Sources have revealed that the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Dhruv' fleet, which was grounded by the army following a chopper crash in Jammu and Kashmir almost a month ago, has now received clearance for flight.
However, this clearance comes with certain conditions, as the helicopters have been authorized to operate only in "limited and emergency operations."
Only the helicopters that have undergone thorough inspections and are deemed airworthy will be permitted to fly. Currently, the Army possesses approximately 145 Dhruv helicopters, while the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard own 70, 18, and 20 of these helicopters, respectively.
The authorization to resume chopper operations would need to be granted by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of the helicopter.
Following a "hard landing" in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district on May 4, an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv carrying three individuals on board tragically resulted in the death of a technician and injuries to two pilots.
Adhering to standard protocols, the army took immediate action and grounded the entire fleet subsequent to the accident.
The Navy and the Coast Guard had previously implemented a partial grounding of the helicopters for a period of over a month.
This decision came after two accidents occurred in March, with an Indian Navy Dhruv experiencing a forced landing in the Arabian Sea, while a Coast Guard Dhruv encountered a forced landing shortly after takeoff from Kochi.
The Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter plays a crucial role as a workhorse for the Indian Armed Forces.
It is extensively utilized by the Army, operating at remarkably high altitudes to support soldiers stationed in regions such as the Siachen Glacier and Ladakh.
However, there have been growing apprehensions within the forces regarding mechanical defects and reliability issues in recent times.