Faced with shortage of helicopters for carrying out surveillance in coastal areas, the Coast Guard is planning to procure used aircraft to plug gaps in its capabilities.
“Government has recently cleared a proposal for procurement of around 30 helicopters for us on an urgent basis and with helicopters not being available off-the shelf, we are looking for inducting used ones also,” Defence Ministry sources told PTI in New Delhi.
Soon after the Mumbai attacks, the Cabinet Committee on Security cleared various proposals for acquiring, hiring and leasing naval and aerial assets for the ICG.
The agency is looking to induct helicopters of five-tonne class for carrying out surveillance and is in talks with various global manufacturers in this regard.
“We have been approached by ICG and they told us that they wanted these helicopters urgently. We did a check on our helicopters flying in India and identified that we would be able to give the agency four of them currently flying here,” European helicopter-manufacturer Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President Norbert Ducrot said.
Eurocopter’s machines flying in India are of Dauphin-class, which fall in the medium weight category of helicopters as sought by the CG.