Indian Coast Guard commissions 3rd squadron of Dhruv Mark III helicopters

Indian Coast Guard commissions 3rd squadron of Dhruv Mark III helicopters
In a major boost to the country's maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Tuesday commissioned the Advanced Light Helicopter MK-III squadron at Porbandar, Gujarat.
According to the ICG officials, the choppers have offensive roles also as they are fitted with heavy machine guns. Manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the helicopter was commissioned in the presence of ICG chief VS Pathania.
"Indian Coast Guard chief Director General VS Pathania to commission the squadron of made-in-India ALH Dhruv Mark 3 helicopters at Porbandar, Gujarat. The choppers are going to boost the maritime surveillance capabilities of the force along the border with Pakistan," said the ICG officials.
This version of the ALH Mark3 chopper is armed with a 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Gun which can effectively hit targets at over 1800m.
"The rules of engagement of the force allow it to be used against anti-national elements as per laid down procedures," said the Coast Guard chief.
The major variants of Dhruv are classified as Dhruv Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III & Mk-IV.
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, and Machine Gun and can perform other key roles, according to HAL.
"ALH-Dhruv is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5-ton weight class. The basic helicopter is produced in the skid version and wheeled version. Dhruv is 'type–certified' for Military operations by the Centre for Military Airworthiness Certification (CEMILAC) and civil operations by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)," the HAL said.