Bengaluru: The Indian Navy said on Wednesday that it had deployed a home- grown Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-MK III) at Maldives. The ALH is a successful product from the hangars of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The helicopter was received by Minister of Defence Adam Shareef and High Commissioner of India to Maldives Akhilesh Mishra. Navy says the helicopter, to be based at Kadhdhoo Island in Laamu Atol of Maldives, would assist the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) for undertaking search and rescue, casualty evacuation, coastal surveillance, maritime reconnaissance, communication and logistic duties.

Cdr Rohit Gupte, an experienced helicopter pilot, would lead the Indian naval contingent comprising four officers and 21 sailors. The technical support team comprises 13 technicians and is headed by Lt Cdr Jithu K Joy.

According to Navy, the support team with spares and support equipment, have already reached Male.

Navy hopes that the detachment of ALH would further strengthen the robust maritime cooperation between our two nations.

The first squadron of Naval ALH was commissioned at Kochi in November 2013. The Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 322 based at Southern Naval Command is on an expansion mode.