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India’s Defense Takes a High-Flying Leap with Billion-Rupee Helicopter Haul

In a move that’s set to elevate the spirits and altitudes of its defense forces, the Ministry of Defence sealed the deal on a sky-high purchase, signing off on contracts worth a whopping Rs 8073 crore with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru. This grand acquisition, finalized on the 13th of March, 2024, comprises 34 state-of-the-art Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III, destined to bolster the aerial prowess of both the Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.

Diving into the details of this aviation extravaganza, the Indian Army is set to welcome 25 ALH Dhruv Mk III UT (Utility) helicopters into its ranks. These flying marvels, engineered for high-stakes missions like Search & Rescue, Troop Transportation, and more, have already proven their mettle in the challenging terrains of Siachen Glacier and Ladakh. Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard is gearing up to add 9 ALH Mk III MR (Maritime Role) helicopters to its fleet, designed for critical tasks such as Maritime Surveillance, Search and Rescue, and even Pollution Response, showcasing their versatility over sea and land alike.

But the deal isn’t just about adding new wings to India’s defense; it’s a massive leap towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing. Labeled under the Buy (Indian-IDDM – Indigenously Designed, Developed & Manufactured) category, this project is a testament to India’s commitment to nurturing its indigenous defense capabilities, a core component of the nation’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.

With the project estimated to generate employment of around 190 Lakh Man-Hours and roping in over 200 MSMEs and 70 local vendors for the supply of equipment, the economic impact is set to soar just as high as the helicopters themselves. This massive undertaking not only marks a significant milestone in India’s defense saga but also promises to be a boon for employment and local manufacturing, propelling the country towards an even more self-sufficient future.

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