SHILLONG, April 21 � Tezpur and Chabua air bases in Assam � will house two squadrons of Sukhoi 30 warplanes each, a senior Indian Air Force officer said today, reports PTI.
�Both the bases will have two squadrons of the Sukhois. They already have one squadron each. The next squadrons would be coming within a few years� time,� Eastern Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal KK Nohwar said.
The first complement of the MKI variant of the Su30 fighter jets arrived at Tezpur last June and the squadron is operational.
The second squadron in the Northeast was deployed at Chabua in Upper Assam last month.
IAF sources said the necessary infrastructure in these air bases were being upgraded to house the warplanes which will subsequently replace the age old MIGs.
Already the �vintage� MIG 23 and MIG 25 planes have been phased out.
�Once the adequate number of Sukhois and other modern aircraft come in, the MIG21s would also be eventually phased out,� the sources said.
The IAF has been expressing concern over the maintainability of the older generation aircraft like MIG 21s in the force which are operating since the early 1960s.. There have been a number of incidents of MIG 21 crashes in the last couple of years.
Another Su30 squadron is likely to be deployed at the Bagdogra air base in the region, the sources said.
Having aerial refuelling capability, the Su30 MKI multi-role combat jets have a combat radius of 1,500 kilometres. The MKI variant of the warplane, which was inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2002 is said to have an impeccable safety record.