Naval Aviation Museum (India)
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A view of the entrance at the Naval Aviation Museum, 2008
|Established||12 October 1998|
|Location||Vasco da Gama, Goa, India|
The Naval Aviation Museum is a military museum located in Bogmalo, 6 km from Vasco da Gama, Goa, India. This museum contains exhibits that showcase the evolution of the Indian Naval Air Arm over decades. The museum is divided into two main parts, an outdoor exhibit and a two-storey indoor gallery. The museum was inaugurated in October 1998 and is one of the two military aviation museums in India, the other being the Indian Air Force Museum, Palam in Delhi.The Naval Aviation Museum is the only of its kind in Asia.
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The outdoor exhibit is a huge park that visitors can walk through and see decommissioned aircraft that saw service with the Navy. Some of them date back to before the 1940s. A small shed also displays various aircraft engines.
A total of 13 aircraft are on display.
- Short Sealand Mk 2 - IN 106 is the only surviving example in India and one of three known surviving Sealands in the world. The Sealand was the first aircraft type to be inducted after the establishment of the Directorate of Naval Aviation in 1953. They were phased out in 1965.
- Fairey Firefly TT Mk1 - IN 112 is the sole surviving example in India of the British WW2-era carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aircraft that was acquired in May 55 for target towing purposes.
- HAL HT-2 - BX 748. The Navy used the HT-2 primary trainers from 1956 to 1964. The current example on display has IAF markings.
- de Havilland Vampire T-55 - IN 149. The T55 two seater variant of the Vampire was procured in September 1957 to train Naval airmen on Jet aircraft before the Navy inducted its Sea Hawks.
- Hawker Sea Hawk FGA Mk 100 - IN 234. The Sea Hawks entered service along with INS Vikrant, India's first Aircraft carrier and served for two decades before being replaced by the Sea Harriers.
- Breguet Alizé - IN 202. The Alize was the Navy's first carrier based Anti Submarine and Maritime Surveillance (ASM) aircraft and entered service in 1961.
- de Havilland Dove - IN 124. The Dove was procured from the Indian Air Force in 1965 to replace the Short Sealand that were being phased out.
- HAL Chetak - IN 475 entered service with INS Vikrant in 1961 as a Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter.
- Hughes Hu-300 - IN 083. The Hughes Hu300 two seater helicopters were inducted in 1971 for ab-initio training of helicopter pilots and were phased out in the mid 1980s.
- Westland Sea King Mk 42. - IN 505 was procured in 1970 to fulfill an Anti Submarine Warfare role in the Navy.
- Lockheed L1049G Super Constellation - IN 315. The main attraction among the outdoor exhibits, this Lockheed L-1049G was originally delivered to Air India in 1955 and named "Rani of Ellora". It was transferred to the Indian Air Force in 1961, then on to the Naval Air Arm in 1976 and finally retired in 1983.
- Kamov Ka-25 - IN 573. The Ka-25s, commissioned in 1980 were essentially for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) with secondary surveillance and Search and Rescue (SAR) duties.
- Sea Harrier FRS.51 - IN 621. The single seater Sea Harrier on display was delivered in 1991 and was based both on the INS Vikrant as well as the INS Viraat.
Inside, visitors can read and learn about key battles the Indian Air and Naval forces have participated in. The indoor gallery is divided into special rooms designated for a certain topic. Some of them are 'armament', which show military weapons that are attached to submarines and ships; 'attire' which show the progression of the uniforms worm by the members of the Indian air and naval forces over the years, among many others. Also on display are many rare and vintage photographs and documents that show several important periods in Naval Aviation History from 1959 onwards. One gallery also holds massive replicas of the INS Vikrant and INS Viraat. Another gallery holds a variety of bombs, torpedoes, sensors and cannons used by the Indian Navy.
The Museum lies on Naval property adjoining the South side of Dabolim Airport, on Bogmalo Road off National Highway 17. Admission to the Naval Aviation Museum costs 20 Rupees for adults. Cameras are allowed, but would be charged separately. The museum is open on all days from 10:00am – 5:00pm, except Monday when it is closed.
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