The Hindu C. JAISHANKAR
The Indian Navy is all set to commission its first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) squadron on the East Coast at Uchipuli near here soon.
It is considered a significant step towards strengthening maritime surveillance and reconnaissance in Palk Strait, Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay off the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coast. The commissioning of the UAV squadron near Rameswaram assumes significance not only due to its close proximity to Sri Lanka but also due to the strategic importance of the region.
It has been christened INAS 344 and it will be operated from INS Parundu, a naval air station. It will be the third UAV squadron of the Navy. Established in 2006, the Indian Navy’s first UAV squadron, INAS 342 in Kochi, already performs operational missions as well as training. The 2 squadron was commissioned at Porbandar in Guajarat in 2011.