Press Release Press Release

Signing of MOU for supply of 'Dhruv' Advanced Light Helicopter from India to Mauritius

Signing of MOU for supply of 'DHRUV' advanced light helicopter from India to Mauritius

During the State Visit of the Honorable Prime Minister of Mauritius, H.E. Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam to India in October 2005, the Government of India agreed to extend a line of credit of US$ 100 million with a grant component of US$ 25 million. At the tenth session of the India Mauritius Joint Commission meeting co-chaired by the Hon'ble External Affairs Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and the Hon'ble Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment, Mr. Rama Krishna Sithanen and held in Mauritius in December 2007, it was agreed to use part of the line of credit for the following purposes:

  • Supply of an Advanced Light Helicopter
  • Setting up of a Coastal Radar Surveillance System and
  • Supply of an Offshore Patrol Vessel

An inter-governmental MoU was signed today, February 27, 2009 between the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius for the supply of the Dhruv helicopter to the Mauritius Police Force from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The ALH will be funded entirely under the grant element of line of credit extended by the Government of India to the Government of Mauritius in October 2005. On the sidelines, an agreement was also signed with HAL, the designers and manufacturers of Dhruv helicopter. The helicopter is likely to be accepted by the pilots of the Mauritius Police Force by end of March 2009. Dhruv, which in Sanskrit means the pole star, is a state-of-the-art helicopter, which is expected to strengthen Mauritius' air surveillance capabilities and add a definitive punch to the Police Helicopter Squadron.

The Dhruv is a multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5 tonnes weight class built to meet Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). It is designed to meet both civil and military operators' requirements. Civil version of Dhruv has been certified in both wheeled and skid configurations.

The Dhruv is powered by two Turbomeca TM 333 2B2 engines with sufficient power margins for single engine performance and CAT 'A' take off and landing capabilities. Use of two engines provides increased safety and allows continuous flight till safe landing. The Dhruv with its hinge-less main rotor and integrated dynamic system provides excellent handling qualities including good Nap of Earth (NOE) performance due to its high rotor moment capability and fast control response. The Dhruv is ideally suited for rapid deployment due to its high-speed capability. Its large fuel capacity enables long range and endurance. Provision for fitment of auxiliary fuel tank further enhances the range and endurance.

The Dhruv has been designed for both utility and armed roles. It has been designed to land on ships under high sea state conditions and on small/restricted helipads. The Dhruv is ideally suited for VVIP/VIP transport, search and rescue, offshore operations, disaster relief, Emergency Medical Service and police roles.

Dhruv is designed for a high degree of safety and reliability and also a high degree of survivability which includes low radar, thermal and acoustic signatures. Extensive use of composites provides resistance to corrosion, longer life, ease of repair and high degree of crash worthiness.

The Dhruv can carry 14 fully combat ready troops along with its complement of two pilots. The helicopter has a range of almost 700 km on its internal tanks which can be extended to almost 1200 km, when equipped with internal auxiliary tanks. It has a service ceiling of 4.8 km with a maximum speed of 290 kmph at sea level.

Dhruv comes equipped with a sophisticated avionics suite comprising an advanced navigation system and a four axis autopilot which coupled together provide a 'hands-off' capability to the helicopter allowing pilots to concentrate on the mission requirements. It also allows the helicopter to auto hover with little assistance from the pilot, an extremely useful feature in SAR missions. The navigation system can assist the helicopter to undertake accurate automated search patterns over sea with almost nil reference features and with little pilot assistance. It is also equipped with a long range weather radar providing it capability to negotiate bad weather. The helicopter is compliant with the Instrument Flight Rules and therefore is all weather day and night machine.

The inclusion of Dhruv in the Mauritius Police Force would result in an extensive enhancement of the present SAR capability and provide strategic depth to policing its extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The helicopter is capable of flying to islands of St Brandon, Agalega and Rodrigues. It would also significantly enhance the time at station which translates into an extended time at sea which is often the critical factor in saving precious lives in SAR missions.

The signing of the MOU is a significant step in furthering the bilateral defence co-operation between the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius. It reflects the firm commitment and continued engagement of the Government of India in further developing, consolidating and expanding the comprehensive multifaceted cooperation between India and Mauritius.

Port Louis
February 27, 2009

Go to Navigation