New Delhi : Indian Navy’s second P-8I aircraft squadron, Indian Naval Air Squadron 316, was inducted into the Indian Navy on Tuesday. During this a grand ceremony was held at INS Hansa, Goa. Indian Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar was the chief guest of the event. Addressing the gathering, Admiral R. Hari Kumar said that India is a ‘preferred security partner’ in the Indian Ocean region, reflecting our country’s ability to play an effective strategic role in the region and the need to expand its operational reach. The Indian Navy is an integral part of this commitment and in pursuance of this objective, the commissioning of INAS 316 is a significant achievement towards enhancing maritime security and surveillance in the Indian Ocean region.
INAS 316 has been named ‘Condors’, one of the largest ‘birds’ or flying instruments on Earth, which fly with the help of huge wings. The insignia of this squadron depicts a ‘condor’ searching the vast blue expanse of the sea. The ‘Condors’ are known to have an excellent sensing capabilities, powerful and sharp nails and large massive wings, embodying the capabilities of the aircraft and the roles envisaged by the squadron.
INAS 316 will operate Boeing P-8I aircraft, a multirole, Long Range Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMR ASW) aircraft that can be equipped with a range of air-to-ship missiles and torpedoes. This ‘game changer’ aircraft is a platform capable of providing targeting data for maritime surveillance and attack, electronic warfare missions, search and rescue, weapon platforms, critical surveillance information for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
Apart from this, it is also the preferred platform for detecting and neutralizing enemy ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean region. The squadron is specifically assigned for the four new P-8I aircraft procured under the Option Clause contract, and for the prevention, detection and destruction of any threat in the IOR. These aircraft are operating from Hansa since 30 December 2021 and the squadron is integrated with full spectrum surface and subsurface naval operations.
INAS 316 is commanded by Commander Amit Mohapatra, a skilled Boeing P-8I pilot with vast operational experience. He has flown from maritime air platforms like IL-38 and Dornier 228 and has served as the Executive Officer of INS Tarkash, commanding INS Baratang.