Philippines Eyes Indian Dhruv Helicopters as Indian Navy Visits Manila

A recent interaction between a Philippine delegation and the crew of an Indian Dhruv helicopter onboard INS Shakti has reignited discussions about the possible sale of these helicopters from India to the Philippines. The delegation, which included representatives from the Philippine Navy, Coast Guard, and Department of National Defense (DND), had the opportunity to get a firsthand look at the capabilities of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv.

This renewed interest comes after the Philippine Coast Guard previously expressed their desire to acquire Dhruv helicopters in the 2020-21 timeframe. Reports suggested the PCG was interested in purchasing around seven Dhruv ALHs, potentially financed through Indian credit lines.

The Dhruv, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is a versatile helicopter well-suited for maritime operations. Its capabilities include Search and Rescue (SAR), maritime patrol, and coastal security – all areas where the Philippine Coast Guard requires additional resources.

While the details of the current discussions remain undisclosed, this recent interaction signifies a potential step forward in finalizing a deal between India and the Philippines. The Dhruv’s proven performance with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, coupled with the possibility of favorable financing options, makes it a compelling choice for the Philippines.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first instance of successful defense cooperation between India and the Philippines. In fact, just recently, India finalized the delivery of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines in a deal valued at $375 million. This marked the first-ever export of the BrahMos missile system, showcasing India’s growing prowess in defense exports. The Dhruv helicopter deal, if finalized, would further solidify the strategic partnership between the two nations.


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