ALH Dhruv being cleared but only for urgent operations

The fleet of (Advanced Light Helicopter) ALH Dhruv of the Indian Army which had been grounded a month back, owing to a helicopter crash in Jammu and Kashmir, have been given clearance for flight.

The clearance is given in batches but only after comprehensive safety checks to keep it operationally ready, but routine sorties are still not permitted.

However, the clearance is conditional and the helicopters have been permitted to only operate in limited and emergency operations by the Indian Army.

Further, it has been reported that only those helicopters that have been thoroughly checked and fit for flight will be allowed to fly.

Notably, presently the Indian Army has about 145 Dhruv helicopters, the Indian Air Force has 70, the Indian Navy has 18, while the Indian Coast Guard has 20 copters.

The clearance to restart the operations of the chopper would need to be now have to be given by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of the chopper.

The indigenously developed ALH Dhruv is a twin-engine, multi-mission helicopter in the 5.5-tonne class.

ALH operations have been hit in the past too – the helicopters were grounded in 2006 following tail rotor problems, and later again in 2014 after a fatal crash. 

A total of 336 Helicopters have been produced by October 2022.

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