Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indian Coast Guard Plans Fleet Expansions

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Feb 1, 2011

NEW DELHI — By 2012, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is planning to double the number of ships and aircraft in its fleets, compared to 2008 levels, and to achieve a strength of about 200 surface platforms and
100 aircraft by 2018, says its director general, Vice Adm. Anil Chopra.

The ICG also is planning to seek bids for another 30 helicopters soon. The ICG’s fleet comprises 24 Dornier-built helicopters, with four more to be delivered by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in April.

The Dorniers are being retrofitted with surveillance radars, automated identification systems and infrared sensors. The service also is looking at leasing two aircraft for outsourcing maritime air surveillance of the country’s coastline. “Aviation is a complex business. Legalities in leasing take time,” Chopra tells Aviation Week.

India is considering adopting themodel of the Australian government’s Surveillance Australia program, part of the Cobham Services Division, which performs maritime air surveillance of Australia’s borders. It was named the preferred bidder for a 12-year, A$1 billion award under a performance-based contract that lasts until 2020. The company provides a full turnkey operation with 10 modified Bombardier Dash 8 maritime patrol aircraft, which each year fly 2,500 missions and 15,000 flight hours. In India, however, the contract is being offered for only five years. (Aerospace DAILY, June 22, 2010).

“Its been a busy year,” Chopra says of 2010. The ICG completed 6-10 sorties a day with 20 ships patrolling the coast. Eight ships werecommissioned into the service, and three more are expected to be inducted by March.

To further enhance security, a Coastal Surveillance Network is being established. Forty two stations are being set up under Phase I, and 39 stations are planned under Phase II.

The ICG also has started tagging fishing vessels, which Chopra says is a mammoth task given the number of small boats along the coastline.
- Neelam Mathews

No comments:

Post a Comment