Defense sources told Sputnik that initially a squadron of 10 HAL Dhruv Mk-IVs will be deployed in the north-eastern part of Assam, which will happen near simultaneously with the building of additional heli bases which are going to be operational in the coming months along eastern border.
Designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the twin-engine, multi-role helicopter comprises 50% imported content. It is considered highly efficient for close air support and high altitude operations. The helicopter is equipped with 20 mm turret gun and can carry 70 mm rockets, Mistral air-to-air missile, air-to-ground missile, helmet pointing system and anti-tank missiles. The Indian Army currently operates over 100 HAL Dhruv helicopters in all variants.
“Any country will employ any available weapon platform or equipment that meets its military needs at a given time and place. Helicopters are more useful in mountains where the ground mobility and deployment areas for guns are restricted due to geographical constraints. This does not mean India is preparing for a war with China,” Brigadier Rumel Dahiya, a Delhi-based military analyst, told Sputnik.
Indian Army is, in the recent past, establishing dedicated attack helicopter fleet integrated with its strike corps. It has placed an order of 114 indigenously developed light combat helicopters (LCH) as well. The Army is also expected to receive US made AH-64E Apache heavy attack helicopters for the northeastern region.
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