September 30, 2022

Akkulam is home to the Indian Air Force's Southern Air Command Headquarters (SAC HQ). SAC was set up in 1984 just before the sector became active with the IPKF deployment in 1987. Initially it was in Belhaven Palace in Trivandrum City. In 1996 it moved to Akkulam, just outside the city.

Akkulam is home to the Indian Air Force’s Southern Air Command Headquarters (SAC HQ). SAC was set up in 1984 just before the sector became active with the IPKF deployment in 1987. Initially it was in Belhaven Palace in Trivandrum City. In 1996 it moved to Akkulam, just outside the city.

The pole mounted Gnat at the Southern Air Command HQ at Akkulam. Drop tanks in place, with the HQ Building in the background

The Gnat was first reported by Sushiel Kurien, but located within Trivandrum City near the Kowdiar Palace. We were initially skeptical, but it turned out that there really was a Gnat at the location mentioned! On a flight to the US, the webmaster bumped into George Joseph, an aviation enthusiast from Chicago. George confirmed that there was a Gnat as recently as 1999 at the RBI Building at Kowdiar, but it cannot be seen when he went to his native place in 2001.

The details of the missing Gnat cleared up when Sree Kumar, who authored the B-24 Liberator articles for our site confirmed that the HQ of Southern Air Command was located at Trivandrum and the Gnat was the obligatory warbird of the Command HQ. The HQ had since then moved to Uloor area, and the Gnat had dissappeared from its main road display. Obviously this was the aircraft that moved to Akkulam.

The Gnat is mounted on pylons and is displayed along with two stripped down SA-2 Surface to Air Missiles which have also been mounted on pylons. The entire set up forms the backdrop in the window from the C-in-C’s office. The HQ looks over the Akkulam lake from its location.

Another screen grab shows the Gnat displayed between two SA-2 Missiles which have been stripped down to the second stage.

The HQ and the aircraft can be seen in this Map

{mosmap width=’100%’|height=’130’|lat=’8.522828’|lon=’76.90736’|zoom=’18’|zoomType=’Small’|zoomNew=’0’|mapType=’Satellite’|showMaptype=’1’|overview=’0’|tooltip=’SAC HQ with Gnat in Front’|marker=’1’|align=’left’} ‘

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