The Indian Army will soon be able to experience superior aerial firepower capability with the imminent induction of the attack version of indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Rudra'. The ‘Rudra’ ALH derives much of its features from the indigenous ALH ‘Dhruv’ and will be inducted into the Army Aviation Corps this financial year. ‘Rudra’ ALH is also dubbed as "Dhruv WSI” and designed and developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The ‘Rudra’ ALH has been approved for induction as part of modernisation and capability development efforts by the India. The ‘Rudra’ ALH is a fully loaded attack chopper equipped with a various guns, rocket pods, air-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles. While the weapon systems are being ground tested in Integrated Configuration, a fresh a final round of firing trials this month starting with its 20-mm turret gun. This will be followed by trials of its 70mm rockets and MBDA-supplied Mistral air-to-air missiles in November.
While the ‘Rudra’ ALH is derived from the ‘Dhruv’ ALH, requisite changes pertaining to the airframe have been made which lends more agility and speed to the chopper. The ‘Rudra’ ALH will be 5.5-tonne class twin-engine chopper with a host of advanced features such as Automatic Flight Control System, Integrated Dynamic System, Full Authority Digital Electronic Control and its ability to cruise at speeds of 250 kilometer per hour. This weaponized aerial platform will complement the combat capability of the Indian Army in a crucial battlefield scenario. ‘Rudra’ ALH can be used for dual role of attack chopper as well as for carrying soldiers or ammunition.
According to sources, the ‘Rudra’ ALH will be ready for initial operational clearance (IOC) by December this year and the deliveries of the production series of helicopters are scheduled for before March 2012. The ‘Rudra’ ALH is being developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The ALH will become the core of Indian Army’s both transport and attack chopper fleet in the near future. The ALH is a multi-role, multi-mission helicopter in 5.5 tonne class fully designed and developed by HAL.