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The Indian Navy is planning to de-induct TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after its 29 years of service. According to a recent Indian MoD statement quoted on defenseworld,net, the role of TU142M will now be taken on by the newly inducted Boeing’s P-8I aircraft.
The TU142M aircraft, with its 04 engines, is the fast turboprop aircraft and reportedly was difficult to intercept by fighters. With its enhanced endurance, speed, long range weapons and sensors the aircraft transformed the aspects of Maritime Reconnaissance for the Indian Navy.
The aircraft would be formally de-inducted by Admiral Sunil Lanba Chief of the Naval Staff at a special ceremony scheduled to be held at INS Rajali, India’s premiere Naval Air Station. To commemorate the stellar service of the TU142M, a Static Display Aircraft will also be inaugurated by the Chief of Naval Staff at INS Rajali.
The aircraft subsequently shifted base permanently to INS Rajali in 1992 and became the most formidable aircraft of the Indian Navy. The aircraft was active during operation ‘Cactus’ in Maldives and participated in operational missions off Sri Lanka to provide airborne surveillance.
The aircraft has had a distinguished service with over 30,000 hours of accident-free flying.
During its service life, the aircraft has undergone several modifications and retro fitments to keep up with evolving technology and changing requirements of Indian Navy.
As a result, the aircraft has throughout its service life, been participating in and has been a major factor during all Naval operations. Despite being in its twilight year, the aircraft performed exceptionally well during the recently conducted Naval Exercise TROPEX.
The P-8I aircraft was integrated into the operational grid of the Indian Navy. Commander Yogender Mair, the last Commanding officer of the squadron with TU142M aircraft will hand over the reins to Commander V Ranganathan, who will be the first Squadron Commanding Officer with the P-8l.