HAL’s Advanced Light Helicopter Mk-III marine version inducted into Coast Guard

Published : June 12, 2021 21:19 IST

The ALH Mk-III marine version manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and inducted into the Coast Guard. Photo: PTI

The first of the 16 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Mk-III marine version designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was inducted into the Indian Coast Guard on June 12. The induction of the state-of-the-art multi-mission helicopters that are fitted with an array of advanced sensors will enhance and extend the force’s maritime security and surveillance prowess.

To meet the Coast Guard’s requirements, HAL has customised the existing ALH Mk-III, integrating 19 major subsystems, including automatic identification system, high intensity search light, a pressure refuelling system, control grips and a 12.7 mm gun system. The marine version will also have a nose-mounted surveillance radar with 270-degree coverage that can detect and track multiple targets. These helicopters also have the latest-generation avionics.

Over the next 12 to 14 months HAL will deliver 16 of the ALH Mk-IIIs to the Coast Guard. Speaking at the induction ceremony, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said the ALH Mk-III marine version’s capability to embark and undertake operations from ships “will enhance the Coast Guard’s capabilities towards sea-air coordinated search, interdiction capabilities, coastal security, search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, humanitarian missions, and pollution response missions”.

On induction, the 16 helicopters will be deployed at four Coast Guard squadrons at Bhubaneshwar, Porbandar, Kochi and Chennai. According to K. Natarajan, Director General, Coast Guard, the ALH Mk IIIs “will be deployed in a coordinated matrix along with ships and aircraft to strengthen the service capabilities in Area of Responsibility and beyond”.

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