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ONGC takes delivery of first copter from HAL

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Mr Subir Raha (left), CMD, ONGC, with Mr Ashok K. Baweja, CMD, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, at the commissioning of special advanced light helicopter Dhruv which has been configured by HAL for ONGC, in Mumbai. — Paul Noronha

Bangalore , Aug. 11

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd on Thursday took delivery of the first of its three helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. It said it would be ordering some more of the indigenously made advanced light copters.

The other two civil variants of "Dhruv" will follow in the coming months and the oil major will place them at its bases in New Delhi, Nazira in Assam and Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. Maintenance of the aircraft will be done by HAL.

The order placed in mid-June was executed at "lightning speed", HAL said in a release here. Handing over the aircraft to the ONGC Chairman, Mr Subir Raha, at the oil company's Juhu helibase, the HAL Chairman, Mr A.K. Baweja, said Dhruv was suited for search and rescue operations.

The delivery comes on the heels of the fire at ONGC's Mumbai High rig, where lack of timely aerial rescue caused a big damage to life and ONGC's assets.

Customised for ONGC's offshore search and rescue operations, the five-seater copter is kitted out with emergency floatation gear, a sonar locator beacon, life rafts, stretcher, oxygen system, ambu-bag and intravenous hook provisions.

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