Indian Government says 16 accidents involving Dhruv helicopters occurred since 2002
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that accidents involving Dhruv advanced light helicopters (ALH) occurred due to human error and technical reasons.
Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said: "Since 2002, 14 military and two civil Dhruv helicopters have been involved in accidents, out of which 11 occurred in India and five abroad.
"Out of 16 accidents, 12 occurred due to human error and environmental factors and the remaining four occurred due to technical reasons."
The MoD intends to run an enquiry based on which corrective measures will be implemented by the operator and other original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-built Dhruv is an advanced 5.5t class light helicopter used by the Indian army, air force, navy, coast guard and civil operations.
Powered by two Turbomeca TM 333-2C or 2B2 engines, the helicopter has several military variants suitable for transport, utility, reconnaissance and medical evacuation missions.
Earlier, the Ecuadorian government had unveiled plans to acquire the aircraft through a foreign military sale programme.
Singh added: "As per notice issued by Ecuador Government, non-compliance of the seller of some of the obligations contracted by virtue of the present contract and value of the fines exceeding the amount of guarantee of faithful compliance of the contract have been cited as the reasons."
The Indian military had grounded the entire Dhruv fleet at least thrice in the past due to technical failures, including engine problems.