New Delhi: In a first of its kind event, six fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touched down on the newly-built Agra-Lucknow Expressway on Monday.
The IAF show was part of the inauguration ceremony of the expressway held at Unnao, around 50 kms from Lucknow. A dream project of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the expressway was inaugurated by his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
While an IAF jet had last year landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi, today's event was more special given the number of top-of-the-line fighter jets that carried out the touch-and-go manoeuvre.
Three Sukhoi jets flew down from Bareilly and three Mirage 2000s from Gwalior and skimmed the six-lane highway, before flying off again.
While the touchdown by the fighter jets coincided with the inauguration of the highway, the IAF was another mission as well – check the highway - marked for landings as part of a Defence Ministry plan for emergencies when military airfields are not available – of its worthiness as an emergency runway.
The 302 km Greenfield expressway was completed in a record 23 months. It will offer a direct link to the Taj Mahal town of Agra from the Yamuna Expressway.
Officials say it will have an automatic traffic management system to deal with fog and reduce road accidents. It also features an eight-lane bridge across the river Ganga, which will connect Unnao and Kanpur.
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