Visakhapatnam: Indian Navy’s air arm, is aiming high with plans on new acquisitions and inductions in the coming years. With the humble beginning in 1953 operating an amphibious short sea land aircraft at Cochin, the Indian Navy’s air arm now has around 240 air craft and aiming to increase the count to around 600 by 2025.
Navy’s air arm has choppers used for anti submarine warfare, search and rescue operations, to carry troops, dorniers used for maritime reconnaissance, MIGs, Unma-nned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), P8Is that are used for Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance.
Indian Navy’s air arm has 1300 officers and 9000 sailors and nine air stations and plans are afoot to acquire 595 plus aircraft with 2,500 officers and 15,000 sailors with 13 naval air stations by 2027.
“India is strategically placed on the coast of Indian Ocean, which is used for 90 percent of the world’s oil supplies and annually around 1 lakh merchant ships use this route. Its Indian Navy’s duty to guard country’s maritime interests and air arm also plays a significant role. Especially India’s east coast, gained significance due to varied reasons, and the air wing will help in air dominance,” said INS Dega Commanding Officer, Captain D Battacharya.
Indian Navy’s Air Arm is tasked to provide aircraft carrier based strike capability, fleet air defence, maritime reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare. “Operating an aircraft on the high seas on a moving deck needs an expertise, which our pilots are given training,” he said.
At present Indian Navy operates two aircraft carriers and another INS Vikrant is expected to be commissioned within 3 years from now. INS Vikrant will be operated in the eastern sea board.
Indian navy had acquired eight P8I aircrafts from the USA and out of which seven had already have been inducted and one more will be added soon. India was the first country in the world to purchase P8I aircraft from US. The anti-submarine warfare aircraft is also used in search and detect of the objects with latest radars and equipment.
INS Dega to house MIG 29K squadron at Vizag:
Naval airfield station, INS Dega at Vizag, will house, Indian navy’s second squadron of supersonic fighter jets MIG 29k. MIG 29K aircraft has a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound-about 2000 kmph.
MIG 29k squadron at Vizag is expected to be commissioned within two years from now and infrastructure is being created at INS Dega. Indian Navy’s first MIG 29K squadron christened, ‘Black Panthers’ is at Goa. Black Panthers squadron was commissioned in 2013. INS Dega already has half a dozen squadrons of varied aircraft and India’s east coast gaining significance, Indian Navy is strengthening its base at Vizag including its air arm. INS Dega also already has, Advanced Jet Training (ATJ) centre for the pilots of Indian Navy- ‘Saaras’.
“INS Dega at present has 11 AJT Hawk crafts and will acquire six more to bring the total strength of 17 in two years. Infrastructure will be created in the Dega Air station for
MIG 29 squadron which will commence its operation as soon as Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant Commissioned here within three years. INS Dega naval air station at present has 40 aircraft and there are plans to induct more in the coming years,” said INS Dega Commanding Officer, Captain D Battacharya....
Location: Andhra Pradesh