HAL Statement: HAL-produced helicopters – Dhruv, Cheetah/Chetak – played a leading role in the biggest ever helicopter based rescue operation of Indian defence forces in flood and rain-hit areas of Uttarakhand recently. These copters deployed over flood and landslide affected areas in Uttarakhand performed effectively in dropping paratroopers, evacuating stranded people and in supply of food and medicines. The helicopters made hundreds of sorties in the high risk zone overcoming strong winds, visibility and with virtually no space for landing on high terrains. HAL teams were positioned at Deharadun and Delhi to ensure logistic support for the rescue operations.
Dhruv which can carry 16 passengers was the star performer. On many occasions, due to incessant rain IAF pilots could only use Dhruv as it was unsafe for other copters to land. Dhruv helicopters flew for nearly 630 hours during the operation and Cheetah/Chetak flew 520 hours.
"The indigenous helicopters pressed into service by the Army and the Air Force in flood-hit areas have proved their mettle in carrying out rescue and relief operations in highly inaccessible areas. We are proud of it", says Dr. R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
HAL designed, developed and produced Dhruv helicopters have been delivered to the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard. They are also exported. The civil version of Dhruv has been certified by the DGCA and delivered to ONGC, Govt of Jharkand and the BSF.
The advanced technology features incorporated in the design of Dhruv include hingeless main rotor and bearingless tail rotor; integrated dynamic system encompassing main gear box and upper controls in a single housing; higher powered Shakti engines; integrated architecture display system (glass cockpit); duplex automatic flight control system; redundancy with twin engine, dual hydraulics and controls; 30 min dry running capability of gear boxes; crashworthy bottom structure, landing gear, crew seat and fuel tanks with self-sealing capability; extensive use of composite material on fuselage and rotor system; integration of role and optional equipments such as rescue hoist, stretchers and cargo-hook.
Dhurv also has advanced avionics (communication, navigation & surveillance), electrical mission systems. All this makes Dhruv, a versatile multi-mission, multi-role helicopter capable of operating in all-weather and extreme climate conditions ensuring high degree of reliability and survivability.
Based on the expertise of Dhruv, HAL undertook the Design & Development of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).