New Delhi [India]: In what could be a major boost for Make in India in defence, the Indian Navy and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited are looking at developing a new Utility Helicopter (Marine) to meet the warship requirements of the force.
If the development of the new variant of the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv is done successfully, the Indian Navy would be looking at placing orders for 50 of these choppers, which would help the Indian Navy to deploy choppers on its warships on high seas, the government sources told ANI.
The development of choppers at the helicopter division of the public sector undertaking is being torn up after HAL claimed to the forces that it has been successful in the development of foldable rotors, the sources said.
Due to space constraints on warships, Navies across the globe require helicopters and aircraft to have foldable wings that allow more assets to be parked there.
The frigates and destroyers have relatively smaller parking spaces, and foldable rotors of UH Marine would allow them to be kept easily, sources said.
The Navy has more than 150 warships in its fleet and wants them to be equipped with at least one helicopter each and is looking at procuring them through the Make in India route first.
In recent times, the Indian Navy has induced around 16 of these ALH Dhruv Mark 3 choppers along with an equal number of machines for the Indian Coast Guard as well.
For the Indian Navy, the HAL has been offering a maritime version of the Dhruv, but not much could be done due to the lack of capabilities that have been required by the maritime force for operations.
The Indian Navy warships are deployed all along the Indian Ocean Region, and warships are provided with helicopters for reconnaissance and surveillance along with other operations required by the fleet to be carried out.
The force will soon get its first set of the 24 MH-60 Romeo choppers from the US, which were contracted for in a Foreign Military Sales deal a couple of years ago to meet the urgent requirements of multirole attack and anti-submarine warfare choppers. (ANI)