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HAL keen to export Dhruv to Chile

December 18, 2004 16:22 IST

The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is pushing for exports of its flagship helicopter Dhruv to Chile with an aim to make an entry into the South American market.

"We have demonstrated Dhruv in Chile and have got good response. Our current strength is that we are very competitive and what we need to do is push. We are actively pushing it in South America with initial customer as Chile," HAL Chairman Ashok K Baweja told reporters in Bangalore on Saturday.

India and Israel Aircraft Industries have joined hands to market the international version of the homegrown Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter and completed one-month trials in Chile last July.

Baweja said HAL was competing with Bell Helicopters and Eurocopter for the Chile defence forces order.

IAI officials estimate to sell over 120 Dhruvs, one of the finest helicopters in its class, in the global market in the next eight years.

India has sold two Dhruvs to Nepal and will ship one Dhruv to Israel this month to ferry VIPs in the West Asian country, HAL officials said.

Baweja said a team of customers from South East Asia are expected later this month to evaluate the Dhruv helicopter.

"Dhruv and Intermediate Jet Trainers are the two products which can be exported globally," he said, adding HAL had produced 35 Dhruvs so far.
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