The Indian Air Force's (IAF) 221 Squadron has inducted Su-30MKI fighter aircraft into service.
Also known as 'Valiants', the squadron will boost the offensive capabilities of the IAF in this sector, Indian Ministry of Defence stated.
The Valiants was formed as an offensive fighter squadron in 1963 at Barrackpore. It was then equipped with Vampires, Spitfire, Hurricane and Su-7 aircraft.
The Su-7 aircraft flew over East Pakistan in support of the Indian Army’s blitzkrieg advance in 1971.
The squadron flew Mig-23 aircraft until 2009.
Co-developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Su-30MKI is an all-weather multirole fighter aircraft that is capable of performing varied air combat and ground attack missions.
Based on the Su-30 fighter aircraft, the Su-30MKI is equipped with thrust-vectoring control and canards.
The Su-30MKI is armed with a 30mm Gsh-30-1 cannon, with 150 rounds of ammunition, and can also carry Vympel-built R-27R, R-73, and R-77 air-to-air missiles. It also holds rocket pods, KAB-500, and KAB-1500 laser-guided bombs.
The aircraft has the ability to launch a range of air-to-surface missiles, including Kh-29L/T/TYe, Kh-31A/P, Kh-59M, and Nirbhay.
It has a maximum unrefuelled flight range of 3,000km. The in-flight refuelling system of Su-30MKI provides a maximum range of 8,000km with two refuelling.
The semi-monocoque fuselage head of the aircraft includes cockpit, radar sections, and avionics bay.