Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Saturday inducted Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Mk-III. In line with Atma Nirbhar Bharat vision, the state-of-the-art helicopters are indigenously designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru. The ALH Mk-III marine version has been designed and developed with the in-house customisation of 19 additional equipment by HAL to meet ICG requirements. The HAL will supply 16 ALH Mk-III to the ICG by mid next year.
The helicopters can undertake operations from ships which will enhance Coast Guard capabilities towards sea-air coordinated search, interdiction capabilities, coastal security, search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, humanitarian missions, pollution response missions, etc. While appreciating ICG for the recently conducted successful operations of drugs and arms seizure and saving lives during cyclones Tauktae and Yaas.
The 16 ALH Mk-III will be positioned at four Coast Guard squadrons at Bhubaneshwar, Porbandar, Kochi and Chennai. The shared maritime boundaries with littoral states are highly susceptible to illegal activities, and the regions are prone to frequent cyclones. These squadrons with embarked operations will ensure seamless surveillance and assist fishermen in distress at sea. Induction of ALH Mk-III would usher a new paradigm shift in ICG capability to undertake shipborne operations.
The HAL Dhruv is a utility helicopter designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The development of HAL Dhruv was announced in November 1984. The name comes from a Sanskrit origin word dhruv which means unshakeable or firm. The ALH Mk-III with new Shakti-1H engines has very good high altitude performance operating at altitudes over 6 km. It comes with seating for 14 fully equipped troops. The first batch were inducted into service in 2012.