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Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 310, ‘Cobras’ based at Goa turns 60

Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 310  ‘The Cobras’ based at Goa celebrated its 60 years of commissioning on Sunday, 21 March 2021.

To celebrate the completion of sixty years, the squadron organized functions at INS Hansa, Naval Air Station, Dabolim, Goa. The squadron arranged a get-together for the former pilots and crew of Alize aircraft and the serving officers and crew of Dornier 228. A fly-past by Dorniers and a combat freefall demonstration by the Navy’s marine commandos were also organized as part of celebrations.

INAS 310 was commissioned on 21 Mar 1961 at Hyeres, St Raphel, France by the then Indian Ambassador to France, Nawab Ali Yawar Jung. The Ambassador handed over the commissioning warrant to Cdr. Mihir Kumar Roy, the first Squadron Commander of the squadron. The INAS squadron began life with the French Alize 203 and the first deck landing was carried out on board ‘mother’ INS Vikrant on 23 March 1961, off Yeovilton, England. The squadron embarked on INS Vikrant on 18 Aug 1961 to sail back to India.

The squadron which was initially based at INS Garuda was subsequently shifted to INS Hansa, Goa in Apr 1970. The squadron was awarded three unit citations from the Chief of Naval Staff, making it the Navy’s most decorated unit. It has also received many other awards for the best squadron.

INAS 310 is the only aircraft squadron across the three services of the country to have been deployed in all the wars and low-intensity conflicts.  The squadron was an integral part of the Navy’s carrier-borne operations throughout the seventies and eighties. INAS 310 celebrated it’s 5000 deck landing mark in 1983. After twenty-six years of dedicated service, Alize finally disembarked INS Vikrant on 10 May 1987.  But they remained effective till 1991.

Alize was replaced by Dornier 228 aircraft in Goa on 16 August 1991. Fitted with belly mounted radar, the Dornier could run day and night imagery intelligence gathering missions for surveillance and electronic-warfare. Since then the squadron has been the very hub of the Navy’s information warfare efforts.

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