IODSFollowing the news that India’s Ministry of Defence has inked two contracts with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 34 advanced light helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III for the Indian Army and the Coast Guard, Udayini Aakunoor, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, offers her view:

“The contract valued at $974 million will boost India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, promoting domestic defense manufacturing. India is in the process of replacing approximately 250 aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters with Dhruv helicopter variants, which are more advanced and capable platforms. The Cheetah and Chetak helicopters were inducted in the 1960s and are now nearing the end of their operational lifespan, as the legacy technology onboard these helicopters may not comply with the modern safety standards. The tactical transport and utility features paired with the ISR capabilities offered by the Dhruv MK III make it an ideal platform of choice for the Indian Army and Coast Guard.

“GlobalData’s Military Rotorcarft Market Forecast 2023-2033 report reveals that the worldwide cumulative spending on the military rotorcraft market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% between 2023 and 2033 to reach $251.5 billion in 2033. India is expected to spend about 9% of this global expenditure to procure various types of military rotorcraft, owing to the ongoing helicopter fleet modernization and combat capability enhancement initiatives.

“This procurement can also be seen considering the challenge India faces from its formidable regional rival China. The versatility of these helicopters will not only provide enhanced surveillance capability in its maritime configuration but also facilitate onshore and inland operations. With its modular design, ALH Dhruv can also be fitted with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, providing India with another indigenous option alongside LCH Prachand in an attack role.”


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