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BrahMos, Astra missiles give Indian Su-30s edge over Flankers operated by other countries: IAF fighter pilots

Jodhpur: Integration of indigenous weapons like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Astra air-to-air missiles gives an edge to the Su-30MKI combat aircraft operated by India over similar jets operated by other air forces including China, said Group Captain Arpit Kala, who is the Commanding Officer of Su-30MKI fighter aircraft squadron said on Sunday.
Around 15 countries operate the different variants of the Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft including China, its original manufacturer Russia, Armenia, Indonesia and Algeria along with others. With 272 aircraft, Indian Air Force has the largest fleet of these planes. Talking to ANI, ace fighter pilot Group Captain Arpit Kala heading a Su-30 fighter aircraft squadron in the desert sector, said the Indian Su-30MKIs are unique in the sense that they have been equipped with the best of technologies and weaponry from around the world along with indigenous ones too.
When asked to compare the Indian Su-30MKI with the different variants of the Su-30s operated by other countries including the ones operated by its original manufacturer Russia, Group Captain Kala said: "What makes the Indian Su-30MKI different from the flankers (Su-30 combat aircraft) operated across the world is that it is a beautiful integration of various weapons, sensors and avionics from all over the world."
"Its long-range vectors (missiles) including the indigenous air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons give it an edge over others. It is one of the best aircraft in the world," Kala said.
The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile can be launched from the Indian Su-30s and are being developed to strike targets at 700 kms and beyond. Presently they can hit targets up to 450 kms.
The Astra Mark 1 can hit targets up to 100 kms and versions of it are being developed to shoot down enemy planes at up to 300 kms.
The officer further said that the aircraft and the aircrew training make it one of the best flankers in the world as the Indian Air Force training is considered one of the best in the world.
He further asserted the integration of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and the Astra air-to-air missiles have made the aircraft more lethal.
Kala's squadron teammate and one of the first woman fighter pilots Squadron Leader Bhavna Kanth termed the Su-30MKIs operated by the Indian Air Force as one of the best and most lethal platforms armed with indigenous weapons systems."The Su-30MKI is a versatile multirole combat aircraft which can carry out both air-to-ground and air-to-air missions simultaneously."
"What is unique about this aircraft is that it can carry out manoeuvres at both high speed and low speed. It also has the capability of doing very long-range missions and with its multiple refuelling, it has very long endurance," Squadron Leader Bhavna Kanth said.
She said the aircraft has the latest avionics and can easily integrate any of the latest weapons easily and can carry out missions with ease.
Asked about her feeling as a woman fighter pilot, she said the aircraft does not know whether it was being flown by a man or a woman and she was proud to be part of the esteemed force.
Squadron Leader Mukul Bawa also termed the aircraft as a unique aircraft equipped with made-in-India equipment which makes it more lethal.
Officials said the long-range air-launched BrahMos which can go much beyond 500 Km plus would enable the aircraft to take down air defence systems of enemy forces by remaining much out of their reach.
The defence ministry has also cleared the acquisition of the next-generation anti-radiation missiles for the Su-30MKIs which would enable them to strike enemy radars from more than 100 Km ranges.
India is the only country in the world which has equipped its Su-30s with such long-range strike capabilities and has kept modernising the fleet with the latest weapons.
A lot of new equipment has also been incorporated into the Sukhoi fleet during the last two years including the Spice-2000 series precision-guided weapons which are considered to be very effective stand-off weapons. (ANI)

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