Indian Navy not to use 'Dhruv' for anti-submarine warfare

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Kochi, Nov 27 (UNI) The Indian Navy has decided not to use the 'Dhruv' advanced light helicopter, manufactured by HAL, Bangalore, for anti-submarine warfare and has sent a 'request for proposal' (RFP) for another multi-role helicopter, Flag Officer commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Sunil K Damle said today.

Addressing a press conference here, Vice-Admiral Damle said the Navy had acquired ten 'Dhruv' helicopters from HAL with the understanding that the first six would be used in a utility role, for search and rescue and transportation, while the remaining four would be converted for ASW operations.

However, because of their size and weight, these helicopters were found unsuitable to discharge their function at sea for ASW and the Navy had now decided to use all ten in the utility role, he added.

The Navy had also placed an 'RFP' for a multi-role helicopter.

''We are already in the market, looking for helicopters. HAL also is contending for this,'' he added.

Asked about the naval version of the light combat aircraft (LCA), Vice-Admiral Damle said the Navy had already paid Rs 300 crore to HAL for this.

Stating that the LCA for the Air Force had turned out to be a ''success story'', Vice-Admiral Damle said the one for the Navy would be more challenging technologically and would have to use an upgraded engine for added thrust.

An upgraded engine for the Naval version had already been identified and the first Naval version of the LCA would be more of a ''technology demonstrator'', he added.

Similarly, the Naval version of MiG-29 also would use an upgraded engine, he said.

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