New Delhi: To further bolster maritime security, Indian Coast Guard is acquiring nine more helicopters, long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and 6 C-295 military transport aircraft from Tata Advanced System.
ICG Director-General Rakesh Pal said that the Ministry of Defence is giving adequate funds to ensure that the acquisition processes are all fast-tracked. As of now, ICG has about 157 ships and 78 aircraft for maritime security. Shortly we are going to sign contracts for nine more advanced-sized helicopters…There are plans for acquiring long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, which the Air Force has taken, and the contracts will be signed with TASL (Tata Advanced Systems Ltd), wherein we are about to get 6 C-295..,” the Director-General said at Vadinar, Gujarat, which was the venue for the meeting on 25th National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP).
Sources said, "Like the tri-services, the Coast Guards too want to replace its ageing fleet of Chetak helicopters with Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) manufactured by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which can operated from its ships along with drones."
He however, stated that his force is well prepared to face any threat post 26/11 terror attack. “I can tell you with conviction that the Indian Coast Guard has nearly 55 to 60 ships for patrolling pan India. We have about 10–12 aircraft and helicopters that fly every day. So our response to any incidents is not more than 1 or 2 hours… On top of that, we maintain good synergy with the marine police… Our ships are actively involved in ensuring that our waters are free from any terrorist activity,” he stated.