Indian Naval Air Squadron 300 (INAS 300), also known as the White Tigers, has decommissioned their Sea Harriers fighter aircraft, after 33 years of service.
The aircraft will be replaced by MiG 29K/Kub fighters, which will serve as the new swing role air dominance fighter, offering the squadron enhanced combat power and offensive capability.
During the decommissioning ceremony, an air display was conducted by Sea Harriers and MiG 29Ks, marking the last flight of the aircraft in the Indian Navy service.
The Sea Harrier was designed by British Aerospace as a short vertical take-off and landing (S/VTOL) aircraft, which replaced Seahawk fighters in the Indian Navy in 1978.
Six Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51 fighters were introduced into the navy in 1983, and since then have provided air defence to the Indian naval fleet by operating from aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and INS Viraat.
The aircraft is fitted with a single Rolls-Royce Pegasus turbofan engine, with two intakes and four vectorable nozzles, producing 21,500lb of thrust, enabling it to fly at a speed of approximately 635k.
It is equipped with four wing and one fuselage pylons to carry weapons and external fuel tanks in addition to two removable 30 mm Aden Gunpods on the fuselage.
Image: The Indian Navy’s Sea Harrier fighter aircraft decommissioned. Photo: courtesy of Indian Navy.