Defence Minister flies in Sukhoi-30 MKI jet

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Jodhpur: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today undertook a sortie in Indian Air Force’s frontline combat jet Sukhoi-30 MKI in the western sector of Rajasthan.

The country’s first woman defence minister described the 30-minute sortie as “wonderful”. “Very proud & thankful that I’ve gone through this experience because it actually tells me with what rigor, practice, what level of readiness & how quickly they (defence personnel) have to respond to situations. It was eye-opening & memorable: Defence Minister on flying Su-30 MKI

Wearing the pilot’s G-suit, the 58-year old Sitharaman sat in the rear seat behind the pilot in the cockpit of IAF’s frontline combat jet which took off from the Jodhpur air base.

The plane flew towards the west of Jodhpur, sources said.

Prior to the sortie, the minister was briefed by the pilot. She also familiarized herself with the formidable fighter jet and its cockpit.

Earlier Sitharaman met IAF personnel at the air force station and reviewed the operational and combat preparedness of the force, the sources said.

Sukhoi-30 MKI is a nuclear-capable aircraft which can penetrate deep into enemy territory.

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