India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved the Indian Army's procurement of an additional 25 Dhruv Mk III Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) for INR38.5 billion (USD518 million).
The approval was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi on 29 September alongside the acquisition of munitions and other unspecified defence items. The total value of these procurements is INR131.65 billion, with 87% of this sourced from local industry, the MoD said.
The MoD said the procurement of additional twin-engined Dhruvs will constitute a squadron and will enhance the Indian Army's integral lift capability, indicating that the version to be acquired is utility.
The army operates both utility and armed versions of the helicopter, which is produced by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The company has provided about 80 utility platforms to the Indian Army's Army Aviation Corps (AAC) since 2011.