Air Stations

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(m) INAS 342:- The first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) squadron, INAS 342, was commissioned at Garuda on 06January 2006 by Admiral Arun Prakash, then Chief of the Naval Staff.

The UAV Squadron operates Heron and Searcher MK II UAVs. The UAVs are capable of undertaking maritime surveillance tasks. The induction of UAV platform in the maritime context has added a new dimension to naval warfare capability

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash (centre), Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Command Vice-Admiral S.C.S. Bangara (right) in front of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle at the Southern Naval Command, Kochi, on January 6, 2006.

INS Hansa:

Commissioned on 05 Sep 1961 at Sulur near Coimbatore, INS Hansa operated Vampire aircraft with INAS 551 and used to train naval pilots for induction in to the Sea Hawks and the Alize Squadrons of the Indian Navy. At that moment of time, the Navy was on the lookout for a permanent base for these front line squadrons. The airfield at Dabolim was taken over after the liberation of Goa and INS Hansa shifted to Goa on 18 Jun 1964. The inherited airfield only had a 7800 feet runway, three taxi links and a small dispersal that accommodated a solitary civil flight a day.