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HAL Rudra
Dhruv-WSI (Rudra) helicopter of the Indian Air Force
Role Attack helicopter
National origin India
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
First flight 16 August 2007
Introduction 2012
Status In Production
Primary users Indian Army
Indian Air Force
Indian Navy
Number built 20
Developed from HAL Dhruv

The HAL Rudra (Devanagari: रुद्र, "The God Of The Tempest") aka ALH-WSI is an armed version of HAL Dhruv. Rudra is equipped with Forward Looking Infra Red and Thermal Imaging Sights Interface, a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket pods, Anti-tank guided missiles and Air-to-Air Missiles.[1]

Design and development[edit | edit source]

The prototype Dhruv-WSI performing at Aero India 2009

ALH-WSI underwent integration trial for armament and electro-optical systems and a final round of weapon firing trials in September 2011, which included testing of the 20-mm turret gun. The 70 mm rockets and MBDA Mistral air-to-air missiles were tested in November 2011.[2] The helicopter exceeded the payload and performance requirements at the height of 6 km. It has integrated sensors, weapons and electronic warfare suite. It uses an upgraded version of the glass cockpit used in the Mk-III. The sensors include stabilised day and night cameras, infrared imaging as well as laser ranging and designation.[3] It has an Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) from SAAB, with electronic warfare self-protection which is fully integrated into the glass cockpit. On-board self-defence systems include radar & missile detectors, IR jammer, chaff and flare dispensers. The helicopter can be used in both unarmed and armed roles that include reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare and close air support.[4]

Rudra at static display at Aero India 2013

Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) was expected by late 2012 and deliveries of production helicopters were to start by 2013.[5] In September 2012, ground tests for the first production ALH Mk-IV were completed. The ALH Mk-IV featured a turret gun, rockets, air-to-air missiles and can carry air-to-ground missiles like the anti-tank helicopter-launched Nag. HAL was awarded with a combined order of 76 Rudras for the Indian army, the primary customer, and the Indian air force. It was reportedly that the weapons platforms and avionics of HAL Rudra and the under-development Light Combat Helicopter would be the same.[6]

On 4 February 2013, the HAL Rudra Mk-IV achieved initial operational clearance.[7] The first 2 Rudras was handed over to the army by HAL during Aero India 2013.[8]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Rudra, or ALH-WSI (Weapon Systems Integrated) has two main versions.

  • Mark III: This version has Electronic Warfare, countermeasures, sensors and targeting systems installed, but does not feature weapons.[9][10]
  • Mark IV: This version is to have a French Nexter 20 mm turret gun, Belgian 70 mm rockets, and MBDA air to air and air to ground missiles, such as the anti-tank Helina missile.[9] All these systems have been tested individually.

Operators[edit | edit source]

 India

  • Army Aviation Corps, Indian Army plans to acquire at least 60 Rudra helicopters. The first 20 Rudras are to be inducted in mid-2013 after they pass initial operational clearance.The first 2 Rudras were handed over to the army by DRDO during Aero India 2013.[11]
  • Indian Air Force has ordered 16 Rudras.

Specifications (Dhruv)[edit | edit source]

HAL/Turbomeca Shakti engine

Data from Indian Army,[12] Crawford,[13] HAL,[14] and Defense Update.[15]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 12 passengers (14 passengers with high density seating) or 4 stretchers.
  • Length: 15.87 m (52 ft 0.8 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 13.20 m (43 ft 3.7 in)
  • Height: 4.98 m (16 ft 4.06 in)
  • Disc area: 137 m² (1,472 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,502 kg (5,515 lb)
  • Useful load: 2,600 kg (5,731 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,500 kg (12,125 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshafts, 1,000 kW (1,400 shp[16])
    Alternate engine: 2 x Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 turboshaft, 746 kW (1,000 shp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 290 km/h (180 mph, 156.58 kn)
  • Combat radius: 320 km (200 mi, 175 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 827 km(516 mi, 447 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,096 m[17] (20,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.3 m/s (2,030 ft/min)
  • Power/mass: 329.73 W/kg (0.20 hp/lb)

Armament

Avionics

  • Elbit CoMPASS optoelectronic suite for reconnaissance and target acquisition
  • SAAB IDAS-3 self-protection suite

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "YEAR-END REVIEW – 2010 DRDO". http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=68740. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. "Indian Army to Induct Weaponized Advanced Light Helicopter "Rudra" Soon". http://www.defencenow.com/news/291/indian-army-to-induct-weaponized-advanced-light-helicopter-rudra-soon.html. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. "India developing Agni VI". 8 February 2013. http://www.thestatesman.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=442704&catid=36. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. "Armed dhruv". http://www.hal-india.com/helicopter/armed%20role.pdf. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  5. "Electronic Warfare self-protection suites ordered for 'Dhruv'". http://vijainder.sawfnews.com/news/55672.aspx. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. "ALH Mk-IV "Rudra" completes Development test, First Production ALH Mk-IV Ready". September 22, 2012. http://idrw.org/?p=14371. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  7. HAL Receives IOC for ALH Rudra - Defense-Aerospace.com, February 4, 2013
  8. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/growing-indigenous-presence-at-air-show-113020700275_1.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hirschberg 2011, p. 51.
  10. "ALH touches 20,000 feet and Cheetal 23,000". Indiastrategic.in. http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories1200_ALH_touches_20000_feet.htm. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  11. "Army gets attack helicopters as India eyes China threat". NDTV.com. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/army-gets-attack-helicopters-as-india-eyes-china-threat-304686. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  12. "Equipment: Dhruv". Indian Army. http://indianarmy.nic.in/Site/FormTemplete/frmTempSimple.aspx?MnId=69s3HPZPfI4zz/q8SP2vlw==&ParentID=XKXzQohnNlR8lLkeT6DXDw==. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  13. Crawford 2003, p. 39.
  14. http://www.hal-india.com/helicopter/products.asp
  15. "Equipment: Dhruv". Defense Update. http://defense-update.com/20130207_rudra-growing-its-claws.html. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  16. "Safran Group". Turbomeca. http://www.turbomeca.com/public/turbomeca_v2/html/en/produits/sous_famille_home.php?sfid=506&mid=615. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  17. http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories1200_ALH_touches_20000_feet.htm

External links[edit | edit source]

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