the Maldives.
The sources said a number of defence manufacturers have shown an interest in acquiring the technology for the Dhruv helicopter.
In September, HAL had signed a Rs 6,100-crore ($947 million) contract for the supply of 41 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) to the Indian Army while in March, the state-run entity inked a contract for supplying 32 ALH to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
The officials said HAL had enhanced its production facilities to speed up the manufacturing of helicopters and the Tejas light combat aircraft. They said HAL had finalised a plan to manufacture nearly 1,000 military helicopters and over 100 planes, in tune with the governments focus on speeding up defence indigenisation.
The Indian Army is preparing to deploy a squadron of Dhruv advanced light helicopters equipped with weapons in the northeast border that it shares with China. There are four weapon stations on the helicopter with a turret gun in its nose area
India is in discussions with Sri Lanka and several Southeast Asian nations for the supply of Dhruv indigenously developed advanced light helicopter (ALH). The delivery of defence equipment and providing assistance in setting up domestic manufacturing capability have become a part of efforts to enhance defence cooperation and boost exports with friendly countries, Apart from queries, "there is talk with Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka for ALH,” T
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