Navy bids adieu to Sea Harriers

Navy bids adieu to Sea Harriers

The Indian Navy is set to bid adieu to its Sea Harrier fighter jets that flew from the decks of India’s first 2 aircraft carriers – INS Vikrant and INS Viraat – in the last 3 decades.

The last 11 Sea Harrier aircraft would be de-inducted at a function in Panaji on May 11 in the presence of outgoing Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan.

These fighters were commissioned way back in 1983 for operations on-board INS Vikrant and later for INS Viraat, which too is now slated for decommissioning within a few months. The last task of these aircraft was to fly at the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam in March, when seven Harriers were on-board INS Viraat and 6 of them flew.

With its manufacturers Bae Systems and Rolls- Royce giving up on supplying the spares, the Navy can no longer fly these aircraft even as a vintage platform. Some of the airframes, however, may be retained as stationary display items in naval establishments.

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