Bhubaneswar: In a major boost to India’s maritime security, the first Indian Coast Guard Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III squadron was commissioned on Sunday.
Indian Coast Guard Director General VS Pathania has launched the service here at ICG Air Enclave. The occasion was in presence of various civil and military dignitaries based at Bhubaneshwar and adjoining Region.
The commissioning of this squadron earmarks a tremendous leap towards self-reliance in the field of search and rescue (SAR) and long-range maritime surveillance, in line with government’s push towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
ALH MK III helicopters feature an array of state of art sensors, which add up to maritime prowess of the Indian Coast Guard at sea.
These helicopters have powerful Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity searchlight, traffic alert and collision avoidance system, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system, search-and-rescue homer and automatic flight control system, officials said.
The advanced chopper is also fitted with modern surveillance radar/ electro-optical equipment, which enables them to undertake the role of long range maritime reconnaissance, in addition to providing long range search and rescue, both by day and night.
The Helicopter is provided with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions at sea and also a removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) to facilitate critically ill patients during operation.
Out of 16 ALH MK-III aircrafts, 12 have been inducted in the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and 4 of these aircrafts are positioned at Bhubaneswar, covering the entire coast of West Bengal and Orissa under their surveillance efforts.
Since induction the squadron has flown over 1200 hours and conducted numerous operational missions namely MEDEVAC of service personnel from CG afloat platform, afloat confirmatory trials, day/ night ship helicopter operating limitations (SHOL) trials on board OPV class of ships, trial landings at dispersed helipads of Odisha and West Bengal region.
The 4.830 Sqn (Chhattisgarh) is commanded by Commandant Anurup Singh, TM and manned by 11 Officers and 46 men.