Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has delivered the first ALH light helicopters, now renamed the Dhruv. Seven have been delivered, with the air force receiving two and the army three, while the coastguard and navy have taken one each.

As well as the four services' versions, HAL is planning to start production of a civil air ambulance variant next year, while chairman NR Mohanty says the Dhruv has also been proposed as the basis for a light-attack helicopter. Production helicopters are priced at Rs250 million ($5.1 million) each.

HAL is considering the development of an indigenous powerplant to replace the Turbomeca TM333 in the civil Dhruv, which made its first flight late last month and could be certificated by year-end, says Mohanty.

He adds that the state-owned company is in talks with private Indian aerospace companies to market the machine jointly in return for subcontracting deals. HAL is also in negotiations with foreign companies including BAE Systems, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, says Mohanty.

Source: Flight International