Friday, October 21, 2022

Argentina seeks HAL helicopters, high-level team to look at Dhruv, Prachand and LUH

A high level team from Argentina is arriving soon in India and will visit state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to look at the helicopters which are being manufactured in Bengaluru. The team will be looking at Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand and the HAL Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

Diplomatic sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online on the sidelines of the ongoing DefExpo 2022 “There is a big delegation from the South American nation Argentina is coming – could be later next week. They have expressed their interests in helicopters which have been indigenously designed and developed and manufactured by HAL.”  Adding, “The team that is coming will also have test pilots.”

Financial Express Online has reported recently that in the recent visit to Argentina, HAL executives also met with the President of the Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), the Argentine counterpart. HAL may explore a deal where certain parts are manufactured locally in Argentina. Either way, HAL’s helicopter lineup is what interests the incoming high-level team.

In the Argentine Air Force search for a fighter combat aircraft, HAL’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is the front-runner in the race.

For Argentina, India is a natural defence partner. Not only do the two nations share the challenges posed by diverse geography, but they also have independently faced the brunt of international sanctions. While India has recovered from the sanctions and embarked on an Atmanirbharta campaign, Argentina still relies entirely on imports.

The Dhruv is a utility helicopter and as of 2022, 335 helicopters have logged over 3, 40,000 flying hours. Ecuador was the first country in the region to buy this helicopter from HAL, however after facing gross fatality, the machines were retired from Air Force Service of that country.

21/10/22 Huma Siddiqui/Financial Express

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