- Category: Aircraft
- Published: 29 October 2008
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After acquiring the Sealand, It was clear for the Indian Navy that the it was not able to offer services like Drogue Towing on which Naval Gunners could practice gunnery. Soon the Navy procured the Fairey Firefly for target towing purposes. The first two Firefly TT Mk1's INS-111 and INS-113 arrived on 14 Feb 55. These two were followed by three more Mk1s numbered 112, 114 and 115 in May 55.
Three years later a second batch of five Firefly TT Mk.4s were procured. INS-116 and INS-117 were flown in on 11 Sept 58. The other three Mk.4s arrived before the end of Dec 58. The Mk.4s were equipped with 20mm cannon and could also carry bombs and rockets if required - Thus they became the first Indian Naval Aircraft that were offensive capable.
Of the ten Fireflies procured, INS-116 crashed on 14 July 1959. And of the remaining, all but one have been scrapped. The sole surviving Firefly [INS-112] remained as a fuselage in the warehouses of Cochin for over three and a half decades, before it was bought out for a hasty restoration job and subsequent display at the Naval Aviation Museum in Goa.
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