Navy's iconicTupolev aircraft to be decommissioned
The Indian Navy's iconic Tupolev-142M anti-submarine warfare aircraft will be decommissioned on Wednesday after serving as a mainstay in guarding the Indian Ocean region for almost three decades.
The Soviet-era aircraft, known as one of the most formidable airborne reconnaissance platforms around the world, were part of all major naval exercises and operations of Indian Navy since its induction in 1988.
Tupolev-142M fleet is being replaced by 12 P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft of Boeing which are equipped with harpoon anti-ship missiles, lightweight torpedoes, rockets and new generation sensors and radars.
A Navy official said the Tupolev-142M aircraft would be decommissioned by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba on March 29 at a ceremony at INS Rajali, India's premier naval air station in Tamil Nadu's Arakkonam.
A total of eight Tupolev-142Ms were inducted into the Navy and currently only three of them are in operation.
"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," said the official.