Indian Naval Air Squadron 324 was commissioned into the Indian Navy at a commissioning ceremony held at INS Dega, Visakhapatnam on 04 July.
The unit is the first naval squadron on the Eastern Seaboard operating the indigenously designed and built advanced light helicopter (ALH) MK III (MR) helicopters.
INAS 324 has been named Kestrels which means birds of prey symbolizing the envisaged role of the aircraft and the air squadron.
The Insignia of the Squadron depicts a kestrel searching over vast blue and white sea waves, which signifies the integral maritime reconnaissance (MR) and search and rescue (SAR) role of the squadron.
ALH MK III helicopters are fitted with equipment that includes modern surveillance radar and electro-optical sensors.
They have been developed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
In addition to their primarily roles of MR and SAR, these helicopters can also be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations as well as special operations with marine commandos.
The helicopter also has an airborne medical intensive care unit (MICU) for use in the air ambulance role to facilitate the medical evacuation of critically ill patients.
Addressing the gathering. Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta stated that the commissioning of the first ALH MK III Squadron in the Eastern Naval Command will enhance the surveillance capability on the Eastern Seaboard.
INAS 324 is commanded by Cdr SS Dash, an accomplished and highly experienced ALH Qualified Flying Instructor with extensive operational experience.