In a significant boost to the Indian Coast Guard, in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, a new Ship Support Complex (SSC) has been added to its infrastructure. “Based in Kochi and the first such facility in Kerala, the SSC will provide immediate support to ICG ships berthed here, the ships visiting the city. It can offer minor repairs, spares, thus ensuring faster turnaround for operational availability,” Inspector General S Paramesh, Commander, CG Region (West) told WION.
He added that the Coast Guard had to earlier rely on the private sector for such works and from now on, the same could be done in-house. In major Indian cities, to meet the larger requirements of the ICG, there are bigger Base Maintenance Units and Support Complexes to perform functions similar to SSCs.
The SSC in Kochi has been constructed adjacent to the Coast Guard Jetty and will boost the overall efficiency of the Coast Guard organisation in Kerala. In recent months, the ICG has been strengthening its Sea and Coastal Surveillance all around the coast of Kerala. Some of the recent inductions here include the made-in-India Advanced Light Helicopter Mk 3. Inducted under the 845 Squadron, these ‘Mk3’ variant helicopters are designed and built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and is a maritime version that can be used for reconnaissance, long-range search and rescue, during both day and night and in all-weather conditions.
The ALH Mk 3 features an array of systems that were previously seen on heavier, multi-role helicopters. This variant is fitted with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment. It is also fitted with a heavy machine gun and a removable intensive care unit, that would be useful in airlifting and providing relief to critically ill patients.