HAL Dhruv | Indian Air Force
HAL Dhruv | Indian Air Force

HAL Dhruv | Indian Air Force

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited designed and also developed a utility helicopter called DHRUV. The first of the various DHRUV helicopters’ variations flew in 1992. However, it only entered the service of the Indian Armed Forces in 2002, after required changes and budget restrictions. There were both military and civil variants of HAL Dhruv that entered the market together in 2002. The military variants are, therefore, used by the Indian Armed Forces and the civil variants are used for commercial purposes.

Check out the insights of Light Combat Helicopter HAL | Indian Air Force.


The Indian Security Services are, therefore, responsible for over 200 Dhruv’s. HAL is ordering 159 Indian Army and also IAF Dhruv helicopters to be delivered. In 2017, HAL also placed orders for ALH 73 ALH for ALH Mk-III and Mk-IV models of the Army, Coast Guard and Navy. The Nepal Army & Mauritius Police, Maldives was also delivered to Dhruv. Civil customers such as ONGC, GSI, the Jharkhand Government and the para-military forces also run the Dhruv (BSF). Therefore, more orders from defence, civil and export markets are anticipated for Dhruv.

Hal Dhruv | IAF | Vayu India Aviation

Military Variants

VariantMajor SystemsRoles
ALH Mk. I– TM-333-2B2 engine
– Conventional cockpit
ALH Mk. II– TM-333-2B2 engine
– Integrated Architecture Display System (Glass cockpit)
ALH Mk.III– Shakti engine
– IADS with Digital Moving Map
– Electronic Warfare Suite
– Electro-Optical pod
– Counter Measure Dispensing system
– InfraRed Suppressor
– Health & Usage Monitoring system
– Solid State Digital Video Recorder (SSDVR)
– Engine Particle Separator
Utility roles of Defence Services/high altitude operations
ALH Mk. IVALH Mk.III with weapon systems and mission sensors like:
– Turret Gun
– Rocket
– Air-to-Air Missile
– Air-to-Ground Missile
– Helmet Pointing System
– Data Link
– Infrared Jammer
– Obstacle Avoidance System
Armed variant for Attack, Close Air Support and High altitude operations.

A $50m contract was also given to HAL in August 2008 for providing Ecuadorian Air Force helicopters and Peruvian Health Services with two helicopters.

HAL, therefore, reportedly produces 159 Indian Army and IAF Dhruv helicopters. In 2017, the enterprise issued orders to provide the Army, Coast Guard and also Navy with 73 Mk-III and Mk-IV models of ALH. In order to sell Dhruv helicopters internationally, HAL and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) have an agreement. The Nepal force, the Mauritius police and also the Maldives have been provided with the helicopter.

Design of HAL Dhruv

In addition, Dhruv ALH has a regular configuration and a composite structure weight of roughly two-thirds. The high tail boom facilitates is coupled with easy access to the rear window.

Not to mention, the hingeless four-bladed rotor can be folded manually too. The sheets are, therefore, mounted on a rotor head installed on a fibre elastomer between cruciform carbohydrate reinforced plastic plates. There is also a compact tail rotor in the tail section. Nonetheless, the helicopter is fitted with Lord Corporation’s active vibration control system, which uses sensors to track board conditions and displays the fuselage floor vibration signal to the drivers.

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HAL Dhruv | Indian Air Force | Vayu India Aviation

Weapons/armaments V.I.A. HAL Dhruv

The Army’s and the Air Force’s helicopters will hold up to 8 anti-armour missiles, 4 air-to-air rockets or four 70-mm and also 68-mm missile capsules.

The first 20 Indian forces Dhruv helicopters were awarded a contract in December 2006 to set up a 20 mm THL 20 gun tower in Nexter Systems (formerly Giat). The towers are, therefore, fitted with a low-spin cannon M621 and have a helmet-mounted view together. For the movement of firearms, a modular gun carrying device is comparatively mounted.

The Nag tank missiles, hence, developed by the Indian defence research and development agency, are mounted in the WSI variant of the Indian army (DRDO). Likewise, the imagery is infrasound and the Nag missile is approx 4 km high. In addition, the WSI version features FLIR (forward-looking infrarouge), CCD (Charge-coupling) camera and a thermal sight and laser rangefinder target acquisition system. Two torpedoes or four anti-ship missiles can also be carried in the naval version.

Technical Specifications

Gross Weight4445 Kg (9800 lb) for Mk III
Payload1000 Kg (2200 lb) for Mk III
Maximum Take-Off Weight5500 Kg (12,125 lb) for Mk III
Height4.98 m (16 ft 4 inches)
Length15.87 m (52 ft 1 in)
Crew2 Pilots
Capacity12 Passengers (14 – High-Density Seating)
Fuel Capacity1055 Kg (2326 lb)
Main Rotor Diameter13.2 m (43 ft. 4 inches)
Endurance3 Hours 42 Minutes for Mk III
Rate of Climb10.33 m/s (2033 ft/min)
Cruise Speed250 Km/Hr (155 Mph, 135 KN) for Mk III
Never Exceed Speed291 Km/Hr (181 Mph, 157 KN) for Mk III
Disk Loading40.19 kg/m. sq. (8.23 lb/sq. ft.)

Also, check out this, How to Become a Weapon Fitter in the Indian Air Force.

ALH Dhruv as Sarang

In October 2003, Sarang – Indian Air Force’s ALH (Dhruv) showcase team formed to demonstrate the outstanding agility and manoeuvrability of ALH. The word Sarang, hence, means Sanskrit peacock and the squad is the embodiment of the elegance and grace of peacock.

At prestigious air shows in Aero India, Paris, Farnborough, Berlin, Singapore, Al-Ain, etc. the Sarang team also demonstrated the capabilities. The squad has also participated in many prestigious activities including Air Force Day, the Passing Out Parade National Defense Academy, and other national and international events. The team showed its capabilities and flexibility with a single cross, also a dolphin jump, a double-cross etc. Moreover, every monitor is regularly updated and new profiles are carried out by the team.

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