The Indian Navy has decommissioned its first IL 38SD aircraft, IN 301, after the completion of 44 years of service.

The aircraft was inducted in 1977.

In a press statement, Indian Navy said that the aircraft functioned as ‘a formidable air asset throughout its service life’.

Notably, with the commissioning of IN 301, the Navy transitioned to the arena of airborne long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) with long-range anti-submarine search and strike features.

This aircraft also offered anti-shipping strike, electronic signal intelligence, and distant search and rescue (SAR) capabilities.

The all-weather aircraft completed nearly 10,000 hours of operational flying participating in various operations.

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On the last day before being decommissioned, the aircraft conducted a seven-hour mission sortie. Subsequently, it was greeted with water cannon for its service to the nation marking its farewell.

IN 301, a 50-year-old airframe with 44 years of active military flying, was the oldest Indian Navy’s platform of combat.

Last year, this aircraft fired two combat air-to-surface missiles successfully.

IN 301 was deployed in Goa as part of Indian Naval Air Squadron 315 – the ‘Winged Stallions’.

“Keeping the vintage aircraft fully operational till its last day in service is testimony to the remarkable dedication of the gallant men behind the Navy’s mighty fighting machines,” the Indian Navy statement added.

Last month, Indian Navy retired its first indigenously built missile corvette INS Khukri. The vessel was decommissioned following 32 years of service.