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Sukhoi-30 most versatile aircraft with IAF

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 20 � The Sukhoi-30 is the most versatile aircraft at the disposal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and squadrons of the craft are deployed in the North-east to improve India�s air defence preparedness in this part of the country, said former vice chief of the IAF Air Marshal (retd) PK Barbora. He also said that though a Sukhoi-30 crashed in Nagaon on Tuesday, the accident rate of the craft was very low.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Air Marshal Barbora said the real reasons for Tuesday�s crash would be known only after a proper investigation. But at the same time, he said that the accident rate of the craft was very rare. The IAF had been using the aircraft for the last 27 years, but only six to seven crashes had taken place, he said.

Air Marshal Barbora, who was the first Indian to fly the Indian version of the Sukhoi-30 MKI at the Moscow air show in 2000, said that it was the best of the craft available with the IAF because of its versatility. The craft can carry a tremendous amount of load including weapons, while it can fly long distances as it has air-to-air refuelling facilities. The craft is also vital for the IAF as it can be moved from one part of the country to another within a short time depending on requirement. Its manoeuvrability is among the best in the world. Moreover, the aircraft has two engines and even if one fails, it can fly with the second.

The former IAF officer revealed that the IAF deploys the aircraft at its disposal depending on the threat perception. Preparations to bring in the Sukhoi to this part of the country started in the later part of 2000 and now two squadrons of the craft are deployed in the region to improve the country�s air defence preparedness. He said each squadron has 18 to 20 craft and one squadron has been deployed at the Tezpur air base. The other is in Dibrugarh. He admitted that deployment of the Sukhoi greatly improved India�s defence preparedness in this part of the country.

Apart from the Sukhoi, the IAF is also using MiG 27 craft in this region.

Giving details of the IAF�s use of the Sukhoi, Air Marshal Barbora said the first squadron of the Sukhoi-30 was introduced in the IAF in 1997-98. But those were the Russian version of the aircraft and the IAF is no longer using the same. Later, the Indian version of the Sukhoi-30 MKI, with modifications sought by the IAF to cater to requirements in Indian conditions, was manufactured and the IAF has been using those since the early 2000s. Now the Indian version of the Sukhoi is manufactured in India only.

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Sukhoi-30 most versatile aircraft with IAF

GUWAHATI, May 20 � The Sukhoi-30 is the most versatile aircraft at the disposal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and squadrons of the craft are deployed in the North-east to improve India�s air defence preparedness in this part of the country, said former vice chief of the IAF Air Marshal (retd) PK Barbora. He also said that though a Sukhoi-30 crashed in Nagaon on Tuesday, the accident rate of the craft was very low.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Air Marshal Barbora said the real reasons for Tuesday�s crash would be known only after a proper investigation. But at the same time, he said that the accident rate of the craft was very rare. The IAF had been using the aircraft for the last 27 years, but only six to seven crashes had taken place, he said.

Air Marshal Barbora, who was the first Indian to fly the Indian version of the Sukhoi-30 MKI at the Moscow air show in 2000, said that it was the best of the craft available with the IAF because of its versatility. The craft can carry a tremendous amount of load including weapons, while it can fly long distances as it has air-to-air refuelling facilities. The craft is also vital for the IAF as it can be moved from one part of the country to another within a short time depending on requirement. Its manoeuvrability is among the best in the world. Moreover, the aircraft has two engines and even if one fails, it can fly with the second.

The former IAF officer revealed that the IAF deploys the aircraft at its disposal depending on the threat perception. Preparations to bring in the Sukhoi to this part of the country started in the later part of 2000 and now two squadrons of the craft are deployed in the region to improve the country�s air defence preparedness. He said each squadron has 18 to 20 craft and one squadron has been deployed at the Tezpur air base. The other is in Dibrugarh. He admitted that deployment of the Sukhoi greatly improved India�s defence preparedness in this part of the country.

Apart from the Sukhoi, the IAF is also using MiG 27 craft in this region.

Giving details of the IAF�s use of the Sukhoi, Air Marshal Barbora said the first squadron of the Sukhoi-30 was introduced in the IAF in 1997-98. But those were the Russian version of the aircraft and the IAF is no longer using the same. Later, the Indian version of the Sukhoi-30 MKI, with modifications sought by the IAF to cater to requirements in Indian conditions, was manufactured and the IAF has been using those since the early 2000s. Now the Indian version of the Sukhoi is manufactured in India only.