INAS 300 ‘White Tigers’ of Indian Navy Complete Fifty Years of Glorious Service

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INVC,,

Delhi,,

Golden Jubilee celebrations of the front line Sea Harrier squadron of the Indian Navy, Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 300, will be ‘launched’ tomorrow 05th July 2010 at Goa with over a hundred White Tigers in attendance.

The events scheduled include a two day professional seminar on carrier borne fighter operations, a get together of the veterans of the Squadron and the release of a commemorative first day cover and postage stamp.

The seminar will see discussions on esoteric subjects of topical interest to a navy poised for growth in air craft carrier based power. Included are an aero medical paper that discusses the effects of ‘high G’ catapult launches and challenges of spatial orientation particularly in night operations over the sea, a paper that explores operating concepts for future indigenous aircraft carriers considering the various options viz Short Take-off and Vertical Landing (STOVL), Short Take-off but Arrested Landing (STOBAR) and Catapult Take-off but Arrested Landing (CATOBAR) these discussions are of particular interest as the Indian Navy today stands at a vital cross road regarding operating concept for its future indigenous carriers. One paper also discusses latest developments in fighter direction and control in an environment of Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.

Later, on 07 July 2010 the Department of Post will release a Commemorative Postage Stamp and a First Day Cover in a special ceremony with Dr SS Sidhu, the Governor of Goa, as the Chief Guest. Admiral Nirmal Verma, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, the Chief of the Naval Staff, along with a number of senior dignitaries and notable veterans such as Admiral RH Tahiliani and Admiral Arun Prakash will be present during the ceremonies.

The White Tigers have an illustrious history with many significant contributions over the past fifty years. On 18 May 1961 Lt Cdr RH Tahilhiani (later Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff) landed the first Seahawk, piloted by an Indian, onboard the INS Vikrant. Ever since, the Squadron has been at the fore front of naval operations as the premier front line fighter squadron of the Indian Navy. The 1971 India-Pakistan conflict saw the squadron’s Seahawk aircraft in action from INS Vikrant. When the conflict ended, INAS 300 had not suffered a single loss and won one Maha Vir Chakra, five Vir Chakras, one Naosena medal and four Mentions in Despatches.

In December 1983 the Sea Hawks were bid adieu and the squadron inducted the Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51 aircraft. Over the years these aircraft have proven themselves after having been eye-to-eye with the best in the business viz the magnificent carriers and the flying machines of the American, French and British navies. Recently, the ageing Sea Harriers were given a weapon and avionics upgrade to keep abreast with evolving technology. The upgraded Sea Harrier christened LUSH (Limited Upgrade Sea Harrier) is a shot in the arm for the Indian Naval aviation. The Sea Harriers, in their ‘new avatar’, are now a formidable force to reckon with. LUSH aircrafts, fitted with Beyond Visual Range missiles, are now operating in a highly dynamic BVR environment and can hold their own in combat.

The White Tigers have built an enviable reputation for themselves and continue to remain at the forefront of Indian Naval Aviation.

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