HomeAatmanirbhar BharatUpgrades being performed to India’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv to Fix...

Upgrades being performed to India’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv to Fix Technical Issues

A design issue within India’s advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv has been successfully rectified, and a comprehensive upgrade to the control system is underway to improve airworthiness. This initiative comes in response to a series of accidents that prompted the grounding of the ALH fleet, raising concerns about their flight safety record.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft manufacturer, has initiated the supply of new booster control rods crafted from steel to ALH squadrons nationwide. These upgraded rods are replacing the previous aluminum ones and are expected to substantially enhance flight safety. The control rods are a critical component that enables pilots to manage the helicopter’s motion. Any malfunction or failure in these rods can significantly impact the power input to the rotor blades, potentially leading to accidents.

S. Anbuvelan, CEO of HAL’s helicopter complex, stated that “Control rods for 120 helicopters have been dispatched to different squadrons. The remaining helicopters will receive these rods by November, and incidents linked to control rod failure will not recur.” This design improvement is especially important because the Indian armed forces operate approximately 330 twin-engine ALHs, all of which were designed and developed by HAL. Deliveries of these helicopters began in the early 2000s.

This marks the first significant upgrade in the ALH’s control assembly, which includes the collective, pitch, and roll control rods. Anbuvelan confirmed that “What is being replaced right now is the collective control rod. The other two rods will be similarly replaced between November 2023 and June 2024.” This improvement is not only crucial for the armed forces’ extensive use of the ALH but also aligns with India’s aspirations to explore the export potential of these helicopters.

The successful rectification of the ALH Dhruv’s design issues and the ongoing upgrades to its control system are a testament to India’s commitment to enhancing flight safety and ensuring the airworthiness of its helicopter fleet.





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