HAL to export Dhruv helicopter to Mauritius


India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with Mauritius for the supply of a single Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

The contract was announced on 19 January and covers the improved Mk III version, which features an all-glass cockpit, an integrated architecture display and automatic flight control systems. It will be flown by the Mauritius Police Force.

This is the second Dhruv for Mauritius after the Indian government loaned a single Dhruv to the country to boost the Coast Guard’s maritime surveillance capabilities.

HAL said the latest contract is in line with India’s vision of boosting defence exports to friendly countries.

More than 335 ALHs have been produced till date.

The latest sale comes after HAL in September last year handed over a Dornier Do 228 turboprop aircraft to the Mauritius Coast Guard, which will lease it for maritime security duties. At the time, the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Nandini K Singla, said the aircraft had been leased to Mauritius by the Indian Navy for free to support the current increased load of air operations, and that in 2022, HAL would be handing over a brand new Do 228 to Mauritius (HAL manufactures the Do 228 in India). This aircraft is being purchased through a line of credit between Mauritius and India.

In early 2021, the Indian government offered Mauritius a $100 million loan to fund the procurement of Indian-made aircraft and naval security equipment for the Mauritius Coast Guard.