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India clinches first foreign deal with Ecuador to sell copter

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, June 26, IRNA
India has made aviation history by concluding a $51 million deal with the South American Republic of Ecuador for the sale of seven 'Dhruv' Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH).

The deal signed between Ecuador Aviation Authority and bluechip state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) envisages the supply of seven helicopters in semi knock-down conditions to the Republic in a time-frame of 15 months to two years, defence ministry officials said.

With this, India has joined a select group of nations with a capability to bid for international contracts for choppers. So far, the helicopter market has been dominated by US, European companies and Russia.

The ALH 'Dhruv' has been making waves in international air shows world over from the past two years but international sales of the helicopter have eluded HAL.

HAL came very near bagging its first international order when it bid for the Chilean armed forces contract two years ago, but was beaten to the closing line by the US competitors.


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