Three indigenously built advanced light helicopters (ALH) MK III were inducted into the Navy on Monday. The induction ceremony of 322 Dega Flight was held in the presence of Vice-Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command (ENC), with the three ALHs flying into Naval Air Station, INS Dega, a defence press release said here. With the induction of this maritime reconnaissance and coastal security (MRCS) helicopters, the ENC got a boost towards enhancing the capabilities of the force in pursuit of the maritime interests of the nation.
The helicopters, built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, are state-of-the-art flying machines and constitute a major step in the quest for Atma Nirbhar Bharat, the release said. The Advanced Light Helicopters feature systems previously seen only on heavier, multi-role helicopters of the navy. The helicopters are fitted with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment which enable them to undertake the role of maritime reconnaissance in addition to providing long-range search and rescue by day and night, the release said.
In addition, the ALH is fitted with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions, it said. A removable medical intensive care unit is also fitted on the helicopters to airlift critically ill patients. The helicopter also has a host of advanced avionics, making it an all-weather aircraft. The flight is being led by Commander SS Dash as the first flight commander who is an experienced ALH-qualified flying instructor with extensive operational experience, the release added.