Ecuador buys Dhruv, India's Advanced Light Helicopter
India has made aviation history by concluding a $51 million deal with Ecuador for the sale of seven ‘Dhruv’ advanced light helicopters (ALH).The deal signed between Ecuador Aviation Authority and bluechip Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) envisages the supply of seven helicopters in semi knock-down conditions to the South American country in a time-frame of 15 months to two years.With this, India has joined a select group of nations with a capability to bid for international chopper contracts. So far, the helicopter market has been dominated by the US, European companies and Russia.Dhruv has been making waves in international air shows the world over since two years but international sales of the helicopter have eluded HAL. The firm came very near to bagging its first international order when it bid for the Chilean armed forces contract two years ago, but was beaten to the closing line by US competitors. Now Dhruv, which has already been inducted into Indian armed forces, has beaten four leading companies for the Ecuador order, including European major Eurocopter.HAL will be supplying ALH to Ecuador in partnership with Israeli aircraft company Israeli Aviation Industries (IAI). It had earlier supplied one helicopter to that country, as part of efforts to sell the chopper worldwide in partnership with Tel Aviv.
Labels: HAL Dhruv IAI