Coast Guard to procure 16 new helicopters

Aiming to strengthen its surveillance capabilities over the maritime zone to prevent 26/11-type terror attacks, the Indian Coast Guard is planning to procure 16 new light helicopters to be deployed on its ships.

New Delhi: Aiming to strengthen its
surveillance capabilities over the maritime zone to prevent
26/11-type terror attacks, the Indian Coast Guard is planning
to procure 16 new light helicopters to be deployed on its
ships.

"We have to increase our capabilities to tackle terrorism
and other threats emanating from the sea and we are planning
to augment our surveillance assets by procuring 16 light
helicopters," a senior Coast Guard official said here.

The new helicopters would be used for interdiction and
search and rescue (SAR) operations besides for surveillance,
he said.

A request for Information (RFI) was recently issued by
the Coast Guard to procure the choppers, which would be
deployed on its ships.

Deployment of the choppers on Offshore Patrol Vessels and
other large-size ships of the Coast Guard will help in
expanding its reach in the maritime zone to locate suspicious
boats and other vessels, the official said.

Light and medium machine guns are also planned to be
deployed on the choppers, he added.

During the Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were
killed, terrorists had used the sea-route to carry out strikes
on multiple targets.

To revamp the coastal security mechanism post 26/11, the
government had sanctioned several fast-track acquisitions
worth thousands of crores of equipment such as fast attack
crafts, patrolling vessels, Dornier surveillance aircraft and
helicopters and coastal radars.

The Coast Guard is also planning to procure six Offshore
Patrol Vessels, 14 Fast Patrol Vessels and 20 interceptor
boats in near future to strengthen its presence in the
maritime zone.

-PTI