HAL hands over the 16th ALH Mk-III helicopter to the Indian Coast Guard; receives letter of intent for 9 more

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the last of the 16 Advanced Light Helicopters ALH MK-III, Maritime role to the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday, November 15. The chopper was handed over to DG, Coast Guard, V.S. Pathania, in the presence of senior officials from the Indian Coast Guard and HAL.

“We are proud to be associated with HAL and happy to issue a Letter of Intent (LoI) for nine more helicopters. Despite Covid-19, HAL delivered all the helicopters in the shortest time with seamless production activities and this allows us to strengthen India’s maritime security.”

V.S. Pathania, DG, Coast Guard

ALSO READ – ICG Chief undertakes the first flight in a home-grown LUH

HAL also received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from the maritime organisation for nine more ALH Mk-III helicopters.

The Indian Coast Guard has acquired ALH Mk-III helicopters for diversified roles, which include maritime surveillance, search and rescue, medical evacuation, logistics support to ships and interdiction.  These choppers have been deployed at Porbandar, Bhubaneshwar, Kochi and Chennai.

S. Anbuvelan, CEO (Of helicopter Complex), HAL, pointed out the significant challenges in the execution of the contract that included integration of new systems sourced from foreign OEMs, conducting flight trials for certifications and overcoming disruptions in the supply chain due to lockdowns.

“A unique feature of the contract has been the performance-based logistics (PBL) – the one-stop solution for the maintenance of these helicopters by HAL.

This will serve as a benchmark for all our future contracts and boost our resolve to work with private partners to speed up the work in the interest of all our customers and strengthen Make-in-India activities in the defence eco-system.”

C.B. Ananthakrishnan, CMD, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

The Coast Guard will also be setting up a committee comprising all stakeholders, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), that will define the qualitative requirements of a maritime single-engine helicopter for replacing its Chetak fleet, it said in a statement. It is evaluating the capabilities of the indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in meeting the maritime challenges and serving as a Chetak replacement.

The Indian Coast Guard signed a contract for INR 5126 crore with HAL for the supply of 16 ALH Mk III in March 2017. ALH Mk-III is indigenously designed, developed and produced by HAL. So far, the company has produced more than 330 ALHs, a versatile helicopter that has logged more than 3.74 lakh flying hours.

ALSO READ – Indian Coast Guard commissions Made in India ALH Dhruv Mark III Helicopters

An ALH Mk-III chopper comes equipped with surveillance radar, an electro-optic pod, medical intensive care unit, a high-intensity searchlight, an infrared suppressor, a heavy machine gun, glass cockpit and is powered by two shakti helicopter engines. The helicopter is indigenously designed, developed and produced by HAL.

The Indian Coast Guard signed a contract for INR 5126 crore with HAL for the supply of 16 ALH Mk III in March 2017. (Image Courtesy – Shrey Chopra)

HAL has an order book of INR 83,858 crore as of September 2022 (3.2x TTM revenues) with an order pipeline of INR 50,000 crore for the next 1-1.5 years, which would include this order and other helicopter orders like 25 ALHs for the Army and six LUH each for the IAF & Army, the brokerage said in a note.

HAL stocks rally 7%

Shares of Hindustan Aeronautics jumped 7% to hit an all-time high of INR 2,697.70 on the BSE in Wednesday, November 17’s intra-day trade amid heavy volumes after the company received a letter of intent (LoI) for nine more advanced light helicopters (ALH) Mk-III from the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

The stock of the state-owned aerospace & defence company has surpassed its previous high of INR 2,639 touched on September 12, 2022. The trading volumes on the counter jumped four-fold with a combined 3.23 million shares changing hands on the NSE and BSE, till 01:31 pm.