Friday, September 01, 2017

IAF’s first generation jet bomber Canberra turns 60 tomorrow

Bengaluru: Come tomorrow, and the first English Electric Canberra jet inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) will turn 60. The first generation Jet Bomber was manufactured in a large number through the 1950s.
"The prototype of Canberra first flew in May 1949 and in January 1957, and the aircraft was selected by the Indian Air Force to equip its bomber and strategic reconnaissance fleet. The Canberra Jet bomber was first inducted in the IAF in No. 5 Squadron (Tuskers) at Agra on 01 September 1957," the IAF said in an official release.
When political turmoil broke out in Belgian Congo in 1961, the UNO requested India for strike aircraft and within five years of serving the IAF, on October 9, 1961, under the command of Wing Commander AIK Suares, six Canberra aircraft of No 5 Squadron took off from Agra for Leopoldville, over 6000 km away to join the United Nations' Multinational Force in the Congo.
"This was the first-ever Indian fighter-bomber contingent to take part in UN operations. The offensive operation in Congo earned the Squadron two Vir Chakras, one Vayu Sena Medal and five Vishisht Seva Medals," the IAF said.
31/09/17 Chethan Kumar/Times of India