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India approves more Dhruvs, but where are the LUHs and LCHs?

7th October 2021 - 00:53 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch


The Indian Army has been approved to buy 25 ALH Mk III helicopters such as this one. (Gordon Arthur)

India orders more Dhruv helicopters, but production approval for the LUH and LCH is lagging.

When India’s Defence Acquisition Council met on 29 September, it approved the purchase of additional Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) for the Indian Army.

The 'acceptance of necessity' approval covered 25 of these Dhruv ALH Mk III helicopters ‘to improve the army’s integral lift capability ensuring its operational readiness’.

The batch built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will cost the Indian government INR38.5 billion ($515.9 million), which equates to a unit cost of $20 million per Dhruv.

A recent Indian Today article recorded the presumed flight cost per hour of the Dhruv. As seen written on the door of an in-service ALH, it …

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