Indian Navy’s first squadron of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Dhruv, was commissioned at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Tuesday.
The ALH Squadron INAS 322 was commissioned by Vice-Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command.
Addressing the commissioning ceremony parade at INS Garuda, the Naval Air Station and mother base of INAS 322, Vice-Admiral Sinha said that Dhruv helicopters have transformed into an advanced search and rescue (SAR) helicopter which are also used for missions like heliborne operations along with 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. With the commissioning of Vikramaditya, the Navy’s reach and ability to respond in real time to developing situations in our area of responsibility would see a quantum leap. Aerial assets like UAVs, MIG 29 K fighters, P-8I and Dhruv have added punch to our quiver, he pointed out.
INAS 322 will function under the administrative control of Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command. In his address, the Vice-Admiral said that the versatile aircraft would soon be cleared for night SAR (Search and Rescue) role. It is one of the few helicopters in the world to have such capability over sea. He also expressed hope that the ALH would beef up the coastal security architecture.
Earlier Sinha named the squadron as INAS 322 and unveiled the commissioning plaque. Commander Ravi Sivasankar, the first Commanding Officer of the squadron recited the invocation and read out the commissioning warrant.
The squadron will call themselves ‘Guardians’ with the credo ‘Search Fearlessly, Rescue Valiantly’ signifying the primary role of SAR.
INS Vikramaditya to set sail soon
Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will set sail for India within a month after being inducted into the Indian Navy, said Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command.
The carrier will be inducted into the Navy by Defence Minister A K Antony during his visit to Russia this weekend.
After commissioning the Indian Navy’s first Advanced Light Helicopter Squadron, INAS 322, at Naval air station INS Garuda on Tuesday, the Vice Admiral said 16 more Advanced Light Helicopters are expected to join the Navy soon. Elaborating on the ALHs’ prowess, he said it would add to maritime patrolling capabilities and coastal security measures. The ALHs will be primarily used for shore-based operations and would help in search and rescue operations.
Gallery: Celebrations on for Navy Day