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Indian Navy’s Second P-81 Aircraft Squadron Commissioned

The Squadron Comprises the Aircraft With Largest Wind Span

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. MUMBAI: Indian naval air squadron (INAS- 316), the Indian Navy’s second P-81 aircraft squadron, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in an impressive ceremony held at INS Hansa in Goa on Tuesday.

While addressing the gathering, According to Chief of Naval Staff R Harikumar, India is the preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean region, reflecting our country’s ability to play an influential strategic role in the area and the need to expand its operational reach. The Indian Navy is an integral part of this commitment, and the commissioning of INAS-316 is yet another step toward improving maritime security and surveillance in the IOR.

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INAS- 316 has been named “condors,” one of the giant flying birds with a massive wind span. The squadron’s insignia depicts a condor searching the vast blue expanse of the sea. Condors are known for their excellent sensory abilities, powerful and sharp talons, and large massive wings representing the aircraft’s capabilities and the squadron’s anticipated roles.

The Boeing P 81, a multi-role long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare LRMR ASW aircraft capable of carrying various air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes, will be flown by INAS-316. The game-changer aircraft is a powerful platform for maritime surveillance and strike missions, electronic warfare missions, search and rescue, targeting data to weapon platforms, time-critical surveillance information to IN and IAF, and the preferred platform for detecting and neutralizing enemy ships and submarines to IOR.

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The squadron has been specifically commissioned to house the four new P-81 aircraft purchased under the option clause contract and deter, detect, and destroy any threat in the IOR. Since December 30, 2021, these aircraft have been operating from INS Hansa, and the squadron is integrated with full-spectrum surface and sub-surface naval operations.        

Commander Amit Mohapatra, a skilled Boeing P-81 pilot with extensive operational experience, leads INAS. He has also flown maritime air platforms such as the IL-38 and the Dornier-228, commanded the INS Baratang, and served as the executive officer of the INS Tarkash.

Maiden IONS Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-2022)

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The maiden edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22) conducted in the Goa and Arabian sea was concluded on Wednesday.

The exercise was aimed to enhance interoperability in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations among member navies. The exercise witnessed the participation of 16 out of the 25 member nations of IONS. 

The IONS, established in 2007, is a premier forum for cooperation and collaboration among navies of littoral states of the IOR. The platform has allowed for discussions on regional maritime issues, the promotion of friendly relationships, and a significant improvement in maritime security cooperation in the IOR.

From March 26 to March 27, IMEX – 22 consisted of a harbor phase at Mormugao Port in Goa, followed by a sea phase in the Arabian Sea from March 28 to March 30. Warships, Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft, and helicopters from the navies of Bangladesh, France, India, and Iran took part.

The exercise also included 22 observers from 15 IONS member navies, including Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, and the United Kingdom. The participants validated the IONS HADR guidelines and created response mechanisms for providing HADR from sea to shore and assisting ships and vessels in distress at sea.

The Chiefs of the Indian and French Navies witnessed exercises during the IMEX–22 sea phase and attended the post-exercise debrief. The exercise is a significant step toward regional navies cooperating and responding collectively to natural disasters in the region, and it paves the way for further strengthening regional cooperation.

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  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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