New Delhi: 835 Squadron (CG), an indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III squadron, was commissioned into Indian Coast Guard at its Air Enclave in Porbandar, Gujarat on June 28, 2022. DG, Coast Guard VS Pathania presided over the commissioning ceremony which was attended by various military & civil dignitaries based at Porbandar and Gujarat area. The commissioning of this squadron marks a tremendous leap towards self-reliance in the field of Search and Rescue (SAR) and maritime surveillance, in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The ALH MK III helicopters have been indigenously manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). They feature state-of-the-art equipment including advanced RADAR as well as Electro optical sensors, Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity searchlight, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system as well as SAR homer. The features enable them to undertake maritime reconnaissance as well as carry out SAR at extended ranges even while operating from ships during both day and night. The aircraft has the ability to switch roles from an offensive platform with heavy machine gun to that of a benign one carrying a Medical Intensive Care Unit to facilitate transfer of critically ill patients.
So far, 13 ALH MK-III aircraft have been inducted in the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and four of these aircraft are positioned at Porbandar. Since the induction, the squadron has flown over 1,200 hours and conducted numerous operational missions, including the maiden night SAR mission off Diu coast.
The 835 Sqn (CG) is commanded by Commandant Sunil Dutt. The commissioning will give a major fillip to the abilities of the Indian Coast Guard in the Gujarat region and further strengthen the country’s maritime security.