Defence News: The Su-30 Jet that went missing on May 23, has been found in heavily forested area, 60 Km from Tezpur airbase. There is no sign of survivors (pilots) yet. The Su30 took off at 9:30 am on Tuesday after which it went off the radar near Doulasang, Arunachal Pradesh, which is near China border. The base maintained contact with the pilots till 11:30 Am after which the communication was lost. That time, the plane was around 60km away from the base. Tezpur airbase is a little more than 170 km from China border.
Search operation is expected to continue and so is an inquiry about the reason for crash. This year a Su-30 had crashed near an airbase in Barmer (near Jodhpur, Rajasthan). In that incident, both pilots had ejected safely. The Su-30s started to get inducted in IAF in the late 90s and there has been some technical faults which inquiries into the accidents have revealed. Still it is quite a safe jet if we see the world wide jet crash percentage. Recently the govt. has signed up for spare part deals with the suppliers to improve serviceability and reliability of the aircraft. So far the improvement in spares availability has helped the IAF gain serviceability and aircraft availability.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter with Multi role, ground and air capabilities. The IAF uses it extensively for Air superiority roles. The Indian MKI version is more advanced than any Sukhoi in the world. Even the Russians have based their new inductions on the Indian version. The aircraft uses Indian and foreign systems to improve an accommodating Su-27 platform. Soon to be upgraded to “Super Sukhoi” standard, the fighter forms the backbone of the IAF.
The most important aspect of this incident is Pilot safety. IAF and other security agencies are looking for them. An investigation and recovery is underway at the site and we hope the pilots be safe.