April 22, 2021
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Slow progress
Need for naval utility helicopters

The Indian Navy is moving to buy foreign utility helicopters to replace the French Aerospatiale Allouette helicopters Cheetah and Chetak (Allouette 3) that have been the mainstay of rotary wing platforms of all the three Armed Forces over the past four decades (they took part in the Bangladesh war of 1971).

Its replacement, the indigenously designed and developed Dhruv which is being used by about a dozen countries around the globe, is being prepared for an early burial as per Indian military traditions.

As with many other weapons platforms acquired over the past decade by the Indian armed forces most “indigenously developed weapons” will be nudged out of service leaving Indians wondering when will one “indigenous” product replace another till we achieve the so-called national goal of self-sufficiency in the wherewithal of national security.

The Dhruv has been plagued with airworthiness problems but at least two independent enquiries have rejected complaints of maj
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