New Delhi: Scaling up its presence along the Pakistan border, the Indian Air Force Tuesday inducted its frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI at the Halwara air base in Punjab.
This is the first squadron of the Su-30MKI to be inducted into the Western Air Command--known as the sword arm of the IAF.
"The aircraft was inducted into the air base under the WAC in a formal ceremony by Air Marshal Arup Raha," Western Air Command spokesperson Group Captain Sandeep Mehta said here.
The squadron known as the `Desert Tigers`, was flying the MiG 23 till 2005 and was number-plated after the aircraft were phased out from the IAF.
The SU-30 MKI is a frontline all-weather air-dominance fighter with multi-role capability, which can undertake varied air combat and ground attack missions.
Highlighting the strategic importance of the Halwara air base, the WAC said, "It is one of the oldest frontline bases of the IAF and due to its strategic location was actively involved in both 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars."
Inaugurating the air base, Air Marshal Raha congratulated the air warriors of Halwara air base for successful induction of SU-30 MKI.
"The squadron has enhanced the operational capability of Western Air Command in a substantial manner," he said.
The IAF has now deployed the Su-30MKIs at several of its bases in the east and the western regions.
The bases include Tezpur and Chabua in Assam along the borders with China, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh and Jodhpur in Rajasthan along with its major home base Pune in Maharashtra.