Shillong: A full squadron of Sukhoi-30
warplanes have been deployed at Assam's Tezpur air base, while
another squadron is expected to be brought to Upper Assam base
of Chabua by the end of the year.
The full complement of Sukhoi fighter jets arrived at
Tezpur this June and the squadron is operational, Defence
The air base at Chabua is being upgraded to house the
warplanes which will subsequently replace the ageing MIGs. The
sources said the runway, taxi track, hanger and other airfield
infrastructure at Chabua air base is being upgraded.
Already the 'vintage' MIG-23 and MIG-25 planes have
been phased out.
"Once adequate number of Sukhois and other modern
aircraft come in, MIG-21s would also eventually phased out,"
IAF has been expressing concern over the maintenance
of the older generation aircraft like MIG-21s in the force
which are operating since early 60s. There have been a number
of incidents of MIG-21 crashes in the last couple of years.
Besides the Sukhois, the sources said once the medium
multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal is through, Air Force
would deploy some of the squadrons in the eastern sector.
Currently, trials are being conducted with aircraft of six
manufacturers for the 126 aircraft deal, officials said.
First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 13:45