ராஜாளி கடற்படை விமான தளம்
|Indian Navy Tu-142s are based at INS Rajali. An example is seen here with an IL-38SD at INS Hansa|
|IATA: none – ICAO: VOAR|
|Airport type||Naval Air Station|
|Location||Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Elevation AMSL||265 ft / 81 m|
INS Rajali, also informally known as Arakkonam Naval Air Station, (IATA: N/A, ICAO: VOAR) is an Indian naval air station located near Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu in southern India. It operates under the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy, and has the longest military runway in Asia.
The airfield at Arakkonam was constructed in early 1942, for use by Allies of World War II. The first recorded air operations from the field took place when the No. 2 Squadron of the Royal Indian Air Force, flying Westland Lysander aircraft flew support missions for the British Indian Army between May and Sep 1942.
The airfield was abandoned at the end of the war, when the Indian Air Force moved its operations to Tambaram, 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Chennai, where its Flying Instructor's School and an An-32 transport squadron are based.
In March 1988, the Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft of Indian Naval Air Squadron 312 (INAS 312) were phased out and replaced with Tupolev Tu-142MK-E ("Bear F") aircraft, and the squadron was transitioned to anti-submarine warfare operations. The larger aircraft were hampered by the congestion at the squadron's home base of INS Hansa in Goa, which already based Sea Harrier, HJT-16 Kiran, Il-38, HAL Chetak and Ka-28 squadrons. The air field at Arakkonam was hence transferred to the Navy, rehabilitated and commissioned as INS Rajali on 11 March 1992.
As of 2010, INS Rajali is home to the navy's INAS 312 squadron which operates eight Tu-142MK-E aircraft. The aircraft are equipped for maritime patrol, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. Deliveries of the Indian Navy's new Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft began in late 2012, and three aircraft had arrived by May 2014, with another three, said Jane's International Defence Review, 'set to follow by the end of the year.' (JIDR July 2014, p.55)
INS Rajali is also home to the navy's Helicopter Training School.