The Indian Navy has commissioned its fifth Dornier aircraft squadron, named Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 313, during a ceremony held at the Naval Air Enclave in Meenambakkam, Chennai on July 22.
The commissioning ceremony was presided by Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM AVSM ADC, India’s Chief of the Naval Staff. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Rear Admiral KJ Kumar VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area (FOTNA) and a host of other dignitaries were also present during the ceremony.
The fifth Dornier squadron will help India track of the growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The squadron will operate the locally-built Dornier Do 228 short range maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the naval air enclave of the Chennai International Airport.
Commissioning of the air squadron under Eastern Naval Command would further strengthen Indian Navy’s efforts in maintaining constant surveillance and safe guarding maritime interests in the eastern seaboard of India, the Navy said.
Dornier Do 228 is a twin-turboprop STOL utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier) from 1981 until 1998. In 1983, Indian state-owned aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) bought a production licence and manufactured more than 125 aircraft.
Indian Navy’s Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft is fitted with state-of-the-art sensors and equipment which include advanced surveillance radar, electronic sensors and networking features that would enhance maritime domain awareness and be a force multiplier during search and rescue operations.