Equador Grounds Indian-made Dhruv Choppers, Cancels Support Contract
11:32 AM, October 16, 2015
Ecuadorian Dhruv Chopper Crashes On Jan 13
Ecuador has unilaterally ended Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALU) contract with Indias Hindustan Aeronautics after four of its seven choppers crashed.
HAL supplied seven Dhruvs between 2009 and 2012.
Two of the helicopters that crashed are attributed to mechanical problems and getting components for the choppers from India has proved to be problematic, AP reported Thursday.
The other two crashes are linked to pilot errors. One of these helicopters was assigned to transport the Ecuadorian President. He was not on board when the helicopter crashed.
HAL is still to receive an official word on cancellation of the contract, NDTV quoted unnamed HAL officials as saying.
The officials said that all spare components have been provided on time and they had not been provided with any investigation reports indicating mechanical failures on the helicopters.
HAL had provided fround support for the choppers in Ecuador. The officials said that the two choppers that crashed allegedly because of the mechanical defects went down only after the ground support period with Ecuador had ended.
More than 200 Dhruv choppers are in service with the Indian Armed Forces and are capable of high altitude operations. They have been used in rescue operations in Uttarkhand during Kedarnath floods.
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Ecuador will sell the three remaining three Dhruv utility helicopters it bought from Indias Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) it purchased between 2009 and 2012.
Ecuador's Defence Minister Ricardo Patino announced the decision on October 20, IHS Jane's...
Since 2002, 14 military and 2 civil Indian home-grown Dhruv helicopters have been involved in accidents, out of which 11 occurred in India and 5 abroad.
Out of 16 accidents, 12 occurred due to human error...