Indian Navy’s second Air Squadron commissioned in Goa

Indian Navy's second Air Squadron commissioned in Goa (Image: Indian Navy)
Indian Navy's second Air Squadron commissioned in Goa (Image: Indian Navy)

New Delhi: The second air squadron of the Indian Navy has been commissioned at INS Hansa, a naval air station near Dabolim in Goa. Indian Navy Air Squadron (INAS) 316 was commissioned in the presence of Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar. Speaking on the occasion he said, "In today's dynamic and complex security situation, this squadron's operational capability will significantly enhance our ability to protect, preserve and promote our national maritime interests."

The Indian Navy Air Squadron (INAS) 316 will operate the Boeing P-8I multi-role long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft and has been christened 'The Condors', after one of the largest flying birds in the world. The insignia of the squadron depicts a Condor searching over the blue expanse of the sea.

The first batch of eight P-8I aircraft which was received by the Navy in 2013 is currently stationed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam with an aim to replace the ageing Soviet Tupolev Tu-142s.

The aircraft – which is also designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions – is powered by twin jet engines. Developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, P8I is armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, and other weapons. The aircraft has a length of 39.47 meters and a height of 12.83 meters and can fly at a speed of 490 knots (789 km/h). It also has a maximum takeoff weight of 85,139 kilograms. The aircraft, with its superior maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and operational readiness, has proven to be an important asset to the Navy, which was the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft.

The Navy aims to counter the Chinese presence in the Indian ocean with these aircraft.

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