The Sea Harriers, with their unique short take-off and vertical landing/vertical take-off and landing, took off one last time during the de-induction ceremony of the illustrious aircraft at Goa's INS Hansa base.
Navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan not only lauded the role of the squadron of Sea Harriers — which have served the Indian Navy since 1983 — but also noted their professionalism. He said the Sea Harrier's legacy will be carried on by the new MiG-29K squadron, according to a statement from the defence ministry. The MiG-29Ks are multirole fighter aircraft for all-weather aircraft-carrier-based operations.
The Indian Navy organised an event to mark the occasion, which saw the Sea Harriers lift off for the last time, flanked by MiG-29Ks.
The Sea Harriers provided air dominance for the Indian Navy's Carrier Battle Group for nearly two decades, and were a "force to reckon with." The squadron was part of the numerous exercises conducted with foreign navies, where they had displayed their combat skills.
The statement noted that MiG-29Ks had successfully been seamlessly integrated into INS Vikramaditya in the shortest possible time. The MiG-29Ks were inducted into the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300). The statement also noted that this marks the return of the "tail hookers" in the Indian Navy, with Harriers having "vector thrust."