Flankers at Tezpur!

IAF Statement: The Su-30 aircraft was formally inducted at Air Force Station Tezpur today in a symbolic ceremony presided over by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal SK Bhan PVSM AVSM VM. Air Commodore TK Nair, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Tezpur and other senior Air Force officers, Army officers and civil dignitaries were also present on the rain soaked Tezpur airfield on the occasion.

Tezpur airfield was constructed by the British Royal Indian Air Force in 1942, during Second World War. It subsequently developed into a full fledged Air Force base in the year 1959. It lies between Bhutan, Tibet, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Ever since its inception, it has been one of the most active bases in North-East from where a variety of fixed and rotary wing aircraft have been operating.

The first aircraft that flew from this base were Vampires and Toofanis. 101 Reconnaissance Squadron with Vampire aircraft and 4 Squadron with Toofanis were the first Squadrons to be located at this base. Subsequently came 29 Sqn (Toofani), 37 Sqn (Hunter), 4 Sqn (MiG-21), 8 Sqn (MiG-21) 28 Sqn (MiG-21), 24 Sqn (Gnats), 110 HU (Mi-4 helicopters), 30 Sqn (MiG-21), MOFTU (MiG Operational Flying Training Unit) with MiG-21s and 115 HU (Cheetah / Chetak helicopters). For the last 25 years this base had been home to the MiG-21 fleet which was used extensively to train rookie pilots for the Indian Air Force, most of whom fondly remember their days spent in Tezpur. In Sep 2007, fighter operations were discontinued at the base to facilitate extensive runway repairs and extension. The work having been completed, the station has formally inducted its first SU-30 MKI aircraft.

The SU-30 MKI aircraft is a twin cockpit multi- role all-weather, air superiority fighter with air – to – air refueling capability. The aircraft, now being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Nasik), was originally designed and developed in Russia. The Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft was inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1997 and since then, the aircraft has been upgraded to suit IAF requirements.

The civil air operations that were discontinued in 2007, will resume soon enabling the civil population of this region to travel to other regions of the country by air.

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