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New naval air squadron commissioned into India's Eastern Naval Command

Indian Navy personnel during a ceremony for the commissioning of Indian Naval Air Squadron 324 into Indian Navy, at INS Dega in Visakhapatnam, Monday, July 4, 2022. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI):  An advanced light helicopter squadron was commissioned into the Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam on Monday to further bolster its maritime surveillance apparatus.

It is the first naval squadron on the eastern seaboard operating the indigenously designed and built advanced light helicopter (ALH) MK III.

"Indian Naval Air Squadron 324 was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command," an Indian Navy spokesperson said.

The INAS 324 has been named "KESTRELS", which are birds of prey and have good sensory capabilities, symbolising the envisaged role of the aircraft and the air squadron.

The insignia of the squadron depicts a "KESTREL" searching over vast blue and white sea waves, which signifies the integral maritime reconnaissance and search-and-rescue (SAR) role, the official said.

The ALH MK III helicopters are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, which include a modern surveillance radar and electro-optical sensors.

Addressing the gathering, Vice Admiral Dasgupta said the commissioning of the first ALH MK III squadron in the Eastern Naval Command will enhance the surveillance capability on the eastern seaboard.

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