India's Premier Naval Air Station Turns 50 Next Week

Indian Navy Statement: INS Hansa, the Indian Navy’s premier air station and fighter training squadron INAS 551 celebrate their golden jubilee on 05 Sep 11 on completion of 50 years of distinguished service to the nation.

INS Hansa is home to the Indian Navy's frontline air squadrons. These include INAS 300 White Tigers with Sea Harriers, INAS 310 Cobras with Dornier-228s, INAS 315 Winged Stallions with Ilyushin-38SD, INAS 339 Falcons with Kamov-31 AEW helicopters, INAS 551 Phantoms with HJT-16 Kiran trainers, INAS 552 Braves with Sea Harrier trainers and INAS 303 Black Panthers, which operates the Navy's new MiG-29K fighters.

The 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 defence 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 White Tigers from INS Hansa with 18 aircraft onboard INS Vikrant were put into action against the belligerent enemy. In a mere 10 days, extending from 04 Dec 1971 to 14 Dec 1971, the air strikes accounted for more than 100,776 tonnes of Pakistani shipping sunk. The destruction included important airfields, harbours and troop positions.
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