Maritime surveillance variants of the imported and Indian manufactured Do-228 have already been upgraded by fitment of state-of-the-art equipment on board as per the requirement laid down by the Indian Navy.
These include surveillance radar, FUR (forward-looking infrared), ESM (electronic support measures), satellite communications, data links, speech secrecy equipment TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) and EGPWS (enhanced ground proximity warning system), among others.
In addition the CCS had given its clearance to the Indian Navy for purchase of additional 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircrafts from the HAL in 2016 itself.
These aircraft are being manufactured at the HAL at Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur, which has produced more than 120 aircraft for the IAF, Navy, Coast Guard and to other export customers in Mauritius and Seychelles.
The Domier 228 is quite versatile with quick role changing capability including Maritime Patrol & Surveillance; Pollution Contingency; Search & Rescue; and Medical Evacuation.
Now the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday has approved Mid Life Upgrade of 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs 950 crore. The upgrades will be carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the aircraft manufacturer of India.
The ICG has Dornier 228 which is a twin-engine turboprop, highly versatile multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by HAL for the Indian Coast Guard.
The aircraft is lightweight with a wide range of operating speeds and fuel efficient uniqueness. This high winged aircraft is operated by ICG in two variant in 228 – 100 and 228 – 200 series.
ICG’s primary role is to protect the maritime zones of India which entails surveillance of sea areas of approximately 2.01 million square kilometres of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
ICG is also the nodal agency in India for maritime pollution control and prevention response.
The Coast Guard which has a fleet of Dornier aircraft has a major role to play in the maritime surveillance too.
To further strengthen the fleet keeping in mind the emerging challenges the ICG faces in the waters, the DAC gave its approval for upgradation of these aircraft with state-of-the-art technology, spares, Special Maintenance Tools (SMT) and Special Test Equipment (STE).
The Dornier fleet which helps the nodal agency in maritime pollution control, got approval for equipping of three of its aircraft with Pollution Surveillance Systems.