Rajasthan News

‘Rudra’ armed choppers for army in Rajasthan deserts

by RajasthanDirect
Feb 08, 2013

The Army is set to get its first lot of armed helicopters ‘Rudra’. The indigenously produced armed helicopter ‘Rudra’ has been accorded the initial operational clearance.

Rudra is based on the platform of the advanced light helicopter (ALH) that is already in service in the country. It has been code named ALH Mark IV and is produced by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

“The induction of the first squadron of the choppers is expected within the next few months. Initially, it will be inducted in Jodhpur and Bathinda. The helicopter derives its name from Rigvedic god for wind, storm and hunt. In Rajasthan, the Jodhpur headquartered defensive desert corps will have a squadron of Rudra. The operational role of desert corps has areas in Jaisalmer and Barmer sectors,” defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami said.

The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), a body under the ministry of defence, presented the airworthiness certificate to the HAL. “The occasion gives us confidence and it is a proud moment for the country and boosts our indigenous activities,” a defence official said.

“The Army will get the first two squadrons of 10 armed helicopters. The induction of the Rudra will be an important milestone as the Indian inventory of armed helicopters, the Mi-35, which currently has a flying ceiling of 10,000-12,000 feet. The Rudra, powered by a new Shakti engine that has been co-developed by French company Turbomeca, will fly up to an altitude of 20,000 feet. The Himalayas rise above this altitude along large parts of the India-China frontier,” the official said.

The weapons on board the chopper will include an M6-21 20 mm gun and 70 mm rockets with a range of 8 km. These weapons have been put through tests in hot, cold and humid climates.

The helicopters will also carry anti-tank guided missiles and air-to-air-missiles, the first lot of which has been imported but will be produced here latter. The engine can carry a full weapon load to altitudes of 20,000 feet.

“It is equipped with integrated sensors, weapons and electronic warfare suite using an upgraded version of the glass cockpit used in the Mk-III of the ALH. The cockpit avionics are among the best. The sensors include stabilised day and night cameras, infrared imaging, as well as laser ranging and designation,” a defence source said.

“The electronic warfare (EW) suite consists of missile approach warning system, laser and radar warning systems and automated sensors covering all envisaged threats. It has automatic dispensation of countermeasures like chaff and fare dispensing systems. The Army has contracted to buy 60 such helicopters. The final plan is to have an aviation brigade with each of the 13 corps of the Army and the number of such armed choppers could go up to 130.

In Rajasthan, the Jodhpur headquartered defensive desert corps will have a squadron in Barmer. At all India level, each of the Army corps will have 10 (one squadron) armed helicopters, one squadron of reconnaissance helicopters and a squadron of utility helicopters,” the defence source added.

src: TOI

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