First time ever, navy bases Naval Fighters on Eastern Seaboard Featured

  • Thursday, Nov 07 2013

Indian Navy Inducts HAL Produced Hawks November 6, 2013: The Indian Navy today inducted the first fully Indian manufactured Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at INS Dega, Vishakhapatnam.

This is the first time ever navy has based naval fighter aircraft on Eastern Seaboard and the Navy Chief also announced the plan of raising a Mig29K squadron in Vishakhapatnam in near future.

The Hawk 132 is equipped with advanced and reliable navigation systems and the capability to deploy an impressive array of weaponry including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground rockets, bombs and guns. It can also carry two extra fuel tanks under the wing, which extend its considerable strike range further. The HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) system on the control column and throttle allows the pilot to make weapon selections without moving his hands from the controls. The Hawk 132 is a proven aircraft operating with over 24 nations around the world. The Indian Air Force is also operating these aircraft for training of their pilots.
Formally inducting the Hawk into the Naval Aviation fleet Admiral Joshi said," the growing security needs have mandated development of a balanced and potent force on both the seaboards. Our future plan for this theater also includes raising of a Mig29K squadron at Vishakhapatnam." He also urged the HAL to productionise LCA-Navy at the earliest. 

Naval fighter pilots have been honing their skills since 1957 on HAL built Vampires and thereafter on indigenous Kirans since 1971."The Hawk's capabilities make them ideal platform for our pilots to transition to high performance supersonic carrier based fighters like Mig29k", Admiral Joshi noted. He said'"with the forthcoming inductions of Vikramaditya, Vikrant and beyond, the AJT is expect to play a pivotal role in moulding future generation of fighters, who would be in the forefront of  our carrier centric operational philosophy". 

Dr. R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL, on his part assured to serve the defence forces in every possible way. “Our support is not only for Hawk but for all platforms of Indian Navy”, he said.

The induction of this highly capable aircraft will provide the much needed fillip to the training of combat pilots in the Navy by bridging the gap between basic flying training and advanced fighter flying, navy officials felt. The Hawk will provide the ab initio naval pilots with an ideal platform to hone their skills before they graduate to flying high performance aircraft and carrier based fighter jets, thereby making them available operationally in a shorter span of time. 

The induction heralds a new beginning for INS Dega as well, since jet aircraft would be based here for the first time. Whilst an array of maritime reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters operate from this premier Naval Air Station on the Eastern seaboard, this will be the first time that a fighter squadron will be based here, leading to a quantum jump in its operational versatility.




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