Modernisation of Indian Naval Aviation
The vision statement of the Indian navy envisages itself as the maritime power for national prosperity in the form of multi-dimensional, multi-spectrum and networked force
THE INDIAN NAVY WEBSITE in its preamble on Indian naval aviation enunciates, Current projects, ranging from acquisition of an aircraft carrier to fitment of the most modern and stateof-the-art equipment onboard aerial platforms, are in consonance with the envisaged growth of the navy and the challenges that it must face in the future. Indian naval aviation is set to propel itself into the major league of tomorrow s navies. The vision statement of the Indian navy envisages itself as the maritime power for national prosperity, in the form of multi-dimensional, multi-spectrum and networked force. viewed in this perspective the modernisation of Indian naval aviation assumes greater significance and relevance.
Carrier-borne Multi-role Fighters The induction of shorts sealand, light amphibious aircraft in 1953, marked the birth of Indian naval aviation. seven years later with the commissioning of Ins Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier in the whole of asian region, hawker seahawk was inducted in 1960 as the fighter plane to operate from her deck. soon thereafter anti-submarine and electronic surveillance aircraft breguet alize followed suit to complete the fixed-wing component of the air wing of vikrant.
several decades later and with the impending de-commissioning of seahawk, white Tigers, a replacement of a multi-role carrier-borne fighter aircraft was found in hawker, sea harriers, FRs 51 in 1983. This versatile aircraft of Falkland war fame served as a shining star of the Indian naval Aviation, fulfilling all operational commitments, performing brilliantly during joint exercises at all levels, earning kudos until its retirement in 2016.
with the acquisition of Ins vikramaditya, a hunt began to identify a modern aircraft to be the backbone of the air wing of the carrier. Fourth-generation Mikoyan, MiG-29K, multi-role fighter was selected and after suitable refurbishment is now the centrepiece of the Indian naval aviation. nomenclature wise this aircraft could be likened to Indian air Force s MiG-29M, however, there were substantial modifications and changes incorporated to make the aircraft worthy of carrier-borne opera-
Indian Navy’s P-8I Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance & Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft