The naval version of the Dhruv ALH - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Thursday 11 September 2008

The naval version of the Dhruv ALH

Your many enquiries have been noted about the naval version of the Dhruv, the problems it is said to have experienced, and the Navy's apparent reluctance to accept it into service.

I am trying to get you the facts on the matter for a comprehensive post. Please don't hold your collective breaths. And please don't post irate messages complaining about delays... it'll come when it's here.

Just to let you know!

And yes, alert readers who already have some facts... hit the keyboard.


  1. what about air defence ship for navy,pleeeeease take a look in cochin shipyard

  2. enquire about P8I maritime patrol aircraft(which is based on boeing 737) deal with US . it's too
    costly deal since

    each aircraft costs $60-70million
    add electronics and support money
    per aircraft= $100million

    so per aircraft =$160million

    and for 8 aircraft=$1.3billion

    we still paying around 1 billion dollars more.

    or did navy tested electronics in P8I aircraft in real time condition like sea dragon suite for IL 38 aircraft upgrade with russia.

  3. Anonymous said...
    enquire about P8I maritime patrol aircraft(which is based on boeing 737) deal with US .

    please always helps !

  4. and also enquire that why
    mirage 2000 upgrade deal costs more than mig 29 upgrade deal

    since we have less number of mirages than mig29s

    mig29 upgrade costs=$1 billion

    mirage upgrade cost=
    euro 1.5 billion

    mig 29 are two engined aircraft we
    are changing older engines with new ones(around 140 new rd 33 engines) and new electronics.

    mirage is a single engine aircraft
    and it will be upgraded with new avionics (not sure that there will be engine change)

    so why mirage upgrade deal is waaay costlier than mig 29 upgrade deal.

  5. Sorry for the intrusion here, but this is an anti-irate post!

    I for one actually appreciate that we are given these updates on the next piece that ajai is working on, unlike many other blogs.

    We get the chance to ask relevant questions and get informed in the process.

    Please keep up the top quality work, sir!

  6. I see a Naval dhruv in the background in one of your images. Is it going through some kind of upgrade or is the Naval dhruv history. This one size fits all mantra may not work with the navy because they have very specific issues regarding vibration and endurance.
    I hope like naval LCA HAL will get to develop a completely navalised 10-12 ton helo as a medium endurance ASW/ anti -surface/ AEW platform

  7. As far as I know, the Dhruv itself is not certified by the JAA/FAA. Plus, the Dhruv has the original Shakti engine under its hood rather than a navalised engine. An airborne maritime radar also needs to be integrated with the Dhruv. The DRDO developed Supervision-2000radar is not mature yet. The Navy might as well go ahead with the NH 90 or the Sikorsky S70.

  8. pls pls post some pic or atleast any recent news about air defence ship,.... p15a,..or naval lca..

  9. from someone in aroor's blog:

    Mr. Shiv & Mr. Sengupta,pls inform me when u get spare time....coz i want u guys to visit my dept. ie the RWRDC final assembly @ HAL,b'lore. When u ppl say that all that the world has seen of the naval ALH is a computer generated image & that it doesn't exist in reality, it the most bloody nonsense that can come out of the mouth of a sacrimonius *** ....mind you HAL is a defence entity,it doesn't need to update the common ppl abt the advances in military projects....
    PS: make sure u come by nxt week, then its possible to see the 5th naval ALH (ASW), fitted with so called "dreaded search radar",sonars,mines.....

  10. ajai, hope you take up the offer !

  11. Bravo ! One tight slap on the face of self serving and self righteous defense journos who jump the gun before doing their homework

  12. Fanatastic slap on the face,My fellow HALite@Bangalore.

  13. Dear HALite@Bangalore... in the RWRDC,

    I am working on getting out the information on the Dhruv naval version. Meanwhile, would appreciate if you could post --- without breaching security, of course --- on the first five naval version prototypes that you mention.

    It would clear up a lot of the smoke over the Naval Dhruv.


