New Delhi: The newly reinstated 222 Tigersharks Squadron of the Indian Air Force in Thanjavur gets ready to induct Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter aircraft equipped with BrahMos missile and will be the second base in South India with frontline fighter squadrons.
The first one was the Air Force Station in Sulur near Coimbatore, which is home to No 45 Squadron Flying Daggers. The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) `Tejas’ will be based there.
Two Air Force Stations located in South of the country will hugely enhance the operational capability of IAF.
According to Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria “The new Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft squadron will be the part of southern air command. From the point of view of operational capability, it will add huge capacity.”
“It will have both offensive and defensive roles that these aircraft can perform,” the Air Chief said.
According to IAF officials, the Tigersharks were number plated in 2011. Over the last few years, the AFS Thanjavur has been playing host to air exercises and the Su-30 MKIs have taken off for any Ops in IOR.
In December 2019, the Indo-Russian BrahMos Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) was successfully launched by the IAF from the Russian Su-30 MKI against a sea target. With the successful launch the IAF became the ultimate “game-changer” in the 21st century.
It has also given the IAF the ability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target both at sea or on land. And the capability to hit with accuracy, day or night and different weather conditions.
While a major role in the development of the software of the SU-30 MKI was played by the IAF, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) made both the mechanical and electrical modifications on the fighter aircraft. These modifications will enable the aircraft to carry the missile.
The IAF has the only air-launched supersonic weapon of its kind in the world this can be fired from an air platform at a target at sea. This will help the IAF pilots and machines to stay away from the enemy reach.