Santiago: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) designed and manufactured, Advanced Light Helicopter, 'Dhruv', has been shortlisted by Chile for likely purchase, though a firm decision in this regard is yet to be taken, the Chilean Army commander-in-chief, Gen Oscar Izurieta has said.
Chile has a requirement of 8 to 10 helicopters of the Dhruv type, he said, adding that trials were still on.
A multi-role advanced helicopter, Dhruv, is currently being supplied to the Indian Armed Forces, including the Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. A civilian variant is also available, which has been supplied to various state governments and other organisations.
The Dhruv has also been exported to Nepal and Israel, and is also being considered for purchase by Bolivia and Peru. In its other variants, the Dhruv can also operate in an anti-submarine warfare role as well as a helicopter gunship for operations by the army and the air force.
In an interview with an Indian magazine, Gen Izurieta also mentioned that Chile, India and Malaysia will form a Scorpene submarine club in order to help one another with training and spares. Such cooperation would serve to make operations of the submarine cost-effective.
While Chile has acquired two medium sized Scorpenes from France, Malaysia has three on order while India will manufacture six. The basic architecture of the Indian variant of the Scorpene sub would be the same as that of the Chilean and Malaysian versions, though it may differ in size and functionality.