IAF to base Sukhoi squadron in Sirsa by December
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Deploying its lethal combat arsenal near the Indo-Pak border, the Air Force (IAF) is going to base a squadron of its frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI in Sirsa, Haryana, by December.
This will be the second squadron of Su-30MKI to be deployed in the Western Command area after deployment of the aircraft in Halwara in Punjab. The aircraft would be deployed in Sirsa, which is a key base along the Pakistan border, IAF officials said. Till now, the Sukhois have been deployed in seven squadrons, including two each in the eastern sector in Tezpur and Chabua, and one each in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh; Halwara, Punjab; and at its home base in Lohegaon, Pune.
The IAF is planning to induct 272 Sukhois from Russia by 2017. The twin-engined Russian-origin Sukhois are now produced under licence at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore. India is also planning to equip the aircraft with BrahMos super-sonic cruise missile.
Su-30s could fly for more than 10 hours without refuelling, the sources added. The first Sukhoi 30 was inducted in the late 90s. First batch of the MKI version aircraft will be upgraded under a Rs 11,000-crore plan, jointly by Russia and HAL.
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