INAS 312 squadron with its fleet. (Image: Twitter/ @indiannavy)
Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 312 squadron operating P-8I aircraft based at Arakkonam have clocked 40,000 hours of operation as the aircraft completes a decade in Naval service. It was on May 15, 2013, when the first P-8I landed at INS Rajali, an Indian naval air station located near Arakkonam in Ranipet district of Tamil Nadu. The first commanding officer of the aircraft was Captain HS Jhajj.
According to the Indian Navy, INAS 312, popularly known as 'Albatross' has been at the forefront of all naval operations. Additionally, P-8I, over the last 10 years, spearheaded operations in all three dimensions including air, surface and sub-surface. The squadron is known for rendering yeoman service, safeguarding national interests, being the first responder in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Indian Navy has completed ten years of its first Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft since it landed in 2013. In the last decade, the Navy has surpassed operations of 40,000 flight hours. According to the reports, the Indian government is keen to have more P-8I aircraft in line of 'Make in India' in defence.
INAS 312 squadron operating P8I aircraft based at Arakkonam clocks 40,000 hrs as the aircraft complete a decade of diverse Naval Operations. The first P8I landed at #INSRajali on 15 May 13 with Capt H S Jhajj as the first Commanding Officer.@IN_HQENC @IndiannavyMedia pic.twitter.com/IS5YbIddmn— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 17, 2023
INAS 312, the Indian Navy’s first long range maritime reconnaissance squadron was commissioned on November 18, 1976, with five ex-IAF (Indian Air-Force) super constellation aircraft. The Super Constellation aircraft were phased out in 1983 and Tupolev 142M aircraft were commissioned into the squadron in 1988. The Albatross, due to their phenomenal Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) capabilities have been spearheading the Navy’s MR effort ever since and are among the finest aircraft of their kind in the world in addition to being the fastest turbo-props. With continuous equipment upgrades and integration of new technologies, the Albatross have remained the lead aircraft for long range reconnaissance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Electronic Support Measures or Electronic Warfare (ESM/EW) missions in the Indian Navy.
According to an official of the Indian Navy, India is the 'Preferred Security Partner' in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) which reflects our country's ability to play an effective strategic role in the region, and need to expand its operational reach. The Indian Navy is integral to this commitment and in pursuance of this objective, commissioning of INAS 312 had marked a milestone towards enhancing maritime security and surveillance in the IOR.