- Category: Units
- Published: Monday, 27 October 2008 00:00
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INS Garuda is located at Kochi, Kerala. Situated on Willingdon Island, it is the training hub for naval aviation and is also home to a number of naval air squadrons. The Observer School trains observers for both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Every pilot observer, aviation technical officer and sailor in the Indian Navy, has undergone professional training at INS Garuda since 1953. INAS 550 Squadron, comprising of the Do-228 and BN-2B/T aircraft, imparts training to pilots and observers in search and rescue (SAR) missions and maritime reconnaissance & patrol. INAS 336 Squadron, commissioned in December 1994, imparts simulator-based training to Sea King helo crews using the Sea King Flight and Tactical Simulator (FATS). INAS 321 Squadron, comprising of the HAL Chetak, provide SAR cover and also imparts training to aircrew divers. The School for Naval Aviation (SFNA) and the Naval Institute of Aviation Technology (NIAT) impart theoretical training to naval aviation personnel and those associated with flying operations. The Aeronautical Training Institute (ATI) conducts professional maintenance training for officers and sailors in various aeronautical disciplines. In addition, training in meteorology and oceanography is also imparted to naval personnel.
INS Garuda is also home to the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) school and is where naval personnel are taught on how to conduct anti-submarine operations. Installed at the ASW school is the LOFAR (Low Frequency Analysis & Recording) training simulator, which is manufactured by Thales Underwater Systems of France. The simulator is used to provide training on the Towed Array Sonar (TAS), in which detection and identification of an enemy submarine is achieved by an analysis of low frequency noises emitted by the target submarine. The simulator is a landmark acquisition by the Indian Navy and provides hands-on operator training in a realistic environment. It also provides an integrated analysis facility which will greatly enhance anti-submarine operations.