  14. Without going into too much of detail - any Navy would like to have a ship borne multi-role helicopter to perform the following:(a)An anti-submarine mission(armed with light weight torpedoes and depth charges)with an endurance of atleast 90 min for an anti Submarine search task with dunking sonar/sonobuoys.(b)An anti-ship mission with atleast two anti-ship missiles with a similar endurance and the ability to detect targets commensurate with the weapon range.
    (c)Search and Rescue with integral sensors and rescue equipment.(d)Electronic Surveillance and Counter Measures(e)Long Range Communication and Data Link Relay
    (f)The suitability to carry and land/recover Special Forces

    If someone can attempt to answer the queries about the Naval Dhruv from this perspective,much of the curiosity could be satiated!

  15. To anon@7pm and other respondents! A simple check at HAL's website reveals that in the News Section there is no official announcement yet on an exports of the Dhruv ALH to any Latin/South American country. Furthermore, in the latest Minsk Square Matters issue No60 the Defence Minister has been quoted as saying that HAL is currently ONLY in talks with Bolivia, Peru and Turkey to sell the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. Nowehere is it mentioned that HAL has already a signed and sealed contract with either Turkey, or Bolivia, or Venezuela, or Turkey. Unless one of course disputes what the Raksha Mantri has been quoted by HAL as saying. Therefore, in the absence of any firm clarity from either HAL or the MoD, I'm inclined to believe that HAL MAY HAVE received Letters of Intent from prospective customers, but as we all know, based on HAL's previous statements regarding potential orders (which never became reality) from Brazil and Chile, the path to be traversed from an LoI to a firm contract award is a long and arduous one. I personally have nothing for or against the Dhruv ALH or any other HAL-made products, nor am I insinuating or implying anything. I'm just sticking to factual reporting. In case anyone has any counter-arguments backed up by facts beyond reasonable doubt about the Dhruv ALH's inherent performance superiority vis-a-vis either the AW-139 or S-76C++ and if anyone can explain why the latter two models have been ordered by India-based civilian customers (leave alone export clients), instead of the Dhruv ALH, I'm all ears. But please stick to facts, and no ill-informed speculation and slandering.

  16. Navy is quit good supporter of Indigenous Think and if they say problem than we to think deeply and sort out the problem.
    Good luck.
    Any News Regarding ATV!
    one more thing i think you need to follow is OFB weapons news i heard and seen lot but only INSAS could find way out of factory what about other guns?
    Bullpop Insas
    Indian UZI

  17. Prasun, thanks for your post.

    HAL tells me UNAMBIGUOUSLY that the contracts with Ecuador and Turkey have been signed. Negotiations are on with Bolivia and Venezuela. You are right in pointing that out... and that's what my article says.

    I wouldn't always go with the website. It always takes a bit of lag-time for Bharat Sarkar to update websites.

  18. Is our friend Prasoon Sengupta smoking something? He is a strange journalist who relies on Indian government websites to get latest updates!!

    Then he flips through magazines and goes through quotes in the stories to get second-hand information!!

    And then he declares that since he cannot find anything in either, nothing must be happening with the organisation on which he wants his "scoop."

    So he "concludes" that there is no clarity on the issue either from HAL or MOD. How nice!! Truly a cuckoo-land scenario.

    Ummm... how much time does it take to get off one's haunches, pick up the phone and talk to the HAL chiarman directly to clarify about the alleged lack of clarity about Dhruv's international sales? Or may be a fax or email?

    Now, if Mr. Sengupta stopped behaving like a coy bride and started asking questions directly ...

  19. Lets compare the two journos here:

    1) Ajai: A former mechanised forces colonel and currently a journalist with leading Indian electronic media house. Ajai has demonstrated very good access to naval dockyards, DRDO labs, OFB factories and HAL and provided us spectacular insider photos.

    2) Prosoon: Propably somebody with a masters in defence studies from some 2-bit university (or maybe just another BSc grad) no background in defence forces. Sits in malaysia and reads defence mags and GOI websites from which he writes his brilliant "analysis". Have you ever seen the inside of HAL, Mazgaon or liongs gate docks Prosoon?

  20. anon, first spell his name right (PRASUN). by misspelling his name, you undermine your own credibility.

  21. Just to clarify, Prasun is a high-quality journalist with a record of serious analysis and great reportage.

    When will all of you kids learn that everyone who disagrees with what you say is not a fool. And that everyone who criticises an indigenous product is not a Pakistani.

