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Indian Army to deploy Rudra choppers along western front

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The weaponised helicopter will be an armed variant of advanced light helicopter Dhruv (in pic) used by the Indian Army.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army will deploy the Rudra Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) armed with advance air-to-air and anti-tank missiles along the Pakistan border in the near future.

The weaponised chopper is planned to be deployed along the western front, Army sources said here.

The induction of weaponised version of ALH, rechristened Rudra, with the integration of weapon system from 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rockets and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) is in final stages, they said.

Armed with an array of guns, rocket pods, air-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles, the choppers will provide the field commanders the ability to apply decisive combat power at critical times anywhere in the battle field, they said.

The 5.5 tonne class twin-engine chopper has a number of advanced features such as Automatic Flight Control System, Integrated Dynamic System, Full Authority Digital Electronic Control and can cruise at speeds of 250 km per hour.

Necessary changes have been made in the airframe of the chopper to give it agility and speed and to make it a suitable support weapon for the ground troops.

The chopper has been named 'Rudra', one of the names of Lord Shiva who is worshiped as the destroyer of enemies, to signify the helicopter's firepower and capabilities.

Meanwhile, army is all set to replace its ageing fleet of helicopters with induction of new versions of light and combat choppers.

The induction of 197 light observation helicopters is in the final stages. Meanwhile, army will induct 114 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) suited for deployment along the mountainous terrain, sources said.

LCH which is being designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out its maiden flight in March last year.

The proposal of inducting tactical battle support helicopters, also known as Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH) of 10-20 tone class is also in the pipeline, they said.

At present army has a fleet of over 250 helicopters. With the new inductions in the pipeline, as per the long term perspective plan, the army will be able to plan and conduct operations in the Tactical Battle Area (TBA) without any hindrance, the sources said.

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India  Army  Helicopter  
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