India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has showcased the deck-operations capabilities of its advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mk III MR.
The demonstration included landing on deck, folding of blades and storing the helicopter inside the onboard hangar.
Conducted off Chennai coast, the ship-borne trials have been concluded in partnership with the Indian Coast Guard.
The trials also covered maintenance activities inside the hangar and on the deck, as well as hot refuelling with engines running on the deck.
The helicopter is equipped with advanced Shakti engines and an advanced glass cockpit.
In February, the company three ALH Mk III to the Indian Navy and two units to the Indian Coast Guard.
Dhruv is a light multirole and multi-mission helicopter developed for the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy, Coastguard and civil operations. It can be deployed for both utility and attack roles by day and night.
It is fitted with the advanced surveillance radar which can detect and identify vessels and boats up to a range of 120nm and boosts the Indian Coast Guard capabilities.
The helicopter is coupled with an electro-optical sensor to closely monitor the smallest of the vessels at distances as far as 30nm.
HAL chairman and managing director R Madhavan said: “These trials have proven the capability of ALH Dhruv to carry out extended operations from ships.
“Some of the missions that were successfully executed were surveillance, search and rescue, antipollution to address oil spillage, etc.
“With the successful demonstration of these capabilities like blade folding, stowage, the helicopter is now ready to be fielded for operations.”