India’s Sukhoi Still Untraced, China Says Don’t Disturb Border Region
Authorities in India have failed to locate the Sukhoi-30MKI jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) which went missing since Tuesday morning. It is being said that weather conditions are hampering search and rescue operations.
A C-130 aircraft with electro-optical payload, ALH and Chetak helicopters of the IAF have been tasked for this search and rescue operations. The IAF is also using SU-30 aircraft with recce capability for locating the missing aircraft.
“Apart from the aerial assets, four ground parties of IAF personnel, nine parties of Indian Army and two parties of state administration have been deployed on different axes to search the area. Till now no breakthrough has been made in locating the aircraft and its pilots,” an IAF official said on Wednesday evening.
The Sukhoi jet, with two pilots aged between 25 and 30 on board, went missing after taking off from the Tezpur air force station situated in the north-eastern part of the country. The aircraft was on a routine training sortie.
China has said that it has no relevant information to offer at the moment regarding the missing aircraft. "We have been following the situation in South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh) very closely. First of all on the eastern section of the India-China border, China's position is consistent and clear. We hope India can stick to the arrangements reached between the two sides and avoid disrupting peace and stability at the border areas," Lu Kang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Wednesday as quoted by PTI.
China is said to be discomfited at India’s decision to deploy its frontline Sukhoi-30 jets at Tezpur air base station, which is located 172 km from the India-China border.
The Sukhoi-30MKI is a twin-seater, twin-engine multirole fighter of Russian origin, which is capable of carrying a variety of medium-range guided air-to-air missiles with active or semi-active radar or infrared homing close range missiles.
Source: New Delhi / Asia & Pacific SPUTNIK Business News (sputniknews.com) - 24 May 2017
Photo: The Indian Air Force's MiG-21 Interceptor and fighter jet. (Photo by © AFP 2017/ DIBYANGSHU SARKAR)