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Dhruv choppers restricted from flying in Equador after mishaps

India-made Dhruv helicopters sold to Equador have suffered accidents recently, prompting an order of “restricted” operations on the remaining ones, a development that could cause concern to the government which is planning expansion of export of military hardware.

Ecuadorian Air Force had bought seven Dhruv helicopters from state-run HAL in 2009 under a deal estimated to cost about USD 45 million.

Two of them had crashed earlier while two suffered accidents recently, in a span of about a fortnight.
“Three aircraft have had their operations restricted because they are undergoing a complete check,” Security Minister Cesar Navas was quoted as saying by El Universo newspaper after the accident on January 27.

Dhruv helicopter FAE 605 allegedly caught fire in Ecuador’s Amazon region on January 27 after taking off at a military base in Tena, according to local media. Two people were injured in the mishap.

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