Navy com­mis­sions first ad­vanced light he­li­copter squadron

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The first ALH (Dhruv) Squadron was com­mis­sioned at Kochi re­cently by Vice Ad­mi­ral Shekhar Sinha, Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief Western Naval Com­mand. Dhruv is the first in­dige­nously de­signed and man­u­fac­tured he­li­copter at the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited and with its multi role ca­pa­bil­i­ties has proven her met­tle in all the three ser­vices of the armed forces, In­dian Coast Guard, BSF and in the in­ven­tory of for­eign coun­tries.

The squadron would have the name In­dian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 322.

Vice Ad­mi­ral Sinha said that in the Navy, Dhruv he­li­copters has trans­formed into an ad­vanced search and res­cue (SAR) he­li­copter also used for mis­sions like heli­borne op­er­a­tions, and armed pa­trol with night vi­sion de­vices. Such ma­chines in the in­ven­tory have be­come im­per­a­tive for the Navy given the sce­nario of low in­ten­sity mar­itime op­er­a­tions (LIMO) and coastal se­cu­rity con­struct said the Ad­mi­ral.

Look­ing ahead, Vice Ad­mi­ral Sinha said that with the com­mis­sion­ing of Vikra­ma­ditya, Navy’s reach and abil­ity to re­spond in real time to de­vel­op­ing sit­u­a­tions in our area of re­spon­si­bil­ity would see a quan­tum jump. Aerial as­sets like UAVs, MiG-29K fight­ers, P-8I and Dhruv have added punch to our quiver he added.

Vice Ad­mi­ral Satish Soni, Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief South­ern Naval Com­mand un­der whose ad­min­is­tra­tive con­trol INAS 322 would func­tion, said that the ver­sa­tile air­craft would soon be cleared for night SAR role, one of the few he­li­copters in the world to have that ca­pa­bil­ity over sea. He also ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion that the ALH would beef up the coast se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture.

Ear­lier, Mrs. Mona Sinha named the squadron as INAS 322 and un­veiled the com­mis­sion­ing plaque.

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