Itahar: The wreckage of an Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 jet that went missing with two pilots on board has been found in the forests near the China border. There is no sign of survivors.
The plane have been found in a heavily forested area about 60 km from Tezpur in Assam, where it went missing. The jet took off around 9:30 am on Tuesday and went off the radar near the Doulasang area of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China.
The “air dominance” Sukhoi, being flown by a squadron leader and a flight lieutenant, took off in a two-aircraft formation sortie from the Tezpur airbase at about 10.30 am on May 23.
The last contact with the pilots was around 11:30 am, when the aircraft was nearly 60 km north of Tezpur; the wreckage has been found there. The Tezpur Air Force station is located 172 km from the China border.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter meant for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. The first of the Su-30 planes were inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s.
Since their induction, six crashes have taken place. An inquiry into the accidents has primarily indicated technical failure.
In March this year, a Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft had crashed near an air base in Rajasthan’s Barmer. Both pilots had ejected to safety.
In all, India has contracted 272 twin-seat Sukhois from Russia for over $12 billion, with the bulk of them being “produced under licence” by Hindustan Aeronautics.
Overall, the armed forces have lost over 60 aircraft and helicopters in crashes, which have killed over 80 people, just since 2011.