President Murmu, the Supreme Commander of India flies a frontline fighter jet! Dons special ‘G’ suit
President Droupadi Murmu, Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces flew a sortie on SU- 30 MKI fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from the Tezpur Air Force Station. According to the IAF, the sortie lasted for around half an hour.
The President of India is visiting Assam from April 6-8, 2023 where she has so far on April 7 inaugurated the Gaj Utsav-2023 at the Kaziranga National Park and later at Guwahati, she flagged off the Mount Kanchenjunga Expedition-2023.
Besides flying a sortie on SU-30 MKI, she also attended a programme organized to mark the completion of 75 years of the Gauhati High Court at Guwahati.
In 2009, former President of India Pratibha Patil then at the age of 74 years had flown in the frontline fighter aircraft and became the first woman head of State to fly in a warplane. She became the oldest woman to fly the fighter jet which had taken off from the Lohegaon air force base in Pune in Sukhoi-30 MKI (SB 139).
She had changed into an anti-gravity suit following a medical exam which is mandatory before such a flight. The former president’s sortie was for almost 20 minutes in the combat aircraft which had flown at a close to supersonic speed. There were no manoeuvres and was flying at a speed of more than 800 kmph and at a height of 2.2 km. Her jet flew over Rajgurunagar, Shirur, Baramati and Pune parts of the district. The jet plane carrying the President was accompanied by two other Sukhoi planes which flew in a formation with her aircraft.
This multirole combat aircraft is part of IAF’s fleet which has been jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This aircraft is based on the Su-30 fighter aircraft and the Indian version is equipped with canards and thrust vectoring control.
According to reports in the public domain the development of the Su-30MKI for IAF started in 1995 and the Russian Sukhoi and Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association were earlier responsible for the development and production of the aircraft at that time.
In 2000 both India and Russia had inked a MoU to start the license production of the fighter jet at HAL’s plant. A new squadron — the 222 Squadron (Tigersharks) located at the IAF’s Thanjavur airbase in the southern part of India originated. And the fighter aircraft of the new squadron have the capability to carry BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
Over time India achieved the ability to indigenously overhaul the Su-30MKI and in 2018 the IAF received the first locally overhauled Su-30MKI.
This fighter jet is powered by two Al-31FP turbojet engines and each engine has the capability to generate a full after-burn thrust of 12,500kgf.