Israeli avionics for India's Dhruv
By Craig Hoyle, Craig Hoyle, JDW Aviation Editor, Paris 6/19/03
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has announced the signature of a
partnering agreement with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) that will see the
companies jointly market India's Advanced Light Helicopter, or Dhruv.
Two of the aircraft made the type's European debut at the Paris air show
this week, although HAL Chairman N R Mohanty told Jane's Defence Weekly that
the design is initially being promoted for the Latin American, African and
Southeast Asian markets. The Malaysian military is among those to have shown
some interest in the aircraft to date, he said.
Under the terms of the recently concluded agreement, potential new operators
of the aircraft will be able to buy aircraft equipped with new avionics
equipment to be supplied by IAI. These will also have the option of
acquiring platforms powered by the Turbomeca TM333 2B2 or the more powerful
developmental Shakti powerplant, a further development of the former design.
To be built under licence in India by HAL, the latter offers a 12% increase
in power output for high altitude operations, and will be ready in 2005, he
HAL has so far delivered 18 Dhruvs to India's air force, army, navy and
coast guard. "The response from the customer [about the TM333 2B2-powered
aircraft] so far has been very positive," said Mohanty.
The Dhruv goes through its paces at Le Bourget
(Photo: P Allen/Jane's)