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'Sea Eagles' to help augment surveillance in eastern seaboard: Navy chief

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Navy Chief Adm. Karambir Singh commissioning the Navy's fifth Dornier squadron 'Sea Eagles'. Photo: Indian Navy/Twitter

CHENNAI (PTI): Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Monday commissioned the Navy's fifth Dornier squadron, Sea Eagles, saying it would augment surveillance in the eastern seaboard.

Speaking at a ceremony in Chennai, Singh said the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 313 would enable faster response to challenges at sea.

"The commissioning marks a significant step towards augmenting the Indian Navy's surveillance in the eastern seaboard, especially along Tamil Nadu coast," he told reporters.

Stating that the Navy felt the need to create an operational base in Chennai, the Admiral said the indigenously-built Dornier aircraft, as part of the squadron, would provide significant maritime surveillance and contribute to domain awareness.

This would enable faster response to challenges at sea, he said, adding the squadron would be handy while handling natural disasters.

"In the near future, we would additionally position advanced light helicopters at this base to enhance search and rescue, and casualty evacuation capability," Singh said.

INAS 313 has been tasked to patrol the Indian Ocean Region and enhance maritime domain awareness and strengthen Navy's presence in Bay of Bengal and the southern region, a press release from the Navy said.

The squadron, with 12 crew officers and 44 sailors, is commanded by Commander Vivek Koman.

It would operate two Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd-built aircraft from the Chennai international airport alongside the Indian Coast Guard air station.

Fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, the Dornier aircraft can play a variety of roles, including commuter, air taxi, utility, aircrew training, maritime surveillance, search and rescue duties.

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