The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Saturday approved upgrading 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs. 950 crore.
"The DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accorded approval for the Mid Life Upgrade of 17 Dornier Aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at an approximate cost of Rs. 950 crore," a Defence Ministry statement said.
The upgrades will be carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft manufacturer of India.
In order to enhance the capabilities of the fleet, DAC accorded approval for upgrading these aircraft with state-of-the-art technology, spares, Special Maintenance Tools (SMT) and Special Test Equipment (STE). The DAC also approved equipping the three aircraft with Pollution Surveillance Systems.
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. It 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.