New Delhi: The Government has sanctioned setting up of three new air bases for the Navy in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to enhance its maritime surveillance capabilities, which will be equipped with HAL-manufactured Dornier aircraft.
Two air bases will be in Gujarat while one will be in Tamil Nadu.
“Government of India has sanctioned this week, three new Naval Air Squadrons to be setup in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu,” Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.
The officer said the Centre has also sanctioned manpower towards manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier Surveillance Squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands.
The contract for procurement of 12 Dornier 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, 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,” the spokesperson said.
This addition would further strengthen the Indian Navy’s efforts at Coastal Security of India’s vast coastline of over 7,000 kilometers.