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Indian Navy to develop INS Dega to augment civil and military operations

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VISAKHAPATNAM (PTI): Navy will acquire more land to create better infrastructure at INS Dega, a Naval air station in Visakhapatnam, to allow more aircraft with civil and military purposes to operate on the eastern seaboard, a senior navy official said on Thursday.

Addressing the media in connection with the arrival of the P8I, a multi-dimensional aircraft, Commanding Officer of INS Dega, Captain D Bhattacharya said, "INS Dega is a very important naval air station on the eastern seaboard. The Indian navy had acquired eight P8I aircraft from the United States of America and out of them, seven have already arrived in the country and one more will be added soon."

He said India is the first country in the world to purchase P8I aircraft from the USA.

All the P8I aircraft will be stationed at Arkonam in Tamil Nadu, he said.

The anti-submarine aircraft will consist of nine crew members, including two pilots. Its main purpose will be to search and detect submarines with the help of latest radars and equipment, he said.

He said INS Dega is the only naval air station out of the nine naval air stations in the country to launch Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk training to the fighter pilots.

The naval air station, at present, has 11 AJT Hawk aircraft and will acquire six more to bring the total strength to 17 in two years, he said.

He said infrastructure will be created at the station for MiG-29 squadron, which will commence its operations as soon as aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is commissioned within three years.

The air station at present has 40 aircraft, including naval helicopters, and some more will be added soon, he said.
The INS Dega is manned by Indian Navy personnel round the clock to allow international flights, Bhattacharya said.

He said the Navy will acquire some more land to create better infrastructure at the station.

The Indian Navy is providing all support for the civil airport to run commercial flights, he further said, adding infrastructure will be created on both sides of the airport for civil and military purposes.

The Indian Navy is also developing the Bobbili airfield in Vizianagaram district as an alternative and diversionary airfield to shift some of the aircraft there in case of any emergency, he further said.

The Bobbili airstrip, which dates back to the Second World War, at present has two runways and it will be developed further, he added.

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