The Indian Army will be handed over the first two weapon system integrated (WSI) version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-Mk-IV) Rudra, during Aero India 2013.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) chairman R K Tyagi told Express that Rudra will also be available for customer demonstration flights during the show. "Rudra will definitely add more teeth to Indian Army and we will roll out more production units to the squadron," he said.
Express had earlier reported that around 70 Rudras will fly out of HAL to meet Army's initial requirements.
"In addition to the redundant flight critical systems, IR suppressor, armour panels, crashworthy features and self-sealing fuel tanks enhance the survivability of the helicopter in the battlefield environment," Tyagi said.
Rudra can carry a mix of weapons providing it with capability to search and destroy any target. Systems like electro-optic pod, helmet-mounted sight and fixed sight facilitating firing of the onboard weapons (20 mm turret gun, 70mm rockets and Air-to-Air missiles), makes it an unforgiving machine.
He said Rudra's rigid rotors have extremely high agility and manoeuvrability. With its high-powered engine, the chopper can undertake missions up to altitudes of six km. "With such capabilities, Rudra is unmatched in the world, in its class," claims Tyagi.
He confirmed that HAL has plans to integrate additional new systems on Rudra, including infra-red jammer, data link, obstacle avoidance system (for Army), wire cutter (for IAF) and NBC (Nuclear Biological and Chemical) sensors.
When asked about ALH Dhruv's (earlier version of Rudra) export status, Tyagi said three more countries have shown interest in these choppers.
Over 130 Dhruv helicopters are in operation now, with Indian Army flying 110 and 12 with Indian civil operators