HAL Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH),India Armed Forces
The HAL Dhruv is a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The Dhruv entered service in 2002. It is designed to meet the requirement of both military and civil operators, with military variants of the helicopter being developed for the Indian Armed Forces, while a variant for civilian/commercial use has also been developed.
The Helicopter Division of the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has developed the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH), a light multirole and multimission helicopter for army, air force, navy, coastguard and civil operations, for both utility and attack roles by day and night.
The indigenously developed Dhruv is a new generation helicopter in the 5.5 ton weight class. The basic Helicopter is produced in skid version and wheeled version. Dhruv is “type –Certified” for Military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC) and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Orders and deliveries
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 117 Helicopters have been produced by Mar 2011 including 96 for the Indian Armed Forces
HAL Supplied 7 Dhruv to Ecuadorian Air Force during 2009-2012. Dhruv has also been supplied to Nepal Army & Mauritius Police.
More than 100 Dhruvs are operating with Indian Defence Forces. HAL is executing an order for 159 Dhruv helicopters from Indian Army & IAF which is under supply.
Dhruv is also being operated by Civil customers such as ONGC, GSI, Government of Jharkhand and para military force (BSF).More orders for Dhruv expected from Defence, Civil & Export markets.
HAL Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH),India Armed Forces-Design
The helicopter is of conventional design and about two-thirds by weight of composite construction.The high tail boom allows esy access to the rear clamshell loading doors.The four-bladed hinge less main rotor can be manually folded.The blades are mounted between cruciform-shaped carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic plates on a fibre elastomer constructed rotor head.The vibrations of the fuselage are controlled by integrated active vibration control system that uses sensors to monitor on board conditions and output signals to actuators to cancel further vibrations.
The Advanced Light helicopter Dhruv has a length of 15.9 m,width of 13.2 m and height of 4.98m.It can fly at the maximum speed of 295 km/h with the maximum take off weight of 5500 kg.The Helicopter has a range of 640 km and endurance of 3.7 hrs.
Cockpit and Cabin of ALH Dhruv
The cockpit of Dhruv helicopter is of Kevlar and Carbon-fibre construction for more strength and also fitted with crashworthy seats.The Automatic SFIM Inc. Four Axis flight control system controls the flight of Dhruv.
The advanced navigation suite includes a global positioning system, a Doppler navigation system, distance measuring equipment, a true air speed indicator, automatic direction finder, a heading reference system, radio altimeter, VHF omnidirectional ranger and instrument landing system (VOR/ILS) and marker beacons.Dhruv uses HF,UHF and VHF radio signals for communication.
Moving towards 7.3m³ cabin that accommodates several layouts and 12 to 14 seats for passengers or for troops.The fuselage is provided rearward sliding door on each side and a crew door for the military helicopters.The cabin has a cargo compartment at the rear with volume of 2.16m³.
When used as air ambulance the helicopter can carry two stretcher patients and four survivors or medical attendents or four stretcher patients and two medical attendants at same time.The loading and unloading of the cargo can easily be done with the provided Clamshell doors at the rear.
Propulsion of ALH Dhruv
With the Twin engine configuration the helicopter is fitted with two Turbomeca TM 333-2C or 2B2 engines capable of producing 740kW take-off power.
A more powerful engine for the Dhruv, the Shakti (which carries the French name Ardiden 1H) rated at 900kW was developed under a cooperative agreement between HAL and Turbomeca and will be manufactured at Bangalore. Avio was selected to supply integrated dynamic systems (IDS) for the Shakti engine.The first flight with the new engine took place in August 2007 and it was certified in 2008.
The maximum fuel capacity is 1400l.The fuel system includes cross feeding and fuel dumping system.The fuel is stored in self-sealing crash-resistant tanks which are installed under the cabin floor.
The air force and army helicopters are equipped with non-retractable metal skid landing gear. All variants of the helicopter are fitted with a tail skid to protect the tail rotor in tail-down landings.
Variants of Dhruv ALH
The major variants of Dhruv are classified as Dhruv Mk I, MK II, MK III & Mk IV.
1)Dhruv ALH Mk.1
This is the First variant of Dhruv Alh that can used for utility purpose.This variant is powered by TM-333-2B2 engine.The helicopter is also equipped with conventional cockpit intruments in additon from base version.A total of 56 have been delivered to the Indian military.The manufacturing of this variant began in 2001.
This is the Second variant of Dhruv ALH.It is similar to Mk.1 same engine and used for same purpose but in addition it is equipped with Integrated Architecture Display System (glass cockpit).Manufacturing began in 2007.Total of 20 have been delivered to Indian Army.
This is the third variant and improved version from Mark.2 which is used for utility roles of defence Services suited for high altitude operations.The improvements includes the use of powerful Shakti Engine,IADS with Digital Moving MAP,New electronic Warfare (EW) suite and warning system,Electro Optical Pod,Counter Measure Dispensing System,Infra Red Suppressorand Health & usage Monitoring system.The first batch were inducted into the service in 2012.
This is the latest and most advanced version oh HAL Dhruv ALH.This is also known as Dhruv-WSI (Weapons System Integrated) and the common name is HAL Rudra.This armed variant is modified with number of systems like Turret guns,Rockets,Air-to-Air missiles,Air-to-Ground Missiles,Helmet Pointing System,Data link,infra Red Jammer and Obstacle Avoidance System.It can used in number of roles like for Attack,Close Support and High Altitude operations.Continue Reading…
Weapons ,Armaments and Countermeasure Capabities of Dhruv ALH
The army and air force helicopters have stub wings fitted to carry up to eight anti-armour missiles, four air-to-air missiles or four rocket pods for 70mm and 68mm rockets.
The WSI version or HAL Rudra (Mark 4 variant) for the Indian Army will be fitted with Nag anti-tank missile, being developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The naval variant can carry two torpedoes or four anti-ship missiles.
The Dhruv’s countermeasures suite can include: radar and missile detectors, infra red jammer, chaff and flare dispensers.