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From APJ Abdul Kalam to George Fernandes: Top Guns Who Took to the Skies

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman boarded the two-seater twin-engine fighter jet from an air base in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.


Updated:January 17, 2018, 2:49 PM IST
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Photo for representation only
India is a major consumer of Russian defence equipment.

New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman became the first woman Defence Minister to fly on a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI on Wednesday. Sitharaman took off in the two-seater twin-engine fighter jet from an air base in Jodhpur.

Here’s a look at the other politicians and ministers who boarded fighter jets:

- MAY 18, 2016: MoS Home Kiren Rijiju lived his dream of flying a Sukhoi-30MKI supersonic fighter jet from the Halwara airbase today in Punjab.

- AUG 10, 2015: MoS Defence Rao Inderjit Singh went on a sortie in the frontline IAF aircraft Sukhoi Su-30MKI at the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad.

- FEB 19, 2015: BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy flew in Sukhoi-30 MKI, the frontline fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force at Aero India 2015 air show here.

- NOV 25, 2009: President of India Pratibha Patil made history when she flew in fighter jet Sukhoi 30 MKI (SB 139) in Pune.

- JUNE 8, 2006: Seventy-four-year-old A.P.J. Abdul Kalam flew in a Sukhoi-30 fighter plane, becoming the first President to make a sortie in a combat aircraft.

- JUNE 22, 2003: Defence Minister George Fernandes, shed his favourite kurta-pyjama for anti-gravity suit to undertake his historic fighter sortie in SU-30 MKI from Lohegaon Air Force Station.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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