The government has approved setting up of three new naval air squadrons in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu as part of efforts to bolster the Indian Navy’s overall strength, officials said.
The government has also sanctioned recruitment of manpower for manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier surveillance squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands, they said.
A contract for procurement of 12 Dornier aircraft was signed with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd two years back and their delivery is commencing soon.
The new Dornier 228 maritime surveillance aircraft to be delivered to the navy are fitted with improved ‘state of the art’ sensors and equipment which includes glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, optical sensors and networking features, the defence ministry said.
“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,” it said.
“This addition would further strengthen Indian Navy’s efforts at Coastal Security of India’s vast coastline of over seven thousand km,” the ministry said.