January 27, 2023

Earlier Dipalay Dey discovered a rare Toofani at Kumbhirgram airfield - thus kicking off this page.   Today, he provides a photograph of an Mil Mi-4 that does guard duty at the airfield.

Kumbhirgram is the serving airfield for Silchar town in the state of Assam, India built by the British in 1944, it is home to an IAF Wing and also hosts the civil airport. The airport is situated on the foothills of the Barail range. The IAF established its presence in March 1966, when No. 403 Air Force Station was formed at Kumbhirgram. It was a major helicopter base in the north east, and was home to various Mi-4 units. The major resident unit happened to be No.110 HU. In 1989,  403 Air Force Station was upgraded to 22 Wing, AF.

It didn’t occur to us to do a ‘Google Earth Scan’ of this station till now – thus our surprise when Dipalay Dey reported a rare Dassault MD450 Ouragan “Toofani” that is preserved at the station. He sent in two images of the aircraft as displayed at the airfield. The Ouragan is displayed at the end of Runway 24 at a traffic roundabout.

The pictures Dipalay sent show the aircraft in a nose-up display mounted on ‘stilts’ in the roundabout. The aircraft features a fake tail number ‘IC-222’ and it appears that the main undercarriage wheels are a local replacement. The aircraft was also missing its nose undercarriage and the cockpit canopy – where a sheet of aluminum has been formed into a shape to protect the cockpit from the elements.  

 

An Mi-4 too

The Toofani is not the only warbird on display at Kumbhirgram. Opposite from the civil terminal to the southwestern part of the airfield are the hangars where No.110 HU is based. Outside one of the technical areas, an Mi-4 was seen preserved. The Mi-4 was painted in Green and the label ‘Vanguards’ is painted across it.  It is displayed in the technical area. Dipaley procured a photo of this rare bird too.

Kumbhirgram Mi-4

The Mil Mi-4 on display at AFS Kumbhirgram

In October 2022, As part of Swarnim Vijay Varsh, 1971 War veteran Sqn Ldr PK Vaid Vr C (Retd) visited AF Stn Kumbhirgram. As Flt Cdr of the celebrated Mi-4 Helicopter Unit, he was a key player in the famous Meghna river heli-bridging ops. This photo was shared by the IAF’s EAC Twitter Account. at https://twitter.com/EAC_IAF/status/1586756530711318528/photo/3

Toofani : lat=’24.921830’|lon=’92.992664′ 

Photos Courtesy: Dipalay Dey 

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