General Studies IIIInternal Security

Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) MK III

Ministry of Defence


The induction ceremony of ‘322 Dega Flight’ was held with three indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv MK III helicopters flying into Naval Air Station

About Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) MK III helicopter:

  • The indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is a twin engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 ton weight class.
  • The basic Helicopter is produced in skid version and wheeled version.
  • These helicopters, built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, are state-of-the-art flying machines and constitute a major step in our quest for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”. 
  • Dhruv is “type –Certified” for Military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC) and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • Certification of the utility military variant was completed in 2002 and that of the civil variant was completed in 2004.  
  • ALH MK III helicopters feature an array of systems previously seen only on heavier, multi-role helicopters of the Indian Navy.
    • These helicopters are fitted with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment, which enable them to undertake the role of maritime reconnaissance in addition to providing long-range Search and Rescue, both by day and night.
    • In addition to special operations capabilities, ALH MK III is also fitted with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions.
    • A removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) is also fitted on ALH MK III helicopters to airlift critically ill patients.
    • The helicopter also has a host of advanced avionics, making it truly an all-weather aircraft.
  • The major variants of Dhruv are classified as Dhruv Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III & Mk-IV. The major features are furnished below:

VariantPower Plant / Major SystemsRoles
ALH Mk. I– TM-333-2B2 engine
–  Conventional cockpit
ALH Mk. II– TM-333-2B2 engine
–  Integrated Architecture Display system (Glass cockpit)
ALH Mk.III– Shakti engine
–  IADS with Digital Moving Map
–  Electronic Warfare Suite
–  Electro Optical pod
–  Counter Measure Dispensing system
–  Infra Red Suppressor
–  Health & Usage Monitoring system
– Solid State Digital Video Recorder (SSDVR)
–  Engine Particle Separator
Utility roles of Defence Services suited for high altitude operations
ALH Mk. IVALH Mk.III with weapon systems
and mission sensors like
–  Turret Gun
–  Rocket
–  Air-to-Air Missile
–  Air-to-Ground Missile
–  Helmet Pointing System
–  Data Link
–  Infra Red Jammer
–  Obstacle Avoidance System
Armed variant for Attack, Close Air Support and High altitude operations.

Shakti Engine (For Dhruv Mk-III & Mk-IV)

  • 12 % Higher power than TM 333 2B2 engine
  • Dual centrifugal compressor assembly
  • Single crystal blades
  • Dual channel FADEC

Roles of Dhruv

  • Passenger / Commuter Role
  • VIP Travel
  • Causality Evacuation
  • Under Slung Load
  • Rapid Deployment of Forces
  • Logistic Air Support
  • Search and Rescue
  • Training

Features of Dhruv

  • Composite Hinge less Interchangeable Main Rotor Blades
  • Composite Bearing less Tail Rotor Blades
  • Composite Air Frame
  • Glass Cockpit & AFCS
  • Chaff & Flare Dispenser
  • Helmet Pointing System (HPS)
  • Health & Usage Monitoring System
  • Digital Video Recording System
  • EO Pod with FLIR, LRF & LP
  • IR Suppressor
  • Integrated Self Protection Suite
  • Digital Moving Map
  • On Board Inert Gas Generation System

INS Dega

  • INS Dega, is a naval air station of the Indian Navy. It is located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on the east coast of India.
  • INS Dega derives its name from Telugu word ‘Dega’ – a big & powerful bird of eagle family.
  • Function / Role of INS Dega
    • The primary function of the unit is to provide operational, technical, administrative and logistic support to all service flying operations.
    • The unit also undertakes supervision, planning and execution of operational tasking of all flying units based at INS Dega.
    • The air station provides support for eastern fleet air operations of the Indian Navy.
    • In addition to the above mentioned, the air station also undertakes aid to civil power during flood relief operations / natural calamities.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd,

The full form of HAL is Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. HAL is a state-owned Indian aerospace and defence firm headquartered is located in Bangalore, India. The Indian Ministry of Defence handles it.

The government-owned company mainly engages in aerospace activities and is presently involved in the fabrication & production of aircraft, design, helicopters, jet engines & their replacement parts. It has many facilities scattered throughout India including Bangalore, Kanpur, Nasik, Koraput, Korwa, Lucknow, Kasaragod and Hyderabad.

Source: PIB

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