The first ‘green’ or basic version of the Advanced Light Helicopter being readied for the Coast Guard had a successful maiden ground run here recently, its maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. has said.

The helicopter was handed over to HAL’s helicopter design house, the Rotary Wing R&D Centre, which will add 19 new systems to it and get it certified for induction.

The copter is part of a Rs. 5,126-crore contract that HAL had signed with the Coast Guard in March 2017 for supplying 16 ALHs. The deliveries of the fixed-wheel type of aircraft are to begin in 2020 and completed in five years. The acquisition will strengthen the Coast Guard’s low intensity maritime operations and coastal surveillance.

Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh received the contract documents from HAL CMD T. Suvarna Raju.

The Coast Guard commissioned its first ALH Dhruv squadron in March 2002 at its Air Enclave in Goa. Mr. Raju said the maritime agency was already using the ALHs extensively for search and rescue, casualty evacuation, armed patrol, coastal security, VIP movement and night activities.

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