The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has achieved the initial operational clearance (IOC) for the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) - Mk-IV Army Version of Rudra’.
The Rudra is an armed version of the HAL’s Dhruv. Rudra is equipped with forward looking infra red’ and thermal imaging sights interface’, a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket pods, anti-tank guided missiles and air-to-air missiles.
K Tamilmani, CEO, Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (Cemilac) presented the certificate to HAL at a function here on Sunday. “The occasion gives us the confidence and it is a proud moment for the country and boosts our indigenous activities,” said R K Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
The occasion marks the entry of HAL into the group of a few companies in the world which design, develop, manufacture and certify a helicopter as weapons system meeting international standards.
Speaking on the occasion, Tamilmani pointed out that the potential for helicopter remains forever in India and the country has the ability to meet technical challenges on this front.
P Soundara Rajan, HAL’s MD Helicopter Division, pointed out that the integration of multiple weapons systems simultaneously on the helicopter is a complex assignment. “In this particular case it involved four major groups of systems and weapons, involving eight countries: Israel, France, Belgium, South Africa, Germany, Italy, USA and India. Nearly 23 km of cables had to be laid and hundreds of hours of flight and ground tests were carried out,” he said.
HAL has an order of 76 ALH Mk-IV from the Indian army, which is its primary customer, and the Indian Air Force combined. Reportedly, the weapons platforms and avionics of HAL Rudra and Light Combat Helicopter are the same.