BENGALURU: The official phasing out of the MI-8 helicopter fleet, the workhorse of the Indian armed forces, will be completed on Sunday at a farewell ceremony held at the Air Force Station, in Yelahanka.
In attendance to bid the fleet goodbye will be several veterans associated with the platform since its induction in 1972. Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air officer commanding-in-chief and Training command, will be the chief guest.
Called ‘Pratap’ in the Indian Air Force, the helicopter is fondly remembered by veterans and has participated in missions including the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka, a United Nations Mission in Congo and many operations in Siachen.
In addition to its military duties, the helicopter has also taken part in several expeditions to Antarctica.
The MI-8s were inducted from the then USSR when they were shipped in crates to India.