New Delhi: The Indian Navy bid adieu to the illustrious British-built Sea Harrier as it inducted the MiG 29k/Kub aircraft into the INAS 300 naval aviation squadron.
Chief of naval staff Admiral RK Dhowan oversaw the change of guard when the commander Shikhu Raj, a Sea Harrier pilot, handed over the baton signifying the command of the squadron to Captain KHV Singh at INS Hansa, Dabolim.
Captain KHV Singh is a MiG 29k/Kub pilot and has over 800 hours of flying experience. “These sea harrier aircraft and their pilots did a sterling service to the nation. The sea harrier aircraft has not only done yeomen service to the Navy and the Nation, it has also made a mark for itself across the world,” Dhowan said.
The ceremony had a large number of serving and retired Sea Harrier pilots in attendance and included an air display by Sea Harriers and MiG 29Ks, including an 8G turn. May 11 marked the last flight of the Sea Harriers in the Indian Navy, Dhowan said.
The fighters were de-inducted from the Royal Navy in the year 2006 but continued in service with the Indian Navy even as the next generation MiG 29K/Kub fighters were purchased and integrated into service in India. The fighters operated for the last time from INS Viraat on March 6, 2016.