President Droupadi Murmu flies in Fighter Jet

President Droupadi Murmu flies in Fighter Jet

April 9, 2023

New Delhi, Apr. 9- President Droupadi Murmu yesterday took her maiden fighter jet flight. She was seen wearing an anti-gravity suit before stepping into a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Tezpur Air Force Station in Assam, a strategic air base.

The President, who is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, flew for approximately 30 minutes covering Brahmaputra and Tezpur valley with a view of the Himalayas before returning to the Air Force Station. “Achcha laga (felt good),” President Murmu told reporters after completing her 25-minute sortie.

Murmu, who was on a three-day trip to Assam, reached Tezpur from Guwahati. She was received at the air base by Air Marshal S.P. Dharkar, Governor Gulab Chand Kataria and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

After landing at Tezpur, Murmu received a guard of honour by IAF personnel, followed by an official briefing on her flight aboard the Sukhoi aircraft.

She then reached the hangar wearing the flying suit, and waved to the waiting journalists before climbing the ladder to board the aircraft. Murmu also posed with her pilot and other officials in front of the aircraft.

The aircraft was flown by Group Captain Naveen Kumar, Commanding Officer of the 106 Squadron. The aircraft flew at a height of about two kilometres above sea level and at a speed of about 800 kilometres per hour. President Murmu is the third President and second woman President to undertake such a sortie.

In 2009, former President Pratibha Patil had flown in the frontline fighter aircraft.

The President’s sortie in the Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft is a part of her efforts to engage with the armed forces, as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. In March 2023, the President visited INS Vikrant and interacted with officers and sailors on board of the indigenously built aircraft.

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Later in the visitor’s book, the President wrote, “It was an exhilarating experience for me to fly in the mighty Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. It is a matter of pride that India’s defence capabilities have expanded immensely to cover all the frontiers of land, air and sea. I congratulate the Indian Air Force and the entire team of Air Force Station Tezpur for organising this sortie.” Sukhoi-30 MKI is a twin-seater multirole fighter jet developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s aerospace giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.


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