|HAL Rudra at Aero India 2013|
|Manufacturer||Hindustan Aeronautics Limited|
|First flight||16 August 2007|
|Primary user||Indian Army|
|Developed from||HAL Dhruv|
The HAL Rudra, also known as ALH-WSI, is an armed version of HAL Dhruv. Rudra is equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Thermal Imaging Sights Interface, a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket pods, anti-tank guided missiles and air-to-air missiles.
Design and development
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) was expected by late 2012 and deliveries of production helicopters were to start by 2013. On 4 February 2013 during Aero India, the HAL Rudra Mk-IV achieved IOC, and two helicopters were handed over to the army.
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.
- 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. All these systems have been tested individually.
- Indian Air Force – 16 aircraft ordered
- Indian Army – 50 aircraft in service as of October 2019 with 10 more on order to be delivered by 2020.
- Crew: Two pilots
- Capacity: 12 passengers (14 passengers in high density seating)
- Length: 15.87 m (52 ft 1 in)
- Width: 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)
- Height: 4.98 m (16 ft 4 in)
- Gross weight: 4,445 kg (9,800 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 5,800 kg (12,787 lb) for Mk IV
- Fuel capacity: 1,055 kg (2,326 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft, 1,068 kW (1,432 shp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 13.2 m (43 ft 4 in)
- Main rotor area: 136.85 m2 (1,473.0 sq ft)
- Never exceed speed: 245 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) for Mk IV
- Range: 590 km (370 mi, 320 nmi) for Mk IV
- Endurance: 3.8 hours
- Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,000 ft) 
- Rate of climb: 10.33 m/s (2,033 ft/min)
- Disk loading: 40.19 kg/m2 (8.23 lb/sq ft)
- 1 × 20mm M621 cannon on Nexter THL-20 chin-mounted gun turret
- 1 × 7.62 mm cabin-mounted machine gun (coast guard version)
- 2×2 MBDA Mistral-1 short-range air-to-air missiles
- 4 × 70 mmThales 12-round rocket pods
- 4×2 Helina anti-tank guided missiles (In development)
- 2 torpedoes or depth charges and 4 anti-ship missiles (planned for navy version)
- Elbit CoMPASS optoelectronic suite for reconnaissance and target acquisition
- RWS-300 radar warning system or LWS-310 laser warning system
- MAW-300 missile approach warning system
- SAAB IDAS-3 self-protection suite
- BOP-L ECM dispenser
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