After 29 illustrious years of service, TU142M aircraft has been de-inducted from the Indian Navy. A special farewell ceremony was organised on 29th March 2017, at INS Rajali, the premiere Naval Air Station located in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.
- Dignitaries who attended the farewell ceremony included Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, senior Navy officials, Bureaucrats as well as serving and retired men who have been associated with the operations of TU142M.
TU142M (Tupolev – 142M) is a Russian made aircraft.In the year 1988, it was inducted in Indian Navy at INS Hansa based in Goa.
- In the year 1988, it was inducted into INAS 312 at INS Hansa based in Goa. It is to be noted that INAS 312, which was commissioned in year 1976 at INS Hansa, initially had five Lockheed L1049G Super Constellation Aircraft. These L1049G Aircraft were eventually de-inducted from the squadron in the year 1983.
- Later, in 1992 the TU142M squadron shifted its base to INS Rajali, Arakkonam (Tamil Nadu).
- During its entire tenure with Indian Navy, it was involved in Maritime Reconnaissance and functioned as an Airborne ASW aircraft.
- TU142M is endowed with 04 powerful engines, slender fuselage, contra rotating and swept wings. These specifications make it the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world, which is very difficult to intercept.
- Owing to its imposing design and equally lethal strike capability, TU142M has been one of the most feared LRMR platforms and is often dubbed as the ‘Flying Destroyer’.
Accomplishments of TU142M:
- TU142M has played instrumental role in all major exercise viz. ‘Operation Cactus’ in Maldives, Indian Peace Keeping Force Missions in Sri Lanka, ‘Operation Vijay’ and ‘Operation Parakram’. From 2011 it also participated in Anti-Piracy Operations.
- During the farewell speech, Admiral Lanba mentioned TU142M aircraft’s participation as the first Indian Naval Aircraft in the Republic Day flypast at New Delhi in the year 1999.
- In year 2002 Squadron of TU142M was awarded Unit Citation for displaying outstanding professionalism and commendable contribution to Service.
- It has been adjudged as the ‘Best Frontline Squadron’ for several years.
- To top it up, it has registered a distinction of having 30000 hours of accident free flying
Boeing P-8I, the successor of TU142M:
TU142M is being replaced by a fleet of P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.P-8I has been developed by Boeing Company and is popularly referred to as Boeing P-8 Poseidon by the United States Navy.
- It was dedicated to the nation by the then Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar in November 2015.
- P-8I is loaded with latest hi-tech assault weapons as well as new generation radars and sensors.
- Having passed a thorough system-check, the P-8I aircraft has now been fully integrated into the operational grid of the Indian Navy.
- Admiral Lanba considers P-8I as a ‘force multiplier’ for the Indian Navy.
- LRMR: Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance
- ASW Aircraft: Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft