First Sukhoi Squadron of Southern India commissioned at Thanjavur
Nicknamed ‘Tiger Sharks’, a new squadron of Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets will be commissioned by the Indian Air Force at its Thanjavur airbase in Tamil Nadu on Monday, 20th January 2020. The Sukhoi-30MKI is an especially modified fighter jet that has the capability to carry the air-launched BrahMos cruise missiles. The first Sukhoi fighter jets to be commissioned in southern India, the squadron will provide a boost to the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force with its combat radius of about 1,500 km, and will provide a platform to keep a strategic eye over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Full 18 fighters will be commissioned by the end of the year, while at present the squadron will comprise of four to six fighters. At present, 42 Sukhois out of the total of 260 twin-seat Sukhoi’s inducted by the Indian Air Force have been armed with the BrahMos missiles as the Indian Air Force has planned for a mega project to further bolster their combat capabilities by upgrading its entire fleet of Sukhoi fighter jets with more advanced radars, weapons and avionics.