HAL seeks air am­bu­lance mod­i­fi­ca­tion for Dhruv

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES - By SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

In a strong in­di­ca­tion that HAL has fresh or­ders for the Dhruv in hand, it has called for a speedy out­sources pro­ject to mod­ify the civil­ian vari­ant of the ad­vanced light he­li­copter (ALH) for air am­bu­lance op­er­a­tions. The he­li­copter is to be trans­formed for trans­porta­tion of two pa­tients on stretch­ers along with two med­i­cal per­son­nel, in­clud­ing a doc­tor and al­lied life-sav­ing equip­ment.

The Dhruv was re­cently in­volved greatly in hu­man­i­tar­ian op­er­a­tions in Ut­tarak­hand, and has been con­sid­ered by at least two for­eign na­tions (Peru and Turkey) for the air am­bu­lance role. The HAL RFI is a con­fir­ma­tion that (a) the Peru and Turkey deals may have ei­ther fallen through or have been rekin­dled in some form, or (b) that there is a firm ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est from within the coun­try from a civil op­er­a­tor for air am­bu­lances, the re­quire­ment for which has gone up steeply in the coun­try.

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