SU-30 MKI dedicated to Air Force

Ozar Airbase , Nasik, Nov 28 | Updated: Nov 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Ahead of Russian President Vladmir Putins arrival in New Delhi next week, the first indigenously built multi-role fighter aircraft SU-30 MKI, made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with Russian collaboration, was handed over to the Indian Air Force on Sunday.

Addressing the ceremony at Ozar Air Force base, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee said Indias defence policy is based on a very basic foundation and the country does not have any territorial ambition.

As the frontline twin-seater worth Rs 198 crore each machine rolled out, Mr Mukherjee said, it is a happy moment as IAF is the first in the world to fly an aircraft that is operational on vector thrust. This is also the first aircraft made under the Russian licensing.

He said this was indicative of the fact how deep the Indo-Russian military co-operation is. The SU-30 MKI is the first such aircraft finetuned to conform to Indias strategic requirements. This has been possible because of the Russian collaboration, he added.

(The trip was sponsored by ministry of defence)