Govt of India has sanctioned this week, three new Naval Air Squadrons to be setup in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Besides this, the Central Government has also sanctioned manpower towards manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier Surveillance Squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands. It is pertinent to mention that the contract for procurement of 12 Dornier aircraft was signed with HAL (Kanpur) on 29 Dec 16 with delivery commencing in Jan 19. This is a substantial contract for the indigenous HAL built Maritime Surveillance version of the Dornier 228 aircraft.
The new Dornier 228 aircraft being delivered under this contract are fitted with improved 'state of the art' sensors and equipment which includes glass cockpit, Advanced Surveillance Radar, ELINT, Optical sensors and networking features. 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. This addition would further strengthen Indian Navy's efforts at Coastal Security of India's vast coastline of over seven thousand km.