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US Customs To Buy Indian Helicopters?

Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:32 am

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."

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RE: US Customs To Buy Indian Helicopters?

Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:38 pm

They were discussing this on the AFM forums. The picture they posted looked remarkably like an MBB/Kawasaki BK-117. This is an interesting political move, as the customs chose this over possible domestic and european competitors.

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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2001 7:13 am

RE: US Customs To Buy Indian Helicopters?

Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:27 am

Here's the bird @ the 2003 Paris Air Show:

Maybe HAL ought to consider calling the it by the English translation of its name (Dhruv means 'pole star' or 'north star'). Northstar sounds like a great name for a helo.

Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, India
Type: Advanced multi-purpose light helicopter
Flight Crew: Two
Passengers: 12 (normal) or 14 in a high-density configuration or six in a VIP layout
Length: 15.87 meters
Height: 4.98 meters
Empty - 2502 kg (5511 lbs.)
Maximum - 4510 kg (9920 lbs.)
Engine: 2 Turbomeca TM333-2B2 turbo-shafts developing 825 kW (1100 shp) at take-off, with growth potential to 900 kW (1200 shp) for subsequent versions.
Maximum - 290 km/h (180 mph)
Maximum cruising speed 253 km/h (157 mph)
With 1500 kg (3300 lbs.) payload - 216 nautical miles (414 km; 249 miles)
With max. fuel & 20 min. reserves - 431 nautical miles (810 km; 497 miles).
Service Ceiling: 5990 metres (19,680 feet)

Info from

[Edited 2003-12-01 02:31:38]

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