One of the TU-142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy, which was recently de-inducted after 29 years of service, arrived here today, to be converted into a museum by Andhra Pradesh government. State Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today welcomed the anti-submarine warfare aircraft, which landed at INS Dega here for the last time this morning.
Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral HCS Bisht and others were present on the occasion. The aircraft was given an impressive welcome by a flypast of three Chetak helicopters, two Kamolv helicopters, two Dorniers and one P-8I aircraft.
Talking to reporters on the occasion, Naidu said on the request made by the Andhra Pradesh government, the Defence Ministry allotted the aircraft to the state for converting it into a museum. The aircraft would be dismantled and transported by road on trailers and re-assembled on the beach road.
“A Task Force with the officials of the state government and Indian Navy would be constituted to coordinate the activities to convert the aircraft into museum on the beach road near INS Kursura Submarine museum,” Naidu said.
According to him, the aircraft would promote the knowledge to the citizens on the activities of the Indian Navy and its service to the nation. The Chief Minister said that the TU142M has been the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world and has rendered yeomen service to the nation “with pride and elan” during 1988-2017. He interacted with the crew members of the aircraft.
The aircraft was decommissioned by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba on March 29 at a ceremony at INS Rajali, India’s premier naval air station in Tamil Nadu’s Arakkonam.
A total of eight Tupolev-142Ms were inducted into the Navy. The Soviet-era aircraft, known as one of the most formidable airborne reconnaissance platforms around the world, were part of all major naval exercises and operations of Indian Navy since its induction in 1988.
Naidu also interacted with the family members of the personnel reported missing in the Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft in July last year, and disbursed ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to each of the five bereaved family members.
He told reporters that the state government plans to promote Information technology (IT) and tourism in Visakhapatnam in a big way.
The Chief Minister said his government would also promote water sports as the state has big rivers like Krishna, Godavari as well as a coastline of over 900 kms.