Indian Navy on 26 March 2017 decided to de-induct TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after 29 years of dedicated service to the nation.
The aircraft will be formally de-inducted on 29 March 2017 by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff at a ceremony to be held at INS Rajali, informally known as Arakkonam Naval Air Station. Rajali is located near Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.
Reports suggest that to commemorate the stellar service of the TU142M aircraft, a TU Static Display aircraft will be inaugurated on the occasion at INS Rajali.
Besides, an Indian Navy statement says that the role of the TU142M will be taken by P-8I aircraft, which was inducted into the Indian Navy in recent past.
Commander Yogender Mair, the last Commanding Officer of the squadron with the TU 142M aircraft, will hand over the charge to Commander V. Ranganathan, who will be the first Squadron Commanding Officer with the P-8l.
An official release of the Defence Ministry said, “The aircraft has done the Indian Navy proud by participating in all major naval exercises and operations with distinction. The aircraft saw action during operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives and participated in operational missions off Sri Lanka to provide airborne surveillance”.
The Ministry said, with its enhanced endurance, speed, long range weapons and sensors the aircraft transformed the aspects of Maritime Reconnaissance and airborne Anti-submarine warfare for the Indian Navy.
About TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft
• The aircraft with its four powerful engines and swept wings is the fastest turboprop aircraft in the world.
• Reportedly it has been difficult to intercept by fighters.
• It was inducted into the Indian Navy from erstwhile USSR in 1988 at Dabolim Goa.
• Later in 1992, it shifted its base permanently to INS Rajali and became a formidable LRMR ASW aircraft.