HAL Signs Contract to Export ALH Helicopter to Mauritius

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Indian state-run firm Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has signed contracts to export its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv aircraft to Mauritius.

“In-line with the government’s vision to boost defense exports, HAL signed a contract with Mauritius for export of one Advanced Light Helicopter,” the company posted on its official Twitter account on January 19. The tweet did not specify the value of the contract or the number of helicopters being exported to Port Louis.

According to HAL’s website, India had earlier supplied a Dhruv ALH to the Mauritius Police. Last year, India offered $100 million loan to Mauritius for defense acquisition. Deals were also signed to lease out a Dornier aircraft and an ALH.

The indigenously designed and developed ALH Dhruv is a twin engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 ton weight class. The basic helicopter is produced in skid version and wheeled version. Certification of the utility military variant was completed in 2002 and that of the civil variant was completed in 2004. The deliveries of production series helicopters commenced from 2001-02 onwards. A total of 228 Helicopters have been produced by March 2017 including 216 for the Indian Armed Forces.

More than 200 Dhruvs are operating with Indian military. HAL has obtained orders for 73 ALH in 2017 from Army, Coast Guard and Navy for ALH Mk-III & Mk-IV variants.

Among other tasks, the helicopters will be mainly used for maritime reconnaissance, coastal surveillance, and search-and-rescue operations. ALH MK III is also fitted with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions. A removable medical intensive care unit (ICU) is also fitted on ALH MK III helicopters to airlift critically ill patients.