AERO INDIA: Indian army accepts first five Shakti-powered Dhruvs

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Hindustan Aeronautics delivered its first five Shakti-engined Dhruv advanced light helicopters to the Indian army at the show.

Dubbed the Dhruv Mk III, the new aircraft features a more powerful engine than previous examples of the indigenous type. The Shakti was developed by HAL with Turbomeca as a replacement for the latter's TM333 powerplant which equipped earlier aircraft for the Indian armed forces. It is also used by the Indian manufacturer's advanced light helicopter, which is flying here at the show for the first time.

HAL chairman Ashok Nayak handed over the first batch of Shakti-powered aircraft to army Maj Gen PK Bharali during a ceremony staged on the company's stand. One of the new type is also on static display here at Aero India.

India's army has previously fielded more than 50 Dhruvs.