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Maritime reconnaissance aircraft

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    9th Nov, 2023


The Indian Navy on Tuesday decommissioned the last of its Ilyushin Il-38SD Sea Dragon Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft from operational service, 46 years after their induction.

Ilyushin IL-38SD Sea Dragon Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft:

  • It was inducted into service from 1977 onwards and it participated in January 26 Parade flypast for the first and last time.
  • In January 1978, the squadron aircraft using the on board Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) equipment successfully located the wreckage of the ill-fated Air India aircraft which had crashed soon after take-off off the Mumbai coast.

What is Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft?

  • maritime patrol aircraft(MPA), also known as maritime reconnaissance aircraft, is a fixed-wing aircraft designed to operate for long durations over water in maritime patrol roles — in particular anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-ship warfare (AShW), and search and rescue (SAR).

What is the need for maritime patrolling?

  • India's extensive 7,516 km coastline, vast 5 million sq km exclusive economic zone, and crucial major and minor ports are vital to its economy.
  • Most international trade relies on maritime transport, but security concerns have expanded to include terrorism, smuggling, piracy, and poaching, making defense essential.
  • In order to defend any portion of the maritime domain, it is essential to be aware of the potential threat which may be at the strategical or the tactical level or both.

What is Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD?)

  • magnetic anomaly detector(MAD) is an instrument used to detect minute variations in the Earth's magnetic field.
  • The term refers specifically to magnetometers used by military forces to detect submarines (a mass of ferromagnetic material creates a detectable disturbance in the magnetic field);
  • Equipment is a descendant of geomagnetic surveyor aeromagnetic survey instruments used to search for minerals by detecting their disturbance of the normal earth-field.

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