Not sure if this is Military Aviation related, but I reckon since it is for US Customs I post here.
Very interesting development. HAL and Israel had reached an agreement to market this helicopter and had been to many shows etc where it has got good review. Looks like US Customs is planning to buy this now. If this indeed happens, it is a new chapter in Indian Aviation industry I guess.
From the wires:
US Customs plans to buy HAL's helicopters
November 26, 2003 13:37 IST
The United States Customs plans to buy 10 indigenous advanced light helicopters Dhruv built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, HAL sources said in Bangalore on Wednesday.
The multi-million dollar order for the civil variant of Dhruv would be finalised with the US Customs in a few months, jointly by Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd and HAL, sources in the Bangalore-based HAL told PTI.
This is the first major order for HAL from the US following the joint marketing agreement -- with IAI earlier this year -- by which HAL will supply the helicopter and IAI will integrate the centralised avionics package in ALH for the international market.
"A US team will visit Bangalore later this year for further talks," sources said.
The civil variant of the multi-role Dhruv powered by French Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine was recently certified by the director general of civil aviation.
HAL plans to get the aircraft certified by the US Federal Aviation Authority.
Declining to comment on the cost of the deal, sources said, "We are close to finalising the price. We bet, we should be at least 30 per cent cheaper than any of our competitors in this class."