Bengaluru: Indian Navy on Monday inducted three indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopters into its fleet at INS Dega under its Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. 

Built by state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the ALH MK III helicopters are equipped with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment, which enable them to undertake the role of maritime reconnaissance in addition to providing long-range Search and Rescue, both by day and night.

"With the induction of these Maritime Reconnaissance and Coastal Security helicopters, the Eastern Naval Command got a major boost towards enhancing the capabilities of the force, in pursuit of the maritime interests of the nation," Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said. 

ALH MK III helicopters feature an array of systems previously seen only on heavier, multi-role helicopters of the Indian Navy, he said.

The helicopter is also fitted with a heavy machine gun to undertake constabulary missions. 

"A removable Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) is also fitted on ALH MK III helicopters to airlift critically ill patients. It also has a host of advanced avionics, making it truly an all-weather aircraft," Commander Madhwal added.

The flight is being led by Cdr SS Dash as the first flight commander who is an experienced ALH Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) with extensive operational experience.

On the occasion, the helicopters received a water cannon salute before the induction ceremony, in the presence of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Adm Ajendra Bahadur Singh.

On April 19, the first batch of three indigenously built ALH Mk III aircraft was commissioned into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa in Goa.

A total of 16 aircraft are under procurement and the aircraft are being delivered in a phased manner to the Indian Navy.