Indian Coat Guard on Saturday inducted first three of 16 indigenous ‘Make-in-India’ Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) Mk-III equipped with modern avionics and systems enhancing quick response capabilities at Bengaluru.
Speaking at the induction event via video conference, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar lauded the state-of-the-art aircraft design and manufacturing standards under ‘AtmanirbharBharat’ by the state owned Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) and also appreciated the perseverant efforts of the ICG in ensuring safe, secure and clean seas.
The ALH Mk-III marine version has been designed and developed with the in-house customisation of 19 additional equipment by HAL to meet ICG requirements. The HAL will supply 16 ALH Mk-III to the ICG by mid next year.
The helicopters can undertake operations from ships which will enhance Coast Guard capabilities towards sea-air coordinated search, interdiction capabilities, coastal security, search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, humanitarian missions, pollution response missions, the officials in ICG said.
The ICG for the recently conducted successful operations of drugs and arms seizure and saving lives especially during cyclones Tauktae and Yaas and had endeavored many more such rescue operations in recent past.
On induction, the 16 ALH Mk-III will be positioned at four Coast Guard squadrons at Bhubaneshwar, Porbandar, Kochi and Chennai, the ICG officials further said, adding that these squadrons with embarked operations will ensure seamless surveillance and assist fishermen in distress at sea.