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Israel grounds ALH Dhruv

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  • Israel grounds ALH Dhruv

    From BR...

    Israel, too, grounds ALH Dhruv
    New Delhi | January 16, 2006 9:31:36 PM IST

    India's showpiece Dhruv helicopter -- grounded following a recent crash -- has received yet another jolt with Israel also deciding to ground the fleet it inducted to ferry its VIPs and defence officials.
    Giving a setback to ongoing Indian efforts to market worldwide the Advanced Light Helicopter -- indigenously developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Israeli decision comes barely weeks after the Indian Armed Forces did the same in the wake of the first Dhruv crash -- on November 25 last.

    According to reports received here, the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), which provided the avionics system for the international version of the HAL-built ALH and has a joint marketing agreement of the product, has said that ''it operates in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and Civil Aviation Authority's regulations''.

    The Israeli security establishment had used Dhruv to transport officials on several occasions during the past seven months, sources here said.

    The Indian Armed Forces -- Army, Navy and the Air Force -- have a total of 46 choppers with them. All have been grounded following emergence of the fault in the tail rotor.

    Sources said it would not be immediately possible to rectify the defect which would require strengthening of the rotor -- only after this can a clearance be given for them to take to air again.

    The technical problems can complicate marketing efforts, the sources said.

    Dhruv is a multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonne weight class. In November 2004, it set a world altitude record by flying at a height of 27,000 feet (8,108 meters) in the Ladakh Himalayas while escorting a Cheetal (HAL re-engined Cheetah) chopper which also set a high-altitude landing record.

    UNI DG CD HS2055
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway