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New Delhi: In a major boost to further strengthening the Coast Guard Region East, 840 Sqn (CG), an Indian Coast Guard Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mk-III squadron, was commissioned by DG VS Pathania at ICG Air Station, Chennai, said the Ministry of Defence in a release.

The commissioning of 840 Sqn (CG) is indicative of the leap towards self-reliance in the field of helicopter manufacturing, in line with the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. “It will provide a major fillip to the abilities of Indian Coast Guard in the security sensitive waters off Tamil Nadu and Andhra region," the ministry added.

The ALH Mk-III helicopters, indigenously manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), features state-of-the-art equipment including advanced RADAR as well as Electro optical sensors, Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity search light, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system as well as search-and-rescue homer.

“This feature enables the helicopter to undertake maritime reconnaissance as well as carry out search and rescue at extended ranges while operating from ships, both by day and night," the ministry said.

The aircraft has the ability to switch roles from an offensive platform with heavy machine gun to that of a benign one carrying a Medical Intensive Care Unit to facilitate transfer of critically ill patients.

“A total of 16 ALH Mk-III aircraft have been inducted in the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and four of these aircraft are positioned in Chennai. Since induction, the squadron has flown over 430 hours and conducted numerous operational missions," the ministry said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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