Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be receiving 2 out of 16 ALH Mk-III helicopters, later this month. By September 2021, all the 16 helicopters are expected to be inducted in the ICG. Despite the global pandemic of Covid-19 and resultant lockdown, production activity on these helicopters has been progressing well at the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility in Bengaluru.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in its annual report has also said that the ICG is planning to procure 14 Twin-Engine Heavy Helicopters (TEHH), the contract for which is expected to be inked by next March. Once the contract is finalised, these helicopters are going to be delivered by 2025-26 and will be deployed from shore-based stations. For the procurement of these helicopters, AoN was given by the DAC in January 2020 and the RfP has been issued to four global vendors last summer.
These helicopters after taking off the ICG ships will be able to undertake Maritime Surveillance, SAR, medical evacuation and Pollution Response missions’ up to 200 Nm from the coastline.
More about ALH Mk-III
These helicopters are going to be used for undertaking shore and shipborne operations, in accordance with the charter of ICG. The Areas of Responsibility (AoR) include Maritime Surveillance, SAR, Medical Evacuation, Casualty Evacuation, Logistics support to ships as well as Pollution Response sorties.
These helicopters will come fitted with state of the art maritime sensors and systems. These include Automatic Identification System (AIS), High-Intensity Search Light (HISL), Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS), Surveillance Radar, Electro-Optic Infra-Red (EO-IR) system, and 12.7 mm Cabin Mounted Gun, etc.
The contract for 16 ALH Mk-III helicopters was signed with M/s HAL, Bangalore in March 2017.
C-295 Transport Aircraft
The annual report of the MoD talks finalising the procurement of the Airbus’ C-295 transport aircraft through the `Make in India’ process, as well as the deal for the Tejas Mk 1-A. These two deals have been pending for a while. The government also plans to finalise the plans for the indigenous Light Combat Helicopter and upgraded Heron drones from Israel.
Since the focus is on `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence, the deal for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A from HAL for the Indian Air Force (IAF) is waiting to get approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Once the approval comes from CCS, the contract will be inked.
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