INAS 550

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INAS 550
INAS 550 insignia.jpg
INAS 550 Insignia
Active 15 June 1959 - present[1]
Country  India
Branch Indian Navy seal Indian Navy
Garrison/HQ INS Venduruthy, Kochi
Nickname(s) The Flying Fish
Aircraft flown
Reconnaissance Britten-Norman Islander (historical)[2]
Dornier Do 228[3]

The INAS 550 is an Indian naval air squadron based at INS Venduruthy, Kochi.[4]

History

The oldest squadron of the Indian Navy, this was the unit where Naval Aviation was born, where it all began, and from where it grew and spread its wings to touch the skies. The Navy’s first Fleet Requirement Unit (FRU), comprising two Sealands and manned by five pilots and two observers, was commissioned on 11 May 1953 at Venduruthy II, Kochi. Lt Cdr Y N Singh was the commissioning Squadron Commander. The FRU was recommissioned as INAS 550 on 15 June 1959 under the command of Lt Cdr Y N Singh.

In February 1954, the squadron acquired two Firefly aircraft. The squadron had its first moment of glory on 21 April 1954 when six aircraft, in batches of two, escorted SS Gothic from Colombo to Aden with Her Highness, Queen Elizabeth on board. In October 1956, HT-2 aircraft were inducted and the squadron was split up into INAS 550 A (Naval Jet Flt) at Sulur and the INAS 550-B Flt at Kochi.

In 1976, the squadron was equipped with Islander aircraft and HPT-32 aircraft were inducted in January 1986. In October 1987, the squadron completed basic flying training on the HPT-32 for the first batch of 6 naval pilots. However, the practice was discontinued and the squadron ceased further basic flying training on the HPTs. In December 1987 also saw the squadron being tasked for sorties in support of the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka.

Through the late eighties and the nineties the squadron did extensive flying towards Observer training, maritime reconnaissance and patrol missions. In the late nineties a few of the piston-engine Britton Norman Islander (BN 2B) aircraft were upgraded to turbo-prop engines (BN 2T), and the squadron also acquired its first Dornier aircraft. The present day 550 continues to be a squadron that puts in extensive flying effort towards maritime reconnaissance, patrol and Observer training.[5]

References

  1. ^ "INAS 550 – The Flying Fish". Indian Navy. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ G. M. Hiranandani (1 January 2000). Transition to Triumph: History of the Indian Navy, 1965-1975. Lancer Publishers. p. 277. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Indian Naval Air Squadrons". Indian Navy. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Mihir K. Roy (15 April 1995). War in the Indian Ocean. Lancer Publishers. p. 100. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "DORNIERS | Indian Navy". www.indiannavy.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
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