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Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 300

INAS 300 was the first operational squadron of the Navy comprising Seahawk `Fighters Ground Attack' (FGA). The first flight of Seahawks had been constituted in end 1959 and the squadron had commissioned in Britain on 7 July 1960. The Seahawk was a well proven jet aircraft, having been in operation with the British Navy since 1953 and also in the German and Netherland Navies. A total of 74 Seahawks were eventually acquired, 46 from Britain between 1960 and 1964 and 28 from Germany in 1966. The Seahawks disembarked from VIKRANT for the last time on 8 May 1978. Even ashore, their availability could not be sustained. By end 1978, the Seahawks phased out. The last Seahawk flight was on 16 Dec 1983, to escort the first three Sea Harriers as they arrived over Naval Air Station Dabolim.

In 1977, Government approved the acquisition of 8 Sea Harriers, including 2 trainers. The first British Sea Harrier flew in 1978. By mid 1979, it was undergoing intensive flying trials. In 1979, NHQ placed an order for 6 Sea Harriers and 2 Harrier Trainers for delivery in 1983. The Sea Harrier entered service with the British Navy in 1980. In 1982, it proved its capability in the British operations against Argentina in the Falkland Islands.

The training in Britain of Indian Sea Harrier pilots started in 1982. The first three Sea Harriers landed at Dabolim on 16 December 1983. The first Sea Harrier landed on VIKRANT's deck on 20 Dec 83.

This squadron was re-equipped with the Sea Harrier VSTOL fighter in the UK in 1983.



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