Cradle of Indian Naval Aviation turns 50

The Indian Navy's first air squadron, INAS 550 celebrates its Golden Jubilee of National Service tomorrow, June 17, 2009. Raised as a Fleet Requirement Unit (FRU), the Indian Naval Air Squadron 550 was commissioned on June 17, 1959 under the command of Lt PKK Menon at Kochi. The squadron, the "Cradle of Naval Aviation" has been witness to the growth of the naval aviation over the past five decades. Over the years, INAS 550 has had the unique distinction of operating over thirteen different types of aircraft. The aircraft operated by the squadron include the Sealand, Firefly, HT-32, Dove, HJT-16 Kiran, different versions of Islanders and the Dornier-228. The Squadron has also for a time operated a Mi-4 helicopter.

The photos above show various aicraft types used by INAS 550. From top, HT-2, De Havilland Vampire, the Islanders arrive, the Squadron as it is today.

Godspeed to the squadron for many centuries on wing.

Photos Courtesy Indian Navy
Text abridged from Indian Navy statement

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