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SOURCE: THE HINDU

Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu and Kakinada MP Vanga Geetha on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the aircraft museum being developed by the Godavari Urban Development Authority (GUDA), exhibiting the decommissioned Indian Navy’s aircraft, TU-142 M, at the Kakinada beach park in East Godavari district.

The Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department was interested in developing the aircraft museum and obtained permission from the Indian Navy to shift the TU-142 M craft from INS Rajali Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu State to Kakinada city by 2020. However, the museum project has been delayed owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The turboprop aircraft eqipped with four engines was decommissioned at INS Rajali Naval Air Station in March 2017 following 29 years of service in the Indian Navy. The aircraft’s key features were its top speed of 925 kmph and a combat range of 6,500 km, according to an official release issued by GUDA.

The State government has already engaged a technical crew from Visakhapatnam and Tamil Nadu for refurbishment and installation of the aircraft at the museum on the Kakinada beach.

“The aircraft museum project will add beauty to the Kakinada beach and becomes a symbol of inspiration for the youth to know more about the defence services. Inculcating an interest in the youth for the armed forces is the prime motto behind developing the museum,” Mr. Kannababu told reporters.

The museum is expected to be inaugurated early next year, allowing visitors to view all technical details and features of the aircraft. GUDA vice-chairman R. Amarendra Kumar and other officials were present.