Indian Navy bids farewell to TU142M aircraft
Force Magazine - National Security and Aerospace Newsmagazine
Indian Navy bids farewell to TU142M aircraft
Indian Navy bids farewell to TU142M aircraft

After having served the Indian Navy with pride for 29 years, during which it accomplished 30,000 hours of accident free flying, the TU142M aircraft were given a befitting farewell in a special ceremony organised on March 29, at INS Rajali, India’s premiere Naval Air Station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu. The ceremony was attended by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, serving and retired officers and men, who have served in the INAS 312 and other senior officials from the navy as well as from civil administration.

Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Sunil Lanba lauded the stellar role played by TU142M aircraft in the defence of the country as a Maritime Reconnaissance and Airborne ASW aircraft. He recollected the crucial role played by the Squadron in Operation Cactus in Maldives, where fleeing mercenaries were detected and tracked till they were apprehended by Indian warships. The Admiral also mentioned the maiden participation by TUs as the first Indian Naval Aircraft in the Republic Day flypast at New Delhi on 26 January 1999. He also acknowledged the professionalism of the pilots, the maintainers and all those personnel associated with flying and maintaining the aircraft in peak efficiency during their service. The rich legacy of the Squadron would continue as the baton is being passed on to the proud crew of the worthy successors viz. the P-8I Squadron, said the Admiral.

With imposing looks and a lethal punch to match, the TU14M aircraft which have been nothing short of a ‘Flying Destroyer’, were given an impressive farewell as they flew for one last time along with three Chetak helicopters, two Dorniers, one each IL-38 and the Boeing P-8I. In appreciation of the stellar service of the TU142M aircraft, a TU Static Display was also inaugurated by the Chief of Naval Staff at lNS Rajali.

Commander Yogender Mair, the last Commanding officer of the squadron with TU142M aircraft handed over the reins to Commander V Ranganathan, who will be the first Commanding Officer of the Squadron with the Boeing P-8I aircraft. The Boeing P-8I aircraft dedicated to the nation by the erstwhile defence minister, Manohar Parrikar on 13 November 2015, is the third type of aircraft, after the Lockheed L1049G Super Constellation and the TU-142M aircraft, to be operated by INAS 312. The P-8I aircraft has proven all its systems and has been fully integrated into the operational grid of the Indian Navy.


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