Rajnath Singh inaugurates emergency landing strip for IAF, to induct MRSAM missile next

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) is part of a national highway that, for the first time ever, will be used for emergency landings of Indian Air Force aircraft.
Indian Air Force aircraft will make emergency landing on the national highway in Rajasthan. (HT PHOTO)
Indian Air Force aircraft will make emergency landing on the national highway in Rajasthan. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 09, 2021 01:36 PM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated the Emergency Landing Facility for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the Satta-Gandhav stretch of National Highway (NH) 925A along with Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Rajnath Singh hailed the “great feat” and said that the NHAI is preparing emergency landing fields at 20 locations and also constructing helipads in many other regions. “This emergency landing field and the three helipads will not only be useful in the time of war but to carry out rescue and relief operations during any natural disaster,” he said. Later in the day, Singh will also be inducting the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM)/Barak-8 weapons system for the IAF in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer.

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) is part of a national highway that, for the first time ever, will be used for emergency landings of the Indian Air Force aircrafts. Video clips shared by the ANI news agency showed that a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft and a Jaguar jet landed at the national highway in Rajasthan's Jalore, showcasing the stretch of road that will be used for more such emergency landings of the armed forces.

Earlier this day, the Union defence minister tweeted: “Leaving New Delhi for Barmer on a day-long visit to Rajasthan. Shall inaugurate the Emergency Landing Facility on NH-925A near Barmer, along with the Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shri @nitin_gadkari. I shall also be attending the MRSAM induction ceremony in Jaisalmer.”

According to the Union ministry of road transport and highways, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had developed a three-kilometre section of the Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A from Km. 41/430 to Km. 44/430 as an Emergency Landing Facility for the Indian Air Force. It is a part of the newly developed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav Section having a total length of 196.97 kilometres and costing 765.52 crores under Bharatmala Pariyojana.

An official statement from the road transport ministry said, "This project will improve connectivity between villages of Barmer and Jalore districts located on the international borders. The stretch is located in the western border area will facilitate the vigilance of the Indian Army as well as strengthen the basic infrastructure of the country."

The Indian Air Force will be inducting the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM)/Barak-8 weapons system in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer later in the day. Defence minister Rajnath Singh will be attending the induction ceremony.

The MRSAM missile system, jointly developed by India and Israel, is expected to provide a significant boost to the country's air defence and combat capabilities. The two countries had successfully carried out tests earlier this year at a facility in India, which showed off the advanced medium-range missile equipped with advanced phased-array radar and interceptors with advanced RF seekers.

 

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Thursday, January 27, 2022