New Delhi: Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron, was commissioned today, 29 November, at a ceremony held at the Naval Air Enclave in Porbandar. Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral MS Pawar was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Vice Admiral said, “Commissioning of Indian Naval Air Squadron 314 marks yet another milestone in our efforts towards enhancing maritime security and our surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea.”
Owing to its strategic location, the Squadron will act as the first responder in this crucial region, said a Press release from the Ministry of Defence.
INAS 314 derives its name ‘Raptors’ from the Bird of Prey family. The insignia of the squadron depicts a Raptor bird searching over the blue expanse of the sea. ‘Raptors’ are large birds of prey known for their excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons, and strong wings, symbolising the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the Squadron.
The squadron will operate the Dornier aircraft, a multi-role SRMR (Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance) aircraft with a twin turboprop engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL) Kanpur. The aircraft can be used for electronic warfare missions, maritime surveillance, search and rescue, and to provide targeting data to weapon platform.
Contributing towards indigenous development and self-reliance through ‘Make in India’, the Navy is procuring 12 new Dornier aircraft from HAL with state-of-the-art sensors and equipment including glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, ELINT (Electronic Intelligence), optical sensors, and networking features.
The Naval Air Squadron is the first to accept and operate four of the newly inducted technology of advanced, next-generation Dornier aircraft.
INAS 314 is commanded by Captain Sandeep Rai, an accomplished and highly experienced Dornier Qualified Navigation Instructor, said the Release.
In November, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, accorded approval for Capital Procurement of Services, including IAF & Navy aircraft, amounting to over Rs 22,800 crore, while Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in Lok Sabha that 8,643 MSMEs are already registered in the domestic Defence manufacturing and production sector.
India is also exporting helicopters, radars, ammunition and more Defence equipment, and 3 Joint Ventures have been approved with Russia for helicopters, rifles and transport aircraft under ‘Make in India.’
Indus Dictum also reported in November that FDI worth Rs 1,812 crore was channeled into the Defence sector since 2014, and 44 proposals have been approved under Make-II.
At the ADMM-Plus Summit in Bangkok in November, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had reaffirmed the Government’s committment to achieving a $26 billion Defence industry by 2025 with ‘Make in India.’
On a visit to Russia in November, Singh urged Russia to jointly manufacture Defence equipment with India. A day after that, Russia announced it would support the ‘Make in India’ initiative with plans to jointly manufacture Kalashnikov AK-203 rifles in India.
Singh also awarded Rs 3 crore to two startups in November, saying innovation is key to self-reliance in the Defence sector.