The first indigenously overhauled Sukhoi Su-30MKI supersonic aircraft at an IAF base repair depot (BRD) was handed over to the Operational Squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Nashik on Friday.
Air Marshal Hemant Sharma, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, formally handed over the overhauled Su-30MKI fighter aircraft to Air Marshal H.S. Arora, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command at a ceremony here, news agencies reported.
The aircraft first took-off post-overhaul on April 24 and since then, it has been undergoing test flights before it was finally handed over to be inducted for operational tasks in a flying squadron.
“During the overhaul, the aircraft was stripped completely and rebuilt from scratch, replacing certain worn out parts/components. It has now become almost like a brand-new aircraft with its life-span doubled,” an officer was quoted as saying to agencies.
Established in April 1974, the 11 BRD, Ojhar, is the only fighter aircraft repair depot of the IAF and undertakes repairs, renovations and overhaul of frontline fighters like the MIG-29 and now the Su-30MKI.
The 11 BRD progressively built and improved upon the technical expertise and infrastructure over the years and by 1983, it had overhauled 100 Su-7 aircraft.
From 1983, it undertook the overhaul of 28 MIG-21 aircraft and later set up a facility in 1986 to overhaul MIG-23s of which 248 were overhauled till May 2015.
In 1996, the overhaul facility for MIG-29s was set up and presently the upgradation of these aircraft, besides repairs and overhaul of the Su-30MKI has also been taken up at the 11BRD.
The Ojhar depot is the only agency to undertake the complete overhaul of ejection seats and role equipment of the Su-30MKI, both for the IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.(HAL), Bengaluru. Besides 11BRD, HAL also overhauls and maintains the Su-30MKI, said an official.