Arakkonam, March 29: The Indian Navy’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft TU 142M, which played a key role in a number of key operations including the IPKF mission in Sri Lanka, was de-inducted today after a long run of accident-free service of 29 years.
The aircraft made in Russia was bid adieu by the Indian navy including its Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba at a ceremony at INS Rajali here, about 90 km from Chennai.
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The end of Tupolev 142M’s illustrious and successful career with the Navy was marked by the de-induction of the aircraft.
Tupolev 142M fleet is being replaced by 12 P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft of Boeing which are well-equipped with rockets, newly developed radars, harpoon anti-ship missiles, lightweight torpedoes, new generation sensors and much more advanced technology.
In 1988, TU 142M was introduced in the Navy at Dabolim in Goa from Russia. It shifted base to INS Rajali in 1992 and became a part of several naval exercises and operations in it’s long service-period.
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Praising and remembering the services of the TU 142M, Admiral Lanba mentioned the key role played by the aircraft in several missions involving the Indian Navy including the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s.
For Lanba and the navy, TU 142M stands as a proud symbol of pride and might, adding that the de-induction ceremony was an emotional moment for the personnel involved with it.
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According to PTI reports, he also mentioned that P-8i with its modern technology including new-generation sensors and radars will be a “force multiplier.
– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang