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Exhilarating experience: President after flying maiden sortie in Sukhoi

2023-12-03 11:37:00source:zop

President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday flew a sortie in a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft from Tezpur Air Force Station in Assamand, in a brief note in the visitor’s book documenting her experience, called it an “exhilarating experience”.

Exhilarating experience: President after flying maiden sortie in Sukhoi

She flew for approximately 30 minutes over Brahmaputra valley with a view of the Himalayas before returning to the Air Force Station, Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement.

Exhilarating experience: President after flying maiden sortie in Sukhoi

The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Tezpur Air Force Station, which hosted the sortie, is a frontline IAF airbase facing China — it has fighter squadrons, a helicopter unit and radar and missile squadrons.

Exhilarating experience: President after flying maiden sortie in Sukhoi

Also Read | At Assam’s Tezpur, President Droupadi Murmu takes maiden sortie in fighter jet

Murmu is the third President and the second woman President to fly such a sortie. Former President Pratibha Patil had flown in theSu-30 MKI jet from Pune Air Force base in 2009. Before that, A P J Abdul Kalam had flown in Su-30 when he was the country’s President.

The statement said the aircraft was flown by Group Captain Naveen Kumar, Commanding Officer of 106 Squadron. It flew at a height of about 2 km above sea level and at a speed of about 800 km per hour.

Also Read | Watch: President Droupadi Murmu takes sortie on Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft

Defence officials said maneuvering of the aircraft in such sorties is done keeping the health and age of the person flying to ensure he or she does not go through the stress involved in flying a fighter jet. “But at the end of the day it is a fighter aircraft, and the person flying may have to eject in case of a contingency. So extensive briefing is provided on safety aspects,” an official said. “Even in the case of President Murmu an extensive amount of briefing was provided to her to reinforce safety aspects.”

After her maiden sortie, Murmu wrote: “It was an exhilarating experience for me to fly in the mighty Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. It is a matter of pride that India’s defence capabilities have expanded immensely to cover all the frontiers of land, air and sea. I congratulate the Indian Air Force and the entire team of Air Force Station Tezpur for organising this sortie.”

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Murmu was also briefed on operational capabilities of the aircraft and the IAF, and she expressed satisfaction on the operational preparedness of IAF, the statement said. “The President’s sortie in the Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft is a part of her efforts to engage with the armed forces as the Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces,” the statement mentioned.

Murmu was on a three-day visit to Assam from April 6.She was given the Guard of Honour when she arrived at Tezpur Air Force Station.

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Last month, she visited INS Vikrant and interacted with officers and sailors on board of the indigenously built aircraft carrier.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd