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  1. Combat ready! Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman flies in Sukhoi-30 MKI; watch stunning video

Combat ready! Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman flies in Sukhoi-30 MKI; watch stunning video

Nirlmala Sitharaman, who became country's first woman defence minister to do so, described the 30-minute sortie as "wonderful".

By: | Updated: January 17, 2018 7:30 PM
Combat ready Defence Minister Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman flies in Sukhoi-30 MKI; watch stunning video Nirmala Sitharaman, who became country’s first woman defence minister to do so, described the 30-minute sortie as “wonderful”.

In what appeared as an eyeball grabbing event, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday undertook a sortie in IAF’s fighter jet Sukhoi-30 MKI in the western sector of Rajasthan. Sitharaman, who became country’s first woman defence minister to do so, described the 30-minute sortie as “wonderful”. Stunning all, 58-year-old Sitharaman sat in the rear seat behind the pilot and also wore pilot’s G-suit. As per some PTI sources, the plane flew towards west of Jodhpur. The minister was briefed by the pilot prior to the sortie. The minister took necessary precautions and familiarised herself with the formidable fighter jet and its cockpit. Prior to the sortie, the defence minister met IAF personnel at the air force station and reviewed the operational and combat preparedness of the force. Sukhoi-30 MKI is a nuclear-capable aircraft which can penetrate deep into enemy territory.

Sitharaman, who is the first woman defence minister of India, has been making headlines for her proactiveness in work. Recently, Sitharaman visited the state of Sikkim and had an interesting interaction with Chinese soldiers at Nathu La border. In a casual gesture, the defence minister taught these soldiers the meaning of Indian greeting ‘namaste’ during her visit and also taught them how to do it. The entire interaction was caught on video and was tweeted from the official handle of Raksha Mantri.

Watch | After completion of the sortie, Nirmala Sitharaman getting off the formidable Sukhoi-30 MKI fighterjet

Watch | Nirmala Sitharaman takes off on the Su-30 MKI

WATCH: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inside the cockpit of the Sukhoi-30 MKI

During her Arunachal Pradesh visit, the defence minister was accorded a guard of honor and was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.

Earlier, former Presidents Pratibha Patil and APJ Abdul Kalam have taken a sortie in a fighter plane. In 2003, then defence minister George Fernandes, under Atal Bihari Vajpayee rule, had become the first VIP to take a fighter sortie.

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