The Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built ALH (Advanced Light Helicopters) Mk III aircraft, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Monday by the Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik at INS Hansa here, said the Indian Navy.
According to a statement issued by the Indian Navy, Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar and Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief of Western Naval Command were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Union 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’.
As per the statement, the squadron will operate three state-of-the-art ALH MK III, a multirole helicopter with a 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, said thr Indian Navy, adding that 16 aircrafts are under procurement and the aircrafts are being delivered in a phased manner to the lndian Navy.
INAS 323 is Commanded by Commander Samik Nundy, an accomplished and is experienced ALH pilot with extensive operational experience, added the statement.