Indian Navy inducting 12 new generation Dorniers to keep aerial vigil over waters close to Pakistan

New naval air squadron commissioned at Porbandar in Gujarat to increase India's surveillance footprint in North Arabian Sea

November 29, 2019 By Vishal Thapar Photo(s): By Indian Navy
The first lot of four new generation Dornier 228 short-range surveillance aircraft seen in the backdrop of the commissioning ceremony for the new Indian Navy Air Squadron 314 at Porbandar in Gujarat on November 29, presided over by Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral MS Pawar

The Indian Navy is acquiring 12 new "next generation" Dornier 228 short-range surveillance aircraft for keeping vigil over waters close to the Pakistan maritime boundary.

Manufactured under license at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Kanpur, the first four of these advanced Dorniers have been inducted into the newly-raised Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 314, which was commissioned at the Porbandar Naval Air Enclave on November 29 by the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral MS Pawar. Codenamed 'Raptors', this is the Indian Navy's sixth Dornier squadron.

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal stated that the new Dorniers are equipped with "state-of-the-art sensors and equipment including glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, ELINT, optical sensors and networking features". "The aircraft can be used for electronic warfare missions, maritime surveillance, search and rescue and to provide targeting data to weapon platform," he added

The new twin-turboprop assets will increase India's surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea, a theatre marked by a contest for domination by the maritime forces of India and Pakistan, and terror threats to the Indian mainland from the sea.

File photo of an Indian Navy Dornier 228 short-range surveillance aircraft. INAS 314 at Porbandar is the Indian Nay's sixth Dornier squadron

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal stated that the new Dorniers are equipped with "state-of-the-art sensors and equipment including glass cockpit, advanced surveillance radar, ELINT, optical sensors and networking features".

"The aircraft can be used for electronic warfare missions, maritime surveillance, search and rescue and to provide targeting data to weapon platform," he added.

"Commissioning of INAS 314 marks yet another milestone in our efforts towards enhancing maritime security and our surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea, said Vice-Admiral Pawar, while commissioning the squadron.

The new Dornier squadron is commanded by Captain Sandeep Rai, an accomplished and highly experienced Dornier Qualified Navigation Instructor.