Monday, May 18, 2009

DHRUV (ALH), A Star In Ecuador

Ecuador/Bangalore: Opening a new chapter in an unknown land. This was how it felt when a team of 10 dedicated personnel from HAL Helicopter MRO Division landed in Ecuador two months back. Thanks to the efforts of these men, the first batch of five Advanced Light Helicopters is now etching its signature on the Ecuadorian skies.

The team had left for Ecuador in order to provide maintenance and service support and to cater to the repair activities on the helicopters.

The ALH has been well received by the Ecuadorian Air Force. The machine has proved its mettle. Ecuadorian officials are happy about its features, technology and performance. The Air Force is using the ALHs for multi-role and high altitude operations, said Mr R Narayanan, Deputy General Manager, Ecuador, who is leading the team at Ecuador.

The Dhruvs are positioned in Guayaquil Air Force base and are undergoing customer acceptance trials, which are being personally monitored by a team of five senior officers of the Ecuador Air Force.

The demonstration on the underslung load capacity of 1.5 tons and rescue load capacity of 250 kg has already been given to the team. The high altitude trials are planned in Quito and Latagunga in the coming days.

Adds Mr Narayanan, “On the training front, the basic conversion training has been imparted to four Ecuadorian pilots, and further intensive training for the team of 16 Ecuadorian pilots is planned in the next six months by a team of HAL pilots.”

ALH for Army and Navy too: Ecuadorian President Mr Rafael Correa, who visited the base, had a close look at the ALH. During his visit, the President was keen to learn about the technical capabilities of the machine and was impressed by its performance, maintainability and agility. Besides the President, senior officers from Army and Air Force also visited the base.

Thanks to the excellent performance of the ALH, the Ecuadorian Army and Navy too are planning to add ALHs to their fleets, adds Narayanan.

He adds that the future appears to be bright for HAL in this particular part of the world.

HAL plans to establish bay servicing facilities at Ecuador and to further explore business in the South American Market. Helicopter MRO Division shall spare no efforts to support their fleet and keep the HAL flag flying high in Ecuador.

Dhruv (Advanced Light Helicopter) is an indigenous light utility helicopter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It was introduced in 2002 and is in service with Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Nepalese Army Air Service, Israel, Ecuador and many in civil use.

Bolivia, Turkey, Peru, Suriname and Mauritius.

80 in service + over 450 on order

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