India delivers Dhruv chopper to Maldives

Bangalore, Dec 14 : State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Saturday handed over its flagship product Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv to Maldives for induction into its defence forces.

Maldivian Defence and National Security Minister Mohamed Nazim received the all-weather chopper from HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi in the presence of Southern Naval Command's Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Satish Soni at the Kochi naval base in coastal Kerala.

"The ALH will be in Male in January as a made-in-India product with proven track record in both military and civil operations," Tyagi said on the occasion.

HAL has positioned a technical support team in Male to provide maintenance and logistical support.

Dhruv will be operated in Maldives for surveillance, medical evacuation, in assisting civil administration, training and rescue operations.

As the multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter is in the 5.5-tonne weight class, Dhruv meets the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) specifications.

It has also demonstrated its capability in long distance flights, vertical climb and manoeuvring.

The Bangalore-based HAL exported Dhruv to Ecuador, Mauritius and Nepal. Ecuador Air Force operates six Dhruv helicopters and that country's president chooses to fly in one of them.

Currently, 130 Dhruv helicopters are serving in India as part of operations undertaken by the air force, army, navy, Coast Guard, Border Security Force and state governments, since 2002.

HAL also built 12 civil variants of Dhruv for its other customers.

--IANS (Posted on 14-12-2013)

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