INS Shikra



INS Shikra was commissioned on January 22 in Mumbai. Captain Philipose G Pynumootil is the first Commanding Officer of INS Shikra and read out the Commissioning Warrant.

The air station, which first commenced air operation in 1964 with setting up of a small Helicopter Maintenance Unit (HMU) at INS Kunjali, today provides maintenance and flying support to a diverse range of helicopters operating from naval ships at Mumbai. Operations from here include SeaKing, Kamov-28, Kamov-31 and Chetak helicopters. The station also provides Air Traffic Control services to all civil and military helicopters operating in South Mumbai.

The air station will support ship-borne helicopters of the Western Fleet and their maintenance and training requirements. In addition, the proximity of the air station to Mumbai High and Saurashtra region on the West Coast, makes it the preferred site to provide effective air support for protection and security of national assets at short notice.

Shikra, after which the Air Station is being named, is a small aggressive raptor with short broad wings and tall tail adapted for manoeuvrability, agility and speed. The crest of the air station depicts a bolt of lightning in the talons of a Shikra, symbolising the strike power of the aircraft. The red and grey body depicts spirit of the men of "blood and steel" who man the unit and constantly strive for excellence.

Courtesy: Shiv Aroor's Live Fist