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With Northern Borders Secured, A New Squadron Of Su-30mkis Deployed In Tamil Nadu

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by seiko, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. seiko


    May 5, 2010
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    In a major development, Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur Air Force Base has received a squadron of India’s frontline Su30-MKI fighters. Latest satellite imaginary, obtained by DigitalGlobe and Planet Labs, has confirmed the deployment of the fighter jets to peninsular India, though an official confirmation for the same was not obtained as of writing this report.

    Thanjavur airbase was inaugurated in 2013 to house a squadron of Su-30MKIs. Reports that surfaced at the time suggested that the deployment of these aircraft will be completed by 2017-18. In view of the given timeline, the deployment could well be underway.

    The deployment of fighter aircraft to India’s southern theatre, away from its troubled north-eastern and north-western borders, can be inferred in two different ways: one, India is preparing to project its power to the wider Indian Ocean Region, and two, the air force has finally found an answer to the low serviceability level of Su-30MKIs.

    India, which sees the Indian Ocean as an area of primary interest, has been looking at options to safeguard its interests in the region. While the navy is designated to play a major role in this strategy, it has limited resources. Therefore, the deployment could be seen as an effort to project power in the region.

    Deployment of fighter aircraft to the low-threat southern theatre, at a time when the Indian Air Force (IAF) is dealing with serious fleet shortage, suggests that the IAF has managed to improve the serviceability level of Su-30MKIs. Not more than a year ago, less than 50 per cent of Su-30 fleet remained serviceable at any given time due to frequent engine failures.

    The imagery also suggests that the government is developing additional infrastructure at the air force base, with the construction of additional support buildings almost complete. The presence of two triple fences secure structure points towards the existence of munition depots, likely associated with the airfield’s weapons handling activity.


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