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IAF to base Sukhoi squadron near Indo-Pak border

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An IAF photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Deploying its lethal combat arsenal near the Indo-Pak border, the Air Force (IAF) is going to base a squadron of its frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI at Sirsa in Haryana by December.

This will be the second squadron of the Su-30MKI to be deployed in the Western Command area after deployment of the aircraft in Halwara, Punjab.

The aircraft will be deployed in Sirsa which is a key base along the Pakistan border, IAF officials said.

Till now, the Sukhois have been deployed in seven squadrons including the two in the eastern sector at Tezpur and Chabua, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Halwara in Punjab and at its home base Lohegaon in Pune.

The IAF is planning to induct a total of 272 Sukhois from Russia by 2017.

The twin-engine Russian-origin Sukhois are now produced under licence at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore. India is also planning to equip the aircraft with BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missiles.

The Su-30s can fly for more than 10 hours without refuelling, the sources added.

The first Sukhoi-30 was inducted in the IAF in the late 90s. The IAF started inducting the MKI version in early part of this decade.

First batch of the MKI version aircraft will be upgraded under a Rs 11,000 crore plan jointly by Russia and HAL.

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