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Rediff.com  » News » Assam:Tezpur Air Force base to host Sukhoi

Assam:Tezpur Air Force base to host Sukhoi

June 04, 2009 14:52 IST

The strategically located Tezpur Air Force Station in North Assam is all set to host the Sukhoi-30 aircraft which will arrive in the second week of June. This will make Tezpur the third air force base to host Sukhoi-30 combat aircrafts in the country and the first one in the North East India.

The location of Tezpur air base bears great significance as it lies strategically surrounded by China, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and Bangladesh on each side. Ever since its inception during the British era , Tezpur it has been one of the most active air bases in the North East with a variety of aircraft stationed at the base.

A defence source informed that Air Marshal SK Bhan, Air Officer Commanding in Chief Eastern Air Command, would be the chief guest in the Sukhoi induction ceremony at Tezpur air force station which has been given a massive facelift and upgradation of facilities to make it suitable to house the elite combat aircraft.

It is learnt that the Sukhoi -30 aircrafts are likely to be received at the station with great fanfare and fly pasts by a host of aircraft. The SU-30 is a twin cockpit, multi-role all-weather, superiority fighter with air-to-air refueling capability. The aircraft which was originally designed and developed in Russia, is now manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at Nasik.

The Airfield in Tezpur was constructed by the British Royal Indian Air Force during the Second World War in 1942. It was subsequently developed into a full fledged Air Force base in 1959.

The first aircraft that flew from this base were Vampires. Subsequently, Hunter, MiG 21, 110 HU (Mi-4 helicopters) were based at Tezpur Air Force station that also had a MiG Operational Flying Training Unit with MiG-21s and 115 HU (Cheetah/Chetak helicopters).

Tezpur Air Force base was home to the MiG 21 fleet for the last 25 years.The fleet was used extensively to train pilots for the Indian Air Force. The fleet was shifted from Tezpur base in September 2007 to facilitate extensive runway repairs and extension.

K Anurag in Guwahati