India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded approval for the Mid Life Upgrade of 17 Dornier Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft of Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
The upgrades will be carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of the aircraft in India, at an approximate cost of Rs. 950 crore (~$130 million).
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.
Dornier Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier) from 1981 until 1998. In 1983, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) bought a production licence and manufactured 125 aircraft. In Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, 245 were built, and 125 in Kanpur, India. In July 2017, 63 aircraft were in airline service.