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Ecuador scraps ALH "Dhruv" deal

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:51 am    Post subject: Ecuador scraps ALH "Dhruv" deal Reply with quote

Ecuador Scrapping ALH Deal Likely to Hit HAL

28th October 2015

The decision of the Ecuadorian Air Force to cancel the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) could be a setback for the PSU’s efforts to find an international market for its flagship product.

Sources told Express that the EAF has communicated its decision to the HAL recently citing problems with the helicopters as the reason.

The EAF had acquired seven helicopters, five in 2009 and two in 2011, in a contract was worth $45.2 million. The fleet was grounded after four of the choppers crashed.

“Canceling the contract due to crashes is unreasonable as crashes are part of flying exercise,” Air Marshal (retired) B K Pandey told Express. “However, in the light of the decision, it will be an uphill task for HAL to export its helicopters,” said Air Marshal Pandey, former chief of IAF Training Command.

Quoting reports on investigation into the accidents, Pandey said, two of those choppers crashed due to human error and mechanical failure was the reason for the two other crashes.

HAL has exported two Dhruvs to Maldives and one each in Nepal and Mauritius. Around 200 of them are flying with the Indian armed forces, including Indian Air Force, Army and Navy.

As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), HAL was responsible for maintenance of the choppers for the first two years after the sale and after that, equipment were supplied. During the first two years, a HAL team was stationed in Ecuador to provide technical and logistical support.

Sources in the know of the developments told Express that maintenance of the choppers was the responsibility of the EAF and shipment of parts was done in 2013.

•HAL supplied 7 ALH Dhruvs to Ecuador Air Force.
•Five were supplied in 2009 and two in 2011.
•Fleet grounded after four choppers crashed.
•The contract was worth $45.2 million.
•200 choppers are flying with Indian armed forces
•2 ALHs exported to Maldives, one each to Nepal and Mauritius.

EAF was using the Dhruv helicopters for cargo shipment, troop movement, medical evacuation, fire-fighting and VVIP transportation. In fact, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had defended the decision to acquire ALHs stating that the decision was right, but they were just unlucky.

When contacted, HAL spokesperson Gopal Sutar said they are currently examining the matter. “The matter is under scrutiny,” he said.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ecuadorian Air Force will sell-off HAL Dhruv helicopters

Oct 24, 2016

The Ecuadorian Air Force has put up its three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv helicopters for sale, which it had acquired in 2009 for its utility transport needs (IHS Jane’s).

The announcement was made by the country’s Minister of Defence Ricardo Patiño last week on Thursday.

Ecuador acquired seven Dhruv helicopters from HAL in 2009 under a $45 million U.S. deal.

Since 2009, four of the seven helicopters had succumbed to accidents, which had resulted in the collective deaths of three military personnel. Thus, the Ecuadorian Air Force grounded its Dhruv fleet, and as of last week, it is seeking to sell off its remaining helicopters.

As per the Times of India (TOI), Ecuador also terminated the Dhruv contract it had with HAL.

TOI also noted that two of the crashes were seemingly a result of pilot error, whilst two could be blamed on mechanical failures.

The HAL Dhruv has had technical issues, even in India. As of 2016, the Indian Air Force (IAF) grounded its Dhruv fleet three times because of technical issues. Within India, it is not clear if this will be blamed upon HAL in terms of quality control during the production process or from a design standpoint.

With the Kamov Ka-226T scheduled to enter production in India in the medium-term and the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) progressing through the development pipeline, the Dhruv will no longer be the mainstay light utility helicopter platform, be it for domestic use in India or the export market.

Nonetheless, the Dhruv episode may contribute to the increasingly strong drive to depend on upon India’s private defence players, such as Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), especially in the long-term as primary contractors for major works, such as airframe production.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's exactly is the issue with Ecuadorian ones.... IAF and IA ones are doing just fine.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

India seeks EASA certification for HAL-built Dhruv advanced light helicopters

29 November 2016

India is seeking certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Dhruv advanced light helicopters, as Ecuador considers returning the helicopters after a series of crashes.

Four of seven Dhruv helicopters supplied to Ecuador have crashed during the period October 2009 to January 2015.

The Ecuadorian Government has constituted Court of Inquiry (CoI) in each case which concluded that human errors caused the first two accidents.

Two other CoI reports have not been released by Ecuador Government, citing confidentiality, Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

However, the aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) analysed the flight data recorders (FDR) records and discovered that the third accident was due to 'pilot associated oscillation (human error)' and the cause of the fourth accident was 'failure of tail drive shaft attributed to maintenance lapse by Ecuadorian team'.

The EASA certification will help HAL increase the export potential in global market.

HAL also plans to propose long-term onsite maintenance support for three to five years in future contracts.

In June 2008, HAL received the first export order for Dhruv helicopters for the air force of Ecuador.

Dhruv is equipped with advanced technologies such as anti-resonance vibration isolation system (ARI), full authority digital electronic control (FADEC), hingeless main rotor, bearingless tail rotor, and an automatic flight control system.

Israel Aerospace Industries has developed an integrated helicopter avionics suite for the Dhruv, which includes day-and-night observation, electronic warfare suite, observation and targeting, and a flexible weapons carrying system.

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