Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the aircraft museum in New Town, Kolkata
On 7 June 2022, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opened the aircraft museum in New Town, which was developed in conjunction with the Indian Navy by the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department. The museum was created with the intention of preserving and promoting the Indian Navy’s maritime heritage for educational purposes.
“I will invite everyone, especially school and college students, to visit the museum that the Indian Navy has gifted to us.” “It will not only be a learning experience about maritime history, but it will also motivate people to join the Navy or the Army,” Banerjee said during the opening ceremony.”
Initially, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) began assembling components of a Tupolev 142 anti-submarine aircraft that was dismantled and moved to the city on February 14, 2020, from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu. The Indian Navy handed over the aircraft to KMDA on November 15, 2019. The project was later turned up to the West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco).
Hidco granted the museum 2.2 acres of property next to the New Town police station.
The ‘Bear’ was the world’s heaviest, fastest, and highest-flying turbo propeller, and it served as the Navy’s mainstay of long-range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions for over three decades. The Indian Navy used eight Tupolev 142 M aircraft in all major naval exercises and operations, including OP Cactus (1988) in the Maldives, Operation Vijay (Kargil 1999), and Operation Parakram (2002). In its 30 years of service, it has flown 3000 hours.
The Tu-142 has reached the end of its technological life and is no longer economically viable to maintain in service. Russia maintains its Tu-142 fleet, although the chilly temperatures they fly in are far gentler for the aircraft. Banerjee asked top Indian Navy personnel present at the inauguration ceremony to donate a decommissioned submarine so that it may be stationed at Digha.
The aviation museum in New Town will open to the public on Friday. Weekday hours will be 2.30 to 8.30 p.m., while weekends will be 12 to 8.30 p.m. Students will be admitted free of charge with the presentation of their identity cards, while the general public will be charged Rs 30.