As the delivery of new Dornier 228 maritime surveillance aircraft, the Indian Navy announced it would set up three new naval air squadrons, which will be based in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Besides this, the central government has also sanctioned manpower towards manning additional aircraft in existing Dornier Surveillance Squadrons in Kerala and Andaman Islands.
A contract for procurement of 12 Dornier aircraft was signed with HAL (Kanpur) in December 2016 with delivery starting in January 2019.
The new Dornier 228 aircraft being delivered under this contract are fitted with improved sensors and equipment which includes glass cockpits, advanced surveillance radar, ELINT, optical sensors and networking features. The aircraft would enhance Indian Navy’s maritime domain awareness through round the clock sensor based surveillance and provide targeting data in areas of operation to ward off terror and other threats from sea.
The Indian Navy currently operates 25 Dornier aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) under a production licence from former German aircraft manufacturer Dornier GmbH.