April 23, 2024

Located on the eastern coast of India, Visakhapatnam, often referred to as Vizag, is not only a bustling port city but also a strategic hub for the Indian Navy. Among the various naval installations in the region, INS Dega stands out as a crucial naval air station contributing significantly to India’s maritime security and defense capabilities. Commissioned on 21st November 1992, INS Dega serves as a vital asset for the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command (ENC). Its strategic location along the Bay of Bengal provides a crucial advantage for maritime surveillance, reconnaissance, and patrolling operations in the region. The name “Dega” translates to “Falcon” in Telugu, reflecting the station’s role in supporting naval aviation activities. INS Dega is equipped with a runway and facilities for various types of aircraft, including fixed-wing planes and helicopters. It serves as a base for maritime reconnaissance aircraft, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, search and rescue (SAR) missions, and other naval aviation operations.

And as one of the earliest Naval Air Stations in the east, INAS Dega has acquired a collection of ‘warbirds’ for display. This collection has been started only in recent years.

Angad Singh / Zone Aviation recently spotted several aircraft at INS Dega, and his photographs are reproduced below.

First up is an Indian Air Force PZL TS-11 Iskra , serial W1790, displayed wheels down on plinth. Iskra W1790 is one of the original batch of aircraft, series XVI . and it was delivered to the IAF in May 1976. The aircraft does seem to have a fake nose cone fitted, with some colorful additions to it.

Next up is a lovely HAL HJT-16 Kiran, sporting the Navy aerobatic team ‘Sagar Pawan’ paint scheme. IN076. This example is one of the two known Kirans in the Aerobatic scheme seen preserved, with the other one seen at INAS Dabolim. Only 22 Kiran aircraft saw service in the Navy, with a few being lost in service. Only about half a dozen of them would have flown with the aerobatic team.

IN076 is mounted on a pylon within the Station, sans the two Martin Baker ejection seats.

The last warbird, on the airfield is a Kamov Ka-25 helicopter, IN-577. Operated by INAS 333, the heli still carries the “VVZ” code for Visakhapatnam, and is the only one aircraft that actually operated from this airfield!

Photos Courtesy :
Kiran and Iskra : Angad Singh / Zone5Aviation
Kamov Ka-25 : By Special Arrangement

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