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Indian Coast Guard inducts 15th ALH Mk-III to ramp up maritime surveillance

Source : News On Air

Indian Coast Guard inducts 15th ALH Mk-III to ramp up maritime surveillance
Indian Coast Guard ALH Mk-III

To address India’s multi-faceted marine interests and to boost maritime surveillance, the Indian Coast Guard Region has inducted the 15th Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mark-III in its Air Enclave in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Aimed at strengthening coastal security and surveillance, the state-of-art helicopter has been indigenously designed, and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) keeping in line with the government’s initiative towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

“15th Advance Light Helicopter ALH MK-III has been inducted in Indian Coast Guard Air Enclave, Bhubaneswar today. The state of art aircraft has been indigenously designed, developed and made by HAL keeping with the vision of AatmaNirbharBharat,” the Indian Coast Guard mentioned in a Tweet.

Notably, the advanced ALH MK-III chopper has multifold capabilities like Beyond Visual Range detection, state-of-the-art radar integrated with long-range imaging and identification using the Electro Optical Pad and Automatic Identification System.

In June 2022, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Director General VS Pathania commissioned the made-in-India Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mark III Squadron (CG)-835 at Porbandar, Gujarat, for maritime surveillance capabilities of the force along the border with Pakistan.

Deciphering HAL’s ALH MK III

The made-in-India HAL Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III chopper is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including advanced Radar, Electro optical sensors, Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity searchlight, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system along with SAR homer.

The amalgamation of these advanced features enable the helicopter to undertake maritime reconnaissance as well as carry out Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination at extended ranges even while operating from ships during both day and night.

Notably, 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.

The induction of these coppers in ICG has marked a tremendous leap towards self-reliance in the field of Search and Rescue (SAR) and maritime surveillance. So far, 15 ALH MK-III aircrafts 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.

ALH Dhruv Mark III is “type –Certified” for Military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC) and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Certification of the utility military variant was completed in 2002 and that of the civil variant was completed in 2004. The deliveries of production series helicopters commenced from 2001-02 onwards. A total of 228 Helicopters have been produced by March 2017 including 216 for the Indian Armed Forces.

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