State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Saturday said three Advanced Light Helicopters ALH Mk-III, manufactured by it, were inducted into the stables of the Indian Coast Guard. These helicopters, which are part of ALH Mk-III programme, will be positioned in Bhubaneswar, Porbandar, Chennai and Kochi and will be part of different Coast Guard Aviation Squadrons, HAL said in a release.
It said the induction took place in the presence of Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, in a virtual program that was held simultaneously at the Indian Coast Guard Headquarters in Delhi and at Helicopter MRO Division of HAL in Bengaluru. The Director General, Indian Coast Guard, K Natarajan and R Madhavan, CMD, HAL, were present on the occasion.
Ajay Kumar said the sophisticated helicopters being handed over today will be a game changer for the operational capability of ICG in the times to come. "The state-of-the-art Helicopters with advanced sensors will enable ICG to take up challenging tasks.
This is for the first time Performance Based Logistics is being introduced in the Indian aviation sector, which is a modern management practice and will increase operational and maintenance efficiency," he said. HAL said these helicopters are equipped with state-of-the art equipment like Surveillance Radar, Electro Optic Pod, Medical Intensive Care Unit, High Intensity Search Light, SAR Homer, Loud Hailer, Machine Gun and can perform other key roles.
The Helicopter MRO Division is the nodal agency for execution of PBL contract, along with Engine Division and other Sister Divisions of HAL, it said. Madhavan said with this contract, HAL is embarking on a new journey of Performance Based Logistics (PBL), which will assure desired levels of availability of ALH Mk-III fleet of ICG for six and half years, a unique feature of this contract and a first of its kind in HAL.
Noting that HAL has been the most trusted partner in the growth of the ICG aviation fleet, delivering multi-role and highly capable platforms, Natarajan said the induction of ALH Mk-III in challenging times bears a testament to the resilience of HAL and ICG. "These helicopters will usher a paradigm shift in the capability in ship borne operations and enhance coastal surveillance.
Indian Coast Guard is also the first service to have a Performance Based Logistics management system introduced in aviation to ensure Helicopter Availability at four bases," he added. According to HAL,the PBL will provide a one stop solution for maintenance of complete helicopter, engine and components which encompasses Helicopter/Engine Servicing Task, Rotable Repair Task (RRT) and Repair and Maintenance Spares Order (RMSO).
As part of PBL, Helicopter MRO Division of HAL will be extending the support from four bases — Bhubaneswar, Porbandar, Chennai and Kochi. All necessary infrastructure and repair facilities are set up at Bhubaneswar and Porbandar, dedicated LRU/ Rotable floats are stocked and on-site support team has been identified towards ensuring the availability of helicopters, while Chennai and Kochi are in the final stages, HAL said.
In addition, HAL Aviation Maintenance Software (HAMS), a web-based online platform has been developed and deployed by Helicopter MRO Division for real time monitoring and operational visibility of the fleet through a dedicated leased line network, it added.