March 1, 2009 -- India has signed a pact with Mauritius for supply of a 'Dhruv' Advanced Light Helicopter built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
Mauritius will be the second country after Equador to get the multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter. The helicopter is likely to be handed over this month to Mauritius for use by its police, officials said here.
The state-of-the-art helicopter is being supplied under an inter-governmental MoU concluded last week. The chopper, which costs around seven million USD, is being supplied under a 100 million USD line of credit extended by India to Mauritius over three years ago, they said. Equador became the first country to acquire Dhruv helicopters last month when it signed a contract for seven choppers for its Air Force.
The armed version of Dhruv can be fitted with rockets and a 20 mm gun. Dhruv also has a variant which is equipped with 'fire and forget' air-to-air missiles and 70 mm rockets that can be fired in direct and indirect mode. Dhruv won the Equadorian contract, outperforming rival machines from global majors like Eurocopter, mainly due to its lower price tag. Equador already got five helicopters and the remaining two will be handed over in six months.(india-defence)
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