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The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the vanguard of safeguarding the nation’s vast maritime interests, has seen remarkable growth over the last 15 years. With an expanding charter of duties and responsibilities, the ICG is now gearing up for further expansion. One crucial element of this modernization drive is the replacement of its aging Chetak helicopters. The ICG has set its sights on an indigenous solution – the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The ICG, which plays a pivotal role in safeguarding India’s maritime security, has grown threefold in size over the past 15 years. This expansion is in direct response to the increasing complexities of its missions and the need to secure the nation’s vast coastline and exclusive economic zone.

The ICG’s Director General, VS Pathania, made history by undertaking the maiden sortie in an indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in Karnataka’s aerospace hub, Bengaluru, last year.

The Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is a next-generation aircraft designed and developed to replace the aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which have been in service with the Indian Armed Forces. LUH incorporates cutting-edge technology features, including a glass cockpit with Multi-Function Displays (MFD). These modern features enhance the helicopter’s operational capabilities and provide a state-of-the-art user experience for the crew.

One of LUH’s standout features is its single turbo-shaft engine, which offers a substantial power margin to cater to any exigency that may demand higher power settings during operations. This reliability is crucial for the ICG’s wide range of duties, from search and rescue operations to coastal surveillance.

The Indian Coast Guard’s primary objective is to secure the nation’s maritime interests, and the replacement of its aging fleet of Chetak helicopters is a step in the right direction. These helicopters have served admirably but are now in need of a modern and technologically advanced successor. The LUH helicopters, manufactured by HAL, are set to meet the ICG’s requirements effectively.

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