New Delhi:Ilyushin-38 Sea Dragon Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Navy bid adieu after 46 years of glorious service to the nation.
The decommissioning ceremony was held on October 31 at INS Hansa, Dabolim. Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, dignitaries and veteran officers and sailors of the IL-38 squadron graced the event with families reminiscing the yeoman service.
INAS 315 was commissioned on October 1, 1977 with the induction of IL-38 aircraft heralding a modern era of airborne Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare in the Navy. With its unique capabilities, striking prowess and extended reach covering the vast Indian Ocean region, the IL-38 SD has over the years proven itself to be a formidable force-multiplier.
The mighty ‘Winged Stallion’ that adorns the Squadron crest has been living up to the squadron motto of ‘Victory is my Profession’, keeping a sharp vigil over and beneath the seas, in its relentless pursuit to secure nation’s maritime boundaries.
In her last legs, the aircraft enabled ‘Aatmanirbhar’ capability enhancement through successful integration of indigenous, Sahayak Air Droppable Containers (which provide critical logistics support to units deployed at sea) and trial platform for indigenous torpedoes. The aircraft also featured in the 2023 Republic Day Flypast at New Delhi.