System includes side-looking airborne radar, infrared/ultraviolet scanner and cameras

The Indian coastguard has begun an upgrade programme for its fleet of Dornier 228s, with three of the 24 aircraft to be fitted with Swedish Space's maritime surveillance system.

The Dorniers were licence-built by Hindustan Aeronautics. The Indian public sector company will work with Swedish Space to install the system. The coastguard uses the aircraft for patrol, search and rescue, and transport missions.

"This will include a number of new and improved features from our latest generation of the system to provide the operator with a good overview of the area under surveillance," says Olov Fast, manager of Swedish Space's Airborne Systems division. The system has also been installed in aircraft operated by Canada, Greece, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the USA, adds Swedish Space.

The company says India will receive a fully integrated system that includes a side-looking airborne radar, an infrared/ultraviolet scanner, and still and video cameras. Information from the sensors will be available from an operator console, displayed in real time, and integrated with a tactical map.

India's coastguard urgently needs to upgrade its equipment as it steps up the surveillance of its 2 million km2 (770,000 miles2) exclusive economic zone. The service also watches over a coastline that stretches for over 7,500km (4,660 miles) and encompasses 1,200 islands around the subcontinent. Apart from the Dorniers, the coastguard also operates 17 Aerospatiale SA316B utility helicopters and four HAL-built Dhruv advanced light helicopters.

Source: Flight International