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2013 has been a blessed year for the in­dige­nous ad­vanced light he­li­copter (ALH) Dhruv he­li­copter. Fol­low­ing the hand­ing over the first weaponised Dhruv vari­ant, chris­tened ‘Rudra’ to the In­dian Army ear­lier this year, the proven he­li­copter plat­form clocked 1,00,000 fly­ing hours this month—a ma­jor psy­cho­log­i­cal boost to one of the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited’s (HAL) most suc­cess­ful pro­grammes.

In a state­ment, HAL said, “The land­mark has been achieved in the early hours of Oc­to­ber 9 with the fly­ing of he­li­copter IA 3104 of 301 Army Avi­a­tion Sqn (Spl ops)”. The Dhruv is cur­rently in ser­vice with the In­dian Army, In­dian Navy, In­dian Air Force (IAF), Coast Guard, Bor­der Se­cu­rity Force and state gov­ern­ments af­ter de­liv­er­ies be­gan in 2002. Cur­rently, nearly 150 serve with the armed forces, while a smaller num­ber serve with civil agen­cies. Ear­lier this month, HAL ad­di­tion­ally re­ceived a ‘Best Engineering Mar­vel Award’ for project in­no­va­tive­ness from Engineering Watch for the Rudra armed he­li­copter. With ex­ports to Ecuador and a few other coun­tries, HAL is not look­ing to push the up­graded Dhruv Mk.3 abroad in a big way.

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