New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Saturday accorded approval for the mid-life upgrade of at least 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs 950 crore. As per a senior official, the upgrades will be carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft manufacturer of India.

The senior official said, “The DAC, chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here today accorded approval for the mid-life upgrade of 17 Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs 950 crore.”

ICG is responsible for protecting the national interests in 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 response.

The Coast Guard has a fleet of Dornier aircraft which play a pivotal role in maritime surveillance. In order to enhance the capabilities of the fleet, DAC accorded approval for upgradation of these aircraft with state-of-the-art technology, spares, Special Maintenance Tools (SMT) and Special Test Equipment (STE). The DAC also approved equipping of three aircraft with Pollution Surveillance Systems.

(With Agency Inputs)