Defence Minister Sitharam flies in Sukhoi 30 jet in 30-minutes sortie

MoD Sitharaman flies in Sukhoi, joins the league of Kalam, Patil, George

Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday became the first Indian defence minister to fly in a Su-30MKI fighter aircraft, the mainstay of the Indian Air Force.

"It was a memorable experience. and a smooth ride", the 58-year-old minister told reporters here later. She is not the only minister to have undertaken such a sortie. The sortie lasted 30 minutes.

The supersonic jet took off from Jodhpur Air Force station in the morning.

A G-suit is a flight-specific suit worn by pilots of jet fighters while flying.

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According to sources, Defence Minister is reviewing the operational preparedness and combat capabilities. "Very proud and thankful that I've gone through this experience because it actually tells me with what rigor, practice, what level of readiness and how quickly they (defence personnel) have to respond to situations". Nirmala Sitharaman is trying to understand the functioning and preparation of different parts of the army.

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Prior to this, on November 25, 2009, as the supreme commander of the three armies, former President Pratibha Patil has flown to Sukhoi in Pune. Sitharaman is the second defence minister after George Fernandes to fly in a Sukhoi-30 MKI. With its range, it can penetrate deep in enemy territory.

Another noteworthy feature of this aircraft is that one-sixth of the SU air structures and frame are made in India by the Bengaluru-based Dynamatic Technologies Ltd in their facilities inside HAL Nasik, under a public-private partnership.

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