VISAKHAPATNAM: President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the TU-142M aircraft museum at Beach Road here on Thursday. The museum would be soon thrown open to public in a couple of weeks.
Accompanied by naval officials, Governor ESL Narasimham, Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, officials of Eastern Naval Command, Kovind inaugurated the museum and dedicated it to the nation.
ENC officials and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) Vice-Chairman P Basanth Kumar had given a presentation on the museum and the history of the Russian aircraft to the President and then he had a look at the inside parts of the aircraft, including cockpit, radar, cargo/bombs compartment, gunner compartment for around 35 minutes.
VUDA officials said that over `10 crore was spent on the museum works with the help of tourism officials. It may be recalled that the chief minister laid a foundation stone for the construction works of the Russian aircraft TU-142M museum on October 17.
After 29 years of service to the nation, the aircraft was decommissioned on March 29, 2017 at INS Rajali at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, and landed for the last time in Visakhapatnam on April 8. TU-142M was designed by Tupolev and manufactured by Kuibyshev Aviation in Russia. In its 29 years of service, the aircraft was said to have flown for over 30,000 hours.