Make in India: Indian Navy commissions new Dornier-228 squadron INAS 313; why it’s a big force multiplier

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Updated: July 23, 2019 12:42:19 PM

The Squadron will be operating the indigenous Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) built Maritime Surveillance version multi-role Dornier 228 Short Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft from Chennai Airport.

These aircraft made indigenously by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is fitted with ‘state-of-the-art’ sensors and equipment. (File Photo)

Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 313, the fifth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Monday, in an effort towards enhancing maritime security and safeguarding country’s maritime interests. Since the geo-political development needs constant monitoring, the Naval chief Admiral Karambir Singh emphasised the importance of India having an edge over its adversaries.

According to the naval chief it is important to maintain surveillance over the Bay of Bengal, Palk Bay and adjoining regions. And the Squadron which will operate from Chennai International Airport is strategically positioned and it will help in monitoring the North Eastern part of the Indian Ocean which also consists of trade routes. With today’s commissioning of INAS 313, Tamil Nadu will now have three naval air bases. It already has INS Rajali at Arakkonam and INS Parundu at Ramnad.

According to the Indian Navy’s official spokesperson, Capt DK Sharma, “The Squadron will be operating the indigenous Maritime Surveillance version multi-role Dornier 228 Short Range Maritime reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft. They have been manufactured by HAL, under license from RUAG Aerospace. These aircraft are being delivered in a phased manner to the Indian Navy.”

The INAS 313 will be commanded by Cdr Vivek Koman, who is an accomplished and experienced Dornier test pilot with extensive operational experience.

Fitted with ‘state-of-the-art’ sensors and equipment, these aircraft have a glass cockpit, Advanced Surveillance Radar, Electronic Sensors and networking features. With these features the new Dornier will further strengthen the Indian Navy’s efforts in maintaining constant surveillance.

In addition, these aircraft are going to ensure greater surveillance of the coastline which goes up to 7,000 km, and also help in gathering data in areas of operation which will help the Navy to fight other threats in the waters surrounding India.

A contract was awarded to the state-owned company in 2016, for procuring 12 Dornier aircraft for the Indian Navy. Also, in 2018, approval has also been granted for the mid-life upgrade of 17 Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard.

In an effort to further strengthen India’s coastal security, approval was given by the government for setting up three new Naval Air Squadrons of Dornier aircraft to be stationed in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Name of the Squadron?

  • The Squadron gets its name ‘Sea Eagle’ from the bird of prey family Accipitridae.
  • The insignia depicts a ‘Greater Spotted Eagle’, searching over the vast blue and white sea waves.
  • Greater Spotted Eagle is a large bird of prey.
  • It has good sensory capabilities, and symbolises the envisaged role of the squadron.

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