In a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the government has cleared an Rs 8,000 crore proposal to acquire 32 ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) for the Indian Navy (IN) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). These advanced helicopters have been locally designed and built by state-run aviation giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The procurement of these helicopters will substantially boost the maritime security capabilities of the country. A high note of this procurement program is the Performance Based Logistics (PBL) HAL will provide for five years for the 16 helicopters being procured by the Indian Coast Guard. Of the 32 helicopters to be built by HAL, 16 each would be shared by both Indian Navy and the ICG.

The contracts were signed by Mr. V. Natarajan, General Manager (Helicopter Division), HAL and Mr. Jayant Sinha, JS & AM (MS), MoD, in New Delhi yesterday. Senior executives from HAL, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard were present on the occasion.

A wheeled version of Dhruv in operation with the Indian Navy.

Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL speaking about PBL said “The PBL is the purchase of Logistics support as an integrated, affordable, performance package designed to optimize system readiness and meet performance goals for the product through long-term support arrangements with clear lines of authority and responsibility”. The PBL is emerging as a preferred acquisition strategy for defence acquisition and asset management.

PBL ensures the availability of products to the customer while the responsibility gets transferred to the contractor. The PBL envisages rewards or penalties based on the performance.

ALH Dhruv, a light utility helicopter, was developed by HAL and features considerable amount of indigenous technology. The helicopter today serves as the backbone of the Indian forces and has been one of the most successful developmental programs initiated by HAL.

-Created with Due Inputs from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

© Karthik Kakoor