Posted by- Neelam Mathews
Sept 4, 2011
INS Hansa, Indian Navy’s premier Air station and fighter training squadron INAS 551 turns 50 on Sept 5.
INS Hansa is home to the Indian Navy's frontline Air Squadrons. These include INAS 300 ‘White Tigers’ with the Sea Harrier fighters, INAS 310 ‘Cobras’ with the Dornier-228, INAS 315 ‘Winged Stallions’ with the Long Range Maritime Patrol IL-38SD, INAS 339 ‘Falcons’ with the Airborne early warning Kamov-31 helicopter, INAS 551 ‘Phantoms’ with the HJT-16 Kirans, INAS 552 ‘Braves’ with the Sea Harrier trainers and ‘Black Panthers’, with the latest induction, the MiG 29K.
The naval base saw its first operational deployment during 'Operation Vijay' in 1961 which resulted in the successful liberation of Goa. During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, the Sea Hawk and the Alize aircraft squadrons were entrusted with the Air-Defense of Bombay, Goa and Cochin. Its aircraft had also carried out an offensive sweep against Pakistani ships reported in the area.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the INAS 300 squadron ‘White Tigers’ from INS Hansa with 18 aircraft onboard INS Vikrant were put into action against the belligerent enemy. In just 10 days, the air strikes accounted for over 100,776 tonnes of Pakistani shipping sunk. The destruction included important airfields, harbours and troop positions, says the Indian Navy.
INS Hansa in addition to military flying proactively supports air traffic management operations of more than 11,000 international, national and civil chartered flights every year. This has helped to promote tourism and boosted the local economy.