IAF resurrects `Golden Arrows' squadron, to be armed with Rafale fighters
11 September 2019
Indian Air Force has resurrected its 17 Squadron, known as ‘Golden Arrows’, which will now be the first squadron to be equipped with the state-of-the-art Rafale aircraft - an extremely capable, fourth generation, multirole aircraft with advanced weapon system.
The Resurrection ceremony for 17 Squadron, AF was held at Air Force Station Ambala. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff presented a memento to Group Captain Harkirat Singh SC to commemorate the occasion. The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries from Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
17 Squadron was formed at Ambala on 1 October 1951 under the command of Flight Lieutenant DL Springett and was then equipped with Harvard-II B aircraft. By November 1955, the squadron converted fully to De Havilland Vampire and by 1957, Hawker Hunter aircraft were flown by the ‘Golden Arrows’. The squadron converted to the Mig-21 M in 1975.
The Squadron actively participated in Goa Liberation Campaign in December 1961 and in the 1965 operations as a reserve force. Under the command of Wing Commander N Chatrath, 17 Squadron took part in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 and flew close air support, counter air and fighter recce missions, getting numerous gallantry awards.
On November 1988, the squadron was presented ‘Colours’ by then President R Venkataraman. Under the command of Wing Commander BS Dhanoa VM, Golden Arrows, participated actively in Operation ‘Safed Sagar’ in 1999.
In the near future, 17 Squadron will be the first squadron to be equipped with the state-of-the-art Rafale aircraft, which is an extremely capable, fourth generation, multirole aircraft with advanced weapon system.