Panaji: The Indian Navy is actively looking out for military helicopters which can succeed its present fleet of Seaking and Kamov helicopters, a senior naval officer said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, flag officer commanding Goa area (FOCGA) Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai said the hunt for newer crafts was on while the Seaking, which are anti-submarine and troop-carrying helicopters, and Kamov or Ka-31, used as airborne early warning choppers, were being upgraded.
"We are actively scouting for a worthy successor to the doughty Seakings and Kamov helicopters," Pillai said.
The naval officer underlined the importance of maritime reconnaissance (MR) when it came to maintaining surveillance along the Indian coastline, but also added that the portfolio of the Indian Navy was almost complete as far as surveillance assets were concerned.
"We are continuing to operate the TU-142s and IL-38s in the MR role. The IL-38s were extensively refurbished in Russia with Sea Dragon radar and attack suite. For medium range surveillance, we have the versatile medium range recce aircraft Dornier-228s in a number of configurations," Pillai said.
"We have completed our portfolio of surveillance assets with unmanned aerial vehicles called Heron and Searchers which can be controlled from our ships," he added.