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Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 315

The Ilyushin Il-38 formally entered service with the Indian Navy on 1 October 1977, with the commissioning of INAS 315 "Winged Stallions" at INS Hansa in Dabolim, Goa. The squadron was formed with just three aircraft in 1977 and two more examples joined the squadron in 1983. The first three aircraft were ex-AV-MF (Russia's Naval Air Force) and the latter two aircraft could also have been acquired from the same source.

The Il-38s regularly flew 10-12 hour endurance sorties over the Arabian Sea and proved to be reliable in the roles of maritime reconnaissance (MR), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and search & rescue (SAR). A tragic mid-air collision occurred on 1 October 2002, during the squadron's silver jubilee celebrations. A pair of Il-38s (IN-302 and IN-304), which were flying parallel to each other, suffered a mid-air collision above the airport. All aircrew on board both aircraft were killed and both aircraft were destroyed.



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