TU-142 makes last landing

TU-142 makes last landing

The Russian-made long-range TU-142 (Tupolev) maritime patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy landed at INS Dega in Visakhapatnam for one last time on Saturday morning.

The aircraft, also called ‘Flying Destroyer’, received an impressive welcome as it landed in Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, by a fly-past of three Chetak helicopters, two Kamov helicopters, two Dorniers, and one P-8I aircraft.

The aircraft is on its way to becoming a museum next to submarine Kursura. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu welcomed the TU-142.

The special ceremony organised at INS Dega was attended by Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, the flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Eastern Naval Command, MPs, MLAs and a host of other civil dignitaries.

Andhra Pradesh had earlier requested the Ministry of Defence for allotment of one de-inducted TU-142 to convert it into a museum. The TU is likely to be dismantled and transported by road on trailers and re-assembled on the Beach Road near Kursura Submarine Museum.

After having served the Indian Navy for 29 years, during which it accomplished 30,000 hours of accident-free flying, the TU-142 aircraft was given a befitting farewell on March 29, 2017, at INS Rajali, India’s premiere Naval Air Station in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.

Over the years, the TU-142 has taken part in all major exercises and operations, including Operation Cactus in Maldives, Operation Vijay in 1998, Operation Parakram in 2002 and anti-piracy operations.

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