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Bordering Two Countries, This Indian Region Becomes Air Force's New 'Makeshift' Base

Guwahati in Assam, Aizawl in Mizoram and Kolkata and Durgapur in West Bengal have been considered by the IAF for round-the-clock operations of Sukhoi Su30s — India's most advanced fighter jets.

Tulika Devi | News18

Updated:May 3, 2019, 9:01 AM IST
Image for representation only.
Image for representation only.

Guwahati: In a first, Sukhoi Su30 fighter jets took off from the civilian airports in Assam, Mizoram and West Bengal on Thursday. The Indian Air Force (IAF) said that the arrangement would improve wartime preparedness and would help in emergency.

The Eastern Air Command (EAC) had conducted the aircraft operational exercise in Kolkata and Durgapur airports also.

All the SU-30MKI aircraft took off from Chhabua and Tezpur air base in Assam to take part in the operational exercise, which was held after a gap of two-three years in Eastern Air Command Area of Responsibility (AoR).

Guwahati in Assam, Aizawl in Mizoram and Kolkata and Durgapur in West Bengal have been considered by the IAF for round-the-clock operations of Sukhoi Su30s, which are currently India's most advanced fighter jets, an official said.

For a Sukhoi Su30 class aircraft, this is the first time that a drill has been conducted from Guwahati airport. The IAF conducted the exercise with an aim to use the civilian airports for strategic purposes in case of war-like situation and attack from the enemy.

As part of the exercise, fighter pilots and crew will coordinate and train to operate from major civilian airports. This was also done to be fully prepared for an eventuality where the IAF may need to shift operating bases at a moment's notice from a military air field to a civilian airport, the official said.

Air Commodore Shashank Mishra said the aim of the exercise was to validate fighter operations from civil airfields.

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