Augmenting its strike capabilities along the Chinese border in the north-east, Indian Air Force (IAF) today raised a new squadron of its frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the air base here.
"102 squadron of Sukhoi-30 multi-role fighter aircraft was raised today at Chabua air base. This is the second Sukhoi squadron to be deployed in the north-eastern region after Tezpur air base," an IAF spokesperson said here.
To commemorate the raising of the new squadron, three Su-30 MKI fighter jet planes were flown to Chabua airbase from Tezpur, he said.
The first Sukhoi squadron in the north-east was raised at Tezpur in 2009. "The new squadron will get its full complement of 16 to 18 aircraft in the coming few months," the spokesperson said.
IAF has plans of deploying a total of four squadrons at these two bases which were earlier operating different types of the MiG-21 series fighter aircraft. This would be the seventh squadron of Sukhois as three are deployed in Lohegaon in Pune, two in Bareilly and one in Tezpur.
The IAF presently flies over 125 Sukhois in various roles and has plans to induct a total of 280 such air superiority fighter aircraft in this decade.
More than 15 squadrons of the over 35 tonne aircraft would form the backbone of IAF lethal strike power in the coming decades along with the 126 M-MRCA, which the Air Forceplans to buy, indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the fifth generation fighter planes being jointly developed with Russia. Eastern Air Commander Air Marshal K K Nohwar presided over the induction ceremony.