Indian Navy’s first unit of indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopters enters service

Indian Navy’s first unit of indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopters enters service

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 20 APRIL: Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 323, the first unit of the indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter ALH Mk III, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Junior Defence Minister Shripad Naik and Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, at INS Hansa, Goa on 19 April.

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Addressing the gathering, Mr Naik said that the commissioning of INAS 323 marked yet another milestone in the efforts towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding maritime interests of the nation, as also embodying the spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

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The squadron will operate three state-of-the-arts ALH Mk III, a multirole helicopter with Shakti engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The Mk III version of the ALH has an all glass cockpit and will be used for Search and Rescue, Special Operations and Coastal Surveillance.

In all, 16 aircraft are under procurement and the aircraft are being delivered in a phased manner to the Indian Navy.

Image Courtesy: Twitter@livefist

India is trying to decrease its dependency on imported weapons and equipment by making changes to policies to support purchases from domestic manufacturers. Marking a major shift this year the Defence Ministry has decided to earmark around 64% (Rs 70,000 crore) of its modernisation funds under the capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for procurement from the Indian manufacturers.

INAS 323 is commanded by Cdr Samik Nundy, an accomplished and experienced ALH pilot with extensive operational experience.

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