What is Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)?

Advanced Light Helicopter

What is Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)?
What is Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)?
Advanced Light Helicopter or ALH-DHRUV is an indigenously developed utility aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a twin-engine. It has a multi-role, multi-mission dimension to it.  
 
Even though its development was started in 1984, and was initially designed with Germany's assistance Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB), the helicopter was first flown in 1992 but entered service after certification in 2002.

According to HAL, the aircraft is “type –Certified” for military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The major variants of Dhruv are classified as Dhruv Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III & Mk-IV.
 

HISTORY

The ALH programme for a 5-tonne multi-role helicopter began in 1979 by the Indian Air Force and Indian Naval Air arm and in 1984, the contract was given to HAL. For its design, MBB was roped in.
 
It was originally scheduled to fly in 1989 but the prototype was flown in 1992 in Bengaluru, followed by a second prototype in 1993. The issues regarding development started to rise post this period due to military demands and economic crises.
 
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. The delay got further when sanctions were implemented against India following a number of Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. Later, both military and civilian variants entered the space in 2002 and 2004, respectively.
 
As of 2020, over 300 HAL Dhruvs have been produced for domestic and export markets. Further, HAL has bagged orders for 73 ALH in 2017 from the Indian Army, Coast Guard, and Navy for ALH Mk-III & Mk-IV variants. It has also been supplied to Nepal Army, Mauritius Police, and the Maldives.
 

ROLE OF ALH

1. Commuter role
2. VIP travel
3. Causality evacuation
4. Underslung load
5. Rapid deployment of forces
6. Logistic support
7. Search and rescue
8. Training purpose
 

FEATURES

1.Composite interchangeable main rotor blades
2. Composite tail rotor blades
3. Composite airframe
4.Glass cockpit
5. Chaff and flare dispenser
6.Helmet Pointing System
7.Health and usage monitoring system
8.Video recording system
9.VOR/ILS/DME
10.EO Pod with FLIR, LRF and LP
11.IR suppressor
12. FADEC
13. Integrated self-protection suite
14. Digital moving map
15. On-board inert gas generation system
 

WEAPON FITMENT

1. 20 mm Turret Gun
2. 70 mm Rocket
3. Air to Air Missile  

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