New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Saturday inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters (ALH) MK-III that will assist in search and rescue operations, and further enhance coastal security, an official statement said.
The Centre-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) -- which has designed and developed the ALH MK-III -- will supply 16 of these helicopters to the ICG by mid-2022, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar inducted the first three helicopters on Saturday through a virtual ceremony owing to the COVID-19 restrictions.
"On induction, (all) the 16 ALH Mk-III will be positioned at four ICG squadrons at Bhubaneshwar, Porabandar, Kochi and Chennai," the MoD's statement noted.
The shared maritime boundaries with littoral states are highly susceptible to illegal activities and the regions are prone to frequent cyclones, the MoD stated.
These ALH MK-III squadrons with embarked operations will ensure seamless surveillance and provide assistance to fishermen in distress at sea, it added.
ICG's Director General K Natarajan and HAL's CMD R Madhavan was also present at the induction ceremony on Saturday.
Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secy in his address during induction of #ICG ALH Mk-III lauded the state-of-the-art aircraft design & manufacturing standards #AtmanirbharBharat of #HAL while also recognising perseverant efforts of #ICG in ensuring safe, secure & clean seas. pic.twitter.com/i4ldnX55Gf— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) June 12, 2021