Indian Air Force’s fleets of numerous aircraft, ranging from military-grade fighter jets to massive aircraft carriers. One such huge carrier in the Indian Air Force fleet is the Boeing 737-200, although a 51-year-old aircraft is still actively providing service.
The Boeing 737-200, now registered as K3187, was built for Indian Airlines, a former state-owned flag carrier. The aircraft, designated VT-EAJ, was delivered to the fleet in January 1971 and will celebrate its 51st year of service in 2022. In its peak, the aircraft flew domestic missions across the country. The aircraft’s services were nothing less than those of a soldier.
The aircraft was one of 36 737-200s operated by Indian Airlines for nearly four decades. Deliveries were made between 1970 and 2008, with the last passenger aircraft arriving in 2005 and the remainder being cargo. The 737 played an important role in the development of the airline’s fleet. However, it was later replaced by the Airbus A320. Only Airbus aircraft were transferred when Indian Airlines and Air India joined in 2007.
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The Indian Air Force (IAF) acquired VT-EAJ from Indian Airlines in 1993. The aircraft was converted to VIP configuration, with the aim of transporting important military and government leaders around the country . For security reasons, nothing is known of the interior of the aircraft today.
A total of seven 732s were transferred to the Army, including VT-EAJ. K2142 and K2143 were moved in 1984 and are still in service. In 1986, the IAF acquired two 732s, which were retired in 1989. K3186, one of the aircraft, is preserved at Hindon Air Base on the outskirts of Delhi. Alliance Air leased the last jet for a short time before returning it to the regional carrier in 2003. (K5011).
While K2142 and K2143 are both 38.5 years old, it is unclear why K3187 remained in service 51 years after delivery. Airframe status is still operational, indicating the aircraft is still safe to fly. The IAF, on the other hand, has purchased new jets to transport the country’s leaders.
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