As part of her three-day official visit to the northeastern state, President Draupadi Murmu boarded a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter jet for a flight from the strategic Tezpur Airforce station in Assam. It is noteworthy that the previous instance of a President flying in a Sukhoi was in 2009, when India’s 12th President, Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, took a similar flight. Upon her arrival at the Tezpur Air Force Station, President Murmu was welcomed with a Guard of Honour.
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- The Su-30MKI is a multirole fighter aircraft designed jointly by Sukhoi and HAL, featuring thrust vectoring control and canards.
- Development began in 1995, with Sukhoi leading design and Irkut Corporation responsible for production.
- The aircraft has a length of 21.9m, wingspan of 14.7m, and a height of 6.4m, with a maximum take-off weight of 38,800kg.
- Its cockpit accommodates two pilots, with equipment including a N011M radar, OLS-30 locator system, and Litening target designation pod.
- It can launch air-to-surface missiles, including BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
- The aircraft’s power plant provides a maximum speed of Mach 1.9 and a rate of climb of 300m/s.
- It has an unrefueled flight range of 3,000km, with in-flight refueling extending its range to 8,000km.