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Helicopter (Dhruv) deal with Ecuador in legal battle (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II, Topic: Defence exports from India)

Dhruv deal entangled in legal battle
India exported its indigenous Dhruv helicopters in 2009 to Ecuador in two batches — five in 2009 and two in 2011 — in a deal worth $ 45.2 million. But following the four crashes, Ecuador unilaterally terminated the contract with HAL in October 2015 despite, HAL offering free maintenance beyond the contractual obligations.

Almost seven years later, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has now moved a local court.

Ecuador’s claim
1.The report states that of the four helicopters that crashed, two had been attributed to pilot error, one was due to a mechanical failure while the reason for the fourth crash is not clear.

2. Defence sources said HAL was responsible for the maintenance of the choppers for 24 months after which Ecuadorean personnel, who had been trained by HAL, were expected to take over.

3. Ecuador had also complained about lack of spares and maintenance and the reasons cited for contract termination were “non-compliance of the seller of some of the obligations contracted by virtue of the present contract” and “value of the fines exceeding the amount of guarantee of faithful compliance of the contract.”

HAL rejects charges
HAL officials rejected the charges and said enough spares were supplied and stocked in the country during the contract period.

About Dhruv
Dhruv is a helicopter, indigenously designed and developed by HAL, is powered by a Shakti engine, jointly developed by HAL and Turbomeca of France. Over 200 of these choppers are currently in service in India.
 



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