    If you want to rebut something that someone is saying, it is much better to rebut it with a logical argument, rather than saying... oh, the guy who is saying that is an idiot...


  22. I never accused Prasun (happy now:)) of being a Pakistani.

    I have read his stuff for quite a while and have found it to be usually a mish-mash of various Janes publications and Indian websites. He seems to have no access within DRDO, armed forces or OFB.

    Now on the ALH issue (from Shiv Aroor's blog "livefist"). I can readily believe that HAL doesnt understand how to sell ALH in malaysia (and they should listen to Prasun on that). As for the rest, about no ALH having flown with SV-2000 etc etc I belive he knows very little about the facts of Naval ALH development and is fishing for information on this blog and Shiv Aroor's blog. This is also not the first incident, note the whole incident on the 3D-CAR on Shiv Aroor's blog and also previous stuff that he plagarised from Bharat Rakshak.

    Now I havent mis-spelt his name or called him a Pakistani. Reflect on what I have said and re-read some of his old articles in that light.

  23. also I am just another anonynmous Indian on this blog, who's "rozi roti" doesnt depend on defence reporting, what do I care about credibility. Take my arguments for what they are worth, discard them if you think they are not worth much.

  24. TO: Anon@ 07:37. For starters, I’ve never claimed to know more than HAL about product marketing strategies. Nor have I ever volunteered to give HAL any marketing or sales strategy tips. Nor have I ever claimed that the Dhruv ALH has yet to fly with the Supervision SV-2000 fitted on-board. In fact, if you look carefully (which I very much doubt you did) in my story on Shiv’s blog, you will very clearly find there the DRDO’s brochure on the SV-2000 which in turn clearly shows the radar mounted on a chin-mounted radome. Now if you can’t make any sense of that brochure and its contents (both visual and narrative) within my story, is that my fault? And do rest assured I will raise a similar ruckus (like I did when the Rohini 3D-CAR was rolled out by BEL) when BEL eventually rolls out another Akash E-SHORADS-related radar, this being the Battery Surveillance Radar. And by the way, do not accuse me of plagiarising content from any other forum and in fact if you visit such forums it is they that are openly cross-pasting my stories out of Shiv’s blog. In fact, they have been reproducing my stories en verbatim since 2004.

  25. In fact, they have been reproducing my stories en verbatim since 2004.

    with due credit, idiot. nobody at BR claimed otherwise. your items were posted as your items only.

    learn about copyright laws b4 you talk.

    and what about the mig-27 upgrade article from rupak that you lifted straight out of BR(it's still there) for force without as much as a reference ?
    bloody cheat and thief !

  26. and never has a single article of yours appeared in the main site where original articles appear.
    if you think otherwise, post links to the alleged copies.

    your articles have only appeared in the forum itself for discussion (and rubbishing, I might add.)

  27. To Anon@02.27AM: I think you got me confused with someone else. I have never written any standalone article on any MiG-27 upgrade for any publication thus far. Or your third-party sources are mis-informed. Kindly check with your sources and post the links where this alleged MiG-27 upgrade article appears and that too with my byline. Otherrwise, just shut up and bugger off!

  28. I don't remember the title of that article but it came out in the first part of 2005 in force.

    unfortunately force doesn't allow access to its older issues meaning I can't search for it.

    but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. ;-)

  29. To: Anon@03.05: No, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. The only articles I wrote in 2005 on upgrades that were published concerned the Mi-17V-5 and the Jaguar IS/IM. Like I said earlier, you may have got me confused with someone else. Perhaps if you don't have the weblinks to prove your claim then you could scan the printed article from the concerned publication and upload it to enlighten us all.

  30. ya sure, knowing that people don't have access to 3 yr old issues of force it is very easy to act proper and all.
    I'm certainly not mistaking you for somebody else.
    provide the links of every article you wrote for force between mid 2004 to mid 2005 and we play !
    do that and I'll show you the parts you have lifted.

  31. prasun, the whole Rohini 3d-CAR event reveals that you know nothing about:

    (a) product development
    (b) radar electronics

    Also it reveals that you dont know anybody within DRDO who can look at your "stories" and give feedback. Sorry there are limits to your "open source analysis", but you dont seem to understand them. You are just another muck-raking defence journo.

    And I too remember your plagarism from BR clearly.


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