Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.
New Delhi, 21 November 2016
Fighter Jets seen in action on the grand opening of Lucknow-Agra Expressway on 21st November 2016. Three Mirage-2000 and 03 Sukhoi-30mki fighter planes of the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a ‘touch and go’ on a portion of the newly constructed Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
The portion of the Expressway used for the purpose has an RCC construction and has been reinforced and appropriately marked to facilitate aircraft landings.The portion of the Expressway used for today’s operations is located at Ganj Moradabad in Unnao District of UP.
Air Marshal S B P Sinha Air Officer Commanding in Chief Central Air Command was present at the venue to oversee the operations. Hon’ble CM of UP along with a number of Military and Civil dignitaries witnessed this unique feat by our Air Warriors.
The aim of the exercise is to check feasibility of Expressways being used as alternate airstrips in case of dire emergencies or non availability of runway for any reason.
The entire operation began with the first 3 Mirages coming overhead at around 1300hrs and culminated with a touch and go by the final SU-30 fighter jet around 1330hrs. This is second trial landing after Yamuna Expressway landing last year when a Miraj-2000 landed on the expressway. These expressways and highway landing can reinforce IAF in case of contingencies during wartime when regular airfields are not available. In Septemeber this year, Pakistan has also landed its fighters on its highways between Islamabad and Lahore during exercise HighMark. Watch the touch and go landing at Lucknow-Agra Expressway at URL: https://youtu.be/ciYF4wzsckA