The addition of Brahmos and Astra missiles have enabled the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet to bolster India's strategic capability.

With these advancements, the reach with air-to-air refueling and standoff performance, Su-30 MKI is a truly potent platform and is bolstering IAF’s strategic capabilities, said India’s Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, after a sortie on the multi-role fighter in Jodhpur airbase on January 17.

After her recent visit to INS Vikramaditya, the aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, Defense minister Sitharaman flew in the formidable Su-30MKI fighter aircraft of 31 Squadron, on her visit to Air Force Station Jodhpur.

In her 45 minutes of sortie, she was demonstrated some of the unique characteristics and strengths of this twin engine Air Superiority Fighter (ASF). She became the first woman Defence Minister of India to fly a sortie in an IAF Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.

The Su-30MKI aircraft forms an integral and the most potent component of India’s Air Power. It is developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under licence by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). A variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, it is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter.

In November 2017, India had successfully flight-tested the air variant of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the fighter jet.

Our Bureau