New Delhi: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned its second Air Squadron equipped with the indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III at Coast Guard Air Enclave Kochi.
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that 845 Squadron (CG) became the premier ALH MK-III squadron in the Coast Guard’s western seaboard. In a major boost to India’s maritime security, 845 Squadron (CG), has been commissioned by Director General VS Pathania, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard at Kochi. The occasion was in presence of various civil and military dignitaries based in Kochi and the adjoining region.
The commissioning of the squadron earmarks a tremendous leap towards self-reliance in the field of SAR and Long-Range Maritime Surveillance, in line with Government’s push towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
ALH MK-III helicopters feature array of state of art sensors, which add up to maritime prowess of 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 and is 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 medevac.
Out of 16 ALH MK-III aircrafts, 12 have been inducted in the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and with the latest 04 of these aircrafts being positioned at Kochi, covering the entire coast of Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep islands under their surveillance efforts. With induction in March this year the squadron has already flown over 350 hours and conducted numerous operational missions namely NATPOLREX VIII at Goa, afloat confirmatory trials and clearances, trial landings at dispersed helipads.
845 Sqn (CG) is commanded by Commandant Kunal Naik and manned by 09 officers and 35 men.
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