The first ALH MK III Squadron in the Eastern Naval Command will enhance the surveillance capability on the eastern seaboard (Image courtesy: Indian Navy)
Indian Naval Air Squadron 324, the first to operate the indigenously designed and built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) MK III (MR) helicopters on the eastern seaboard, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at an impressive ceremony held at INS Dega in Visakhapatnam on Monday.
INAS 324 has been named 'Kestrels' which are birds of prey and have good sensory capabilities symbolising the envisaged role of the aircraft and the air squadron. The Insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Kestrel' searching over vast blue and white sea waves, which signifies the integral Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) and Search and Rescue (SAR) role of the squadron.
ALH MK III helicopters are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment which includes modern surveillance radar and electro-optical sensors. Induction of these flying machines is, in pursuance of the government's initiative of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', as they have been developed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
INAS 324 operating the indigenously designed & built Advanced Light Helicopter MK III helicopters was commissioned into the #IndianNavy in the presence of Vice Adm Biswajit Dasgupta, FOC-in-C #ENC at an impressive Commissioning Ceremony held at INS Dega, #Visakhapatnam today. pic.twitter.com/1cNOKWOlWB
— Defence PRO Visakhapatnam (@PRO_Vizag) July 4, 2022
In addition to their primary roles of MR and SAR, these helicopters can also be deployed for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations as well as special operations with marine commandos. The helicopter also has an airborne Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) for use in the air ambulance role to facilitate the medical evacuation of critically ill patients.
Addressing the gathering, Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, said that the first ALH MK III Squadron in the Eastern Naval Command will enhance the surveillance capability on the eastern seaboard.