Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Tu 142M Aircraft And Indian Navy's "Dalliance" With American Fighters

Games Nations played during the Cold War.
Tu-142 - IN314 - Maritime Aircraft - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
Of the "interaction" between the Indian Navy's first Tupolev Tu-142M [IN311] & the American aircraft, on the formers maiden travel to India. A visual, similar to the photograph above.
"Auto pilot on, clear skies, handed over the stick of Auto pilot to Lt S Ghei and tried to take a bit of rest. Lo!, suddenly out of blue, two American fighters were on our wing tips. These aircraft were fully loaded with various rockets and other weapons. They photographed each and every aerial protruding out of our aircraft. We remained silent spectators. Loss of an AN-32 under similar condition and in the same area was fresh in my mind. Once the aircraft came so close to the tail gunner that his voice became panicky. I asked him to relax, not to move the guns and keep cool, so as not to be provocative. Hats off to my flight gunner, keeping cool in these life threatening scenarios. We were cruising at about 0.70 Mach, these American Fighters would give us company for about 30 minutes thereafter do a vertical climb with after burners right ahead of our cockpit and disappear in the blue. The company of these American fighters continued till 150 nautical miles from Mumbai. After this show by American fighters, I was convinced that a new era had begun in the history of Indian Naval Aviation after induction of these aircraft."

These venerable Naval aircraft, recognised as the fastest Turboprop aircraft in the world, with it's iconic contra-rotating propellers, finally passed into the history, with the latest induction of the Turbofan-driven Boeing P-8I.
Tu-142 - Maritime Aircraft - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
"The setting up of the P8I cell in India marked the official beginning of a new era. With limited resources, the cell handled high quantum of work, which included coordination for the arrival of the first aircraft, infrastructure installation, organising training facilities and preparing FLATs schedules. The best crew from existing squadrons came together to form a formidable unit. The arrival of the first P-8I aircraft on 15 May 13, solemnised the first ever timely conclusion of a contract in the history of the Indian Armed Forces. The P8I cell transformed into IFTU P8I. In spite of all the limitations the pioneers laid a strong foundation of the elite squadron."
Tu-142 - IN317 - Maritime Aircraft - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
Tu-142 - Maritime Aircraft - Indian Navy - 02 - TN
Tu-142 - Maritime Aircraft - Indian Navy - 03 - TN
All images, unless otherwise stated, courtesy -