India’s newly inducted Su-30MKI fighter jets believed to be of no match for PAF’s JF-17

India has supplied Thanjavur airbase on its strategic southern coast with Su-30MKI fighter jets as part of an ongoing effort to boost the defenses of the Indian Ocean region. However, it is pertinent to note that defense experts are of the opinion that the IAF's Su-30 jets are at most only "at par" with the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, which successfully defeated the Su-30 in a dogfight on the 27th of February, 2019.

India

India has supplied Thanjavur airbase on its strategic southern coast with Su-30MKI air superiority fighter jets as part of an ongoing effort to boost the defenses of the Indian Ocean region.

Interestingly last year, prior to the Abhinandan fiasco, Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder shot down a Su-30 and Mig-21 of the Indian Air Force, within 50 seconds of a dogfight, resulting in diplomatic embarrassment and loss of two fighter jets for India.

On Monday, the jets were officially inducted at Thanjavur Air Force Station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is set to be home to the No. 222 Squadron, known as ‘Tiger Sharks’.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI was developed on the basis of Russia’s Sukhoi-30 especially for India (‘MKI’ means Modernised Commercial Indian by its first Russian letters)

Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria were present at the ceremony.

The squadron will have five to six planes, with the number expected to rise to 18 in the future, according to local media. The new aircraft are being equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, which were jointly developed by India and Russia and have a range of 300km (186 miles).

It is pertinent to note that defense experts are of the opinion that the IAF’s Su-30 jets are at most only “at par” with the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder fighter jets, which successfully defeated the Su-30 in a dogfight on the 27th of February, 2019.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI was developed on the basis of Russia’s Sukhoi-30 especially for India (‘MKI’ means Modernised Commercial Indian by its first Russian letters). The planes are highly-maneuverable, equally capable of striking ground targets during a raid and conducting dogfights. In Thanjavur, they will be tasked with defending India’s southern coasts and patrolling maritime areas.

Read more: India Touts BrahMos as World’s Fastest Cruise Missile: Pakistan Responds with Shaheen II

Several days before the ceremony, Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, who leads the Southern Air Command, said that the IAF are ready to “extend the reach into the vast Indian Ocean region.” The strategic region has “an important role to play in regional peace, security and prosperity,” he said.

RT with additional input from GVS News Desk

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