Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy today inducted the indigenously manufactured helicopters for operations from the air base here, providing much needed boost to the domestic aerospace industry and to its capabilities.
Eastern Naval Command (ENC) Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh inducted the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MkIII variants into the 322 Dega Flight at the INS Dega air station, according to a statement from the navy.
“With the induction of these Maritime Reconnaissance and Coastal Security (MRCS) helicopters, the ENC got a major boost towards enhancing the capabilities of the force, in pursuit of the maritime interests of the nation,” the statement said.
“These helicopters, built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, are state-of-the-art flying machines and constitute a major step in our quest for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India),” it said.
ALH MkIII helicopters feature an array of systems previously seen only on heavier, multi-role helicopters of the Indian Navy.
These helicopters are fitted with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment, which enable them to undertake the role of maritime reconnaissance, in addition to providing long-range Search and Rescue, both by day and night.
In addition to special operations capabilities, ALH MkIII is also fitted with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions.
A removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) is also fitted on ALH MkIII helicopters to airlift critically ill patients. The helicopter also has a host of advanced avionics, making it truly an all-weather aircraft.
The flight is being led by Commander S. S. Dash as the first flight commander, who is an experienced ALH Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) with extensive operational experience.