Indian navy bids farewell to iconic Sea Harriers

After providing yeoman service for over three decades, the Sea Harriers squadron was recently given a farewell by the Indian Navy. 

This premier carrier borne fighter squadron achieved iconic status in the Indian Navy with its distinguished service, receiving numerous gallantry awards which include one Maha Vir Chakra, four Vir Chakras and one Nau Sena Medal.

From the time the white tigers came into being, 'Three Hundred' as the squadron is colloquially called, brought about transformational change in concept of naval operations. INAS 300 with its potent sea harriers formed the teeth of naval combat power and consequently was the center piece of naval operational strategy.

Indian Navy had said earlier that its usage in the Falklands War was its most high-profile and important success, where it was the only fixed-wing fighter available to protect the British Task Force.

The aircraft, developed by the British in the 1960s, are best known for the ability to take off and land vertically, and for being the only class of jet that can hover like a helicopter.

The Sea Harrier was used by the British during the Falklands War, both Gulf Wars, and during the NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The retired aircraft will be put on display in museums.

Three Harriers, built by BAE Systems of the UK, flew into Goa for the first time on 16 December 1983 when they were welcomed by a solitary Seahawk fighter, which was being retired.

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