Indian Coast Guard welcomes two Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters
India's Maritime Security received a boost in the form of two locally designed and manufactured Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III, which were formally welcomed with a traditional air cannon salute, at Indian Coast Guard Air Enclave, Kochi
A defence release confirmed to The Economic Times: “The induction marks a boost to coastal security management by Coast Guard along the coast of Kerala, Karnataka and around Lakshadweep. This will complete the unit entitlement of 04 ALH MK III. Both the aircraft will be inducted into 845 Squadron (Coast Guard) under the administrative and operational control of Coast Guard Air Enclave, Kochi.”
Fully equipped with a removable medical intensive care unit fitted to all ALH MKIII Helicopters, which in conjunction with surveillance and advanced avionics, helps the Coast Guard to deal with whatever they may face. The level of system features has been previously unseen on lighter helicopters, allowing long-range search and rescue to be possible day or night alongside maritime reconnaissance.
A heavy machine gun is also fitted to the ALH MK III in addition to the special operation capabilities.
Indian Coast Guard cancels investment in foreign aerial support
While on one hand, India is investing its aerial assets to support the special missions sector, in others, they are cancelling planned purchases that were from foreign companies. Shephard Media reports that nine contracts have recently been cancelled, and that in their place, local industry would be tasked with designing and developing 18 ‘major platforms’ under the MoD’s self-reliance initiative to reduce imports.
Investment in state-of-the-art avionics systems allows for more efficient and safer SAR missions, as AirMed&Rescue explained in a recent feature.