First squadron of Su-30MKI fighter jets inducted in South India, set to watch over Indian Ocean
On Monday, the jets were officially inducted at Thanjavur Air Force Station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is set to be home to the No. 222 Squadron, known as ‘Tiger Sharks’.
Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria were present at the ceremony.
The squadron will have five to six planes, with the number expected to rise to 18 in the future, according to local media. The new aircraft are being equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, which were jointly developed by India and Russia and have a range of 300km (186 miles).
The SU-30MKI fighters in Thanjavur are being equipped with the air launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles which can hit targets at around 300 kms with precision. https://t.co/N79BbocU2opic.twitter.com/RVJcRZKONC— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2020
The Sukhoi-30 MKI was developed on the basis of Russia’s Sukhoi-30 especially for India (‘MKI’ means Modernised Commercial Indian by its first Russian letters). The planes are highly-maneuverable, equally capable of striking ground targets during a raid and conducting dogfights. In Thanjavur, they will be tasked with defending India's southern coasts and patrolling maritime areas.
Several days before the ceremony, Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, who leads the Southern Air Command, said that the IAF are ready to “extend the reach into the vast Indian Ocean region.” The strategic region has “an important role to play in regional peace, security and prosperity,” he said.Also on rt.com Air-launched BrahMos supersonic missile fully integrated with Su-30 platform, India declares after latest test
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