India’s first indigenously designed and manufactured armed helicopter will make its maiden public appearance in a fly-past at the country’s Republic Day military parade in New Delhi on 26 January.
Indian Air Force (IAF) officials said the twin-engine Rudra Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Weapon Systems Integrated (WSI) Mk IV will lead the second formation of 38 aircraft participating in the fly-past, following the fighter formation.
Manufactured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the 5-tonne Rudra is the weaponised version of the Dhruv ALH, which entered service with the IAF and the Army Aviation Corps (AAC) from 2001.
The platform is capable of providing close air support (CAS) against, among other things, enemy tanks, can transport troops, and is capable of carrying out logistical and reconnaissance support as well as casualty evacuation missions.
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