Two indigenously developed and manufactured Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III helicopters were formally welcomed on Thursday at the Indian Coast Guard Air Enclave in Kochi, providing a substantial boost to India’s maritime security.
“This will complete 04 ALH MK III’s unit entitlement. Both aircraft will be assigned to the 845 Squadron (Coast Guard), which will be under the administrative and operational supervision of the Coast Guard Air Enclave in Kochi “, according to a press release from the Department of Defense.
The aircraft was ceremonially welcomed into service with a customary water cannon salute as the rotor blades of the chopper slashed through the air.
The induction strengthens the Coast Guard’s coastal security management along Kerala’s, Karnataka’s, and Lakshadweep’s coasts, according to the statement.
ALH MK III Helicopters have a number of systems that were previously only available on larger, multi-role helicopters.
These helicopters are equipped with advanced surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment, allowing them to perform maritime reconnaissance as well as long-range search and rescue operations at any time of day or night.
The ALH MK III is equipped with a heavy machine gun for constabulary duties in addition to its special operations capabilities.
ALH MK III Helicopters also have a removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) for airlifting severely ill patients. The Helicopter is also equipped with a variety of modern avionics, making it a true all-weather aircraft.