Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built ALH Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik at INS Hansa, Goa on Monday (19 April).
The squadron will operate three state-of-the-art ALH Mk III, a multirole helicopter with Shakti engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The Mk III version of the ALH has an all glass cockpit and will be used for search and rescue, special operations and coastal surveillance.
16 aircraft are under procurement and the aircraft are being delivered in a phased manner to the Indian Navy, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
Addressing the gathering, the minister said that the commissioning of INAS 323 marked yet another milestone in the efforts towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding maritime interests of the nation, as also embodying the spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
“The radar will give us surveillance capability. The medical ICU was not there before. We used to evacuate patients from ships, for instance, and now there is an ICU capability within the aircraft. A 0.7 mm gun which will again give a huge capability from a LIMO (low intensity maritime operations) standpoint, there’s a megaphone, there are various things. The automatic flight control system is hugely superior to the previous one. There are various factors that will enhance all aspects of operations,” said Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area.
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