- Recently, in a first-of-its-kind operation, the Indian Air Force carried out a drill of its Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jets from the civilian airport on the outskirts of Guwahati.
- Similar drills were conducted in Kolkata and Durgapur in West Bengal from civilian airports, which is the area of operation of the IAF’s Eastern Air Command, headquartered near Shillong.
About Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
- The Su-30 MKI is built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under license agreement with Russia’s Sukhoi.
- It is the most advanced fighter jet in operation with the Indian Air Force.
- It is the primary air to air and air to ground strike machine.
- It can carry a wide range of equipment from radars to missiles, bombs and event rockets.
- Top Speed: Mach 2
- Maximum Takeoff weight: 38,800 kg
- Earlier from the from the western front, the IAF is now increasing its focus in the east since China is increasing its capabilities, and there is a need to have a serious deterrent in order to emulate any threat that may emerge in the future
- The drill is expected to give the IAF more flexibility for coordination with civil air traffic during an emergency.
- The IAF has identified Guwahati, Aizawl, Kolkata, and Durgapur civilian airports for operating and validating fighter aircraft operations in the eastern sector.