The Indian Navy today de-inducted its ageing Sea Harrier aircraft, replacing them with MiG-29K fighter aircraft.
The Sea Harriers displayed a vertical landing formation at INS Hansa during the de-induction event today.
"Its a distinct honour and proud privilege to induct multi-role supersonic MiG 29K in the 300 squadron. It marks the induction of multi-role supersonic technology in Indian Navy," Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan said addressing the gathering at Goas INS Hansa base in Vasco, PTI reported.
He hailed all the pilots who flew Sea Harriers, which was considered as one of the most difficult aircraft to fly.
Sea Harriers, built by BAE System, were inducted in the Indian Navy following phasing out of then obsolete Seahawks.
Commenting on the ceremony, Alistair Castle, Vice President and General Manager , BAE Systems India said: “We are very proud of our support to the Indian Navy in keeping the iconic Sea Harriers airworthy over the last 33 years. Three decades ago, when the Sea Harriers were inducted, these aircraft with modern weaponry, avionics and an engine which could land the aircraft vertically, defying all the laws of aerodynamics, introduced V/STOL for the Indian Navy. On this symbolic day, we re-dedicate ourselves to our partnership with the Indian Navy through our continued support on the Hawk advanced jet trainer”.
In September 1980, the Sea Harrier Project (SHARP) was formed with select naval aviators and technical personnel for coordination of trials, testing, acceptance and training.
The first newly-built Sea Harrier for the Indian Navy (IN 601) was ready on December 21, 1982, the Navy said in a statement issued here.
The first three Sea Harriers flying via Malta, Luxor and Dubai, led by Lt Cdr Arun Prakash VrC, landed at Dabolim on December 16, 1983.
This was followed by the first deck landing on the carrier, INS Vikrant, on December 20, 1983, and the arrival of the first Sea Harrier T Mk 60 trainer, on March 29, 1984.
"In last few years, the Harriers added a new dimension to their operations with the increased multinational exercises in which the Indian Navy participates," the statement added.
The Indian Navy will replace its Sea Harrier fighter aircraft with a new squadron of MiG-29K planes on May 11. The Indian Navy currently flies both Sea Harriers and Mig-29K aircraft
India has commissioned a MiG 29K Aircraft Training Simulator Facility at its Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology (NIAT) in Kochi. “The simulator training facility is set up by Indian Navy and is part of the MiG-29K Aircraft contract for imparting real time training to air crew and technical personnel on all systems of the aircraft and associated maintenance requirements,” Indian Navy press release stated
The MiG-29K carrier-borne fighter aircraft have commenced flight operations from the deck of India's INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. The aircrafts had been operating from the Shore Based Test Facility of INS Hansa, on the coast of Goa in western India, this was stated by an Indian Naval officer during a media briefing earlier this week
After establishing itself as Indias leading carrier-based fighter aircraft, the MiG-29K is looking at an expanded role as the Navy seeks to increase the number of naval fighter squadrons. "The Indian Navy plans to establish three naval aircraft squadrons that will fly MiG-29K and KUB
Indias only aircraft carrier capable aircraft, the MiG-29K suffers from an unsatisfactory serviceability rate ranging from 15.93 per cent to 37
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