Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rudra - Advanced Light Helicopter ..






                                                    By Anantha Krishnan M 

                                                      Express News Service

Bangalore: The Indian Army will be handed over the first two weapon system integrated (WSI) version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-Mk-IV) Rudra, during Aero India 2013. Confirming to Express on Thursday, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) chairman R K Tyagi said that Rudra will also be available for customer demonstration flights at show. “Rudra will definitely add more teeth to Indian Army and we will roll out more production units to the squadron,”Tyagi said. Express had earlier reported that around 70 Rudras will fly out of HAL  to meet Army’s initial requirements.  “In addition to the redundant flight critical systems, IR suppressor, armour panels, crashworthy features, self-sealing fuel tanks enhance the survivability of the helicopter in the battlefield environment,” Tyagi said. Rudra can carry a mix of weapons, providing it with capability to search and destroy any target. Systems like electro-optic pod, helmet-mounted sight, fixed sight facilitating firing of the onboard weapons (20 mm turret gun, 70mm rockets and Air-to-Air missiles), makes Rudra an unforgiving machine.He said Rudra’s rigid rotors have extremely high agility and manoeuvrability. With its higher powered engine, the chopper can undertake missions up to altitudes of 6 km. “With such capabilities, Rudra is unmatched in the world, in its class,” claims Tyagi.Tyagi confirmed that HAL has plans to integrate additional new systems on Rudra, including Infra Red jammer, Data Link, obstacle avoidance system (for Army), wire cutter (for IAF) and NBC (Nuclear Biological and Chemical) sensors.When asked about ALH Dhruv’s (earlier version of Rudra) export status, Tyagi said three more countries have shown interest in these choppers. Over 130 Dhruv helicopters are in operation now, with Indian Army flying 110 and 12 with Indian civil operators. Ecuador, Nepal, Mauritius and Maldives also operate Dhruv choppers.

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