Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday flew a Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, joining an elite club of VIPs who have taken the frontline fighter jet for a raid .
Clad in a jump suit and special eye-gear, 44-year-old Rijiju, took off from Indian Air Force’s Halwara base in Punjab and flew around for about 30 minutes in the supersonic jet, which can reach 56,800 feet and fly at a maximum speed of 2,100 km per hour.
“Sukhoi flying brought me closer to IAF team at Halwara Air Force Station. Salute to brave pilots for securing our sky,” the Union minister of state for home affairs said after the flight.
Rijiju joined a small list of VIPs who have flown the aircraft which include former presidents late A P J Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil and former defence minister George Fernandes.
Rijiju occupied the co-pilot’s seat along with an experienced fighter pilot of the IAF. Sources said a few days ago Rijiju underwent a fitness test.
He agreed to fly following a request by IAF chief air chief marshal Arup Raha, sources said.