TU-142M, one of the long range Maritime Patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy which was decommissioned after 29 years of service, arrived here on Saturday, to be converted into a museum.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu received the aircraft at INS Dega. He presented bouquets to the five-member crew as the aircraft landed for the final time.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht and other officials attended the ceremony.

 

Earlier, the aircraft took off from INS Rajali, the air station of the Indian Navy at Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu.

The TU-142M aircraft is the heaviest, fastest and highest flying Turbo prop in the world which had been the mainstay of long range maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Operations of the Indian Navy for close to three decades.

 

Authorities were making preparation to convert the aircraft into a museum on the lines of Kursura Submarine Museum on the Beach Road here. It is expected to be ready on one acre of land on Beach Road by June. The entire project is expected to cost Rs 10 crore.

Officials said the technical evaluation of tenders by five companies for converting the aircraft into a museum was completed and financial bid would be opened soon.

The aircraft would be dismantled at INS Dega and shifted to the site for assembling and converting it into a museum. The district authorities have finalised the tender for dismantling and shifting the aircraft.