JODHPUR, Jan 17 - In an olive green pilot�s G-suit and a helmet on her head, Nirmala Sitharaman today soared high on a Sukhoi-30 MKI jet, the first Indian woman Defence Minister to go on a sortie on the all-weather, long-range fighter.
The supersonic jet took off from the Air Force station at Jodhpur, where one of the Sukhoi squadrons is based, at 1 pm, rose to a height of 8000 metres and broke the sound barrier.
After a 45-minute flight on the India Air Force (IAF)�s frontline jet over the Western sector of Rajasthan bordering Pakistan, Sitharaman was back at the Air Force station.
�It was a memorable experience... and a smooth ride,� the 58-year-old minister told reporters here later.
Sitharaman had earlier landed at the air station on a bright and sunny day in an IAF aircraft, ready for the sortie by the Jodhpur-based Sukhoi squadron.
After being greeted and welcomed by senior IAF officers and a brief meeting with the air warriors, she donned the fighter pilot�s G-suit � which can withstand high acceleration and sharp manoeuvres, preventing loss of consciousness � and was then briefed about the plane�s operations and functioning.
The minister entered the cockpit and sat on the seat behind the pilot, Group Captain Sumit Garg. � PTI