PANAJI, India, May 11 (UPI) -- The Indian Navy said goodbye to the Sea Harrier jets of the "White Tiger" Indian Naval Air Squadron Wednesday during a de-induction ceremony in the state of Goa.
During a ceremony in which the Sea Harriers flew passes for a final time, flanked by their Russian-built MiG-29K replacements, Admiral RK Dhowan praised the squadron's role in defending the country while lauding the pilots, maintainers and others involved in the jets' 33 years of service, according to a Ministry of Defense release.
The White Tigers squadron signaled the beginning of carrier-based aviation in the Indian Navy.
The Sea Harriers arrived in 1983, and went on to form "the teeth of naval combat power and consequently was the center piece of naval operational strategy."
The Navy innitially had 28 Sea Harriers and de-inducted the remaining 11 jets at Wednesday's ceremony, the Press Trust of India reports.
The service has so far received 31 of the 45 MiG-29K multi-role jets it has ordered.