The Indian air force has grounded its Hindustan Aeronautics Dhruv light helicopters, following a fatal crash on 25 July.

All seven personnel on board were killed when the Mk III production standard aircraft came down after its crew issued amayday call.

“The type hasn’t been flown since the crash, and checks are on going," an air force spokesperson confirms. "Flights will resume once these are completed”.

Dhruv crash - Rex Features

Rex Features

Operations have been halted with the remainder of the air force fleet, which Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database records as totalling 46 examples.

Deliveries of the Dhruv Mk III for the Indian air force began in 2011. The5.5t utility helicopter is powered by two Turbomeca Ardiden 1H1 1,400shp (1,030kW) engines, is certificated in India under the name “Shakti” and features an Israeli-developednight vision goggle-compatibleglass cockpit.

More than 150 Dhruvs have been delivered to India’s military and paramilitary forces, and production continues of the Mk III utility and Mk IV armed variants. Total orders for the Dhruv Mk III stand at 199, including a recently announced order for 32 of the type for the Indian navy and coastguard.

Ascend records the recent loss as the ninth crash to involve the domestically-developed Dhruv, including five fatal incidents. The losses have the Indian armed forces, plus export operators Ecuador and Nepal.

Source: Flight International