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MoD inks contracts worth Rs 8073 cr with HAL to procure 34 advanced light helicopters

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The defence ministry on Wednesday signed two contracts with a combined value of Rs 8073 crore with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for acquisition of 34 advanced light helicopters and associated equipment for the Indian Army and the Coast Guard. Out of 34 Dhruv Mk-III helicopters, the Army will get 25 and the Coast Guard will receive nine, according to the ministry.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared the two procurement projects last week.

“Consequent upon approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the Ministry of Defence signed two contracts for a combined value of Rs 8073.17 crore with the HAL on March 13 for acquisition of 34 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III along with operational role equipment for Indian Army (25 ALHs) and Indian Coast Guard (09 ALHs) under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category,” the ministry said.

It described the acquisition under the Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category as a significant move towards indigenisation in defence manufacturing.

The ALH Dhruv Mk III UT (Utility) — the Indian Army version — is designed for search and rescue, transportation of troops and casualty evacuation among other roles.

It has proved its performance in high altitude regions like Siachen Glacier and Ladakh, the ministry said in a statement. The ALH Mk III MR (Maritime Role), the ICG version, is designed for maritime surveillance, search and rescue, rappelling operations and also for transportation of troops. It has proved its mettle even in adverse atmospheric conditions over sea and land, the ministry said.

“The project will generate employment of an estimated 190 Lakh man-hours during its duration. It will also entail supply of equipment from more than 200 MSMEs and 70 local vendors will be involved in the indigenisation process which is likely to have a positive impact on employment generation in this sector,” it said.



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