India has endorsed a new program which aims at setting up three new Naval Air Squadrons in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, the Indian Navy announced on January 18.
Besides this, the Indian government has also sanctioned manpower towards manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier 228 Surveillance Squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands.
It is pertinent to mention that the contract for procurement of 12 Dornier 228 aircraft was signed with HAL (Kanpur) on December 29, 2016, with delivery commencing in January 2019. This is a substantial contract for the indigenous HAL-built maritime surveillance version of the Dornier 228 aircraft.
The new Dornier 228 aircraft being delivered under this contract are fitted with improved ‘state of the art’ sensors and equipment which includes glass cockpit, Advanced Surveillance Radar, ELINT, Optical sensors and networking features.
The aircraft would enhance maritime domain awareness of Indian Navy through round the clock sensor-based surveillance and provide targeting data in areas of operation to ward off terror and other threats from sea.
This addition would further strengthen Indian Navy’s efforts at coastal security of India’s vast coastline of over seven thousand km.