The Indian Army's Rudra attack helicopter fires rockets and its nose-mounted 20 mm gun
Three armed helicopters took off from an airfield somewhere in the northeast. They flew out in formation till they reached the firing zone ahead of their targets. Soon, one of the helicopters sprayed the targets with a rain of steel and fire.
This was how the Indian Army's aviation unit successfully tested the new generation rocket and turret and ammunition system from the Rudra, the combat version of the Dhruv helicopter and the first home-grown attack chopper.
The army's Spear Corps in a video posted on X showed the heads-up display (HUD) of the attack helicopter Rudra while firing the rockets and the nose-mounted gun that can penetrate light armour.
The targets took effective fire as the gunner in the Rudra kept the digital reticle in the HUD firmly and accurately fixed on the targets.
"The Indian Army fired the New Generation Rocket and Turret Ammunition from the Rudra, the first indigenous attack helicopter. The efficacy of the platform augments the strike capability and lethality in the mountains. Corps Commander complimented the aviators on their professionalism and operational preparedness," the Spear Corps said in the post on X, formerly Twitter.
The Rudra was designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force and the army. The multirole chopper weighs 5.8 tonnes.
Its main roles are to destroy tanks, scout ahead of the main force, give fire support to ground troops and conduct armed reconnaissance and surveillance.
HAL on its website says the Rudra's hover performance is "excellent" as it was designed for a high rate of climb with adequate safety margins in case of a single engine failure. It is ideal for operations from unprepared surfaces and slopes.
The Rudra can carry 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket system and air-to-air missiles.