No. 222 Squadron IAF

No. 222 Squadron (Tigersharks) is a CAS unit based out of Thanjavur. It is the first Sukhoi Su-30 MKI squadron based in southern India and is the also the first squadron equipped with air launched BrahMos cruise missile.[2][3]

No. 222 Squadron
No. 222 Squadron IAF Crest.jpg
  • 15 September 1969 - March 2011
  • 20 January 2020 - Present
CountryIndia Republic of India
Branch Indian Air Force
RoleMaritime Strike[1]
Garrison/HQThanjavur AFS
Motto(s)Vinahay Dushkrtam
Destroyer of Evil
EquipmentSukhoi Su-30MKI


1971 Indo-Pakistan WarEdit

A Su-7 used by the Tigersharks[4]

No. 222 Squadron was raised at Ambala on 15 September 1969, with Sukhoi Su-7 aircraft. In July 1971, the Squadron was moved to Halwara, and was soon engaged in combat with the PAF.

The squadron carried out counter-air strikes against Risalewala and Chander airfields with immense success, despite stiff opposition. It provided CAS to ground units in the Dra-Baba-Nanak, Husseinwala and Firozpur sectors. The squadron virtually paralysed the Pakistani armour thrust, due to numerous strikes against enemy gunning positions, armour, and troops, exposing weak flanks to the ground forces.

Short term interdiction missions were directed against rolling stock, rail tracks, marshalling yeards, bridges and enemy convoys. In this the Squadron achieved remarkable success. It conducted photo recon missions against enemy radar positions, deep inside enemy territory.

The Squadron was highly decorated for its role in the war, including one MVC, 3 VrCs, 3 VMs, and two Mentions in Despatches.

Post-War periodEdit

In May 1975, the squadron was shifted back to Ambala, and continued to operate there until 1981, when it shifted to Hindon on 14 May 1981. In December 1985, the Tigersharks became the first Indian squadron to be equipped with the MiG 27 Bahadur aircraft. The then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, visited the squadron and renamed it to its current name, Tigersharks. On 19 May 1989, they were moved to Hasimara where they were active till 2011.

It was reactivated with Sukhoi Su-30 MKI on 20 January 2020 at Thanjavur Air force base with responsibility for Maritime Recconnsainse and Maritime Strike role over IOR region.[5][6]


Aircraft types operated by the squadron[7]

Aircraft Type From To Air Base
Sukhoi Su-7 15 September 1969 July 1971 Ambala AFS[7]
Sukhoi Su-7 July 1971 May 1975 Halwara AFS[7]
Sukhoi Su-7 May 1975 May 1981 Ambala AFS[7]
Mikoyan MiG-27 December 1985 May 1989 Hindan AFS[7]
Mikoyan MiG-27 19 May 1989 March 2011 Hasimara AFS[7]
Sukhoi Su-30MKI 20 January 2020 Present Thanjavur AFS[8]

The squadron has been reinstated with Su-30 MKI.


  1. ^ sharks/maritime-strike-squadron/slideshow/73294701.cms
  2. ^ "No. 222 Squadron(Tigersharks)". www.indianairforce.nic. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  3. ^ "How Sukhoi-30 fighter jets will help check Chinese footprint in Indian Ocean". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Sukhoi-7 BMK (Fitter) Type S-22". Images - Retired Aircraft - Fighters and bombers. Bharat Rakshak. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Indian Air Force resurrects 222 Squadron, the Tigersharks - Thanjavur hosts India's first Sukhoi Squadron". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Wow! IAF inducts first Su-30 squadron with lethal BrahMos missile in Southern Air Command - The Financial Express". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Pillarisetti, Jagan. "No.222 Squadron Tigersharks- Bharat Rakshak:Indian Air Force".
  8. ^ "Finally, Southern India Gets First Su-30 MKI Squadron Tomorrow". LiveFist. 19 January 2020.