HAL Rudra

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HAL Rudra
HAL Rudra at Aero India 2013.JPG
Rudra of the Indian Army in 2013
Role Attack helicopter
National origin India
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
First flight 16 August 2007
Introduction 2012
Status In Production
Primary users Indian Army
Indian Air Force
Indian Navy
Number built 20
Developed from HAL Dhruv

The HAL Rudra (Sanskrit: रुद्र, "The God Of The Tempest") aka ALH-WSI is an armed version of HAL Dhruv. Rudra is equipped with Forward Looking Infra Red and Thermal Imaging Sights Interface, a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket pods, Anti-tank guided missiles and Air-to-Air Missiles.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The prototype Dhruv-WSI performing at Aero India 2009

While flight testing the Light Combat Helicopter, a modified version of HAL Dhruv, the Indian Army came to the conclusion that without making any major modifications to the Dhruv air-frame, an armed variant can also be developed and delivered to the army quickly. This variant was named Rudra.[2]

The Rudra underwent integration trial for armament and electro-optical systems and a final round of weapon firing trials in September 2011, which included testing of the 20-mm turret gun. The 70 mm rockets and MBDA Mistral air-to-air missiles were tested in November 2011.[3] The helicopter exceeded the payload and performance requirements at the height of 6 km. It has integrated sensors, weapons and electronic warfare suite, and uses an upgraded version of the glass cockpit used in the HAL Dhruv Mk-III. The sensors include stabilised day and night cameras, infrared imaging as well as laser ranging and designation.[4] It has an Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) from SAAB, with electronic warfare self-protection which is fully integrated into the glass cockpit. On-board self-defence systems include radar & missile detectors, IR jammer, chaff and flare dispensers. The helicopter can be used in both unarmed and armed roles that include reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare and close air support.[5]

Rudra at static display at Aero India 2013

In September 2012, ground tests for the first production Rudra were completed. It featured a turret gun, rockets, air-to-air missiles and could carry air-to-ground missiles like the anti-tank helicopter-launched Nag. HAL was awarded with a combined order of 76 Rudras for the Indian army, the primary customer, and the Indian air force. It was reportedly that the weapons platforms and avionics of HAL Rudra and the under-development Light Combat Helicopter would be the same.[6]

The Indian Navy conducted flight trials in 2012-13, and found the helicopter suitable for coastal surveillance operations. It was impressed with the capability of the Rudra's sensors to track ships at 12 and 14 km. The image quality of the sensors was described as good enough to even read the name of ships at those ranges, and the navy was keen to order at least 20 helicopters.[7]

Service history[edit]

Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) was expected by late 2012 and deliveries of production helicopters were to start by 2013.[8] On 4 February 2013 during Aero India, the HAL Rudra Mk-IV achieved IOC,[9] and two helicopters were handed over to the army.[10]

Variants[edit]

Rudra, or ALH-WSI (Weapon Systems Integrated) has two main versions.

  • Mark III: This version has Electronic Warfare, countermeasures, sensors and targeting systems installed, but does not feature weapons.[11][12]
  • Mark IV: This version is to have a French Nexter 20 mm turret gun, Belgian 70 mm rockets, and MBDA air to air and air to ground missiles, such as the anti-tank Helina missile.[11] All these systems have been tested individually.

Operators[edit]

 India

  • Army Aviation Corps, Indian Army plans to acquire at least 60 Rudra helicopters. The first two were handed over to the army in February 2013.[13]
  • Indian Air Force has ordered 16 Rudras.
  • On 23rd July 2014 the MoD gave an order for 32 more Dhruv MK III for the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard numbering 16 each.

Specifications (Dhruv)[edit]

Data from Indian Army,[14] Crawford,[15] HAL,[16] and Defense Update.[17]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 12 passengers (14 passengers with high density seating) or 4 stretchers.
  • Length: 15.87 m (52 ft 0.8 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 13.20 m (43 ft 3.7 in)
  • Height: 4.98 m (16 ft 4.06 in)
  • Disc area: 137 m² (1,472 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,502 kg (5,515 lb)
  • Useful load: 2,600 kg (5,731 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,500 kg (12,125 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshafts, 1,000 kW (1,400 shp[18])
    Alternate engine: 2 x Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 turboshaft, 746 kW (1,000 shp) each

Performance

Armament

Avionics

  • Elbit CoMPASS optoelectronic suite for reconnaissance and target acquisition
  • SAAB IDAS-3 self-protection suite

References[edit]

  1. ^ "YEAR-END REVIEW – 2010 DRDO". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Certified and ready, Indian Army to receive 1st weaponised Dhruv". SP's Land Forces. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Indian Army to Induct Weaponized Advanced Light Helicopter "Rudra" Soon". Defence News. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "India developing Agni VI". The Statesman. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Armed dhruv". HAL. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "ALH Mk-IV "Rudra" completes Development test, First Production ALH Mk-IV Ready". IDRW NEWS NETWORK. September 22, 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Navy keen on weaponised Dhruv". The Hindu. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Electronic Warfare self-protection suites ordered for 'Dhruv'". Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  9. ^ HAL Receives IOC for ALH Rudra - Defense-Aerospace.com, February 4, 2013
  10. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/growing-indigenous-presence-at-air-show-113020700275_1.html
  11. ^ a b Hirschberg 2011, p. 51.
  12. ^ "ALH touches 20,000 feet and Cheetal 23,000". Indiastrategic.in. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  13. ^ "Army gets attack helicopters as India eyes China threat". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  14. ^ "Equipment: Dhruv". Indian Army. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Crawford 2003, p. 39.
  16. ^ http://www.hal-india.com/helicopter/products.asp
  17. ^ "Equipment: Dhruv". Defense Update. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Safran Group". Turbomeca. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  19. ^ http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories1200_ALH_touches_20000_feet.htm

External links[edit]