Curtain raiser: Navy’s aviation to be awarded President’s Colour next week

By: |
September 01, 2021 4:28 PM

The then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad on 27 May 1951 awarded the President’s Colour to the Indian Navy, making it the first amongst the Indian Armed Forces to be awarded.

Indian NavyAlong the Indian coastline and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands there are nine air stations and three naval air enclaves. (Photo credit: Indian Navy)

Indian Naval Aviation is getting ready to receive the President’s Colour, next week. This is the highest award which is awarded to a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation.

The then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad on 27 May 1951 awarded the President’s Colour to the Indian Navy, making it the first amongst the Indian Armed Forces to be awarded.

In the Indian Navy, those who subsequently received this award include: the Indian Naval Academy, Western Naval Command, Eastern Fleet, Southern Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Western Fleet, Submarine Arm, and INS Shivaji.

More about the Indian Naval Aviation
With acquisition of the first Seal and aircraft on 13 Jan 1951, naval aviation started and this was soon followed by the commissioning of the first Naval Air Station INS Garuda, on 11 May 1953.

In 1958, the armed Firefly aircraft arrived adding an offensive punch, and gradually the inventory expanded which became a formidable part of the navy.

According to the Indian navy, in 1959 Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550 with 10 Seal and, 10 Firefly and three HT-2 aircraft was commissioned.

Over the years different rotary wing platforms have been added which include the Alouette; the Kamov 25, 28 and 31; the S-55, Seaking 42A and 42B; the UH3H; the Advanced Light Helicopter. Very recently, the MH60R was inducted.

With the induction of the Super-Constellation from the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1976, the IL-38 in 1977 and the TU 142 M in 1989, Maritime reconnaissance (MR) in the Indian Navy also grew.

Induction of Dornier 228 in 1991, followed by the state-of-the-art Boeing P 8I aircraft in 2013 signalled the entry of high-performance MR aircraft.

With the induction of the country’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, in 1957 and integral Sea Hawk and Alize Squadrons subsequently, signaled the coming of age of naval aviation.

More about INS Vikrant
In the liberation of Goa in 1961 and in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, this aircraft had played a critical role.

In the mid-1980s, INS Viraat was inducted along with the legendary Sea Harriers which helped in strengthening the carrier operations of the Indian Navy. In the last decade the Indian Navy turned into a reckonable force when the INS Vikramaditya arrived with MiG 29Ks.

And recently, the indigenously built INS Vikrant in its new avatar is in the midst of its sea trials.

Along the Indian coastline and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands there are nine air stations and three naval air enclaves.

In seven decades of its existence the Naval Aviation has transformed itself into a modern and technologically advanced force. Today it has more than 250 aircraft and comprises remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), Carrier-borne fighters, helicopters and maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

And extends support in all three dimensions and remains the first responder in MR, HADR in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

In various Ops
Op Shield, Op Vijay, Op Cactus, Op Jupiter, and Op Parakram, are some of the operations to name a few.

It has been part of HADR operations and has provided relief to several IOR countries including: Op Castor in 2004, Op Sukoon in 2006, Op Sahayam in 2017, Op Madad in 2018, Op Sahayta in 2019 and the recent Cyclone Tauktae in May 21.

Women in Naval aviation
There are women officers inducted into the fighting arm of the Navy.

On September 6, 2021
President of India Ram Nath Kovind, will be awarding the President’s Colour at a ceremonial parade at INS Hansa, Goa.

Also, a Special Day Cover will be released by the Postal Department on the occasion.

Besides the Governor of Goa, defence minister, Indian Navy Chief and other military and civil officers will be present.

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