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Ministry of Defence Inks Rs 8073.17 Crore Contracts with HAL for 34 Advanced Light Helicopters

New Delhi: In a step towards bolstering the indigenous defence manufacturing sector, the Ministry of Defence has signed two contracts worth a combined value of Rs 8073.17 crore with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru. The contracts, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), pertain to the acquisition of 34 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III, equipped with Operational Role Equipment. The procurement is designated for the Indian Army (25 ALHs) and the Indian Coast Guard (09 ALHs) under the Buy (Indian-IDDM – Indigenously Designed, Developed & Manufactured) category.

The ALH Dhruv Mk III UT (Utility) variant, designed for the Indian Army, showcases versatility in roles such as Search & Rescue, Troop Transportation, Internal Cargo, and Recce/Casualty Evacuation. Proven to excel in challenging terrains like the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh, this version stands as a testament to its high-altitude performance.

On the other hand, the ALH Mk III MR (Maritime Role), tailored for the Indian Coast Guard, is adept at Maritime Surveillance, Interdiction, Search and Rescue, Rappelling Operations, Cargo & Personnel Transportation, and Pollution Response using external cargo carrying capability. Its reliability in adverse atmospheric conditions, both over sea and land, underscores its efficacy in varied operational scenarios.

The acquisition of these 34 ALHs is a strategic move towards indigenization in defence manufacturing, aligning with the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’ The project is anticipated to generate approximately 190 Lakh Man-Hours of employment during its duration. Over 200 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will contribute to the supply of equipment, while 70 local vendors will actively participate in the indigenization process.

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