Guwahati, May 2, 2019
In a first-of-its-kind exercise that the Indian Air Force (IAF) says will improve wartime preparedness, Sukhoi Su30 fighter jets will fly from civilian airports in West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram over the next two days.
Kolkata and Durgapur in West Bengal, Guwahati in Assam, and Aizawl in Mizoram have been considered by the IAF for round-the-clock operations of Sukhoi Su30s, which are currently India’s most advanced fighter jets.
All the SU-30MKI aircrafts took off from Chhabua and Tezpur air base in Assam to take part in the operational exercise which is taking place after a gap of 2-3 years in Eastern Air Command Area of Responsibility (AoR).
“For a Sukhoi Su30 class aircraft, this is the first time they are conducting drills from Guwahati or any other civil airfield in the northeast. Our focus was more on the western front earlier, but we are now increasing our focus in the east since our eastern neighbour is increasing its capabilities, and we need to have a serious deterrent in order to emulate any threat that may emerge in the future,” Air Commodore Sashank Mishra told NDTV.
He added, “The idea is to build synergy between civilian Air Traffic Control and IAF pilots so that they can use civil airfields if the main base of the IAF is attacked.”