- Category: Squadrons
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The Squadron is the Navy’s Sea Harrier training squadron and is responsible for training of the Harrier pilots and ground crew. The squadron is the feeder unit to INAS 300. Until 1990, the basic conversion of Naval Sea Harrier pilots was carried out by 233 OCU at RAF, Wittering, UK. The exorbitant cost of pilot training along with induction of 2nd batch of Sea Harriers led to the decision to undertake Sea Harrier training in India.
With this aim Sea Harrier Operational Flying Training Unit (SHOFTU) was raised on 16 Apr 90. The unit operated from INAS 300 hangar using a few offices and hangar space. The assets of SHOFTU were later merged with INAS 551 and the unit was renamed INAS 551-B. The original INAS 551 became INAS 551-A. Although they had a common Squadron Commander, the units differed in every other aspect such as types of aircraft, maintenance schedules, tools and administration.
On 28 May 95, INAS 551-A and INAS 551-B parted ways and the Braves began to function independently under an independent Squadron Commander. The squadron was formally commissioned as INAS 552 on 07 Jul 2006. The squadron continues to conduct Sea Harrier Conversion Courses (SHCC) for Sea Harrier pilots and also undertakes refam of aircrew joining the stream post break in flying.