January 1, 2004:The Indian Navy had salvaged a Sea Harrier that crashed in the sea on August 24. The aircraft might find itself as the latest Warbird on the block .
Harrier FRS 51 that was salvaged from the sea after it crashed following an engine failure on August 24, 2003.
Sainik Samachar’s December issue has a report by Cdr AK Lambhate about the recovery of a Sea Harrier that crashed on August 24. The aircraft crashed after engine failure during landing phase, the pilot Lt Azad ejected sucessfully.
An extensive search lasting three days was undertaken by Indian Naval ships to determine the exact location of the crashed aircraft. The location was identified after, using the sophisticated hydrographic equipment in a depth of about ninety metres. The Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) provided invaluable assistance, for recovering the aircraft, by way of specialised salvage and diving facilities. It was reported that the wreckage has been unloaded at Goa for further examination.
The Sea Harrier is amazingly in one piece – but looks too badly damaged to be put back in the air again. Its quite possible that this airframe will find itself a new life as a ‘warbird’ at one of the navy’s establishments. Perhaps, the IMS Vikrant?